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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Album Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

As the world of Katniss Everdeen gets darker in Mockingjay Part 1, the music follows suit.
The soundtrack has subtly sinister undertones.
The soundtrack has subtly sinister undertones.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Various Artists

Republic

3 stars

It was only a matter of time before Lorde graduated from contributing a song to the second Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, to taking over the soundtrack for the third film. The 18-year-old chanteuse curates a concoction of dark magic, enchanting tunes and revolutionary feelings. As the world of Katniss Everdeen gets darker with sacrifice, violence and revolt in Mockingjay Part 1, the soundtrack follows suit with a medley of offbeat and oddly appealing synths, pianos and guitars. Lorde’s own vocal touch appears in Yellow Flicker Beat, as she growls her way through introspective chants. The eerie remix by Kanye West takes the original’s chorus and slows it down to an ultrasound heartbeat. Dead Air by Chvrches speeds things up with Blade Runner-esque synths. For the rest of the 14-track album, Lordes enlists an unlikely collection of stars – including Grace Jones, Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon, Chemical Brothers, Bat for Lashes, Pusha T and Diplo among others. Whether it’s a 70s sampler mixed with dissonant drums, as with Grace Jones’s Original Beast, Chemical Brothers’ catchy pop descent into madness in This Is Not a Game, or Major Lazer’s dance beat All My Love, there is always a unique hint of sinister bubbling underneath. Tinashe’s melodious The Leap and the playful piano of Charli XCX’s Kingdom offer a short but much-needed respite in the midst of all the darkness. And when you manage to come up for air to get away from it, you feel the itch to go back under again for more sorcery.

artslife@thenational.ae