The popular Hunger Games film series reaches its grand finale today with the release of the fourth và final instalment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. The films, which are based on the dystopian sci-fi book series by Suzanne Collins, followed in the footsteps of other successful young adult franchises that have made the leap from page khổng lồ big screen such as Harry PotterTwilight and Divergent. Much like Twilight's kinh doanh strategy, The Hunger Games have capitalized on their box office fortune by not only releasing a variety of related merchandise, but also a stellar soundtrack.

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Each Hunger Games film has so far been accompanied by a compilation of original songs inspired by the themes presented throughout the series written by a variety of artists, from pop heavyweights like Taylor Swift và Lorde (the latter whom curated the most recent volume) to lớn indie darlings including Arcade Fire, the Decemberists và the National.

While soundtracks are sometimes a hit-or-miss extension of a film — at best producing a standalone product, at worst completely forgettable — The Hunger Games has consistently created interesting mixtapes that thoroughly convey the emotions và motifs displayed onscreen.

To celebrate the release of the final film, we're taking a look back at the 12 best original songs written for The Hunger Games soundtracks. May the odds be ever in your favour of acquiring a movie ticket this weekend.

Lorde, 'Yellow Flicker Beat' — Mockingjay, Part 1

New Zealand pop star Lorde went from casual contributor khổng lồ full-on curator between the franchise's second & third films. She appeared on a number of tracks on the Mockingjay, Part 1 soundtrack in varying capacities, either adding small vocal parts to lớn big collaborations or performing songs on her own.

"Yellow Flicker Beat" stands out as one of her best tracks, which worked within the confines of the movie but also extremely well as a standalone single for the pop star. In many ways, Lorde's quick ascent lớn fame và the hurdles she faced along the way can be comparable to lớn protagonist Katniss's journey, making the singer the perfect musical parallel. The kết thúc results on the Mockingjay, Part 1 soundtrack are proof positive that Lorde was the ideal conduit, channeling the film's ideas through a diverse các mục of artists but reining it all into one cohesive album.

Lorde, 'Everybody Wants to lớn Rule the World' — Catching Fire

On the Catching Fire soundtrack, Lorde covered Tears For Fears' 1985 hit, "Everybody Wants lớn Rule the World." The new version cloaks the original's sunny riffs with an ominous doomsday darkness that transforms the words khổng lồ perfectly match the sombre atmosphere and tone of the films.

Stromae feat. Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip and Haim, 'Meltdown' — Mockingjay, Part 1

It's tough not to lớn litter this menu with Lorde tracks, but we promise you this is the last one. The Mockingjay, Part 1 soundtrack kicks off with "Meltdown", a powerful opening statement that charges out of the gates with verses by Pusha T, Q-Tip & Stromae while Lorde và Haim bridge the gaps with irresistible harmonies và hooks. A revolution requires a diversity of voices all coalescing together into one collective movement; "Meltdown" is the musical army that leads the crusade.

Major Lazer feat. Ariana Grande, 'All My Love' — Mockingjay, Part 1

Each film's soundtrack has taken on a musical persona of its own. The first film favoured softer folk ballads và was described by country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift in an interview with Entertainment Weekly as "Appalachian music 300 years from now — what Americana & bluegrass music would sound lượt thích in the future." The second introduced more electronic beats and a heavier thump, & the third and most recent finds most of its energy swirling around dynamic dance & synth machinery.

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One prime example would be the electrifying collaboration between EDM/dancehall club masters Major Lazer & pop favourite Ariana Grande. The song's views on the hardships of love aren't necessarily tailored to the movie, but its universality allows this tuy vậy to shine outside of the context of The Hunger Games. It's a tuy vậy that may be buried in the catalogues of both artists involved (the track was even accidentally left off of the soundtrack's original tracklist), but it's a gem that's worth uncovering.

