music

Win The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack Prize Pack!

HAPPY MOCKINGJAY PART 1 RELEASE MONTH, HUNGER GAMES FANDOM! It’s a damn good time to be a fan!

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While early impressions of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack have left fans pretty polarized, there are some people who really, reeeeeeally want this soundtrack ASAP thank you very much. If you’re one of those fans, good news is that you can pre-order the soundtrack now! The better news is that we’ve got a treat for you!

How about a sweet Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack prize pack? Each prize pack includes…

  • CD of Soundtrack
  • 12”x12” limited edition Soundtrack lithograph
  • 12”x12” limited edition Yellow Flicker Beat lithograph

FIVE lucky fans will be winning this prize pack by this time next week, so get your entries in now!

Want some reassurance that you’ll have the soundtrack in your possession on November 17th? Pre-order it now!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER VIA RAFFLECOPTER!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Does The Mockingjay Soundtrack Strike The Right Tone?

Yes, we’re doing a Part Deux on our original Mockingjay soundtrack post. Because there’s a lot to say on this baby. SORRY NOT SORRY!

Gorgeous drawing but.. NO NOT REALLY.

Gorgeous drawing but.. NO NOT REALLY.

When it was first announced that Lorde would be curating the soundtrack, we were very apprehensive. Now that the full soundtrack listing and the first couple songs are here, we kinda feel like our dreadful gut instinct had it right (and genuinely, we hate it when that happens.)

Them There Eyes noted that all but a couple names are unrecognizable to her. She did call herself an “old fogie” and I’m gonna give her that (or maybe “old folkie”), because I recognize about half. And then I researched the other half. Some say that recognition isn’t the important element but YES. YES IT IS. For a soundtrack especially, you want artists that people are interested in enough to buy the songs simply because they’re a part of it.

That’s why Lorde was chosen to lead this sucker up. She’s very popular right now and she has rabidly creepy fangirls who probably don’t care who else is on the soundtrack as long as she is:

And I’ll admit, “Yellow Flicker Beat” is good. Not my anthem of the year, probably not going to be added to the personal collection, but we don’t cry whenever it comes on the radio. Still, THAT is the best this soundtrack has offered us to far. “Meh.”

On top of that, this doesn’t seem so much like Lorde curating as promoting herself. She’s part of FIVE SONGS on the fourteen song soundtrack, possibly six, as there’s still another song that has yet to be announced. Surely she was going to be involved and do at least a couple songs, but this honestly feels a bit like a Lorde EP and some other stuff thrown in there under the guise of promoting a movie.

Even when the music provided isn’t reeeeeally hers and crafted by other great artists like The Chemical Brothers and Miguel– yes, we actually like The Chemical Brothers’ other music and Miguel’s more typical babymakin’ R&B music style– the product is SO DISAPPOINTINGLY AWFUL.



“This Is Not A Game”?
THIS IS A NOT A SONG! If this, in the eyes of the record label, is the second best track the album has to offer up, we’re absolutely not buying this. Even the site that originally posted the song first said something along the lines of “It takes some getting used to, but if you listen to it a few times, you’ll warm up to it.” Having a background in journalism, my initial reaction was “Oh sweetie, you’re just getting paid to say that. *pats head*” And again, we usually enjoy the artists involved, so we’re baffled. WHAT. THE. FUUUUCK.

Some people are arguing that the intention of the artists has been to stray from their other music to better suit the soundtrack, but as Rory discussed with us on Twitter, lines like “Word to Gucci, that’s my hitta” don’t have a damn thing to do with The Hunger Games. And they’re not negated by the fact that lines about starting a revolution are in the same song. Anyone in music can sing about starting a revolution and they do… often. So really, how is this about The Hunger Games other than getting put on the soundtrack again?

Though Lorde has claimed to have some pretty eclectic music tastes in the past, the soundtrack just doesn’t reflect that. AT ALL. To us, that’s the unsatisfying part. The Catching Fire soundtrack is still our favorite because it offered a nice mix of different musical styles and artists. There was some straight pop, some hip hop, some folk… All in one happy bundle! The Mockingjay Part 1 is an electropop hip hop mash-up with a couple outliers. There’s barely anything that qualifies as diversity. The first soundtrack did this with folk music (with the exception of Kid Cudi’s “The Ruler And The Killer”, which stood out in the best way possible), but that soundtrack was also advertised specifically as an Appalachian folk collection derived from District 12.

