Various artists, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" (Republic Records)
It was only a matter of time before Lorde graduated from contributing a song for "Catching Fire" to taking over the soundtrack for the latest "Hunger Games" soundtrack in which the 18-year-old chanteuse curates a concoction of dark magic, enchanting tunes and revolutionary feelings. As the world of Katniss Everdeen gets darker with sacrifice, violence and revolt, in "Mockingjay Part 1," the soundtrack follows suit with a medley of offbeat and oddly appealing synths, pianos and guitars.
Lorde's own vocal touch appears in "Yellow Flicker Beat" as she growls her way through introspective chants. The eerie remix by Kanye West takes the original's chorus and slows it down to an ultrasound heartbeat. "Dead Air" by Chvrches speeds it up with Blade Runner-esque synths.
For the rest of the 14-track album, she enlists an unlikely collection of stars — Grace Jones, Simon LeBon, Chemical Brothers, Bat for Lashes, Pusha T and Diplo among others.
Whether it's a '70s sampler mixed with dissonant drums like Grace Jones' "Original Beast," Chemical Brothers' catchy pop descent into madness in "This is Not a Game" or Major Lazer's dance beat "All My Love," there's always a unique hint of sinister bubbling underneath.
Tinashe's melodious "The Leap" and the playful piano of Charli XCX's "Kingdom" offer a short but needed respite in all the darkness. And when you manage to come up for air to get away from it, you feel the itch to go back under again for more sorcery.