Oh, Lorde: The Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack

Today, Lionsgate made an announcement that actually surprised us (and not in a way that we immediately hated either, which is even more surprising!)

Yup, the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack is going to be put in the hands of a 17-year-old. A successful 17-year old who makes catchy original music (albeit a bit overplayed), but a teenager nonetheless. One that every other young adult with a moderate knowledge of music is looking at, whining “Dammit! I totally could’ve picked the songs for the soundtrack too!”

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Oh, Lorde-y!

Here’s what F-Law had to say:

“I sat down with Lorde on the set of ‘Mockingjay’ this spring and I was immediately struck by how she so innately understood what we, as both fans and filmmakers, were trying to accomplish with the film. Her immense talent and keen understanding of Mockingjay’s characters and themes not only have enabled her to create a song of her own that completely captures the film’s essence, but her insight and passion for our project make her the perfect creative force to assemble the other songs on our soundtrack. I can’t wait to share what she’s done with the fans — it is truly remarkable.”

We continue to think positive because IN FRANCIS WE TRUST, but we have some questions.

Mainly, what happened to Alexandra Patsavas?! She’s the music supervisor who put together the stellar soundtrack for Catching Fire, a decent amount of other films (yes, including the Twilight saga, but the soundtracks were good!), and a lot of your formidable years if you’re in your twenties (via The OC and Grey’s Anatomy). We realize she’s involved in a lot of projects, but this one is BIG and exciting and it would have been nice to have her curating.

Secondly, how eclectic is Lorde willing to go in her “curating” choices? Her music isn’t easily categorized in one genre (alt pop? electropop?), but that doesn’t mean she won’t lean toward a certain style. There’s two ways she could go–
1) All T-Bone Burnett on us, with a very distinct sound and style based on a theme, like the first soundtrack.
2) A more rounded approach that captures multiple themes and moments, more like the second soundtrack.

Personally, we’re better fans on the second approach, but we know lots of people prefer the first. The first soundtrack outsold the second, so what do we know?

Mainly, we appreciate her because she just let's her hair HAPPEN. You dig?

Mainly, we appreciate her because she just let’s her hair HAPPEN. You dig?

But that leads to this: Who’s doing the soundtrack for Mockingjay Part 2 and how will the two mesh? Maybe you’ll disagree, but we think that while The Hunger Games’ and Catching Fire’s soundtracks are their own entity, the two Mockingjay soundtracks should complement each other. Yes, Lionsgate and the filmmakers will try to argue it’s two very different stories even though it’s from the same book (to justify the split, of course)– the emotional story and the war story or something similar– but it’s all Mockingjay and there’s a ton of similar emotions running through the WHOLE story. We think there should be a similarity and a wholeness between Part 1 and Part 2’s soundtrack.

Now, let’s get to her actual music involved…
Are we completely, totally blown out of the water by the idea of Lorde creating a single for the Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack? Not really. We imagine it’s more of a smart business decision to get a big-selling, popular name repping the soundtrack. Yes, Lorde WAS on the CF soundtrack, but she wasn’t the face of it. Coldplay was, despite the fact that their music typically appeals to a crowd much older than The Hunger Games’ demographic, and Christina Aguilera was, despite her music under-performing in recent years and her song being one of the blandest in the arrangement, to boot. On the other hand, THG went with tween favorite Taylor Swift and scored big in sales, despite many fans not loving her involvement.

So we don’t know if Lorde is the perfect choice, but all things considered, she’s probably the best artist rep so far. Let’s hope she’s good at picking out other songs with a variety of emotional meanings, too.

Betting On The Return Of T.Swift Since They’re Besties,
The Girl With The Pearl

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6 comments

  1. Wasn’t Coldplay the face of the CF soundtrack, with Atlas? Anyway, I actually liked both of the soundtracks and their style very much though I don’t claim to be any sort of expert. I’m not very convinced that Lorde’s the right person to put a soundtrack for Mockingjay P1 together, she is rather overrated in my opinion, but maybe she will change my mind, who knows. I’d like to think though that we, the “common” fans, also have quite an idea about the characters, the themes and what they are trying to accomplish, so Francis Lawrence’s justification seems pretty insufficient to me. was thinking that it would be kind of cool if Lenny Kravitz would write something, you know, because it’s Lenny Kravitz 😉

    1. I actually forgot all about Coldplay and Atlas (which probably says more about me than the song), but I just added a line in their about why they probably weren’t the best reps to offer either– They do have some younger, diehard fans but for the most part, their music doesn’t match up with THG’s target demographic and wasn’t compelling those masses to buy the full album.

