Release Date: Nov 17, 2014
Record label: Republic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Soundtracks, Stage & Screen
Head here to submit your own review of this album. If there's anyone in modern pop that's had a real rise to fame, it's Lorde. Ever since Royals became a smash hit last year, the 18 year old Ella Yelich-O'Connor has reached some sort of pop stratosphere. She's hanging out with Taylor Swift, sitting in the front row at fashion shows and generating more think-pieces than your average season of Girls.
At the beginning of this month, Ella Yelich-O’Connor, the girl from an Auckland suburb who is known to millions as Lorde, celebrated her 18th birthday. While others before her have topped the charts before they could legally buy a round, Lorde is surely the first to be given control of a major movie soundtrack too. And Mockingjay Part 1 really is major.
There are few safe choices on Mockingjay, one of the most thrilling soundtracks for a blockbuster film series in recent memory. Much of the record is outfitted with an electronic throb that wouldn’t sound out of place in the clubs of District 1 (the Rich Kids of Instagram in the Hunger Games universe). And, yet, many tracks soar beyond the reasonable expectation of a film soundtrack that would’ve been snapped up by thousands of teenagers even if it were just 81 minutes of off-pitch Mockingjay whistles.
Curated by international pop star Lorde, the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 transcends the level of both quality and daring normally offered up on soundtrack albums for big-budget movies, opting to lean more toward indie acts in sculpting a dark, menacing environment that matches the film's heavy atmospheres. Featuring some of the more exceptional names in indie rock, electronica, and dark, club-friendly pop, the true strength of the soundtrack is how it flows much like an album, paying close attention to subtle shifts in mood that come with each track.
It's hard to think of a better person than Lorde to pick songs for the soundtrack to a Hunger Games movie – and not just because everything about her suggests she'd be dynamite with a crossbow. Before the 18-year-old singer's tough, witchy musings from the dark end of teenage wasteland made her a star, she had more in common with the kids in the multiplexes than the celebrities on the screen. Like a good fan, she's thrown herself into the role of musical curator for the third installment of the YA sci-fi series, putting together a wide-ranging album that fits the movie while giving us a cohesive image of her own rule-breaking pop ideal.
It takes a woman of darkness and power to harness “The Hunger Games.” The movie franchise has Jennifer Lawrence. And now the soundtracks have Lorde. To accompany the third installment of the film, out Nov. 21, the producers for the related album hired the “Royals” singer to both create new songs and hire other artists to write and perform material of their own.
Recorded as if in a humid forest just after midnight, the soundtrack to "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1" is an immersive experience, one overwrought enough to darken candlelit teenage bedrooms but deep enough to reward more advanced exploration. Filled with echoed, synthetic rhythms, a maximalist's love of multitrack recording and a warm vibe, the 14 songs on "Mockingjay" were selected by the New Zealand artist Lorde, and her striking aesthetic is all over it. In fact, the collection runs like a particularly excellent goth-dance mix tape, one featuring new music from Lorde, Scottish synth-poppers Chvrches, rising R&B hit maker Tinashe, Kanye West (who remixes Lorde) and others.