It's almost like the "Twilight" music syndrome all over again on the surface. A studio has a teen phenom-to-be project on their hands and they drive a dump truck full of cash up to the doorsteps of musicians who can't say no.
Ok, maybe not quite, but it's kind of incredible how reviled "Twilight" is in some circles and still some bands who would normally decline, ok'd the use of their music (in some cases because, yes, they were handsomely rewarded — but did Radiohead really need the money?). The other odd element is how much media noise those soundtracks make and how little the music actually has to do with the films (and thus the whole enterprise feels shameless, inorganic and about commerce; the worst kind of soundtrack there is).
So we must admit, we're awfully skeptical when a powerhouse soundtrack to a movie with a young, built-in audience that's still a few months away from release gets announced. To wit: the A-list talent that are contributing their music to the "The Hunger Games" soundtrack. They include Win Butler and Régine Chassagne from The Arcade Fire, Taylor Swift and The Decemberists. But the big difference here is producer T-Bone Burnett (who produced the Grammy winning and highly celebrated "O, Brother Where Art Thou?" soundtrack), and he collaborated and co-wrote songs with both Taylor and the Arcade Fire married duo as did the Americana/alt-country pair, The Civil Wars. The Butler/Chassange/Burnett track is called, "Horn Of Plenty" and The Decemberists' track is called, "One Engine."
Other groups are expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks. "The Hunger Games" was going to be scored by Danny Elfman, but he was recently replaced by James Newton Howard (who also replaced him on "The Green Hornet," wonder what the deal there is). "The Hunger Games" is due in theaters on March 23 and the soundtrack should be available a few day before its release.
Directed by Gary Ross ("Pleasantville"), the futuristic action drama stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland and many, many more. [Reuters/Deadline]