Sunday, July 14, 2013

the hunger games (songs from district 12 and beyond)

did you know the soundtrack to the hunger games movie (the 1st installment, that is) is really, really good? it's one of the better, if not one of the best, compilation movie soundtracks out there. and i talk in extremes ALL THE TIME. :)

one of the huge reasons why the soundtrack is so, so good is because it was produced by this guy:

no this is not a photograph from the 19th century.



this guy should PROBABLY be one of your spirit animals. he's quite the musical & producing legend. t-bone has produced for artists such as john mellencamp, elton john, elvis costello, diana krall, natalie merchant, robert plant (one of my male voice idols! that deserves a blog post sometime) & so, so many more. he oversaw the music for the films walk the line & the big lebowski, contributed to the cold mountain soundtrack & - two cherries on top - produced another great movie soundtrack for o brother where art thou, which went on to win him tons of grammys & even more acclaim, AND was the executive music producer of nashville which explains why even though i usually can't quite stomach the genre of music portrayed on nashville, I LOVE THE MUSIC ON THAT SHOW (although apparently t-bone recently stepped down as the show's music producer, *tear*).

anyway, so having t-bone "the musical genius" burnett (as if one nickname for him wasn't enough?) work on your movie soundtrack is always a plus. in the case of the hunger games, it's a big plus. 

the feel of the soundtrack can be said to be a sort of appalachian folksy tenderness infused with post-apocalyptic edge. lots of words there. i really loved the way one critic put it, he hit the nail right on the head:

"the story of katniss everdeen sacrificing herself for her sister, battling in the hunger games and doing anything she can to survive often arrives as a hushed, lonely stream of consciousness instead of a brazen superhero story . . . the soundtrack to the film . . . wisely focuses on the vulnerability of the story's main character and the sense of family that serves as her most relatable feature. the soundtrack is not a collection of brash rock and hip-hop, but instead a folk-leaning study of a child struggling to overcome her unfair circumstances." 

here are some of the heavy hitters of the album:

"abraham's daughter," by arcade fire.

do you remember when this happens in the movie? the music fires up right during the last scene, & the vocals come in during the closing credits. after seeing the movie in theaters i couldn't get this song out of my head. i went home & did a little research only to discover this song was written by arcade fire, & then it all made sense. of COURSE that's why this song is so good. 

"come away to the water," maroon 5 (ft. rozzi crane)

mr. "moves like jagger," arrogant (but not annoyingly so, a VERY tough balance to achieve) & endearingly tattooed adam levine at his most soft & vulnerable. well done. so, so freaking well done. 

"safe and sound," taylor swift & the civil wars

an obvious choice, but for obvious reasons. this song is really beautiful. when i hear this song, i feel like it could be either sung to katniss, or about katniss. like adam levine, this is a real departure for tay tay, but the risk paid off real nice.

"just a game," birdy

this song closes the album. birdy's got a painfully delicate, floating voice. i kinda wish i had her voice?  it might remind me of feist's (feists'?) voice a little. & those opening piano chords!! goodness. just wonderful. give this one a good listen, it's just amazing.

well, guys, & there are just so, so many more great songs on this album. neko case has a good one, the one by the secret sisters is also delightful, taylor swift & the civil wars both contribute solo get the idea. t-bone, my man! you done good.

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