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The Hunger Games: Original Motion Picture Score Soundtrack

4.3 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, March 26, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Original score to the 2012 major motion picture composed by James Newton Howard and executive produced by T-Bone Burnett. The Hunger Games is the highly anticipated first film in the trilogy based on the young-adult adventure science fiction series written by Suzanne Collins. The first two books were each New York Times best sellers, and the third book, Mockingjay, topped all US bestseller lists upon its release.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Hunger Games
  2. Katniss Afoot
  3. Reaping Day
  4. The Train
  5. Entering The Capitol
  6. Preparing The Chariots
  7. Horn Of Plenty
  8. Penthouse/Training
  9. Learning The Skills
  10. The Countdown
  11. Booby Trap
  12. Healing Katniss
  13. Rue's Farewell
  14. We Could Go Home
  15. Searching For Peeta
  16. The Cave
  17. Muttations
  18. Tenuous Winners/Returning Home


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 26, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Republic
  • ASIN: B0078467LC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,447 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Music
I, like so many other people, was greatly anticipating not only the "Hunger Games" film, but - more importantly - the soundtrack. And when it was announced that James Newton Howard (JNH) was doing the music, I became even more excited to hear the score. Overall, the score is well-done. It is certainly not the JNH from louder, bolder scores and lacks some of the more epic-quality cues from scores like "Dinosaur" and "The Last Airbender," and the magic that permeates "Lady in the Water" and "Peter Pan;" but it certainly does contribute some good tracks. This soundtrack showcases JNH from his more subtler sound, i.e. "Lady in the Water" without the majestic, awe-inspiring cues; just the quiet, building darkness, similar to quieter scores like "I Am Legend," "Defiance," and "King Kong." Luckily, the soundtrack is a vast improvement over some of the latest disappointments of "Salt" and "The Green Lantern;" but there is still a great deal of improvements that can be made.

The score is also fairly short, clocking in under 45 minutes. Most of the tracks are only around a minute long, which, given JNH's composing style, isn't really enough time for him to create the masterful building of melody that is one of his trademark sounds. Still, he manages to capture a feel for the film in the short minute-long tracks. But it can't help but leave the listener longing for the theme to continue and develop, as melodies in JNH's scores tend to do.

It doesn't ever evolve enough to capture a real theme for the "Hunger Games," though, if he continues to compose for the series, it's almost certain that he will reuse some of the melodies in this soundtrack and shape them into more complex themes later on. But for now, we are only given a taste of what those themes might grow into.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I bought this album for one song, or, I should say, one theme. The fanfare that blazes throughout the film, which can be heard towards the end of track 6 and the beginning of track 7, is FANTASTIC! I get a perfect mental image of the chariots riding into the Tribute Parade and it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. It's repeated throughout the entire film but only appears in the score ONCE. Track 7 is the only time it appears, which baffles me.

The rest of the score is good music and it's well performed but upon listening through the album several times I've grown to realize that the tracks seem to blend together and are difficult to tie to their corresponding moments in the film. Additionally, I don't listen to one song and know immediately upon its conclusion which song to expect next. To my ear it all sounds very similar. No, it doesn't sound exactly the same, obviously there are instrumental changes and mood changes, and maybe it'll take some time for me to begin to really distinguish one track from another, but the general ethereal flavor blurs things together for me.

The album is very short and unlike other movie scores, with songs that are oftentimes up to 12 minutes long, not one track exceeds 5 minutes while most are less than 2 minutes. This is relatively passable since most of the songs tend to blend together, but there are times when the short tracks detract from the experience. In particular, the gap between tracks 6 and 7 really hurts the build up to the climactic beginning of track 7.

If I were you, instead of buying the whole album, I'd just buy tracks 6 and 7 and enable gapless playback. Six acts as a lead-in to 7 and they should have been combined into a single track.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This score includes most of the familiar themes that play in the key parts of the film. I love this score because I can literally see the film playing out in my mind as I listen to it from beginning to end. James Newton Howard has done it again! He has composed a very unique and brilliant score that stirs emotion from within. There are some pieces of music that I noticed that were in the film, but not in this score, but it is still a winner if you are a JNH fan!
The score opens with a very simple, yet captivating theme with a simple arrangement. As you move through the tracks, you are taken on the same journey (even if abbreviated) as Katniss.
It is hard to pick favorites from this score because all the tracks are unique.
1. The Hunger Games has that haunting melody that you can never forget.
2. Katniss Afoot has renaissance/medieval feel to it but still fits the scene in the film, which I think is brilliant!
6. Preparing the Chariots, and 7. Horn of Plenty captures the whole tribute chariot ceremony sequence at the capitol, playing the anthem of Panem (composed by Arcade Fire, track orchestrated by JNH). The music is exciting and driving.
8. Penthouse/Training is another track that draws you into the film. The calm melody that plays during the first half is another beautiful piece, playing when Katniss sees the projection of the forest in her room. Then the track transitions into the training section, which totally switches the mood. I really like how there is this whole ethnic feel mixed into the instrumentation to some of these tracks.
9. Learning The Skills is another track that has a more modern/action-oriented feel to it.
10. Countdown is listed as not being in the film. It's interesting.
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