Tomorrow Never Dies (Video Game Soundtrack) by Tommy Tallarico

 

 

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Tomorrow Never Dies (Video Game Soundtrack) by Tommy Tallarico

"Somebody Does it Better?"
Review by Steve Townsley

 

Tomorrow Never Dies (Video Game Soundtrack) by Tommy Tallarico

Tomorrow Never Dies
(Video Game OST)
3/10

Tomb Raider:  The Cradle of Life (Soundtrack) by Alan Silvestri

 

Category  |   Score

Originality 3
Music Selection 3
Composition 2
CD Length 3
Track Order 3
Performance 2
Final Score 3/10
 


Real Audio Clips

 
 
 
 

 


Composer 
Tommy Tallarico

 

Quick Quotes

"This CD is definitely not going to appeal to everyone. It is really not a companion to Arnold's score, but if you take it for what it is then you can have a good experience with it. If you dislike almost all video game music, however, then you'd better steer clear of this one as it doesn't really break any new ground like Giacchino's Medal of Honor did." ***

Soundtrack Review Central Reviews Tomorrow Never Dies Video Game Soundtrack
 

 

 

Music composed by Tommy Tallarico
“James Bond Theme” written by Monty Norman
Album Produced by Tommy Tallarico
Executive Producer: Randy Gerston
“Letter to Paris” written by Tommy Tallarico, vocals – Elaine Paiva; l
ead guitar – Mike Hamilton; bass & acoustic guitar – Joe McLaughlin;
Piano, Orchestra & Drums – Tommy Tallarico
Mastered by Dave Mitson at Sony Music Studios
Released by Chapter III Records - April 30, 2002

James Bond is certainly an identifiable icon within popular culture, and has thrived within many mediums, from literature to film to music. Bond has had several musical “voices” over the last half-century--some met with glory and praise, while others dwindled into scorned obscurity. Would James Bond survive the dawning of a new century of entertainment? Enter James Bond: The Video Game.

I find it fascinating that the developments in interactive entertainment over the past few years have actually allowed for the incorporation of the (often taken for granted) composer within something as relatively non-earthshattering as a video game. This is one more evolution of the score album.

Or is it?

Bond and score aficionados alike were thrilled when British composer David Arnold took the reins of the film-music department of the franchise, and did remarkably well in the film Tomorrow Never Dies. His approach incorporated elements of the old classic John Barry symphonic style while adding some newer contemporary “techno” sounds.

For the video game adaptation, however, it is difficult to say that a similar fusion was accomplished. It would be accurate to say composer Tommy Tallarico wrote a video game score, which happens to feature the Monty Norman theme that everyone identifies as James Bond. But that is unfortunately where the bridge between film and game end. Though James Bond is known for action, the Bond films themselves are more than action, but also the atmosphere of Bond—the women, the martinis, the fancy cars, the exotic locales. Most of the jazzy orchestral undertones that reflect those elements, and infuse personality into the Bond films (even during the action moments) have been abandoned in favor of straightforward action.

The CD opens with a brief statement of the Bond theme, just like every Bond film you’ve ever seen, (with the possible exception of “Never Say Never Again”, which wasn’t really a Bond film) is an appropriate way to begin, but then the sensory assault begins. “Confrontation” relies on a percussion-driven, heavily distorted rendition of the Bond theme, which is looped several times and only breaks off for a few seconds before returning to more of the same. If this does not give you some idea of the direction of the better part of the album, please proceed to track 3, wherein you’ll be treated to more of the looped action music. In fact, much of the music on the CD is brief 2-3 minute restatements of the same thing you hear in the first 30 seconds of the track. While the mood of the music alters over the course of the CD, the fact remains that is still kinetically attached to the movement of the game, rather than the atmosphere. Track 6, “Arms Bazaar”, is “sneaking” music. This works for the game, but not for the non-game playing listener.

Two saving graces on the album are the final two tracks (if that term “saving grace” can be applied after the previous 15 tracks). “Alarm” is a brief, non-techno action cue which is almost good—but just too short at 28 seconds. As for the obligatory sexy Bond song, “Letter to Paris” is a surprisingly pleasing and appropriate song. The irony is, (as the album notes in smaller letters), that this bonus track does not appear in the actual video game! A shame—it would probably add some of that Bond character that we hope for in the films.

Again, I—and generally everyone should—understand fully that this is music for an action-driven video game. I am certain that within the context of a game that is mostly run/shoot/drive/sneak/shoot, this approach is quite tolerable—I am merely stating that as an album and a linear listening experience, it is somewhat unpalatable.
 


Track Listing and Ratings

 Track

Title Time

Rating

1 James Bond Theme 0:56  ****
2 Confrontation 3:49  *
3 PPK 2:09  **
4 Detonate Track 2 - Across the Stars 2:35  **
5 Media Tower 2:15  **
6 Arms Bazaar 2:10  **
7 Decoder 2:33  *
8 Hotel Atlantic 2:03  **
9 Pressing Engagement 2:29  *
10 Carver Media 2:13  *
11 Outpost 2:39  ***
12 Infrared 3:01  *
13 A New Beginning 2:22  *
14 Market 1:59  **
15 Convoy 2:22  *
16 Alarm 0:28  ***
17 Letter to Paris* 2:47  ****
 

Total Running Time

38:50  
* Bonus track w/ lyrics –
not included in Video Game

Tomorrow Never Dies (Video Game Soundtrack) by Tommy Tallarico

*The Experience-O-Meter displays the track to track listening experience of this soundtrack based on the 5-Star rating given to each track.  It provides a visual depiction of the ebbs and flows of the CD's presentation of the soundtrack.

 

Referenced Reviews
 

 

 


All artwork from Tomorrow Never Dies (Video Game OST)  is exclusive property of Chapter III Records (c) 2002. 
 Its appearance is for informational purposes only. Review format version 5.7