The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Original Motion Picture Score)
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See all 29 tracks on this disc
Original score to the 2013 motion picture composed by James Newton Howard. In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen along with Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones and Willow Shields also reprising their roles.
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Top Customer Reviews
This is actually one of the most enjoyable soundtracks I have ever listened to.
The songs for this album are:
1. Atlas - Coldplay
2. Silhouettes - Of Monsters and Men
3. Elastic Heart - Sia ft. 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. Capital Letter - Patti Smith
12. Shooting Arrows At The Sky - Santigold
13. Place For Us - Mikky Ekko
14. Lights - Phantogram
15. Angel On Fire - Antony and the Johnsons
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This album has 29 tracks and fills every last bit of the CD.
Now, for the music - I'll admit that I'm a sucker for the post-apocalyptic Capital Anthem with its soaring and blasting horns. Fortunately, it's featured several times in this album and helps to break up a lot of the ethereal "spooky" music. Let's face it, the music in Hunger Games is pretty background and functions as a subtle mood-setter, not as a blatant "FEEL THESE EMOTIONS NOW!" device. As a result you probably won't recognize most of the songs right-off. The tracks are well-named (Peacekeepers, Katniss is Chosen, We're a Team, etc) so you can check and see where in the movie the song is from, which helps, but it's tricky to separate all of the low, slow, boomy, and tinkly sections.
THAT BEING SAID, this soundtrack (compared to the one from the first movie) has MANY more little surprises and melodic bits that you WILL recognize and will make you smile.
4 stars because
> the CD is full this time
> there are more nuggets of variety within the ethereal tracks
> there are too many tracks - gapless playback encouraged so as not to split up melodic lines between tracks
Not only do we have an increase in quality, but we also get an increase in quantity. This album has 29 tracks totaling over 75 minutes of music; that's 10-15 minutes more than the typical movie soundtrack, and a whole half-hour longer than the first "Hunger Games" score. I'm glad to see more music being made available on the album.
 Just Friends
 The Tour
 Horn of Plenty
 I Need You
* With Amazon's AUTORIP service, if you order the CD then you automatically get the Amazon MP3 version added to your account for free (so you can listen to it immediately while you wait for the CD to arrive in the mail.)
My personal favorites are:
"We Have Visitors"
"A Quarter Quell"
"Katniss is Chosen"
Recommended for anyone who liked Catching Fire and for any fan of James Newton Howard's work.
Returning to write Catching Fire’s score is composer James Newton Howard. He was originally a late replacement for the first film’s original composer, Danny Elfman, and as such didn’t have a great deal of time to develop many themes or recurring motifs – the resulting first score was disappointingly anonymous, without much individual personality. Thankfully, Catching Fire redresses most of those issues; Howard was on board from the beginning, working with director Francis Lawrence from the outset, and being given more time to develop his sound palette and thematic identity for the film. As a result, Catching Fire is a much more rounded score, which builds on the instrumental ideas established in the first film, but seems much more of a well-constructed score than the original.
One thing listeners who have seen the film will notice immediately is the almost complete absence of “Horn of Plenty”, the glorious choral anthem for Panem written by the French-Canadian band Arcade Fire, which appears numerous times in the movie but gets just one 40 second burst on CD. It’s interesting how this piece, rather than anything James Newton Howard wrote, has become the film series’ defining musical identity, and its lack of multiple performances on the soundtrack may disappoint those who expected it to be more prominent. Instead, Newton Howard’s score mixes soft, regional textures and contemporary electronics with some blistering action music, especially in the score’s second half.
Katniss’s musical identity, and that of her district, is rooted in the music of Appalachia: haunting woodwind solos, fiddles, guitars, dulcimers, and so on. Cues such as “Katniss”, parts of “I Had To Do That”, “Prim” and the lovely, intimate “We’re a Team” have a slight sense of melancholy about them that really gets into Katniss’s mindset as she starts to truly recognize the injustices in her society. The soft, cooing performances of Dutch composer/vocalist Sunna Wehrmeijer add a sense of heartrending reflection to the aforementioned “I Had To Do That” the desperately tragic “Katniss is Chosen”, and the quasi-religious “Arena Crumbles”, while the hesitantly romantic theme for Katniss and Peeta in “Just Friends” brings back welcome memories of the idyllic parts of his underrated score for The Postman. Elsewhere, “The Tour” revisits the emotional music that accompanied the Rue character from the first film with a great deal of poignancy, while the hammered dulcimer makes an important return during the finale of “Peacekeepers”, where the brutality of the capital’s forces meet face-to-face with District 12’s residents.
The more contemporary electronic and synthetic aspects tend to accompany President Snow, the Peacekeepers, and the general societal malaise prevalent in the Capital. “We Have Visitors”, “Fireworks” and “Let’s Start” have an overwhelming sense of barely contained malice and resentment, while the music for the vicious “Peacekeepers” is as violent and abrasive as the stormtrooper-like minions it represents, with its menacing clanging metallic percussion and harsh, in-your-face aggressiveness. Contrary to this is the opulent renaissance-style “Daffodil Waltz”, which is clearly meant to represent the overly-lavish musical tastes of the Capital’s overdressed elite, who are either oblivious or willfully indifferent to the hardships that exist outside their borders.
However, once the film moves from the outside world and into the battle arena itself, Newton Howard’s music switches gears entirely, becoming a more straightforward action-adventure score that is very entertaining indeed. “Bow and Arrow”, for example, uses high, searching strings and call-and-response brass writing to create a sense of tension and anticipation, while later cues like “The Games Begin”, “The Fog”, “Monkey Mutts”, “Jabberjays” and “Broken Wire” are vicious, rampaging, full-orchestral assaults which bring to mind the outstanding dinosaur attack cues from King Kong. The vivid string writing, monstrous brass calls, and dramatic choral performances in “The Fog” especially make it one of the standout cues on the album for me. This action music also leads directly into the score’s big emotional moment, “I Need You”, a pretty recapitulation of the Katniss and Peeta love theme which rises to previously unexplored heights of delicate beauty towards its climax.
Perhaps the main drawback of the score is that, with the exception of Horn of Plenty, there is still no single defining musical element of the entire Hunger Games franchise which earmarks itself as its calling card, and for the second time Newton Howard has failed to give it one. The love theme for Katniss and Peeta is lovely but unlikely to catch on with the general public, and other than the theme for Rue, and the basic instrumentation palette for Katniss’s District, there are no recurring thematic ideas that transition from one score to the next. As a result it’s all a little anonymous and safe, which is especially disappointing considering we know what James Newton Howard is capable of bringing to the films he scores. The music is never anything less than competent, the action music is generally excellent, and occasionally it rises to quite exceptional emotional highs, but there is still this nagging feeling that the score is less than it could be.
Note: Not included on the score album are Coldplay’s popular original song “Atlas”, Of Monsters and Men’s “Silhouettes” or The Lumineers’ “Gale Song”, all of which feature prominently in the film, and can instead be sound on the accompanying soundtrack compilation.
>A Quarter Quell
>Katniss is Chosen
>I Need You