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Battle Of The Fantasy Franchises: Which YA Adaptation Has The Best Soundtrack?

Earlier this week, the good people at Interscope Records dropped the latest collaboration from the upcoming Insurgent soundtrack, which features Woodkid and Lykke Li. The song’s called “Never Let You Down” and is so haunting, we’ve got the chills. But, like, in a good way.

The track follows the soundtrack’s first single, “Holes In The Sky,” by M83 and Haim. Kudos to the music supervisor on that fantasy franchise because these collabs are kicking major tush.

In fact, if we look back at soundtracks for Twilight and The Hunger Gamesseries, it’s overwhelmingly apparent that these YA adaptations are not only spawning major big-screen blockbusters, but some of the most innovative—and successful—albums in recent history.

However, if we stacked these soundtracks next to each other, which series has the best playlist? Let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?

1. Twilight. Music from the first film was released in 2008 and the album scored an immediate hit with the original song “Decode” by Paramore. At the time, “Decode” earned the band their highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and would set the bar for future contributions, like Death Cab For Cutie‘s “Meet Me On The Equinox” (from 2009’s New Moon) and Bruno Mars‘ “It Will Rain” (from 2011’s Breaking Dawn: Part 1).

Of all the franchises, this one probably features the most mainstream artists, but whatever the albums lack in genre diversity, they definitely make up with in overall popularity. As with anything Twilight related, these soundtracks made household names out of indie-leaning artists like Iron & Wine, Grizzly Bear and Passion Pit.

2. The Hunger Games. Say what you will about Taylor Swift, but her duet with The Civil Wars on Songs From District 12 And Beyond is the stuff cinematic dreams are made of. Famed producers T-Bone Burnett and Danny Elfman were responsible for putting together the artists on this album and ended up getting amazing performances from a slew of talented musicians, like Birdy, Glen Hansard and Arcade Fire.

The musical vibe for this franchise is definitely a little more cutting edge than its sharp-toothed predecessor. Case in point: Not only did Lorde curate the tracks on the series’ most recent epic, Mockingjay, Part 1, but Katniss Everdeen (aka Jennifer Lawrence) herself managed to climb the charts thanks to a remix of “The Hanging Tree.”

Color us stoked to hear what’s in store for Part 2, which is set to be released November 20.

3. Divergent. This sci-fi action series took an unexpected musical turn by calling upon producer Junkie XL to oversee the film’s score and soundtrack. Though the choice might be somewhat unconventional, it has produced some of the most unique pairings we’ve heard come from a franchise. The first film’s soundtrack kicked off with Zedd‘s “Find You,” followed by “Beating Heart” by Ellie Goulding, which indicates a more EDM vibe to compliment the story’s post-apocalyptic outlook.

For Insurgent, however, the soundtrack appears to push even more genre boundaries, as heard on “Holes In The Sky” and “Never Let You Down,” which we mentioned earlier. Plus, including bands like Royal Blood and SOHN only go to prove how cutting edge Tris & Co. really are.

Sooo…. Which one of these soundtracks is your absolute fave?

Tell us in the comments!

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  1. Kat says:

    Harry Potter has them all beat, because John Williams composed the score.

  2. Kat says:

    Twilight series, hands down

  3. Stephani says:

    I really like The hunger games soundtrack. I have Twilight’s and Divergent as well but I like Close and personal The hunger games soundtrack is.

  4. Sara says:


  5. amberBlaze says:

    I totally agree… Say what you want of the books or movies… These soundtracks are worthy of respect. Great artists and collaborations. I feel Twilight currently has the edge in the battle, but HG and Divergent are stepping up to the plate. It’s a win-win in my book.