The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (soundtrack)

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
The Hunger Games Mockingjay, Part 1 - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.png
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedNovember 17, 2014 (2014-11-17)
Recorded2014
Studio Air Lyndhurst (London)
Genre
Label Republic
Producer Lorde (exec.)
Compiler Lorde
The Hunger Games soundtracks chronology
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
(2013)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
(2014)
Singles from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
  1. "Yellow Flicker Beat"
    Released: September 29, 2014
  2. "The Hanging Tree"
    Released: December 9, 2014

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) is the official soundtrack to the 2014 Lionsgate science-fiction adventure film The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 , curated by New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde. The film is an adaptation of the 2010 novel by Suzanne Collins and is the third installment in The Hunger Games film series. The soundtrack has been described by music critics as an electropop record with elements of hip hop, synth pop and usage of electronic beats throughout the album. The melodic style of the songs is a deviation from the guitar-driven sound of the previous soundtracks in the series.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., doing business as Lionsgate is an American entertainment company. It was formed on July 10, 1997, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and is currently headquarted in Santa Monica, California, United States.

Adventure films are a genre of film that typically use their action scenes to display and explore exotic locations in an energetic way.

<i>The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1</i> 2014 film by Francis Lawrence

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is a 2014 American dystopian science fiction adventure film directed by Francis Lawrence with a screenplay by Peter Craig and Danny Strong. It is the first of two films based on Suzanne Collins' novel Mockingjay, the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy, and the third installment in The Hunger Games film series, produced by Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik and distributed by Lionsgate. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, and Donald Sutherland. Principal photography for both parts of the film began on September 23, 2013, in Atlanta, before moving to Paris for two weeks of filming and officially concluding on June 20, 2014, in Berlin.

Contents

Following its release, the soundtrack received positive reviews from music critics who praised its dystopian mood and Lorde's curation. It was included in several year-end lists. "Yellow Flicker Beat" was released as the lead single on 29 September 2014, and received generally positive reviews. It was nominated for Best Original Song at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards, and Best Song at the 20th Critics' Choice Awards. "The Hanging Tree" was initially included on the film's score but was later included and announced as the soundtrack's second single after its commercial success. The album debuted at number 18 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 21,000, according to Billboard. [1]

Yellow Flicker Beat 2014 single by Lorde

"Yellow Flicker Beat" is a song by New Zealand singer Lorde released on 29 September 2014 as the lead single from the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 by Republic Records. Written by Lorde and Joel Little and produced by Little and Paul Epworth, it is as an art pop and electropop song with an electronic production and minimal synthesisers and rattling drums in its instrumentation. Critics compared its style to that of Lorde's earlier releases such as her song "Biting Down" from The Love Club EP (2013) and "Team" (2013) from the singer's debut studio album Pure Heroine (2013). The lyrics of the track refer to the rise of The Hunger Games' heroine Katniss Everdeen.

The Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song was awarded for the first time in 1962 and has been awarded annually since 1965 by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The award is presented to the songwriters of a song written specifically for a motion picture. The performers of the song are not credited, unless they also have a writing or co-writing credit.

72nd Golden Globe Awards

The 72nd Golden Globe Awards, honoring the best in film and American television of 2014, was broadcast live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on January 11, 2015, by NBC. The ceremony was produced by Dick Clark Productions in association with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. George Clooney was announced as the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award honoree on September 14, 2014. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the co-hosts for the third consecutive and final time. The nominations were announced on December 11, 2014 by Kate Beckinsale, Peter Krause, Paula Patton and Jeremy Piven. The Affair, Birdman, Boyhood, Fargo, The Theory of Everything, and Transparent were among the films and television shows that received multiple awards.

Background and release

Lorde (pictured) was originally scheduled to write the end-credits song for the film but was offered to curate the full soundtrack after a recommendation from her publisher. Lorde (15180603495).jpg
Lorde (pictured) was originally scheduled to write the end-credits song for the film but was offered to curate the full soundtrack after a recommendation from her publisher.