      Agreed that Lorde is definitely overhyped, but the music featured won’t all be hers. Hopefully, her taste in music will interest will more fully represent the fandom, characters, and story. Though any member of the fandom could come up with a mix of music that represents the film. Some would be awful, some would be great. There’s no guarantee! *bites nails*

  2. My favorite HG-related single so far is Safe and Sound because it fit the story like glove and the music video was gorgeous. But I have to agree that CF had a better mix if artists and songs than HG. I hope there is some emotional songs on MJ soundtrack.

  3. I actually liked a lot that Lionsgate made this decision. But first things first:
    1. I prefer T-Bone Burnett work on the first soundtrack. It has more unit and feels like the artists had a better understanding of the themes. There’s a lot of reference to the books in the songs and I think the whole folk/acoustic/country vibe fits perfectly in THG universe. It also received more positive reviews from music critics than CF soundtrack.
    For me, it’s just seems putting Patsavas in charge for CF was THE business decision, since I think they were expecting to overtop the 1st soundtrack sales. It’s a pretty good soundtrack (I absolutely love the songs, kudos to Of Monsters and Men, The Weeknd, The National and Antony and the Johnsons), the mix of the artists is more mainstream compared to the first one. The songs are also less specific and could fit in other films, for example, which I don’t think it’s interesting. If it’s too vague, is better to find some random songs that already exist and put in a soundtrack.
    ps: I love Who We Are, by Imagine Dragons. It’s kind vague too, but they have this atmosphere in their songs that I think it fits, especially with Mockingjay. I would be glad to have them working with Lionsgate again. Same for Swift. But I don’t think anyone, except for Lorde, will be back on the next two soundtracks. But who knows.
    2. Lorde already proved she knows what she’s doing. Being 17yo has nothing to do whit that. She has a nice music background and so far I’m impressed by her references. Lionsgate it’s aware of this too. This decision must have been 100% calculated. When it comes to music, she seems to be very meticulous and sensitive. I can’t imagine what direction she is gonna take, but if a least her single follows her album style, it would be nice. What I’m trying to say: if the album is having a dark tone, I’m totally 100% completely cool it! I think Lorde is capable of this.
    ps²: let’s remember Francis said Part 1 is about getting Peeta back and all this other stuff, even knowing the teaser didn’t show us that. If so, it should be clear that this is a big part of the plot and hopefully not every single damn song on the soundtrack for Part 1 will revolve around war/revolution.
    ps³: English it’s not my first language, forgive me haha.

  4. I will say this, I was very and pleasantly surprised by Lorde’s contribution to the CF soundtrack. At first, when I heard that it was a cover I was a bit bummed, but if you listen to the two songs back to back you realize that the choice was nothing short of genius. This was a complete creative reinvention of the song, one that didn’t just fit to Lorde’s profile but to the movie’s themes as well. I’d even say that the lyric seems a lot more specific than some of the other songs that were written specifically for the movie.

    And let’s go over this decision: LG is giving a 17-year-old creative musician free reign over this album. Someone who’s expressed interest and understanding in the series, is in the target demographic, and decidedly has more than average musicality. This could actually be the most brilliant idea financially. She probably knows exactly what these fans want to hear, while recognizes the more disastrous contents that are submitted.

    I understand that there are risks. There would be risks if this task was given to any other musician without prior experience in similar supervising, simply because it’s hard to look objectively at music when you have a specific taste and skew towards a specific genre. I understand that it can be even harder when the person is younger and could potentially have plenty room to grow. And I understand that the quality of the album could also suffer such biases. But I’m taking off my skeptical hat for this one, and wait for what she’ll come up with.

    Good job, Lionsgate. You intrigued me with that one.

    PS: This talk about Coldplay having an older audience makes me feel so… well, old. 😀 Their main crowd mostly contains 20-30-something olds for heaven’s sake! 🙂

  5. I guess time will tell if Lorde will do a good job with the MJ companion album, or this will turn out to be just a silly publicity stunt. I will say, though, that I bought a copy of the Songs From District 12 CD (yes, I’m old enough to still own CDs) but wasn’t interested at all in shelling out money for the CF equivalent. So if Lorde’s work makes me contribute $$ to LG when the MJ companion album, I guess that means she did a pretty good job.

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