Every Song on ‘The Hunger Games’ Soundtracks, Ranked

By Kevin Rutherford & Shannon Carlin

Since their debut in 2012, the soundtracks to the Hunger Games films have been among the best collections devoted to installments in the young-adult fiction adaptation genre, often mixing hip, flavor-of-the-now artists with lesser-known stalwarts of their respective genres.

With the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 soundtrack this week and the movie premiere on Friday, the series has added 14 new songs to its canon, with Lorde serving as the soundtrack’s curator and featured performer on several tracks.

But just how does Lorde’s offerings stack up against T Bone Burnett’s Americana-infused Songs of District 12 and Beyond for the first film, or Alexandra Patsavas of the Twilight series’ Catching Fire? We ranked every song that’s found its way onto a Hunger Games release so far.

May the likelihood of ranking these correctly be ever in our favor.

~

46. Abby – “Again”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

This song is a bit of an anomaly, found only on the German and Austrian versions of the Catching Fire soundtrack. You probably haven’t heard it. You’re not missing much. –Kevin Rutherford

 

45. Phantogram – “Lights”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Phantogram‘s twinkling bonus track off the Catching Fire soundtrack feels like an unwarranted afterthought to an already overloaded release. – Shannon Carlin

 

44. Kid Cudi – “The Ruler and the Killer”

The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond

The first soundtrack is defined by its love of Appalachian music, but occasionally something else seeps through—like Arcade Fire’s epic “Abraham’s Daughter,” for instance. But then there’s Kid Cudi, who chants and hums over squealing electric guitar like he’s Trent Reznor.  –K.R.

 

43. Grace Jones – “Original Beast”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Grace Jones takes us into the digital jungle for this track, which feels out of place amongst the synth pop that fills the Lorde-curated endeavor. A+ for effort, Grace, but we would have suggested this song be used in a different movie. Perhaps, Reese Witherspoon’s Wild. – S.C

 

42. Jayme Dee – “Rules”

The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond

Songs from District 12‘s weakest link features a pretty vocal, but songs from Secret Sisters, Neko Case and Birdy do what “Rules” is going for a whole lot better. –K.R.

 

41. Tinashé – “The Leap”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Tinashé wears her heart on her sleeve for this slinky slow jam that has her waiting on a guy to make the first move. Clearly, though, this song is not about our Katniss, who is a little too busy leading the rebellion to be waiting on any man. –S.C.

 

40. Imagine Dragons – “Who We Are”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The guys of Imagine Dragons take their drum circle on the road, making a stop in Panem to lead a rather dour sing-along aimed at anyone trying to survive this post-apocalyptic nightmare. -S.C.

 

39. Christina Aguilera – “We Remain”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Christina Aguilera tries to out-“Beautiful” herself in the name of Katniss Everdeen, but just can’t manage to hit that same emotional mark. –S.C.

 

38. The Weeknd – “Devil May Cry”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

At first, The Weeknd abandons his usual darker R&B sensibility for acoustic guitar, but things don’t stay that way for long, becoming your typical Weeknd tune about a minute and a half in. Not a bad thing per se, but it lacks the emotion Abel Tesfaye usually achieves in his songs. –K.R.

 

37. Tove Lo – “Scream My Name”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Tove Lo leaves the Twinkies, grabs the gun for this high-octane track that asks whether Katniss Everdeen’s death will be in vain. But while our heroine will be remembered forever, it’s unlikely this song will meet the same fate. -S.C.

 

36. Lorde – “Flicker (Kanye West Rework)”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

“Yellow Flicker Beat” is a highlight of Mockingjay. It’s completely fine on its own, so why even bother giving it a reworking on the same album? To be fair, Kanye West is probably the man you’d want for the job, but the Yeezus-esque mood swing just seems like an outtake.–K.R.

35. The Low Anthem – “Lover is Childlike”

The Hunger Games: Songs From District 12 and Beyond

By itself? A lovely little tune, with acoustic guitar flanked by ebb-and-flow reverb and delicate clarinet. But, on a Hunger Games album where the songs are supposedly inspired by District 12, lyrics about Coney Island kind of take you out of it. That is, unless you imagine Manhattan as the Capitol and Coney Island as the far-away District 12. Then we might have something.–K.R.

 

34. Santigold – “Shooting Arrows at the Sky”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Santigold trades the L.E.S. for District 12 on this new wave track honoring Katniss’ archery skills. But even with a bow and arrow in hand, Santigold proves you can take the girl out of New York City, but you can’t take the City out of her music. –S.C.

 

33. XOV – “Animal”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Meet XOV, the male (and Swedish) version of Lorde, with a little of The Weeknd sprinkled in for good measure. “Animal” culls from both, R&B vocals set over gloomy beats and synths. Fine, but Mockingjay already has “Yellow Flicker Beat.” –K.R.

 

32. Major Lazer feat. Ariana Grande – “All My Love”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Combine Ariana Grande‘s four-octave range with Major Lazer‘s frenetic African beats and you have The Hunger Games’ first club banger. It’s too bad Katniss Everdeen will never find the time to truly enjoy it. Jennifer Lawrence, on the other hand, now she could have some fun with this one. –S.C.

 

Read the rest of this list on Radio.com

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