Need For Speed -ProStreet- Original Music
Need For Speed -ProStreet- Original Musicv
December 11, 2007
Download at iTunes
The 11th instalment in Electronic Arts’ racing series, Need for Speed: ProStreet features an original score from the established electronica musician Junkie XL (Tom Holkenborg). With the composer contributing ten original tracks for the game, it’s unsurprising that it would receive its own album release: Need For Speed -ProStreet- Original Music. Avid players and Junkie XL fans will know that his track “More” (released as a single in conjunction with the game’s release) also features in the game. Although it doesn’t feature on this album, you’ll be able to hear it on Need For Speed -ProStreet- Official Soundtrack, which features the majority of the game’s licensed music from popular artists such as Avenged Sevenfold, CSS, and The Toxic Avenger.
I’m a huge fan of electronic music in games, and for an established electronica artist to compose the original score for a game is pretty exciting. The album is mostly split up into electronica tracks and electronica and rock fusions. Regarding the latter, the first track on the album is a good example. “Decalomania” takes upon the exact style I had expected from Junkie XL, having listened to his previous works. Starting off with a basic rhythm and inventive sounds, the most pulling part of the track comes in the form of an electrifying undertone at 0:29. The theme begins to develop around this section, with the odd electric guitar interjection here and there.
“Choke” takes upon a similar approach with the use of electric guitar too, with the main melody exhibited by the instrument. Unlike in “Decalomania” though, which slowly moves in the guitar section, we hear the guitar first, before then being invited into an intimidating fully electronic section around 2:20. Even so, as catchy as these themes are, “327 – V8” and “Castellated Nut” are my favourites out of his rock-electro fusions. Though neither of are particularly melodic, they both emanate a certain sound which isn’t recreated elsewhere on the album. The nightmarish guitar and aggressive drums in “327 – V8,” and the screaming vocals in the fast-paced “Castellated Nut” are extremely gripping, constituting a fantastic addition to the album.
He does stray away this sort of style elsewhere on the album though, at least in the sense where the guitar is no longer so prominent. The rest of the album is made up from gripping beats, driving melodies, and a copious amount of (sometimes… well, mostly bizarre) musical development. “Idler Lever” features my favourite melody on the album, and is one of the least aggressive tracks too. “Halogen Blindness” on the other hand features some of the album’s strangest background sounds, with Junkie XL throwing in sound effects left, right, and centre. The track is held together with its beat and simple riff, but mostly it’s a collection of strangely inviting noises.
The two tracks which really stand out though are “Bezel” and “Clevis.” Much like “327 – V8” and “Castellated Nut,” it is their unique sound which captivates me. “Bezel” features even weirder noises than “Halogen Blindness,” creating not only an otherworldly effect but also a confused state of mind (make sure to remain concentration on those tight bends). “Clevis,” which is slightly more normal than “Bezel,” is impacting mainly due to its warping sounds and distracting beats! Each of these tracks are enjoyable, and provide the album with an impressive soundscape.
From an electronica fan’s perspective, this album is great to listen to. It features everything from pumping bass to fantastic melodies, with a touch of developmental genius from Junkie XL. The music fits the game perfectly, and really invigorates the player to race hard and become the game’s ‘street king’. Of course, not everyone is a fan of this genre, which renders the music a little inaccessible, but personally I admire this original approach in style. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the music on this album is better than what can be heard in the Gran Turismo or Ridge Racer series, but it certainly comes in on par. Certainly, this is an impressive effort, and with Junkie XL creating similarly impressive scores for SSX Blur and Quantum Redshift, we’re likely to see more of him in the industry.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Dave Valentine. Last modified on August 1, 2012.