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Friday, June 06, 2014

Album Review For The Hunger Games:Songs From District 12 And Beyond

Taken from Wikipedia.
Songwriters:Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, T Bone Burnett, Lydia Rogers, Laura Rogers, Taylor Swift, Joy Williams, John Paul White, Scott Mescudi, Greg Wells, Punch Brothers, Colin Meloy, Rhiannon Giddens, Glen Hansard, Miranda Lambert, Angaleen Presley, Ashley Monroe, Megan Keely, Brandon Keely, Ben Knox Miller, Jeff Prystowsky, Jocelyn Adams, and Jasmine van den Bogaerde

Genres:
Soundtrack, pop

General thoughts:First, there was a book. Then, they made a movie. And now, we have this companion album. You should know that most of these songs were done exclusively for this album. In fact, only three were included in the movie (all in the credits). I hadn't even heard of most of these artists (much less listened to them) before I bought this.

There were songs that reminded me of Lord of the Rings-style fantasy settings. There were songs that reminded of what I might have called Annie-style musicals (except I haven't seen Annie). Others have a country music sound.

Overall, I'd call this a must-have for fans.

Track Listing

 1. Abraham's Daughter by Arcade Fire
Thoughts:A strange song about the sacrifice of Issac in Genesis. In the retelling, Abraham has a daughter he never named (which makes him seem like kind of a jerk) and who strongly objects to the sacrifice of her brother. None of this was in the Old Testament (and I'd like to point out that Issac survived). In spite of all that, it is an enjoyable song.
 2. Tomorrow Will Be Kinder by The Secret Sisters
Thoughts:I'm not fond of this song. And in case you're wondering, this is what made me think of Annie. It doesn't help that a friend of mine sang "Tomorrow" while I was listening to this.
 3. Nothing To Remember by Neko Case
Thoughts:This I like. It's about Katniss growing colder and more heartless as she enters the Games. The style is kind of, well I'm not sure exactly what it reminds me of.
 4. Safe And Sound by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars
Thoughts:A slightly optimistic track that tells someone to hang on since they (the speaker and the addressee) will be safe and sound soon. It's not bad, but would be better without the two minutes of vocalizing.
 5. The Ruler And The Killer by Kid Cudi
Thoughts:A rap track told from President Snow's point of view (although a few lines sound like they're coming from Haymitch). It tells the tributes that they will do as instructed and put on a show in the Games. It's a good song.
 6. Dark Days by Punch Brothers
Thoughts:This is about surviving the dark times one is going through and is probably a reference to what the Capitol calls the Dark Days. It's oddly hopeful.
 7.  One Engine by The Decemberists
Thoughts:One of the faster moving tracks; what it's about I have no idea. Enjoyable, if a little repetitive.
 8. Daughter's Lament by Carolina Chocolate Drops
Thoughts:This tells the story of Mr. Everdeen's death before the events of the story in a ballad style. I liked it.
 9. Kingdom Come by The Civil Wars
Thoughts:This promises someone that all the bad stuff will end soon and "I'll be waiting here/For you." Not too bad.
10. Take The Heartland by Glen Hansard
Thoughts:The fastest paced song on the album, and one of the darkest. It's about when they're actually out in the arena killing each other. Good, but dark.
11. Come Away To The Water by Maroon 5 featuring Rozzi Crane
Thoughts:This is about Katniss's opponents hunting her down, or the Capitol using her for entertainment. If Take The Heartland is a werewolf (wild and aggressive), then this is a vampire (calmer and seductive). I enjoyed this song and would call it one of the best on the album.
12. Run Daddy Run by Miranda Lambert featuring The Pistol Annies
Thoughts:This is another song about the death of Katniss's father. It has more of a country feel to it. Not great, but not horrible either.
13. Rules by Jayme Dee
Thoughts:This is about Katniss and Peeta's faked romance and how they use it to "run around the rules." I enjoyed it.
14. Eyes Open by Taylor Swift
Thoughts:Swift's second contribution to this album. It warns another person to watch out since everyone is watching and waiting for her to fall apart. It's pretty good.
15. Lover Is Childlike by The Low Anthem
Thoughts:A slower, quieter track that I'm guessing is from Peeta's point of view about Katniss. I don't find it great.
16. Just A Game by Birdy
Thoughts:This questions whether the Games are only that - a game. Vocals are nasally, and the song is just too slow.


What did you think? A worthy companion to the story? Or should someone send an arrow through its heart?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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