Tell us, what does a mostly EDM collection represent? District 13? The Capitol? Panem as a whole? We don’t feel that it does. That’s why soundtracks need diversity. And this one failed majorly at that. It’s not about hating on hip hop as surely someone will surely turn around and say (we don’t hate hip hop or fun, beat-thumping music, you know!) but this soundtrack, from what we’ve seen and heard, is a better representation of a frat party or a club than the journey of The Hunger Games characters in Mockingjay. And when you’re not much into music and you want songs that help you connect to a story you love, this outcome sucks.

SUCKS, WE SAY!

The Girl With The Pearl

The Lyrical Take On The Mockingjay

Apparently the trailer isn’t the only thing that’s taking its sweet time! Last year at this time, we were already had a chance to listen and read the lyrics to Catching Fire’s Grammy nominated “Atlas” by Coldplay. But this year? We got news that a song is being recorded, at least!

We’ll acknowledge that a 5 minute song is probably nowhere near as time consuming as a roughly 2 1/2 hour movie and can be completed quicker depending on the artist’s schedule, Soundtracks don’t usually come out until right before the movie, so they technically don’t have to rush. But it seems like a crazy big part of this whole production should be renamed THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY PART PROCRASTINATION.

Anywaaaay… The latest news started with a quick lyric post from Lorde:
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It was soon confirmed that these were indeed lyrics for one of her Mockingjay Part 1 songs, specifically being recorded for the end credits– because if you’re going to curate a soundtrack, you’re conveniently going to put your own damn music in the position that makes it eligible for awards NO MATTER WHAT. The song will reportedly be “moody, dark, and powerful”, which is basically what we’d expect from any song about this movie. The film certainly ain’t gonna hold your hand and make you smile, after all!

While we don’t think the use of the word “princess” in the lyric is our favorite as the term itself suggests someone who is spoiled and desperate to be in charge– neither of which we believe accurately describes Katniss in MJ Part 1. And inevitably somebody will make a connection to “Royals” and we’ll hate it. But it’s interesting to see how a musician would try to express Katniss’ state of being.

Then again, two lines isn’t a full verse, let alone a single, so we can’t fully judge. …Can the powers that be get us the full single as soon as possible so we can properly judge it, please?!

Please Prove That Teenage Poetry CAN Be Good, Please!
The Girl With The Pearl

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

The Hunger Games Name Drop

Totally expected.

Totally expected.

The Hunger Games is kinda a thing nowadays, if you haven’t noticed! As such, you expect it to make its rounds through pop culture. Like the string of awful parodies and the joke Ellen made at The Oscars.

But some references are more ridiculous and hilarious than others! For instance, the latest song from rapper Drake, “Draft Day”:

On some Hunger Games shit I would die for my district
Jennifer Lawrence you can really get it
I mean forreal, girl you know I had to do it for yah

You can listen to the whole song here. We’ll wait. *blocks ears because once is enough*

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! WE CANNOT EVEN! REALLY?!

Though this is just more evidence showing how popular The Hunger Games and Jennifer Lawrence really are, it is pretty random in the middle of a fairly tough rap number (though Drake comes from a middle class background and once starred in DeGrassi, so no one’s really calling him hardcore.) It’s all bitches, fuck this and that, and n-bombs… and hey, Jennifer Lawrence!

Love at first rhyme

Naming your celebrity crush in the song IS pretty slick…

Aaaaaand when exactly do we hit the wall with The Hunger Games references? When do we say “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”? Neverrrr! The song is bad, but this reference is so awesomely bad that it’s actually good!

For Drake’s next single, we’ve got some phat Hunger Games rhymes to suggest:

“I’m so fly I’d survive The Hunger Games arena,
Got more dough than Josh Hutcherson as Peeta”

“I’m a killah, I don’t fail
Droppin’ bombs, just call me Gale”

“Rappers be so obsessed with all the fame and riches,
Strutting around like they Snow’s Capitol bitches.”

