This future dystopia is all very pleasant, thank you very much.
It may be marketed as the soundtrack to the Hunger Games movie, but The Hunger Games: Songs from District 12 and Beyond (to use its full title) is one of those “music inspired by” affairs. You’ll find that a lot of the music on this CD is not actually featured in the film itself . . .
Not that that is a bad thing mind. Purists and hardcore collectors may fume but if you want the instrumental music by James Newton Howard (King Kong) then you must buy a separate disc. This for the better – otherwise you wind up with one of those soundtrack affairs in which pop songs are interspersed by jarring instrumental bits, which hardly make for a coherent music listening experience.
Instead you get about an hours’ worth of mostly pop and rock songs by the likes of Taylor Swift, The Decembrists and Arcade Fire.
Most of the songs are slow to medium tempo affairs, which make for very pleasant and mellow background music. In fact the more up-tempo songs such as The Ruler and The Killer by Kid Cudi and the efforts by Glen Hansard and The Decembrists distract from the overall vibe of general mellowness. Nothing the Playlist function on iTunes can’t fix, mind.
One would have thought that a movie about kids being made to kill one another in violent future sports movie would have some more aggro tunes, but this future dystopia is a laidback affair. Nothing wrong with that, mind.