Amon Tobin
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory OST

Ninja Tune
2005
C+



tís always been pretty obvious that Amon Tobin would make a great soundtrack artist. In fact, it reasons that for many video game players, he has already been the soundtrack to many video games that allow players to utilize the mute button on a regular basis during gameplay. Tobin decided it was probably about time he started to collect royalties on the damn thing (and allow players to stop having to hit the mute button to hear valuable instructions) by handily scoring the third installment in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series of videogames.

Tobinís music, as mentioned, is incredibly well-suited to the genre already, but particular attention is paid to mood pieces that donít feature the chugging Brazilian rhythms that typify the producerís work. As with any other Tobin-related piece, though, even when the rhythm is subliminal, itís always there. Those are merely the moody moments when, it must be imagined that a character is stalking someone down a dank hallway. Those moments when someone is getting chased down that same hallway happen often enough to sate listeners who have only bought the soundtrack: more than half of the tracks here have that familiar factory-direct Tobin stamped beat.

What makes Tobin the perfect choice for a soundtrack like this is simple: the game, despite any video-game aficionados protests to the contrary, is shockingly one-noted. The game boils down to one major idea: go get this, so you can destroy this. Tobinís music, similarly, has always been a one-note affair incapable of moving too far away from its self-imposed ideas, making owning more than one album of his a hardly profitable venture. Heís the type of artist that begs a greatest-hits compilation, but hardly demands one.

Tobin isnít a stunning soundtrack producer. Heís never claimed to be, his music has merely been apt for playing video games to. The hallmark of a great soundtrack producer is versatility. Ennio Morricone, for example, was able to move between genres easily, creating something original and exciting in a variety of mediums. So, while the future doesnít seem bright for Tobin to work on anything but the type of projects that are suited exactly for his already well-cultivated sound. While this isnít a knock on him (few artists create a sound that can only be attributed to them), itís hardly a reccomendation of quality for this particular soundtrack. If all youíre looking for is more Tobin material, then youíve come to the right place. If youíre expecting anything more, youíd best look elsewhere.



Reviewed by: Charles Merwin

Reviewed on: 2005-02-15

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Comments
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Posted 02/15/2005 - 09:11:31 AM by Hexagon:
 "What makes Tobin the perfect choice for a soundtrack like this is simple: the game, despite any video-game aficionados protests to the contrary, is shockingly one-noted. The game boils down to one major idea: go get this, so you can destroy this." Amazing that you can analyse a game so well two months prior to its release. Do us a favour and stick to topics you have some vague idea about, yeah?
 
Posted 02/20/2005 - 12:44:24 PM by kerryfromberry:
 To say tobins music is a "one note affair" is frankly ridiculous. You could say that about almost any artist if that was the case. If anything tobin can be accused of being too eclectic with influences ranging from bossa nova to hard drum n' bass on previous releases. I agree with hexagon that you simply don't know what you are talking about infact, based on that comment I don't really think you could have actually heard many of his cd's. It also looks like you are trying too hard to dismiss him. It makes perfect sense that this album has one over all mood as it's a soundtrack!! If I'd only heard one Morricone soundtrack because that was the only one he had yet made I might have the sense reserve my judgement on how versatile he is for when he's done a couple more.
 
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