*cough* Check my flow, y’all!

Forreal girl,
The Girl With The Pearl

The Catching Fire Oscar Snub

We always have high apple pie in the sky hopes for The Hunger Games franchise, but we know that Catching Fire wasn’t going to get a shot at anything but technical awards, thanks to that “We don’t recognize anything that’s popular with the peasants” Academy attitude we’ve discussed before.

So you can imagine our reaction as we read down that list of nominees…

*scanning the acting categories*

JENNIFER LAWRENCE GOT NOMINATED FOR AMERICAN HUSTLE! AYYYYYYYYY!

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Admission: We haven’t actual seen American Hustle yet. We’ve heard from others that Jen was fantastic, though the movie on the whole was a bit overrated. So YAY J-LAW!

We knew it would be the coldest day in hell when the Academy considered any actor for their role in a fantasy blockbuster aimed at young adults, even ones they love like Jen, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Stanley Tucci. Thus we’ll take little victories like actors we love getting nominated for other things.

And then…
*scanning the technical categories*

Bad Grandpa? The Lone RangerTWICE?! We don’t know what Disney is putting in that Academy kool-aid but DAMN, it must be powerful! But wait… No Catching Fire?!

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What the actual fuck?

Let’s talk costumes. Many media outlets have repeatedly discussed the possibility of Catching Fire winning the Academy Award in this category as if the nomination itself was a no-brainer. And they’re right! Trish Summerville created a showcase of brilliantly crafted designs that not only looked spectacular on film, but told the story of each individual character. The intricate detail is honestly some of the most impressive costume design we’ve ever seen. Instead, pretty but same-y era movies got the recognition instead.

How about makeup and hairstyling? Are they really giving a nomination to The Lone Ranger for throwing sloppy face paint on Johnny Depp and Jackass for making Johnny Knoxville look geriatric? Yet the outrageous Capitol hair and makeup is totally overlooked! Then again, these are the same people who said the makeup that made Meryl Streep look like Margaret Thatcher was more award-worthy than the hundreds of intricate, unique designs found in the seventh Harry Potter film.

A small part of me wonders if Capitol Couture marketing hype, including the push into clothing and makeup sales (even going back to the nail polish line for the first film) , put a bad taste in the mouths of prominent Hollywood voters. Or maybe they don’t like that the style kinda mocks them. Who knows?

Don’t even get us started on visual effects! We’re glad Peter Jackson’s WETA got nominated for Desolation of Smaug, their work alongside the rest of the FX team on Catching Fire should also get recognition over most of the films actually nominated, which probably featured MORE special effects, but not necessarily effects of the same quality.

Alas, we should just accept that we’re talking about a bunch of old white guys making picks based off studio politics and this year, there was even less variety than usual. They stuck to their faves and they stuck to them HARD. Too bad it makes them look like total asses.

OH OH OH OH OH and MUSIC! Coldplay practically tailored ‘Altas’ specifically for the Academy. Plus, they tend to get attention of awards circuits in general. Now NOTHING? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Go Home, Academy. You’re Drunk.
The Girl With The Pearl

Hunger Games Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Every holiday season, Victor’s Village searches the joys of the Internet to find new Hunger Games holiday favorites. We realize that it’s already the last night of Hanukkah, but there’s never a bad thing to window shop with us!

Every Hunger Games fan is different, but if you or someone you know gets as obsessed as we do, maybe something on this list will excite!

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE SOUNDTRACK

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Starting off a little simple, but the CATCHING FIRE soundtrack is a must-have! Like the first soundtrack, there are so many songs that connect specifically to the books to form a beautiful, emotional reference. What’s new this time around is the mixing of genres, so fans can hum along, air guitar, belt it out, and break it down all in the course of one album!

CATCHING FIRE ARENA WALL CLOCK by Artsy Allaire

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When it comes to Hunger Games fandom related decorations, we’ve always appreciated the more subtle nods like this clock with the Catching Fire Arena obstacles painted on the hour they go into effect! Available in black or white, it’s one way to test newcomers to your home on their Hunger Games knowledge!

