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Monopoly Streets Original Videogame Theme :: Review by Chris

Monopoly Streets Original Videogame Theme Album Title: Monopoly Streets Original Videogame Theme
Record Label: Electronic Arts
Catalog No.: iTunes
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Purchase: Purchase at iTunes


Chance Thomas is regarded as one of the most talented composers in the Western game music industry today, with works ranging from film-to-game adaptations such as The Lord of the Rings and Avatar, to cutting-edge sequels in the Unreal and Quest for Glory franchises. On Monopoly Streets, the composer demonstrated his versatility once more with an extravagant jazz score to represent Electronic Arts' modern interactive take on the classic board game. The main theme for the game was released digitally and is currently the only planned release for the score.


As far as the video game themes go, Monopoly Streets features a rather memorable one. A catchy main figure recurs throughout the composition and really draws listeners into the game. The saxophone and trumpet leads bring out the full spirit of the melody throughout above a jubilant ever-changing accompaniment. The result fully captures the street of Monopoly Streets, mixing the distinctive essence of Broadway with that of Wall Street into a single composition.

Though technically a continuous composition, the "Monopoly Streets Theme" is quite a varied one. During its five minute playtime, it transitions through numerous sections incorporating a range of moods. In addition to the exciting main sections, there are interludes that capture both the serene moments and the shady underbelly of Monopoly's streets. Towards the conclusion, there are even some orchestral flourishes that ensure an impressive yet still appropriately understated, climax.

The most outstanding feature of the composition is its production values. This is no tacky synthesized smooth jazz or jazz fusion piece typical of most jazz scores in the video game industry. Instead Thomas recorded the theme in a fully-equipped studio at HUGEsound with renowned instrumentalists such as alto saxophonist Daron Bradford, tenor trombonist Bryan Hofheins, and trumpeter Reid Lesheminant. The ensemble creates a bold and immersive sound characteristic of Americana at its best. It's a compositional pastiche and a technological trendsetter all in one.


Overall, this main theme is an excellent way to take listeners through the various highlights of the game. In addition, it will satisfy as a stand-alone listen for fans of upbeat jazz. Evidently, Thomas is a master of a range of genres and it is very satisfying to experience him experimenting with jazz here. If you have a dollar to spare, it's worth taking a chance with this one.

Overall Score: 8/10