Glen Hansard, 'Take the Heartland' — The Hunger Games

There are the quieter moments on the first soundtrack and then there are fiery bursts of energy, lượt thích Glen Hansard's "Take the Heartland." This rumbling track represents the determination và fight hidden inside of Katniss as she enters her first Hunger Games, và the nguồn that continued lớn fuel her in later battles against the Capitol. "I'm gonna find my knife và run it through those stitches/ throw my friends down in the ditches," Hansard sings, with a combustible spirit.

Coldplay, 'Atlas' — Catching Fire

The British rock band's grandiose sounds are tailor-made for cinematic moments like those in The Hunger Games. "Atlas" exercises Coldplay's penchant for explosive choruses as lead singer Chris Martin dramatically bursts into the promise that he'll "carry your world." Elsewhere, the band is restrained, accompanied by just a piano và a tense, looming guitar riff. While Coldplay's theatricality can be a bit cloying at times, it finds a fitting home on a soundtrack like this.

Patti Smith, 'Capital Letter' — Catching Fire

Legendary rocker Patti Smith is admittedly a huge fan of The Hunger Games. In an interview with Vanity Fair, she discussed her fandom & her song for the Catching Fire soundtrack. "It's like a letter to the Capital," Smith told the magazine. "Warning them about Katniss, but warning them in a proud way." She also noted that her son played the guitar on the track & her daughter played the piano & calls the tuy vậy "an homage to lớn Katniss." and what a beautiful homage it is.

Sia feat. The Weeknd, 'Elastic Heart' — Catching Fire

"Elastic Heart" was on the Catching Fire soundtrack well before the single made it onto Sia's 2014 album, 1000 Forms of Fear. This version featured Canadian R&B star the Weeknd on a verse, a perfect pairing of powerhouse vocals against the equally dynamic beats & rhythms created by producer extraordinaire Diplo.

The Civil Wars feat. Taylor Swift, 'Safe và Sound' — The Hunger Games

Swift recorded two great tracks for the first film's compilation: the country-rock number "Eyes Open" and the gracefully minimal "Safe & Sound," a collaboration with folk duo the Civil Wars. Swift's voice is often surrounded by fanfare and embellishments on her biggest hits so it's a truly wonderful treat when she strips it all down on a track like this.

Arcade Fire, 'Abraham's Daughter' — The Hunger Games

Arcade Fire really got into the mindset of the movie's universe when writing this epic track. Instead of taking the literal route, chief songwriters Win Butler & Régine Chassagne turned khổng lồ the biblical story of Abraham & the near-sacrifice of his son, Isaac. "There's something in the story of Abraham and Isaac that I think resonates with the themes in the film, lượt thích sacrificing children," Butler told Entertainment Weekly. "So we made a weird, alternate-universe version of that, where it's as if Abraham had a daughter — kind of a metaphor for Katniss."

Christina Aguilera, 'We Remain' — Catching Fire

Christina Aguilera has had her hits and misses in the past five years, but her tuy vậy for the Catching Fire soundtrack is a definite highlight. The conventional anthemic ballad, marked by chest-pounding drums & soaring choruses, can be found at the centre of many films, but Aguilera still stands as one of pop's best vocalists và proves it here by providing one heck of a performance. It's quite subtle in Aguilera terms (vocal acrobatics kept at a minimum), và it's a nice reminder that the singer never needed flair or embellishments to lớn create something spectacular.

James Newton Howard feat. Jennifer Lawrence, 'The Hanging Tree' —Mockingjay, Part 1

While most of the songs off of the Hunger Games soundtracks are merely inspired by the films & rarely even featured in the films themselves, "The Hanging Tree" was a real tuy vậy featured in Suzanne Collins's book. In Mockingjay, Katniss sings this tuy vậy for cameraman Pollux. Katniss's father taught her this song before he died, but she hadn't sung it in years. Katniss's rendition gets captured on camera & soon becomes the anthem of the revolution. In the film, as well as on the track, Katniss's voice is joined by the voices of many in the revolution who fight back against the militant peacekeepers. The tuy nhiên plays an integral part in the film's plot, but it also highlighted Lawrence's beautiful singing voice. (No matter what she says, she really can sing.)


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