Recommended album: The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond

Hunger Games - Taylor Swift

Let me start off by saying that I’m out of the loop with this whole Hunger Games phenomenon. As of today, I still haven’t seen the movie or read any of the books. I have a vague idea of what the movie is all about, but for the most part, I don’t count myself a fan.

By accident though, I heard “Safe and Sound”, Taylor Swift‘s collaboration with The Civil Wars and the soundtrack’s official first single. Although I like Taylor Swift, I was surprised by how much I liked “Safe and Sound”. The song piqued my interest and I downloaded the album.

The Hunger Games soundtrack has a very cohesive sound, which you might not expect considering that it’s a collection of songs from various artists. And the artists aren’t similar at all; country is well-represented here, but indie-folk, alternative and even a little bit of pop-rock are all represented.

The album carries a consistent eerie theme. From the aforementioned “Safe and Sound” to the fantastic “Kingdom Come” (also by The Civil Wars), this soundtrack maintains similar, dark sound.

“Come Away To The Water” is a Maroon 5 track that surprises a lot. The tone in Adam Levine’s voice is prominent in this track, and instead of going with the high-energy, drum-driven chorus that the group is known for, they go for a much subdued melody. The result is a soothing, dark track where Levine’s vocals truly shine.  Rozzi Crane is featured in this track.

Miranda Lambert‘s “Run Daddy Run” is another highlight. The song has nice melodies, with subtle hints of the banjo.

“Tomorrow Will Be Kinder” by The Secret Sisters is a nice closing to the soundtrack. The vocals here are controlled but filled with emotions, like a mother singing a lullaby. It’s fantastic.

Truth be told, I could have done without Glen Hansard‘s “Take The Heartland”. The rock tune is a little loud — as it should be because it’s rock — and ends up messing up the flow of the album. The track’s placement doesn’t help; it sits in between two quiet tracks.

Not counting the Glen Hansard contribution, I think that The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond is a perfect album. The best part about this album is that it opened my eyes (or is it ears?) on several acts that I don’t normally listen to, The Civil Wars and The Secret Sisters, to name a couple.

Watch the video for “Safe and Sound” below, and go get The Hunger Games soundtrack on iTunes today.