MELLARK BAKERY APRON by Studio Vim

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Know someone who’s got skillz in the kitchen? Make ’em an honorary member of the finest bakery in District 12 with a charming and super functional apron! Yup, the Mellark Bakery CAN be rep’d without a reference to Peeta’s buns. Who knew?!

KATNISS PRIMROSE CUFF BRACELET by Unique Art Pendants

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We tried to keep this list mostly gender neutral, but we like shiny things. Not to mention that this handpainted cuff bracelet, featuring the literal Katniss and Primrose plants, tells the story of an epic family bond without being too in-your-face. There are pretty of more obvious Hunger Games options out there, but the elegance of this one has got us hooked!

CERAMIC HUNGER GAMES HOPE TUMBLER by B. Atwood Creations

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The comfort of District 12 has a rustic feel to it and so does this HOPE tumblr created by ceramics artist Blaine Atwood. With a hot beverage inside and a good book by your side, this looks like the perfect companion on a cold wintry night.

THE KATNISS COWL by theLOVEstitch

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Katniss’ cowl wrap in District 12 has been making fans fall in love since Catching Fire was released. There are several versions on Etsy varying in style and price (not the mention knitting patterns!), but this one by theLOVEstitch appears to be one of the more accurate looking designs. The downside? This is the most expensive item in this post BY FAR. Be prepared to fork over the dough!

MOCKINGJAY DECAL

by SoCool Designs

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Decals are kind of a classic way to show off things you love, whether it be on your laptop, your car, or somewhere around the house. And at only a four inches, you can fit these Mockingjay ones along decals from your other favorite fandoms and rest assured they’re not going to consume your whole living/driving space.

HUNGER GAMES CHARM SET by The Tiny Kangaroo

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Were we sucked in by the cute factor? ABSOLUTELY. Charms are a totally flexible type of fun. They can be used for cell phone charms, necklaces, (really big) earrings, or kept as collectibles. We may be inclined to take them out and about to snap pictures with them in funny situations. Because that’s what grown ups do!

That’s our list. As you may know, this list is a precursor to our annual holiday contests! We see awesome Hunger Games prizes in your future! Will one of these awesome items make the list? Keep checking back to find out!

P.S. Looking for books or movies that interest a huge Hunger Games fan? Check out our recommendations page!

#TICKTOCK9: Catching Fire Gets Musical

#TICKTOCK9 happened!

Things are getting fiery!

Things are getting fiery!

We know that we love our music here at Victor’s Village, so when we saw that the soundtrack listing was FINALLY HERE, we were pretty psyched!

We thought we had an idea what the soundtrack would be like, having listened to Alexandra Patsavas’ other movie soundtracks, but this is totally different. It doesn’t have a very indie feel like the Twilight soundtracks or sappy inspirational like Grey’s Anatomy. It doesn’t have a theme, like Songs from District 12 did for The Hunger Games with its Appalachian influences.

Without further ado, zee soundtrack listing:

Tracklisting
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 & The Johnsons

We also got a 90-second preview of the Christina Aguilera song, “We Remain”. Listen in!

We have to admit, we’re not in love with this song as we are Coldplay’s “Atlas”. Christina has got PIPES! Some of the best in the industry. But her music and singing style sound very much the same in every song she’s done recently, and this seems to be no exception. Maybe hearing more of the song will eventually do it some justice?

We are very excited about some other bits, though! Of Monsters and Men! Sia! Imagine Dragons! The Lumineers! Lorde! PATTI FUCKING SMITH! All amazing artists, all of whom bring something totally different and original to the table.

There’s also a mix of artists we admittedly don’t know, like Phantogram, Antony & The Johnsons, and The Weeknd. We just barely know The National, Santigold, and Mikky Ekko (aka Rhianna’s barely-credited collaborator on “Stay”). But we’re ready and willing to get to know their music!

What’s most interesting here is the mix of genres, there’s pop, alternative, folk, and indie music. Experimental R&B and Hip-hop featured alongside the Godmother of Punk. The Catching Fire soundtrack is not going to let us settle down into one genre and enjoy. It’ll be a rollercoaster, but hopefully the music’s arrangement on the soundtrack will allow us all to enjoy its flow.

The Lumineers Named Their Track “Gale Song” and Our Hearts Are ALREADY BROKEN,
The Girl With The Pearl

Catching Fire Soundtrack Shenanigans

Alexandra Patsavas is a very talented, well-known music director, so we have faith that she’s going to make The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack awesome, but that doesn’t mean we’ll love everything on there.

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You have stiff competition from the first soundtrack!

While Coldplay seemed like a smart choice to get the soundtrack awards recognition and please a wide range of audiences, two recent revelations regarding the soundtrack have got us pretty freaked out.

First, Ed Sheeran submitted THREE songs for the Catching Fire soundtrack, all of which were rejected. While some of you may know him only as that guy touring with Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran is a soulful singer-songwriter whose music brings the feels. There’s something so genuine and raw in his music that we think he’d be a great addition to the Catching Fire soundtrack. Given that Sheeran has pitched to Catching Fire and the Twilight series soundtracks, all of which was manned by Alexandra Patsavas, it seems she disagrees. Maybe none of the songs were up to par, maybe they were. Still, we could see his songs representing so many moments and emotions in the series and the news is disappointing, especially considering that…

Ellie Goulding let it slip that she may be featured on the Catching Fire soundtrack, though it hasn’t been confirmed:

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HUH? We’re not hating on Ellie or her music, but given her typical sound and general reliance on a techno beat, we cannot picture her on the soundtrack. Unless she’s representing the Capitol. And let’s just get this out of the way now– If the soundtrack is Capitol themed, we are going to puke… and not buy the soundtrack.

Maybe she’ll pull what T. Swift did in her turn on The Hunger Games soundtrack and bust out something totally different from her usual sound. Or perhaps her song will play the same role that Kid Cudi’s “The Ruler and The Killer” did: The out of place song that everyone kinda hates at first, but then learns to love. We’ll bite our nails and worry until we know for sure.

Alexandra, you’re a professional. We trust you. I mean, people who hate Twilight still love the Twilight soundtracks (admittedly, I’m partial to New Moon’s soundtrack). Just don’t let the hype get you. Allow us to get Mother Hen on and ask you this: Just MAKE GOOD CHOICES, okay?

We Worry As If These Songs Are Actually In The Movie,
The Girl With The Pearl

Carry Your Woooooorllllld!

Sometimes you ask for guest posts, sometimes they fall into your lap as a gift from devoted readers! The following falls in the latter category, brought to us by the ever enthusiastic mse! Enjoy!
_______________

Still prettier than my own handwriting

Still prettier than my own handwriting

I’m a huge Coldplay geek in addition to being an enthusiastic Tribute, and I know I’m not alone. I’m not gonna use words like ‘OMG I’m the biggest fan of the band ever’ because yeah, I don’t even have an authentic lyric sheet handwritten by Chris Martin and we all know that that’s the only sign of a true fan – well that and the ability to rotate air. Alas as it turns out you can become one now by entering this contest here, so good luck! Tell me when you learned how to ventilate so I can give you a call on a warmer than usual autumn day.

Back to our topic, as you can guess I was obviously very excited when I learned that Coldplay is going to contribute to the Catching Fire soundtrack, and was eagerly anticipating the release of the song. By that time we already had the lyrics Chris shared via Twitter and we all brushed up on our Greek mythology and knew that the title ‘Atlas’ referred to the Titan who was sentenced to literally carry the world on his shoulders. But we still needed the song itself to truly appreciate the power of that metaphor , and as it turns out, we also needed a beautifully designed lyrics video to get fully obsessed.

I know that saying that this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen is a gross overreaction but guys, THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING THAT I’VE SEEN. EVER.

Okay, so let’s first talk about the song itself. Now, this is probably going to be a subjective opinion, but I totally had a flashback of the Coldplay’s first album, Parachutes while listening to it. For those of you who are not as obsessed with the band as the rest of us, here’s some recap:

Coldplay had 5 big studio albums out in the last 13 years, and while they all had a very Coldplay-ish sound, they also had their distinguished characteristics that made the songs on a specific album stand out and separate them from the music on any of the others.

