Song Review: Olivia Rodrigo Switches Up Her Sound for ‘Hunger Games’ Prequel Offering, “Can’t Catch Me Now”

Olivia Rodrigo has been teasing her involvement in the soundtrack for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. The soundtrack to the Hunger Games prequel, like its predecessor, promises to be a star-studded affair. While we have to wait for the other offerings from this project, we have Rodrigo’s enticing—and surprising—track, “Can’t Catch Me Now” to hold us over.

Videos by American Songwriter

The pop phenom has established a distinctive sound for herself—one that lives in the punk-pop persuasion. While she has some somber ballads to her name, none have the same folk-leaning tendencies that “Can’t Catch Me Now” does. Given that the soundtrack was executively produced by Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile), the sonic leap makes perfect sense.

[RELATED: 5 Most Energetic Olivia Rodrigo Live Performances]

Rodrigo is one of the only true pop artists to be featured on the soundtrack (see full lineup, below). Nevertheless, she falls right in line with the host of folk and roots musicians, gorgeously delivering one of her most interesting songs to date.

The soundtrack for the original The Hunger Games followed a similar formula. Amongst the track list were songs by Taylor Swift, Pistol Annies, Birdy, and more. It’s nice to see they didn’t divert too far from the stellar musical pairing they used the first time around.

But I’m in the trees, I’m in the breeze / My footsteps on the ground / You’ll see my face in every place / But you can’t catch me now, Rodrigo sings amid a swirl of airy harmonies. If Rodrigo ever wanted to switch up her sound, she could likely find a comfortable home in the folk community.

As always, Rodrigo wrote this track with longtime producer Dan Nigro. The pair proved their partnership has even broader applications than previously thought. “Can’t Catch Me Now” is a far cry from “bad idea right?” or “vampire.” Yet, it feels nonetheless innate to Rodrigo and Nigro.

The rest of the soundtrack arrives on November 17, in time for the accompanying film’s release. If “Can’t Catch Me Now” is any indicator, there are many other soon-to-be-staples in store.

Tracklist to The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes (Music From & Inspired By)

1. Olivia Rodrigo – “Can’t Catch Me Now”

2. Rachel Zegler – “The Hanging Tree”

3. Flatland Cavalry – “Wool”

4. Rachel Zegler – “Nothing You Can Take From Me”

5. Sierra Ferrell – “The Garden”

6. Rachel Zegler – “The Ballad of Lucy Gray Baird”

7. Molly Tuttle – “Bury Me Beneath the Willow”

8. Rachel Zegler, James Newton Howard – “The Old Therebefore / Singing at Snakes”

9. Bella White – “Burn Me Once”

10. The Covey Band – “District 12 Stomp”

11. Rachel Zegler, The Covey Band – “Nothing You Can Take From Me”(Boot-Stompin’ Version)

12. Billy Strings – “Cabin Song”

13. Rachel Zegler – “Lucy Gray” (part 1)

14. Rachel Zegler, The Covey Band – “Pure As The Driven Snow”

15. Charles Wesley Godwin – “Winter’s Come And Gone”

16. Josie Hope Hall, The Covey Band – “Keep On The Sunny Side”

17. Rachel Zegler – “Lucy Gray” (part 2)

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

The Regretful Meaning Behind Willie Nelson’s 1989 No. 1 “Nothing I Can Do About It Now”

The Beatles’ “Now and Then” Video Offers Fans a Poignant Farewell to the Fab Four