Curated by international pop star Lorde, the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Pt. 1 transcends the level of both quality and daring normally offered up on soundtrack albums for big-budget movies, opting to lean more toward indie acts in sculpting a dark, menacing environment that matches the film's heavy atmospheres. Featuring some of the more exceptional names in indie rock, electronica, and dark, club-friendly pop, the true strength of the soundtrack is how it flows much like an album, paying close attention to subtle shifts in mood that come with each track. Standouts are plentiful, with Lorde herself contributing both the propulsive centerpiece "Yellow Flicker Beat" and a cover of Bright Eyes' "Ladder Song." "Yellow Flicker Beat" also gets the remix treatment from Kanye West, his more minimal reworking of the song credited as "Flicker." Other highlights come from the Chemical Brothers, Chvrches, and Bat for Lashes, who offers up a wintry cover of Son Lux's "Plan the Escape."
Review by Fred Thomas