The soundtrack to Divergent, the first film adapted from Veronica Roth's dystopian young adult novel series, reflects the story's high-tech future -- in which people are separated into factions based on their virtues -- in its mix of EDM and hip-hop. Even if the EDM craze had peaked somewhat by the time of the film's 2014 release, it's a refreshing change from the brooding alt-rock that dominated the Twilight Saga soundtracks and, to a lesser extent, The Hunger Games' music. Befitting Divergent's theme of breaking the rules, the soundtrack's most daring moment is among the best. On "Backwards," Tame Impala and Kendrick Lamar turn their unlikely collaboration into a trippy, ominous blend of their respective strengths. More expected highlights include Skrillex's propulsive "Stranger," which features vocals from Killagraham, and M83's "I Need You," which blends sax and heavily processed vocals into something surprisingly affecting. Ellie Goulding, who also contributed vocals to the Divergent score, acts as an anchor to the soundtrack's more explosive moments with the ethereal "Beating Heart," "Hanging On," and "Dead in the Water." Similarly, "Run Boy Run" and "I Love You" showcase Woodkid's filmic drama at its finest. Tracks by Zedd, A$AP Rocky, and Snow Patrol round out a soundtrack that takes enough risks -- and pulls them off -- to stand out from the YA pack.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares