Need For Speed -Most Wanted- Original Music

Need For Speed -Most Wanted- Original Music Album Title:
Need For Speed -Most Wanted- Original Music
Record Label:
Electronic Arts
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
May 15, 2006
Download at iTunes


Electronic Arts decided to take the music for Need For Speed: Most Wanted in a new direction. Once again, they included a range of licensed rock, electronic, and hip-hop tracks. In addition, they hired Hollywood musician Paul Linford to provide some original underscore for the police pursuit sessions. The result is a series of electro-orchestral scores that were, at the time of the game’s release, the most intense and dramatic tracks to be featured in a Need For Speed game.


“Kick It Up a Notch” provides a solid reflection on the type of music to expect from the game. Linford establishes a compelling pace for the theme using electronic beats and bass licks, before introducing some intense brass and string discords. Listeners feel the heat of the police chase in the game as soon as the music plays. The thorough development maintains the intensity with electronic interludes and even more resolute orchestral sections. The pace never relents and the volume never quietens. The final result is therefore absolutely spectacular and fitting in context.

Much of the rest of the score continues this feel. The amusingly titled “Feels Good Donit” and “This Doesn’t Look Good” remain dominated by the interplay of electronic beats and orchestral discords. It is impressive how Linford builds up so much rhythmical impetus in such tracks, the latter almost explosively. “Don’t Like It Do Ya” meanwhile takes listeners on a seven minute journey and attains a spectacular dramatic arch. Featured towards the end of the score, “Take That Dawg” has an even more cinematic feel and motivates listeners during an epic chase.

The final soundtrack can be overbearing due to the sheer quantity of intense fusions featured. It isn’t quite as overwhelming as Need For Speed: Undercover, but it’s still bound to be a brutal experience for most. Away from the action tracks, there are brief cues such as “Layin’ Low”, “Ya Think”, and “My, My Missy”. These create a great feeling of tension and expectation before calamity explodes. And, indeed, on this soundtrack release, it almost always does just a minute or two later. Other than these tracks, the score is pretty homogenous given the limited purpose of the material in context.


Paul Linford did a spectacular job scoring the police pursuit sequences of Need For Speed: Most Wanted. He captures just the right dynamic and intensity to make gamers know their fate is uncertain and in their hands. That said, the music isn’t necessarily ideal for stand-alone listening, due to its fairly heavy and repetitious nature. Given the score was only used for a limited part of the game, it doesn’t offer the same dramatic range as many racing scores out there, but is still good for the occasional wild ride.

Need For Speed -Most Wanted- Original Music Chris Greening

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

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