He’s Retiring

TBoneBurnett_bpEarlier this week some sad news was quietly released. T Bone Burnett is retiring as a music producer, and therefore he is not coming back to produce the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, otherwise known as Soundtrack 2.0. Well, here it’s known as that anyway. I’m sad, and I hope I’m not alone in feeling that way, because while Mr. Burnett is in no way leaving the music industry, the fact that he will no longer be guiding musicians and performers in the same manner anymore, it’s just sad– okay? Hate to say it, ’cause it’s completely clichéd, but we’re not strangers to using those on this site, but– it’s the end of an era. Burnett, if you don’t know already, is an executive producer on the ABC drama Nashville, and that’s taking up pretty much all of his time, and energy as of late. I can’t fault a man for finding a new passion, and it’s also endearing to know that Nashville is a joint project with his wife, which kind of brings a smile to my face. Sorry, married couples who can stay married, and work together, I think cdcover-300they’re pretty special. The questions crashing around my head now, after I stop smiling over how functional Burnett’s relationship with his wife is, is who’s going to take over as the music supervisor/ soundtrack producer on Catching Fire, and is there even going to still be a companion album and/or soundtrack? I’m not a big soundtrack connoisseur, but taking the reigns from someone like T Bone Burnett is probably going to be a head trip for whom ever has the tenacity to take the gig. I can think of only a handful of people who might be able to do the job, and one of them I really hope isn’t being considered.

That person is Alexandra Patsavas, AKA the lady who produced all the soundtracks for The Twilight Saga, The OC, Grey’s Anatomy, as well as the new Nick Hoult film, Warm Bodies. I’m not saying she’s not good at her job, but I seriously fear that if she takes over for T Bone Burnett, the soundtrack will be balls to the walls super feel-y breathy voiced men and 0007673280392_300X300women, and pop bands who use too many lasers in their live shows. Also, I really truly believe that severing The Hunger Games franchise from anything and all things Twilight related is a good thing. Burnett already set a tone with Songs From District 12 and Beyond, and I don’t think messing with the formula is a grand idea. Not saying that branching out isn’t a good idea, but– yeah, I have trepidations. Here’s an even sadder tid-bit, all the best soundtracks that I can think of that have come out within the last decade or more– they were produced, or compiled by the director of the films, or the people who produced the albums have moved on. Those soundtracks include Garden State (Zach Braff), Juno (Jason Reitman) Reality Bites, Pump Up The Volume, Trainspotting, and even  Romeo & Juliet from 1996, which I believe was also produced by Baz Lurhmann the director, and had two soundtracks. My take on this unexpected new direction this hopeful soundtrack is going to have to take is this, perhaps they should find a record producer who produces singular records for bands and artists, not a compiler of existing music– who then gets one or two songs written or sub-let for a film’s soundtrack.

I have no idea where this project is going, and not knowing is seemingly the default setting here in Hunger Games fan-world.

Them There Eyes

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4 comments

  1. I don’t know – at first glance, being associated with Twilight, The OC and Grey’s Anatomy is something that would give me a really bad feeling, but in fact, a lot of the music associated with Twilight has been pretty awesome, way too good for that franchise – the Eclipse soundtrack she produced featured Florence and the Machine, Muse, Bat for Lashes, Beck, artists I certainly wouldn’t mind having on a THG soundtrack (in fact, I’d love Florence to do a THG song; a lot of her songs are already a part of many THG fanvideos and fanmixes). And her Wiki page says that she was responsible for getting songs by Snow Patrol and The Flaming Lips on some of the TV shows she’s worked on.

    And Burnett didn’t shy away from pop acts like Maroon 5 and Taylor Swift – but they performed songs that fit with the style of the album (it’s the first time I was able to stomach Maroon 5, thanks to the fact that they were performing someone else’s song that was nothing like their usual style).

  2. One of the best decisions they made about The Hunger Games movie was putting T Bone in as music director. I loved that they paid attention to a detail like District 12 once having been part of Appalachia, and letting that influence the score. I love the Songs From District 12 album–it’s only one of two song compilation albums for a film that I own (the other is T Bone’s O Brother Where Art Thou? album).

    I really hope they keep with the feel of the first compilation, whoever gets the gig for the rest of the movies.

    1. The soundtrack for Catching Fire might have sounded somewhat different anyway; the first one was very much focused on District 12, it would be great if the Catching Fire one reflected other parts of Panem, too. But obviously, there shouldn’t be a big stylistic difference.

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