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Spy Game
Boooooooorrrrriiiiinnnngggg. -Isaac Engelhorn (11/19/2001)
Track List:
  1. Su-Chou Prison
  2. Muir Races to Work
  3. ...He's been arrested for espionage
  4. Red Shirt
  5. Training Montage
  6. Berlin
  7. It's Not A Game
  8. You're Going to Miss It
  9. Beirut, A War Zone
  10. My Name is Tom
  11. All Hell Breaks Loose
  12. Explosion & Aftermath
  13. Parting Company
  14. Harker Tracks Muir
  15. The Long Night
  16. Muir's in the Hot Seat
  17. Back at Su-Chou Prison
  18. Operation Dinner Out
  19. Spies (Ryebot Remix)
  20. Dinner Out (Rothrock Remix)

Total Time: (69:00)

Composed by:
Harry Gregson-Williams

Conducted by:
Harry Gregson-Williams

Additional arrangements by:
Justin Burnett,
Toby Chu

When the latest Harry Gregson-Williams CD showed up in my mail box, I excitedly opened it up and put it in my player. Despite this fact, from the cover I didn't really have high hopes for the score simply because I figured I was getting a typical Media Ventures action score, and guess what it got... A typical Media Ventures action score! Like always, it's riddled with all sorts of "catchy" electronic beats and synthetic hooks, just like The Rock, Enemy of the State, or just about any other large-scale MV work that you'd care to mention, apart from their delightful children's scores like Chicken Run or Shrek (I simply can't wait for the CD release of the latter). I have come to a stunning realization recently that many other people have come to already: The Media Venture "sound" can only ba taken so far. At first, scores like The Rock and Crimson Tide were fresh and interesting, but at this point in the road, it's become rather obvious that trying combine the sound with "real" music isn't even on their priority list anymore. Now the MV team simply uses nothing but their lousy synth effects.

What's even more sad is the fact that there aren't even any highlights; it's all just leveled-off boredom. I'm sure that the score probably works in the film, but I think that it's sometimes best to let a score stay there and forget about a soundtrack album. Jerry Goldsmith is quite right when he says that it isn't nessesary to release *every* score on CD.

I basically think that Harry could have done just about anything to make this score better, but he didn't. Why he didn't, I simply cannot fathom, because it would have been so easy to tweak a score as blatantly boring as this. There's no theme at all, and the synth effects take precendent over the orchestra, which is there, if you listen hard enough. Too bad the musicians' time was wasted so poorly, since they could have been left entirely out of this mess.

Another thing that I don't understand is why these ridiculous remixes had to be included at the end of the CD. Even though they are played after the score, it seems like a bad error in judgement to include tracks that are even worse. They are so bad in that they almost make the preceeding tracks sound good. Maybe that was the point after all, to fool the casual listener's ears into thinking that if the final tracks are this rotten, that the rest can't be so bad. Dont be fooled.

If you're going to purchase a Media Venture action score, make it Crimson Tide or The Rock and forget about all the others. Spy Game might just be the worst original score that I've experienced this year. It drones on and on for a ludicrous length of time, and simply has no redeeming values whatsoever. It's staleness and repetition, combined with a lack of any sort of decent theme or melody is enough to drive a man crazy. Since MV has better similar scores, even if this album was decent I couldn't recommend it. There are a million other CDs being released right now for the holidays, so I can tell you to buy any of them before you get this.

Spy Game is Copyright 2001 Decca Records. CD produced by Harry Gregson-Williams. Executive producer: G. Marq Roswell. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.