Various Artists - The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 And Beyond
As if the proclamations of being the next Twilight - despite being an entirely different story, let alone genre - weren't loud enough, The Hunger Games has followed in Twilight's, and other films', footsteps and created a soundtrack comprised of original material. No emo-lite pop/rock in sight here though, proceedings are altogether folkier with splashes of country, resulting in a classy effort that will appeal to everyone whether they plan to see the film or not.
The sublime lead single 'Safe & Sound' by Taylor Swift, feat. The Civil Wars, is an absolute delight and it sets up the tone for the overall effort, with only the MOR rock of Swift's solo effort 'Eyes Open', Kid Cudi and Arcade Fire (who open the album in fine style) shifting the album away from gentle acoustics. How much you can take of this - and there are 16 tracks all told - will be personal preference, but it's hard to imagine anyone not being taken in by the extraordinary 'Daughter's Lament' from The Carolina Chocolate Drops, delivered acapella, or the stunning finale from 15-year-old sensation Birdy, 'Just A Game'. How closely this follows the film, or even how much is used during it, will soon be found out but, for now, we can just admire the excellent musicianship that's gone into crafting Songs From District 12 And Beyond, which is fine by us.