The Hunger Jams: The Music of the Hunger Games Track by Track
    • TUESDAY, MARCH 27, 2012

    • Posted by: Joe Puglisi

    Hello sports fans! Getting pumped up for Panem's most famous and literal ultimate fight to the death? Don't know ANYTHING about The Hunger Games but want to partake in scrutiny of its soundtrack? Well then read on as we take The Hunger Games OST on in a track-by-track analysis of just how well this big-name musical players recreate the worlds of Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, Effie, President Snow (and Gale, I GUESS) through the magic of song. May the audibles be ever in your favor.

    We tried to embed YouTube links wherever possible, but some songs are only available on Spotify.

    ICYMI: part one.

    9. The Civil Wars, "Kingdom Come"

    The Civil Wars and Taylor Swift are both the kind of soft, fragile-folk lamentations that marry well with The Hunger Games mythology. Although the song itself isn't terribly memorable or distinct from others on the soundtrack, it's a fitting backdrop for Gale's feelings on the matter (I'll be waiting here for you), although in terms of male/female duets, we can't really imagine either of them singing.

    10. Glen Hansard "Take The Heartland"

    NOW WE'RE TALKING. Glen Hansard (one half of The Swell Season, lead singer of The Frames) infuses some serious energy/urgency to the mostly muted soundtrack. Look, we're talking about kids being forced into an arena to kill each other, you can only look at Taylor Swift's angsty unblemished smile so many times before you snap and start shooting people through the neck with aarows. This is that song.

    11. Maroon 5 Ft. Rozzi Crane, "Come Away To The Water"

    This song sounds like Maroon 5 doing a Civil Wars impression. After Hansard's sizzle track, it's more of the same static, landscape-sounding music that kind of fills in the blanks in between the real meat and potatoes of the collection. The "lambs to the slaughter" line definitely feels appropriate though.

    12. Miranda Lambert Ft. Pistol Annies, "Run Daddy Run"

    At this point, we're a little tired of the clear folk/country slant, but the daddy issues really speak to Katniss and her own familial problems. The harmonies are nice too, we guess.

    13. Jayme Dee, "Rules"

    "Rules" are a big part of the world of Katniss and Panem in general. Here we imagine having a Katniss/Peeta moment, steeped in faux-feelings and pretending to care, while secretly caring, but not sure if actually caring. The rules, as they say, are confusing, especially when one of them is "kill or be killed." Somehow, Katniss always seems to find a way to break them.

    14. Taylor Swift "Eyes Open"

    Yeah, Taylor Swift had to pen at least one big pop tune for the soundtrack and this is it. A fitting narrative for Katniss's struggle-- everybody's watching, the loss of childhood, etc. etc. We have a hard time imaging Taylor Swift climbing into the arena and lasting for more than five seconds, but she does appeal to the right demographic for Suzanne Collins fans.

    15. The Low Anthem, "Love Is Childlike"

    Maybe we're just partial to The Low Anthem but this complex, slow-burning tune really nails the feeling of unstable tranquility Katniss and Gale feel living in District 12 before the reaping. Wispy vocals are the angstiest aesthetic of all.

    16. Birdy, "Just a Game"

    The most ironic song/title combo of all, because as the Mockingjay (a significant type of 'birdy' in the trilogy) knows all too well, this is definitely not just a game. Bitches be dying!

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