Lionsgate announced on July 31, 2014, that Lorde would provide a single for the film's soundtrack album and curate the record. [3] [4] Director Francis Lawrence released a statement saying that he sat down with Lorde on the set of Mockingjay when filming commenced in spring and was "immediately struck" by how she "innately understood" what the filmmakers were trying to do with the film. He noted her talent and understanding of the story's characters and themes which not only enabled her to write a song that captured the essence of the film but her insight and passion made her the ideal creative force to assemble other songs in the movie's soundtrack. [5] Lorde admitted that it was a challenge to create a soundtrack for an anticipated film but she "jumped" at the chance. [6] In a press release, the singer spoke on her experience curating the soundtrack, stating: "The cast and story are an inspiration for all musicians participating and, as someone with cinematic leanings, being privy to a different creative process has been a unique experience. I think the soundtrack is definitely going to surprise people." [7]

Lorde New Zealand singer and songwriter

Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O'Connor, known professionally as Lorde, is a New Zealand singer, songwriter and record producer. Taking inspiration from aristocracy for her stage name, she is known for employing unconventional musical styles and thoughtful songwriting. Born in the Auckland suburb of Takapuna and raised in neighbouring Devonport, Lorde expressed interest in performing at local venues in her early teens. She signed with Universal Music Group in 2009 and collaborated with producer Joel Little in 2011 to start recording material.

Francis Lawrence American music video, film and television director

Francis Lawrence is an American filmmaker and producer. After establishing himself as a director of music videos and commercials, Lawrence made his feature length directorial debut with the supernatural thriller Constantine (2005) and has since directed the post-apocalyptic horror film I Am Legend (2007), the romantic drama Water for Elephants (2011), three of the four films in the Hunger Games film series, and the spy thriller Red Sparrow (2018).

When speaking on his contribution to the soundtrack, Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon stated that he was surprised when he received a call from his manager telling him that there was a slot for him to do a duet with English singer Charli XCX. [8] Le Bon mentioned that the track was "really different" but "very, very, very dark." [9] XCX mentioned that Lorde reached out to her through a private message via Instagram but never responded. Eventually, the pair found a way to communicate. [10] Martin Doherty from Chvrches revealed that the group wrote "Dead Air" in approximately two to three days. He also mentioned that Lorde instructed them not to make the track "too downbeat." The group took inspiration from the "deliberate choir vocals" of the 1998 song "Cry Little Sister", taken from The Lost Boys soundtrack. [11] In an interview with Billboard , Lorde mentioned that she would refrain from calling Kanye West as she found it difficult to communicate with people she did not know on the phone. [2] [12] As the album's curator, Lorde also recruited established artists such as Grace Jones, Miguel and The Chemical Brothers and indie musicians such as Haim and Bat for Lashes to contribute to the official track list. [13]

Duran Duran English New Wave band

Duran Duran are an English new wave and synth-pop band formed in Birmingham in 1978. The band grew from being alternative sensations in 1982 to mainstream pop stars by 1984. By the end of the decade, membership and music style changes challenged the band before a resurgence in the early 1990s. The group were a leading band in the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" of the US. The band achieved 14 singles in the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart and 21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and have sold over 100 million records worldwide.

Simon Le Bon British musician

Simon John Charles Le Bon is an English musician, singer, songwriter and lyricist, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the band Duran Duran and its offshoot, Arcadia. Le Bon has received three Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, including the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.

Charli XCX British singer, songwriter, music video director and record executive

Charlotte Emma Aitchison, known professionally as Charli XCX, is an English singer, songwriter, music video director and record executive. Born in Cambridge and raised in Start Hill, Essex, she began posting songs on MySpace in 2008, which led to her discovery by a promoter who invited her to perform at warehouse raves and parties. In 2010 she signed a recording contract with Asylum Records, releasing a series of singles and mixtapes throughout 2011 and 2012.

The track list for the soundtrack was released on 21 October 2014. [14] All track names were released with the exception of the fifth track, which was titled "Track 5". Lorde stated that same day that the unnamed track was not yet finished and that it was not kept in mystery for "secrecy's sake". [15] Ariana Grande revealed in a livestream on 29 October 2014, that she and Major Lazer were the artists behind the fifth track. On 3 November 2014, the track's title, "All My Love", was announced, confirming Grande as the track's performer. [16] The soundtrack was released on the Australian and New Zealand iTunes Store on November 14 and was released worldwide through Republic Records on November 17, 2014. [17] On December 3, 2014, the soundtrack was re-released digitally with "The Hanging Tree" by James Newton Howard featuring Jennifer Lawrence as the 15th song on the album. [18] The song was originally released with the score. "The Hanging Tree" is the only song on the album to be used in the film.

