Why the 'Hunger Games' Soundtrack Is All Wrong

For a movie about death and revolution, The Hunger Games soundtrack sure looks a lot more like the tracklist from Lowe's commercials. Full with songs that "the kids are listening to these days," the album brims with faux-folk and EDM-lite. Also, people still listen to Coldplay?

But what the soundtrack forgets is that The Hunger Games series is a far cry from a commercial where a bunch of twenty-somethings hold hands and run into the ocean. It's about children killing each other for sport in a dystopian society, and then the grim revolution against that society.

Yeah, it's a young adult series, but it's pretty dark. And somehow, it seems that the soundtrack is more of a marketing ploy than a reflection of the novels or even the movie. Rather than pick cinematic, emotional songs, they picked safe artists that have mass appeal.

Even the few surprises on the soundtrack, like The National, almost didn't make it on to the album because they were deemed "too dark." Really? In a movie where one character has sharpened teeth so she can kill off her competition more easily?

So here are my alternate picks for your Hunger Games watching. I tried to keep in spirit with the original soundtrack, just a little darker and a little weirder. Don't like it?

You don't have to. Make your own, and tweet me about it. Enjoy:

  1. Nils Fram "For"
  2. Jack Rose "Moon in the Gutter"
  3. Flying Lotus "Phantasm" feat. Laura Darlington
  4. Mount Kimbie "Field"
  5. Angel Olsen "Some Things Cosmic"
  6. Grouper "Cloud in Places"
  7. Kurt Vile "Society is My Friend"
  8. St. Vincent "Year of the Tiger"
  9. Arcade Fire "My Body is a Cage"
  10. Glasser "Apply"
  11. X-Ray Spex "Art-I-Ficial"
  12. Kid 606 "I Need to Start a Cult"
  13. Octo Octa "Fear"
  14. DJ Koze "Homesick"
  15. Julia Holter "Maxim's I"

Image: Lionsgate