For example A Rush Of Blood To The Head had this very clean, sleek sound with lots of piano. That album probably also has the most memorable melodies, because the songs were just simply great – the intro to Clocks is possibly the most recognizable Coldplay melody ever, even though it really is nothing special from a musical stand point (although it might make your hands pretty sore by the end if you attempt to actually play it on your piano at home, especially if you have such a horrible wrist movement like me). On the other hand, Viva la Vida or Death and All Of His Friends was this epic journey that I personally like to refer to as the “Coldplay opera” . There’s a very complex sonority to it, the songs don’t always follow a typical structure, and this is that one album that you feel like you just have to listen to from beginning to end.

Atlas however… Atlas feels like modern day Coldplay Parachutes song to me. There’s a bit of back to basic feel to it, yes, but that’s not just it. Parachutes was a very early album for the band, they didn’t use a whole lot of fancy electronic stuff back then, but there was also some naivety and some interesting dissonant melodies which you might notice in Atlas as well. Basically: Parachutes is the angsty teenager of Coldplay albums. Or at least as angsty and teenagery as Coldplay can get.

Seriously, even the art work looks like a frickin atlas

Seriously, even the art work looks like a frickin atlas!

Now, I’m not saying that Atlas is a definite addition to that album, and there’s a lot of maturity and a more modern sound in this song. Actually I’d say that it’s more like a blend between Parachutes and Viva la Vida, which also had a revolutionary theme beside all the things I mentioned before. And now that I think about it, it might actually be more of a Viva la Vida song after all. But the dissonance in that piano melody gives it a sense of unrest, there’s a clear underlying anxiety – until the chorus resolves it all by promising that it’ll ‘carry your world’ and also ‘all your hurt’.

I also think that this structure, the way the song makes a translation from angsty to something more hopeful and uplifting, makes Atlas a perfect first credits song. I’m mentioning this not just because the choice of a first credits song is important in the sense that it contributes to the whole impression a movie has left on you – but because in addition to being a Coldplay geek and a Hunger Games fan I’m also someone who’s very interested in movie awards and Oscars and all that jazz.

Of course you might ask now, what does this all has to do with the Oscars? Here’s the thing: some of the most prestigious film award ceremonies have a category called “Original Song” to them, however the definition of what can be considered part of that is kind of fuzzy. The Globes are more flexible with all this as you can expect, however the Oscars have this crazy rule that only songs that were playing during the movie or as a first credit song can contend. RUDE! That means if I put 51 songs at the end of my movie only one of those will be considered. Pfft! (This is also the reason why Safe & Sound was never going to get an Original Song nomination at the Oscars, in case you didn’t know.)

So yep, Atlas being the first credits song and the song of a universally well-liked popular band and this being their first ever contribution to a movie’s soundtrack increases the chances for an Academy Award shout out about 500%.

“But… why do we always have to bring up the Oscars?” I’m sorry, but this is what happens when your lead actor is an effing double Oscar nominee and a fresh Best Actress winner. People are probably gonna talk about the movie’s Oscar chances in costumes and hair and make-up and visuals and music and all that as we approach award season, so get used to it. And wouldn’t it be just plain cool to read the words “Nominated for X Oscars” on Catching Fire’s IMDb page? Don’t lie to me, you wanna see that just as much as I do.

I gasped.

I gasped.

Before I’d finish this up, we need to talk about that lyrics video though. Because that is just abso-freaking-lutely STUNNING. That’s not just a lyrics video guys, that qualifies as an actual music video if you ask me, and those animations… Wow. It’s simple but effective, and the whole constellation concept is really clever, because obviously there’s no cooler archery symbol than the Sagittarius itself, but it also gives off a sort of mythologic vibe which is obviously a reference to the lyrics themselves and the inspiration behind them.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about the meaning behind the 7 lines that start off and finish the video, and I’m kind of convinced that it refers to the 7 members of Peeta and Katniss’ alliance: Finnick, Mags, Beetee, Wiress, Johanna and Katniss and Peeta themselves. Of course that doesn’t include people like Woof or even the morphlings who were obviously supposed to have been part of that alliance but I stand by my theory.

Now excuse me, but I gotta get back to listening to this song for the 1002th time,
E(m)e(s)e