iTunes Store digital media store

The iTunes Store is a software-based online digital media store operated by Apple Inc. that opened on April 28, 2003, as a result of Steve Jobs' push to open a digital marketplace for music. As of January 2017, iTunes offered over 35-40 million songs, 2.2 million apps, 25,000 TV shows, and 65,000 films. When it opened, it was the only legal digital catalog of music to offer songs from all five major record labels. As of June 2013, iTunes Store possessed 575 million active user accounts, and served over 315 million mobile devices, including Apple Watches, iPods, iPhones, Apple TV and iPads.

Republic Records record label, division of Universal Music Group

Republic Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group (UMG). It was founded by Avery Lipman and Monte Lipman as an independent label in 1995, and was acquired by UMG in 2000. Republic was initially an imprint of the Universal/Motown Records Group, and was renamed Universal Republic Records after a reorganization in 2006 before reverting to its original name in 2012.

The Hanging Tree (<i>The Hunger Games</i> song) 2014 song with lyrics by Suzanne Collins performed by James Newton Howard

"The Hanging Tree" is a song by American composer James Newton Howard featuring vocals from American actress Jennifer Lawrence. It was written by Suzanne Collins and composed by Howard, Jeremiah Fraites and Wesley Schultz. The song was released by Republic on 9 December 2014 as the second single from the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (2014). It was first included in the film's score album, but was later added to the digital extended edition of the film's soundtrack. It is a folk ballad that features orchestral strings and a choir.

Writing and development

Lorde revealed that the process of working on the soundtrack took approximately two to three months while she was touring. She made it a priority to listen to music meant for the record. Her record label gave her full autonomy on curating the soundtrack. She also A&R'ed the artists involved along with her publisher, Ron Perry. When selecting the artists, Lorde revealed that she tried to be "quite disciplined" to keep her focus on those who embodied the film and its story as well as her own writing. She would leave the track's direction "fairly open" to the contributing artists. Later, she would advise them on whether the track needed improvements. Most of the tracks were recorded remotely, with the exception of "Meltdown", where Lorde sang in the studio with Haim. [19]

Artists and repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label or music publishing company that is responsible for talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters. It also acts as a liaison between artists and the record label or publishing company; every activity involving artists to the point of album release is generally considered under the purview, and responsibility, of A&R.

Ron Perry is an American music executive. As of January 2, 2018, Perry serves as the Chairman & CEO of Columbia Records. Columbia Records is home to Adele, Beyoncé, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Tony Bennett, AC/DC, Leonard Cohen, Electric Light Orchestra, David Gilmour, Jack White, Pharrell, and John Mayer.

In an interview with Billboard, Lorde stated that it was important for the soundtrack not to sound like her own mixtape. [12] In a Twitter Q&A, the singer acknowledged that most of the songs were "downbeat", stating that she felt it was critical to address the balance between the themes of adversity and strength found in the film. Lorde revealed that every artist on the soundtrack was either personally selected or approached by her. A collaboration between Tiny Ruins and David Lynch was to be included in the record but did not make the final cut as Lorde felt the song did not match the tonality of the rest of the soundtrack. She included her cover of Bright Eyes' "Ladder Song" in the soundtrack as she felt the song was sung from the perspective of a "divine being [...] looking down at the events of Panem". Conor Oberst, the leading frontman of the band, had advised Lorde to cover his song, noting that she would do a "cool job" with it. [20] [19]

Composition

Kanye West at the 2009 Tribeca Film Festival.jpg
CHVRCHES (26688159994).jpg
The soundtrack features contributions from artists such as Kanye West and Chvrches (Lauren Mayberry pictured).

