Soundtracks Matter

I’ve talked about my appreciation of movie soundtracks before, and even my enthusiasm for accompanying playlists for novels, so it should be no surprise that I revisit this topic further. Along with the other writers here at ATWN, I LOVE the idea of music being a companion and/or influence for other arts, including stories – written, performed, filmed, painted, whatever. Music plays an important role in my own writing — so important, I couldn’t write without it. But some people don’t care for soundtracks in that they aren’t comprised of music they’d normally listen to, but if you look at from a marketing perspective, that’s exactly the point. Take for instance Divergent the book and The Divergent movie. The book is categorized as YA (young adult) but has garnered fans across all ages, and the same goes for The Hunger Games. These are two great examples of soundtracks that offer a wide variety of artists, in order to appeal and appease a wide range of viewers.

The Divergent Soundtrack was one of the most cohesive I’d heard in a while, but simultaneously used diverse musical talents to enhance the story. It’s smart, really. Think about the cross-promotion going on in this one album. Not only did they expose Elle Goulding fans to M83 and Snow Patrol fans to Skrillex they exposed these music fans to the Divergent movie and book, and the fans of the book to the music. It’s an amazing collaboration, if you think about it.


 Snow Patrol sings “I Won’t Let You Go” on the Divergent movie soundtrack.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire included musical talents like Cold Play, Lorde, Sia, and Imagine Dragons.

Catching Fire movie poster

Imagine Dragons contributed “Who We Are” to The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack.

The Fault in Our Stars, another YA book gone big-screen attempted something similar when they included the talents of Ed Sheeran, Grouplove, Jake Bugg, Birdy, and Kodaline.

TFIOS movie poster

Ed Sheeran performs “All of the Stars” from The Fault in Our Stars movie soundtrack on the Ellen Show:

And let’s not forget, soundtracks aren’t only for teen and adult films, but for kids, too. The Lego Movie had Tegan and Sara write and perform “Everything is Awesome,” the song my 10 year old is currently learning how to play on the piano.


My son had to know who performed “Sticks and Stone” on the How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack, and has since been a Jonsi fan. Now, with the recent release of How To Train Your Dragon 2, Jonsi contributed another original song that has, again, become special to my son. And what a wonderful musician for my son to love. Jonsi creates complicated tempos, dramatic crescendos, tender lyrics, and strong refrains. So, in my opinion and experience, soundtracks do matter. They’ve helped my own son get excited about music.


Jonsi, lead singer of Sigur Ros, sings “Where No One Goes” for How To Train Your Dragon 2.

  Something happens when a written story is translated to the silver screen. The audience gets to experience the characters in a more intimate way by seeing actions, reactions, facial expressions, and so on. Add in sound effects, and the story begins to become multi-dimensional. But when a musical score and/or a well planned soundtrack are layered into the film, THAT’S when the story comes to life. That’s when we FEEL the story. And that’s the purpose behind stories – to be entertained, to experience, to think, TO FEEL. What are some of your favorite soundtracks? Do soundtracks matter to you? Want more Lego awesomeness! Check out the Lego rock concert my son’s friend Logan made!

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