In today’s rapid-fire explosion of media, movie studios are quickly learning that it’s the complete package that drives a film’s buzz into the stratosphere. Social media, book tie-in (or renewed publicity for the source novel), the soundtrack — all of this makes a critical difference, particularly when aiming to create a cross-over demand.
Luckily for The Hunger Games franchise, they’ve mastered the art of a soundtrack loaded with artists that bring their own talents and notoriety to the mix.
Clearly as impressed as we were with Lorde’s deliciously dark cover of Tears For Fears mainstay “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” on the Catching Fire soundtrack, she’s been brought on board again for the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack. This time, Lorde delivers a sinister anthem for protagonist Katniss Everdeen. As with her own critically lauded debut Pure Heroine, the New Zealand artist taps into not only the reluctant heroine heart of the character, but the palpable pain of growing up under the best of circumstances as well. Pulsing and almost symphonic in its employ of synthesizer, it perfectly sets the mood for the first part of the series’ finale: wounded, but not weak; fortified, not shut down.
On its own — all clever references to the source material aside — it feels at home with the best of Pure Heroine, but with a more mature sheen and polish in its production. One can hear Lorde continuing to grow and mature, despite her seeming wisdom beyond her years that I admire her for. To my ears, it feels more rooted in her core, perhaps hinting that her earlier creations were crafted with pop sense to succeed, as opposed to this being creation for its own sake.