The soundtrack's opening song, "Meltdown" was described by Alex Hudson from Exclaim as having a "propulsive pulse that spans hip-hop and pop". [21] Time editor Melissa Locker characterized it as a "dark synth dance track" with "an '80s-influenced kinetic earworm". [22] Its lyrics call out the film's "image-obsessed bourgeoisie of the Capitol" which Jamieson Cox from Billboard stated as "language that would be just as appropriate for real-life society". [23] The second song "Dead Air" is a "synth-heavy rabble-rouser" with a "revolutionary" theme about obtaining "freedom from President Snow’s tyrannical regime". [24]

The following track, "Scream My Name" details how accustomed it becomes to deal with problems on a day to day basis. [25] "Kingdom" is a dream pop piano ballad that was written by Charli XCX and Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij after the pair got drunk at a Miley Cyrus concert. [26] The following track, "All My Love" was described by critics as an electropop and dance-pop number with elements of dancehall in its production. [27] [28] "Lost Souls" details a "tense lament" that features Raury rapping. [29]

"Yellow Flicker Beat" is an art pop song with lyrics referencing the rise of Katniss Everdeen, the main protagonist of the Hunger Games series. [30] The song begins with a slow and measured start, before the drums appear towards the chorus. The Sydney Morning Herald compared its "relentless electronic rhythm" to a "slightly less aggressive Depeche Mode in their heroin years". The track's production features a "solid, thumping bass drum and nagging keyboard line". [31] The next track, "The Leap" detail "self-depricating" lyrics over emotional vocals while Bat for Lashes cover of "Plan the Escape" features a "bold, wobbly bass line and headphone-happy rhythms" that was compared to songs by Kate Bush. [32] [33]

The next track, "Original Beast" features "conga polyrhythms", a "menacing synthetic bass-line" and reggae influences. [33] [26] The remix of "Yellow Flicker Beat", titled "Flicker", stripped away the synth production of the original for an "ambient-noise hellscape", according to Rolling Stone. Providing a shift in tone, "Animal" uplifts the atmosphere of the soundtrack while still retaining the overall dark intentions of the production. [25] "This Is Not a Game" was noted by Grantland for its unlikely pairing of artists. The publication stated that Lorde kept up the tradition of unlikely collaborations from the 90s, such as Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill's "Real Thing" (1993), the Crystal Method's "(Can't You) Trip Like I Do" (1997) featuring Filter and the Pretenders and Kool Keith's 1998 remix "My City Was Gone". [34] The song was also noted for being dark and electric, as Lorde utters the words "There it is" before the chorus over "pulverizing beats". [35] [36]

Singles

In the United States, "Yellow Flicker Beat" debuted at number 17 on the Billboard's Alternative Songs chart. Lorde achieved the highest debut by a female artist on the chart since 1995 when Juliana Hatfield's "Universal Heart-Beat" also debuted at number 17. Additionally, the single appeared on the Adult Alternative Songs at number 19 with 5.2 million radio audience impressions in first-week audience. [37] On the Billboard Hot 100, the single peaked at number 34. [38] "Yellow Flicker Beat" also charted moderately on several national record charts, including Australia, [39] Canada, [40] Ireland, [41] and the United Kingdom. [42] The single was a success in New Zealand, peaking at number four on the New Zealand Singles Chart. [43] It was certified gold by the Recorded Music NZ [44] and gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). [45] "Yellow Flicker Beat" was nominated for Best Original Song at the 72nd Golden Globe Awards, [46] and Best Song at the 20th Critics' Choice Awards. [47]

Initially released as part of the film's score, "The Hanging Tree" was included in a digital release with the song as the 15th track. It was later released as the second single from the album. [48] The song debuted at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 for the week of 13 December 2014 and debuted outside the 50 position (2.1 million U.S. streams) on Streaming Songs, charting at number two (200,000 downloads sold) on Digital Songs and received eight spins on U.S. radio. "The Hanging Tree" became the highest charting song from The Hunger Games franchise on the chart, surpassing "Eyes Open" by Taylor Swift, which peaked at number 19. [49] Lawrence became one of several Academy Award winning recipients to chart on the Hot 100. [49] The song peaked at number one in Austria, Germany [50] and Hungary; [51] it peaked in the top five in Australia. [52] It was certified platinum by Music Canada (MC) for shipments of 80,000 and double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). [53] [54]

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic 77/100 [55]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [56]
Billboard Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [57]
New York Daily News Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [58]
Digital Spy Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [59]
Los Angeles Times Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [60]
The National Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [61]
NME 8/10 [26]
Pitchfork 7.8/10 [28]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svgStar empty.svg [62]

