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If there's anyone in modern pop that's had a real rise to fame, it's Lorde. Ever since Royals became a smash hit last year, the 18 year old Ella Yelich-O'Connor has reached some sort of pop stratosphere. She's hanging out with Taylor Swift, sitting in the front row at fashion shows and generating more think-pieces than your average season of Girls. It feels like only yesterday I was writing about 'Tennis Court' for this very website and having to research who Lorde was (originally thinking it was the Finnish Eurovision winners Lordi) because she was yet to make any rumbles outside of her home country of New Zealand. Now, however, you can't go anywhere without hearing her name and it's only been a year-and-a-half.

It's clear to see why she was chosen to curate the soundtrack to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the third film in the massive young adult franchise, and it's not just because she's a big name. Lorde is, in her own way, pop's equivalent to protagonist Katniss Everdeen. The lyrics and themes throughout her debut Pure Heroine are wise beyond her years, often scathing critiques of the vapidity of today's youth culture just as Katniss is fighting against the vapid commercialised Capitol. The kids decked out in powdered wigs and ridiculous make up could quite easily be the Cadillac driving, Grey Goose drinking "Royals" that Lorde attempts to separate herself from. More importantly, she is around the age of The Hunger Games' target audience and who better to curate a soundtrack for such a film than someone who is a part of that audience as opposed to just some suit?

Thanks to Lorde's impressive pulling power, this soundtrack is packed to the rafters with up and coming talents such as Raury and Tinashe alongside chart stormers such as HAIM and Chvrches and industry vets such as Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon. It's a truly impressive mix of artists and Lorde's hands-on approach to putting this soundtrack together, as opposed to just jumping out after picking some names, makes for a cohesive and, most importantly, exciting collection of tracks.

Each effort has an element of Lorde's trademark gloom stamped all over it, a neat contrast to the mental state of the underground rebellion in Panem. Both R&B up-and-comer Tinashe, lending her delicate vocals to the atmospheric 'The Leap', and recent BBC Sound of 2015 nominee Raury on stand-out 'Lost Souls', which drips with tension as the beat marches along, really bring their A-game, bolstering their reputation as artists to watch out for. The Chemical Brothers' excellent 'This Is Not A Game', which features Miguel and Lorde, is an extremely dark track filled with harsh, grinding rhythms and brimming with malevolence. Lorde's own 'Yellow Flicker Beat', especially, is pure anthemic joy; the sort of track that makes you want to put your three fingers in the air and plaster the mockingjay symbol all over yourself.

But it's not all wholly doom and gloom. Charli XCX's contribution, 'Kingdom', with Simon Le Bon is a dreamy little piano ballad that feels effortlessly beautiful. Grace Jones brings her own idiosyncrasies to the table with the utterly eccentric and brilliant 'Original Beast'; a track that only Grace Jones could ever come up with. The real highlight is the track that kicks everything off: Stromae's dancefloor smash 'Meltdown', which is packed with as much extravagant colour as The Capitol. With help from Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip and HAIM (though unfortunately limited to backing vocals), it's ridiculously addictive with its driving beat and grandiosity; a perfect way to start the soundtrack. Major Lazer similarly brings a brilliantly over the top club banger with the help of Ariana Grande on 'All My Love'.

Though it's probably best to forget XOV's dull as dishwater 'Animal', Lorde's managed to curate one of the best original soundtracks in a long time. It has the feel of a lovingly curated mixtape, with Lorde allowing every artist to bring their own style to the soundtrack creating something so wonderfully diverse and exciting it's great to listen to even outside of the context of the film. Of course, regardless of how good or bad this soundtrack would be, fans of the franchise would snap it up in a second just because it has The Hunger Games stamp but, luckily, this is no franchise cash-in. Instead what we get is lovingly crafted, adventurous soundtrack that easily stands on its own merits.

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