Review: ‘Hunger Games’ is perfect pop for the PG-13 set

As a snapshot of this moment in pop music, the 12 songs on the soundtrack to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” are emotional, love-obsessed and heavy on strum and rhythm.

Like the first installment, the music represented on “Catching Fire” isn’t necessarily in the movie. Rather, this collection is “inspired” by the film and delivers a loving imaginary soundtrack to a generation of PG-13ers living for Nov. 22 and looking for music to manifest their many confusions.

PHOTOS: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Los Angeles premiere

Picked by music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas, the second volume has a lot of good makeout songs and just as many calls for courage. In “Lean,” the National’s Matt Berninger seduces with the line “I can see a fever’s on the rise/I can see the waters in your eyes.” Santigold’s “Shooting Arrows at the Sky” brims with singalong invention while referencing Katniss Everdeen’s weapon of choice. Christina Aguilera’s new single, the tepid “We Remain,” suggests that maybe we don’t and is ultimately smushed by Patti Smith’s sermon of bravery, “Capital Letter,” in which she delivers would-be aphorisms as if standing on a mount. Coldplay is here too, but in a battle with Lorde’s haunting version of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Lorde would forever reign supreme.



Various Artists

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtrack



2 stars out of 4