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The Game: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Howard Shore
The Game: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (14) - Disc #1

This music for a story about suspicious identities and perpetual conspiracies is splendid Twilight Zone-like cocktail music. Listeners need not even see the movie to feel Howard Shore's nightmare, but it helps to visualize...  more »


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All Artists: Howard Shore
Title: The Game: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Polygram Records
Original Release Date: 9/12/1997
Re-Release Date: 9/9/1997
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 028945855622

This music for a story about suspicious identities and perpetual conspiracies is splendid Twilight Zone-like cocktail music. Listeners need not even see the movie to feel Howard Shore's nightmare, but it helps to visualize a protagonist stuck in an environment where nothing is what it seems. Shore's somber orchestral backgrounds and tenuous piano phrases threaten to form some kind of Tin Pan Alley melody but never do. The outward mood is frosty, but intensity lurks beneath. Imagine the New Age sound in a midlife crisis. This is it! Better yet, this is bad-trip music for well-dressed urban sophisticates. Grace Slick singing "White Rabbit" for the finale reminds you of a world too busy screwing with your mind to feed your head. --Joseph Lanza

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CD Reviews

The Game O.S.T. - Howard Shore
Bram Janssen | The Netherlands | 08/30/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Most people would consider this soundtrack boring. They would call Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" the most interesting, and the apotheosis of the album. The fifty-five other minutes of music, they would consider superfluous. Uninteresting, dreary, lacklustre.
After my first hearings (a few years before "The Fellowship Of The Ring" for those who would give value to that fact), I could only agree with these people. There is little instrumental variation in this score. On the foreground, there is a plinking solo piano, sometimes more - on the background, mysterious winds, and threatening brass. Some more, but only little. Fifty-five minutes long.However, somewhere along the way something changed. I am not quite sure of how to put my finger on it. It visualised itself by me returning to the soundtrack. Not often, but regularly. I dimmed the lights, sat in a comfortable chair; sometimes I listened to it in bed before falling asleep. At times, I came into moods that matched the soundtrack, and I put it on and I enjoyed it. I enjoy this music.This composition should be played back-to-back every time you listen to it. This composition is an ocean. A grey ocean and an autumn morning. You stand on the muddy, mussel-strewn beach that stretches like a smooth precipice from horizon to horizon. The stubbled dunes at your back still sleep, blanketed under the mists that ghost out from the sea. You wear a faded bomber jack and a sou'wester on your head. There is a sun, but it is hidden behind a thick layer of grey cloud (you can see where it is, because at that spot the layer is bleached to a creamy white). A cover, stretching from one horizon to the other. The strong, moist wind blows in your face and tugs at the hair that sprouts out from under your hat. This is not a comfortable situation; it is not cheery or exuberant. The wind is wintry and moist. Nevertheless, you stay where you are and you behold. Fifty-five minutes long. You are the piano: alone, thoughtful, and small - a little out of element. The waves are the wind instruments - they bring hints of what is going to happen - yet you never come to know the whole story. You do not speak the language of the waves well enough. They undulate - stroking and slipping of the beach. They undulate, colourless waves with grey crests further out into the ashen plane. The plane itself undulates, like a blanket in the wind. Far away, a containership rises and falls. Up, and down - rise and fall. And again, slowly. And again. A meditative breathing, a presence in deep slumber. The brass are the large showers that crawl over the sea like enormous snails. They keep their distance to the shore, but as you stand there, onlooking, one slug slowly approaches. The others drift far off, clouds unloading their cargo. But that one keeps advancing. The nearer the fifty-fifth minute comes, the more threatening seems the rainstorm. It grows. Yet, you remain watching, ensorcelled. Not happy, not bemused, yet rather... fascinated. Transfixed. When the first raindrops splatter on your yellow cap with plastic thuds, and you see the hails crashing down on the waters further away on the plane, you turn around and slowly return to your car, waiting like a patient butler. You do not run - you do not rush. The first of the shower falls over you, yet you do not care. You step into your car and when the door closes with a dull thump, the charm is broken.

"White Rabbit" marks your arrival at the city or village where you live: bustling civilisation and sophistication. Edgar Allen Poe and the easy rhythm of modern-day living. It feels like an illusion now, all this culture, after your conversation with primordial nature. What do we imagine to accomplish with all these growing complexities and deeper sciences? If we seek redemption, or enlightenment - what for do we need material possession? It is all there; all we need to do is sacrifice and listen.That is the message I perceive after processing this music. Only after I wrote all of this did I remember it is the message of the movie as well. It might have been a subconscious train of thought, but I do not actually believe that. I believe it was the music.
It is Howard Shore translating what goes on on the screen into music, and me translating the music to what goes on on the screen. Even if I had never seen the film, I would have drawn the same conclusion. It is the greatest compliment a filmmusic composer can receive, and Shore deserves it. "White Rabbit" is an excellent choice as title song. Not only for the above mentioned reasoning, but also for its composition and message. It calls us to see Western technology for what it really is: a tool, and not a goal. There is another world out there, where you can discover happiness without possession and ambition. Just as Nicholas Van Orten eventually discovers, one can be very happy with what one has without striving to possess more. This score proves you do not need an 80+ orchestra to deliver a message.This one gets three for the music and an extra one for the brilliant manner it embraces the visuals on screen.

Bram Janssen, The Netherlands"
A great way to re-live an exceptional film.
Bram Janssen | 01/15/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"For those of you who loved the movie, this soundtrack is a must-have item. The music to "The Game" takes you back to the first time you saw the film, letting you again experience the sense of bonding with its central character as you are drawn together into the nightmare game. The haunting piano melodies and the rich--yet subtle--orchestral backgrounds bring you once again to the dark and shadowy textures of a film that is the New Age answer to Dickens' "A Christmas Carol." It's not the kind of music you listen to at the end of a long day at the office, but it's certainly good for contemplation over a glass of red wine on a rainy Saturday. At the very least, it's a great way to re-live an exceptional film."
Creepy pleasure
Tamás Fügedi | Hungary | 10/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have to tell you that this album is one of my favorite. When I first heard it I couldn't believe my ears, it was just a nightmare! Yeah, but I like nightmares. When you listen to it it sounds like you hear the same song but always in a slighty different view. And what a view! I haven't heard such a 'sick' music ever since and I can't understand how anybody is able to create music like this! Get it on your own responsibility!"