September 2001Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/ monthly listings /Sept01/

Jesper KYD The Nations(Die Völker II) CD-ROM GAME SOUNDTRACK COLOSSEUM CST 8084.2 (43:14)



Techno based music written for the computer fantasy game The Nations. In summary, 'hip', ambient and bland.

From 'Forest Hymn (Bombastic Mix)' onwards, we are introduced to a heavily percussive sound, often accompanied by synthesized voices and this continues through 'Forest Spirit' in mildly enjoyable fashion, although far too many pieces ('The Amazons', 'Horizon', 'Ambient Fantasy' etc.) are infinitely forgettable. What few relative high spots there are never really amount to very much, such as 'Last Dance' making good use of those synth voices, although this soon tails away and 'Fantasy World' displaying some percussive verve with at least a little dramatic impetus. But these examples are very much in the minority and the rest is nothing more than techno rhythms and new age soundscapes.

The problem with Danish composer Jesper Kydd's music, (who recently completed his debut film score for the comedy Death of a Saleswoman) and indeed this applies to much of the music written for CD-ROM games, is that it lacks emotional resonance. In fact this work verges on muzak at times. It's as though software producers do not feel there is any great need to bring real emotional weight to music written expressly for games. It's all a little too much like fast food; quick, easy and rather empty. But I feel very strongly, as a games player myself, that there is a place for music with a good deal more heart and soul than is on show here. Only then perhaps will computer games transcend their present limitations and becomes works closer to art, rather than the consumable, ultimately disposable product that they are now.

Mark Hockley

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