Last week, I began counting down the best music tracks from games across this generation of consoles. Today we have two more entries to add to that list. If you missed last week’s selections, click HERE.
8. Mirror’s Edge – “Shard”
Musical action cues, when left untamed, can become jarring self-indulgent displays of wallop and discordance. The absence of melody builds a seal of impenetrable, fibrous tissue around a finite moment within a game. Its jumble of drum solo replete with noxious paradiddles and self-gratifying rim shots devolve and dismantle the original intent of the scene. Though it may be a rising action, one most associated with blood-sport, the lack of nuance in orchestration melts the fiction in which you are meant to be immersed. It’s a damning practice and one that I have heard far too many times. This is not a valley Mirror’s Edge composer Magnus Birgersson seems at all familiar with, as Mirror’s Edge is a score delicately composed in ether. Some things are for touch, others for sense. The collision of the two meeting on a single plane requires both to explain the sensation on the skin and the instinctual cues provided by muscle and surrounding habitat. Instruction of this kind requires a mixture of both vibrant color and reserved moments of off-white variation. This is not the job of one single brutish primary. “Shard” delivers our protagonist to her final destination, with both gorgeous inflection of voice and control of her faculties, down to the strands of every nerve ending… for every moment, another sensation.
7. No More Heroes – “Beam Katana Chronicles”
Masafumi Takada’s flawless and ever brilliant musical encapsulation of Goichi Suda and Grasshopper Manufacture’s no-holds-punk-rock-style ethos of video game titles has been one of the most fascinating sojourns by Long-Player that I have ever undertaken. Particularly Takada’s uncensored penchant for the merciless, ruthlessly opaque demons of Killer 7, which was absolutely visionary. Its truculent ferocity still holds the potential of an unpredictable séance some eight years after release (but more on that at a later date). Takada could have stopped right there, counted the money in his billfold and spent his remaining days aloft in gated penthouses – his allure, his living myth growing for every Wednesday that he missed meeting with his Mystery Book club. Instead he continued to craft. 2008’s No More Heroes finds Takada’s new compositions taking on the persona of Travis Touchdown. A character so puerile and deluded, it’s a wonder that he can still maintain his own inherent bipedalism. He’s also arguably one of the most genuine and lovable characters to surface from this generation’s stream of zeroed, military archetypes. Takada effortlessly fashions Travis’s theme into something so ridiculous and lampooning that you’d think Takada’s taking his own shots at Touchdown’s supremely challenged motor functions… but this is love. Takada merely wants to showcase Touchdown under the most favorable of lights. It just so happens that this spotlight magnifies someone who is neither man, nor boy, and one whose reading habits consist entirely of nickel pamphlets containing wrestling moves. Immortality has never been easier.
Stay tuned now through November 15th for the remaining 6 entries in my list of the best musical tracks from this generation of consoles.