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Top Movie Soundtracks of 2014

| Monday, December 8, 2014

soundtracks-graphic-WEBKeri O'Mara
It has been a great year for movies, which also means that it has been a great year for movie soundtracks. Soundtrack songs are special, not only because of the emotional significance they can convey on their own, but also because of the inseparable ties they construct between the audio and visual realms. It is important to note that in the following list, these are not necessarily the best films of the year, but the best soundtracks. They augmented the films well by creating extra emotional layers. With this in mind, here are my top movie soundtracks of 2014:

#4 — “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is one of the quirkiest films of the year, so naturally it has to have one of the most eclectic and unconventional soundtracks. Alexandre Desplat definitely brings his eclectic A-Game to this soundtrack, incorporating flamingo guitars, church organs, spooky pianos and a music box interlude among a plethora of other instruments to properly display the relationship between a legendary concierge and his new lobby boy. It also features a Russian folk orchestra and an opening with Swiss yodeling, so you know it has to be good.

#3 — “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1”

Lorde has to be feeling like the Katniss Everdeen of the music world right now. After her meteoric rise thanks to smash hit “Royals” and the universal praise of her debut LP “Pure Heroine,” the eighteen-year-old New Zealander is at the forefront of pop music. Her latest effort, curating the soundtrack for “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” is no exception to her magnificence. Enlisting the help of a ridiculous number of artists including CHVRCHES, Haim, Pusha T, Charli XCX, Major Lazer, The Chemical Brothers and like a gazillion others, Lorde has mashed together what feels like a “who’s who” of the music scene right now into a ridiculously great mixtape.

#2 — “Gone Girl”

Director David Fincher has worked with Atticus Ross and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor before on “The Social Network” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” but this is by far the best soundtrack they have put together so far. The “Gone Girl” soundtrack creates a sense of ambiguity and has a noticeable lack of emotional cues, creating a rather unnerving experience that is right on point for this film. The songs all seem to have this sense of false optimism that requires digging through the layers to find the chilling depths below. And boy does this soundtrack have layers. The amount of effort this power group put into this album is ridiculous and definitely worth a listen.

#1 — “Guardians of the Galaxy”

OOGA CHAKA OOGA OOGA OOGA CHAKA

If the opening to Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” doesn’t get you pumped, you’re either dead inside or have been living under a rock for the past 40 years, or at least since the first trailers for “Guardians of the Galaxy” were released. Director James Gunn cherry-picked the best songs of the seventies to provide cultural reference points and ground main protagonist Starlord and the rest of this ridiculously awesome space opera to Earth. The tracks are unique in that they provide an unparalleled level of accessibility through its powerful nostalgia that can register with older audiences and millennials like me who grew up on these songs. And on top of all that, the soundtrack is just plain fun.

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About Jimmy Kemper

Scene writer, Economics major, and Seinfeld enthusiast

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