In The Tapedeck is a look at soundtracks for people on the go, with brevity and straight to the point favoured over things like paragraphs…
Title: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I
Composer: James Newton Howard
The Film: Popular YA franchise The Hunger Games gets to its finale, which has had its obligatory split. Jennifer Lawrence presumably shoots arrows at people, possibly in lots of makeup.
The Score: Despite a bit of a lull recently, JNH can score stuff like this in his sleep. That said, Mockingjay has a lot of spirit. There’s a lot of warmth and emotion here that you may or may not expect, and it’s quite beautiful at times without sacrificing any kind of visceral impact. But it does get darker and darker, and dissonance is the order of the day by the time you get to the end.
Distinguishing Features: There is a lot to like here. The lovely melodies contained within ‘PleaSe Welcome Peeta’, ‘Katniss Nightmare’. The great use of brass in ‘Incoming Bombers’, ‘Air Raid Drill’, ‘Victory’. And the haunting vocal by Lawrence in ‘The Hanging Tree’ that ends with incredible scoring as a call to arms.
Final Thoughts: It’s a wonderful score, following on from the excellent Catching Fire. However, as this is Part I, don’t expect a massive amount of closure. While it ends on a big note, it still feels very unresolved – not sure if an end credit suite would have helped (certainly not Lorde). Even so, well worth your time.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part I is out now from Republic Records