Yes, we’re doing a Part Deux on our original Mockingjay soundtrack post. Because there’s a lot to say on this baby. SORRY NOT SORRY!
When it was first announced that Lorde would be curating the soundtrack, we were very apprehensive. Now that the full soundtrack listing and the first couple songs are here, we kinda feel like our dreadful gut instinct had it right (and genuinely, we hate it when that happens.)
Them There Eyes noted that all but a couple names are unrecognizable to her. She did call herself an “old fogie” and I’m gonna give her that (or maybe “old folkie”), because I recognize about half. And then I researched the other half. Some say that recognition isn’t the important element but YES. YES IT IS. For a soundtrack especially, you want artists that people are interested in enough to buy the songs simply because they’re a part of it.
That’s why Lorde was chosen to lead this sucker up. She’s very popular right now and she has rabidly creepy fangirls who probably don’t care who else is on the soundtrack as long as she is:
And I’ll admit, “Yellow Flicker Beat” is good. Not my anthem of the year, probably not going to be added to the personal collection, but we don’t cry whenever it comes on the radio. Still, THAT is the best this soundtrack has offered us to far. “Meh.”
On top of that, this doesn’t seem so much like Lorde curating as promoting herself. She’s part of FIVE SONGS on the fourteen song soundtrack, possibly six, as there’s still another song that has yet to be announced. Surely she was going to be involved and do at least a couple songs, but this honestly feels a bit like a Lorde EP and some other stuff thrown in there under the guise of promoting a movie.
Even when the music provided isn’t reeeeeally hers and crafted by other great artists like The Chemical Brothers and Miguel– yes, we actually like The Chemical Brothers’ other music and Miguel’s more typical babymakin’ R&B music style– the product is SO DISAPPOINTINGLY AWFUL.
“This Is Not A Game”? THIS IS A NOT A SONG! If this, in the eyes of the record label, is the second best track the album has to offer up, we’re absolutely not buying this. Even the site that originally posted the song first said something along the lines of “It takes some getting used to, but if you listen to it a few times, you’ll warm up to it.” Having a background in journalism, my initial reaction was “Oh sweetie, you’re just getting paid to say that. *pats head*” And again, we usually enjoy the artists involved, so we’re baffled. WHAT. THE. FUUUUCK.
Some people are arguing that the intention of the artists has been to stray from their other music to better suit the soundtrack, but as Rory discussed with us on Twitter, lines like “Word to Gucci, that’s my hitta” don’t have a damn thing to do with The Hunger Games. And they’re not negated by the fact that lines about starting a revolution are in the same song. Anyone in music can sing about starting a revolution and they do… often. So really, how is this about The Hunger Games other than getting put on the soundtrack again?
Though Lorde has claimed to have some pretty eclectic music tastes in the past, the soundtrack just doesn’t reflect that. AT ALL. To us, that’s the unsatisfying part. The Catching Fire soundtrack is still our favorite because it offered a nice mix of different musical styles and artists. There was some straight pop, some hip hop, some folk… All in one happy bundle! The Mockingjay Part 1 is an electropop hip hop mash-up with a couple outliers. There’s barely anything that qualifies as diversity. The first soundtrack did this with folk music (with the exception of Kid Cudi’s “The Ruler And The Killer”, which stood out in the best way possible), but that soundtrack was also advertised specifically as an Appalachian folk collection derived from District 12.
Tell us, what does a mostly EDM collection represent? District 13? The Capitol? Panem as a whole? We don’t feel that it does. That’s why soundtracks need diversity. And this one failed majorly at that. It’s not about hating on hip hop as surely someone will surely turn around and say (we don’t hate hip hop or fun, beat-thumping music, you know!) but this soundtrack, from what we’ve seen and heard, is a better representation of a frat party or a club than the journey of The Hunger Games characters in Mockingjay. And when you’re not much into music and you want songs that help you connect to a story you love, this outcome sucks.
SUCKS, WE SAY!
The Girl With The Pearl