The soundtrack received mostly positive reviews from music critics who praised its dystopian mood and Lorde's curation but criticized its downtempo change towards the latter part of the soundtrack. At review aggregate site Metacritic, the soundtrack has an average score of 77 out of 100, based on 8 reviews, indicating "generally positive reviews". [55] Corban Goble from Pitchfork stated that "Across the board, the songs sound like threads of hope escaping gloomier pasts, echoing the arc of the film’s generational heroine." Goble concludes his review by commending the contributing artists on the soundtrack for bringing their "A-game out of respect for the project's core vision and passion." [28] Billboard gave the soundtrack a positive review calling Lorde’s work "stellar", with writer Jamieson Cox calling it "a glance at 2014′s finest purveyors of complex, downcast pop and a complement to the start of the series’ chaotic, brutal conclusion." [57]

Despite its praise, some reviewers shared mixed expressions. Digital Spy writer Harry Fletcher stated that while Lorde was backed by "superstar producer Paul Epworth" and a "squad of willing artists", she assembled a soundtrack that "although pulsating in parts, dithers and ultimately falls flat." Fletcher mentioned that the record's strongest points come at the beginning when in "party mode" and its lowest come towards the end when the songs distort the "vivacious nature of the rest of the [soundtrack]. [63] New York Daily News gave the album a mixed review stating it was too slow at times: “It throws echo around everything and lets dense, ambient sound creep over the voices and instruments. It’s supposed to create a sense of wariness and foreboding, but often it just makes things sound murky and diffuse. Despite bright spots, long stretches bore.” [58] The National gave the soundtrack a three out of five star review, with the publication commending Lorde for curating a "concoction of dark magic, enchanting tunes and revolutionary feelings". [61]

Accolades

In its year end review of albums released in 2015, Cosmopolitan ranked the soundtrack at number 14, with Eliza Thompson stating: "Moral of the story: Hire Lorde to do every movie soundtrack from now until forever." [64] Spin magazine place the soundtrack at number 9 on their year end list for pop albums as Andrew Unterberger stated that the soundtrack should be added to "Lorde's list of pre-drinking-age accomplishments". Unterberger also praised the singer for bringing artists from different genres while remaining cohesive. [65] Similarly, in its year end review for pop albums, Rolling Stone listed the soundtrack at number 9 with Charles Aaron expressing that "Though Jennifer Lawrence's role as The Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen has been a starmaking turn, the character itself is, to be kind, broadly drawn. But on this electronic-pop-leaning soundtrack envisioned by a clearly inspired Lorde, Katniss instantly develops a more complex, combative, introspective personality." [66]

Track listing

Standard version [67]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Meltdown" (performed by Stromae, Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip and Haim)
4:02
2."Dead Air" (performed by Chvrches)Chvrches3:14
3."Scream My Name" (performed by Tove Lo)
  • Söderberg
  • Nilsson
3:34
4."Kingdom" (performed by Charli XCX and Simon Le Bon)
4:05
5."All My Love" (performed by Major Lazer and Ariana Grande)
  • Diplo
3:32
6."Lost Souls" (performed by Raury) Raury Deshawn Tullis Raury2:53
7."Yellow Flicker Beat" (performed by Lorde)
3:54
8."The Leap" (performed by Tinashe)Inc.4:06
9."Plan the Escape" (performed by Bat for Lashes) Ryan Lott Natasha Khan 2:30
10."Original Beast" (performed by Grace Jones)
Guest4:21
11."Flicker (Kanye West Rework)" (performed by Lorde)
  • West
  • Dean
  • Goldstein
4:12
12."Animal" (performed by XOV)
3:18
13."This Is Not a Game" (performed by The Chemical Brothers and Miguel; uncredited vocals from Lorde)
  • The Chemical Brothers
3:14
14."Ladder Song" (performed by Lorde) Conor Oberst Little3:16
Total length:50:11

Personnel

Credits for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) adapted from AllMusic. [70]

Performers

Production

Technical

Artwork

Charts

Release history

RegionDateVersionFormatLabelCatalogue no.Ref.
EuropeNovember 17, 2014Standard version Republic 470806-4
United StatesB0022224-02
CanadaDecember 3, 2014Extended versionDigital downloadN/A [88]
United States [68]
Mexico [89]

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