Audio Mixer: Mike Piersante.
Liner Note Author: Gary Ross.
Recording information: Air Lyndhurst Studios, London, England.
Photographer: Tim Palen.
Arrangers: Stuart Michael Thomas; Sven Faulconer.
While The Hunger Games' soundtrack received most of the the attention at the time of the film's release, James Newton Howard's score also played a significant part in bringing the dystopian world of Panem to the big screen. Given the cut-throat action that makes up a large part of the story -- in which children are sent to fight to the death to pay "tribute" to the nation's corrupt Capitol -- Howard could have tried to match that action with his music, but for the most part his score is admirably restrained. Tracks such as "The Hunger Games," "Healing Katniss," "Searching for Peeta," and "We Could Go Home" subtly nod to the rustic feeling of the film's soundtrack with their use of strings, guitar, and dobro, but orchestral and choral pieces like "Preparing the Chariots" and "Horn of Plenty" capture the pomp and circumstance the Capitol attaches to the children's sacrifices. The big drums on "Countdown" and "Booby Trap" are Newton's main concession to pulse-pounding action, but far more often he wisely chooses eerie drones and percussion as a way to ratchet up the tension, as he does at the end of "The Cave." It's only on "Muttations" that he turns the brass, guitar and drums up to 11, but by that time, he has earned it. Newton's score is one more fine piece of The Hunger Games experience, even if it's not the showiest one. ~ Heather Phares