The Soundtrack to Catching Fire, featuring Coldplay, Christina Aguilera, Lorde, Sia and others.
It’s understandable that the soundtrack to the second Hunger Games movie Catching Fire isn’t a re-creation of the first. Songs From District 12 and Beyond, with T-Bone Burnett as executive producer, was an adventure of its own centred around the humble life of Panem’s District 12 with mainly folk tunes.
This time, Alexandra Patsavas is on board. Known for her work behind soundtracks for The O.C., Grey’s Anatomy and Twilight, Patsavas has a knack for bringing in current and upcoming names to provide a who’s who of television and movie soundtrack music.
As a result, this soundtrack is much more upbeat with songs that take Catching Fire’s themes and makes them more universal. Songs of triumph and love.
As a soundtrack compilation, the roster of artists is pretty impressive, especially when considering all of the songs were newly recorded for this – a rarity nowadays where many soundtracks opt for a collection of older and previously recorded songs.
Leading the pack is the Coldplay single Atlas, this album’s Abraham’s Daughter, more or less the musical theme of the movie – and it plays over the closing credits. The song harkens back to the earlier days of Coldplay’s sound but lacks the epic feel that such an important song should have for a film like this.
Second single is by Christina Aguilera, who stands out amongst the artists on the album in the same way Taylor Swift stuck out on the first. Unlike Taylor’s song Safe And Sound, however, We Remain is a generic pop ballad and while it might be the best song she’s recorded in years, it doesn’t scream “Hunger Games”.
And that’s the main problem with this album. It’s hard to imagine most of these songs in a Hunger Games setting and as a result, there’s a disconnect between the music and the film. As great as the songs by Sia, The Weeknd and Ellie Goulding are, they don’t have the essence of the movie in them and therefore feel out of place.
Songs From District 12 and Beyond worked so well because it took the artists out of their element and placed them in Panem, which gave us an excellent collection of songs that put us right into the story. This soundtrack is more focused around who the artists are, placing the film itself on the back burner.
There are still some signs that the Catching Fire soundtrack tries to capture some of the magic from the first soundtrack with songs by the Lumineers, The National and Patti Smith, but the magic is lost in the shuffle in the attempt to have a more accessible selection.
There’s a wider variety of sounds in this tracklisting, combining folk, Top 40 and EDM, making it more likely to appeal to the movie’s core fanbase, but in the end, it’s not as memorable.
1. Atlas – Coldplay
2. Silhouettes – Of Monsters And Men
3. Elastic Heart – Sia [featuring The Weeknd & Diplo]
4. Lean – The National
5. We Remain – Christina Aguilera
6. Devil May Cry – The Weeknd
7. Who We Are – Imagine Dragons
8. Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Lorde
9. Gale Song – The Lumineers
10. Mirror – Ellie Goulding
11. Capitol Letter – Patti Smith
12. Shooting Arrows At The Sky – Santigold
13. Place For Us – Mikki Ekko
14. Lights – Phantogram
15. Angel On Fire – Antony & The Johnsons