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Gran Turismo 2 Music at the Speed of Sound :: Review by Dave

Gran Turismo 2 Music at the Speed of Sound Album Title: Gran Turismo 2 Music at the Speed of Sound
Record Label: Red Interactive
Catalog No.: W2K-12390
Release Date: May 16, 2000
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Much like The Sound of Gran Turismo, Gran Turismo 2 Music at the Speed of Sound features a selection of tracks by popular artists from the Gran Turismo 2 racing game. The original music for this game is featured separately on the Gran Turismo 2 Original Game Soundtrack, as also was the case with the original Gran Turismo game. This album features music from a wide range of prominent artists, but unfortunately it does not feature some well-known tracks found in-game, such as "Where It's At" by Beck or "Sex Type Thing" by Stone Temple Pilots. You will be happy to know though, that the majority of the tracks on this album are worth listening to.


The first track on the album is "Cold Rock the Mic" by Apollo 440, who also feature in Gran Turismo 4 and numerous other video games, such as FIFA 2000 and the EyeToy games. Strangely, it's also the weakest track of the dozen tunes we're hit with; the lyrics are dull, the song doesn't seem to lead anywhere, nor is the instrumentation particularly interesting or original. What surprised me most is that "My Favourite Game" by The Cardigans didn't start the album off, as after all, for the American version of the game, this acts as the main theme. Not only this, but The Cardigans even named their 1998 studio album Gran Turismo in homage to the original game! It seems only fair that they should get first pickings on the album (unless coming in second on the album is supposed to be some sort of bittersweet irony due to track's title). In regard to the track itself, it is fairly infamous, though it surprisingly never reached the top ten in the UK singles chart.

The next track on the album, "Now is the Time (New Millennium Mix)" by The Crystal Method, is an electronic track which is perfect for driving to: it is ominous, aggressive, and successfully creates a racing mentality. This is amongst the more creative additions to the album and acts as a great ambassador for the electronica genre with its intriguing development and outstanding use of synth. In terms of stylistic variety, this track is also one of its kind here too, certainly helping it stand out. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment is that, although it is original, it doesn't sound at all out of place within this selection of themes. Other themes almost mimic the atmosphere created, too. The next track, for example, Hole's "Use Once and Destroy" takes upon the same grungy, darker mood created by Ken Jordan and Scott Kirkland. The song is slow-paced, and dominantly features a basic guitar line and uneventful vocal line, which add up to give the effect of a dragged out, depressing aggressive rock theme. Later in the album, we are also given "Push Eject," by the Boom Boom Satellites, which successfully combines both The Crystal Method and Hole's styles in an electronic/rock blend to once more produce a similar atmosphere.

Some other notable tracks on the album are "Body Rock (B&H's Bodyrob Mix)" from Moby, which later featured in FIFA 2001 but barely reached 38th in the UK singles chart. There is also "I Think I'm Paranoid" by Garbage — more successful than Moby's track, in that it reached number nine in the UK chart and gained a place within the revolutionary Rock Band music game. More worthy of discussion though, from an automotive point of view, are "Dragula (Hot Rod Herman Mix)" by Rob Zombie and "Cars" by Fear Factory. "Dragula...", named after the "DRAG-U-LA" car from the Munsters sitcom is a heavy metal track which reveals a more hardcore side to racing — with angry lyrics and bass, it's relentless, demanding, and solid. Slightly less hardcore, Fear Factory's rendition of Gary Numan's "Cars" is a fun track which most people will know. The lyrics don't make much sense, but the upbeat backing guitar and drum make the track enjoyable and a nice addition to have whilst driving around the courses within the game.


Overall, this album is a good listen — there is some great stylistic variety and several big names, but bear in mind that it's just another compilation of themes which can be heard absolutely anywhere. Just like The Sound of Gran Turismo, I would only suggest buying this album if you intend to listen to these tracks whilst actually driving outside of the Gran Turismo world. Just make sure you stick to the speed limits, and don't attempt to pause mid-way to go for a toilet break. Otherwise, I'm sure that this album would act as a decent counterpart over those long journeys.

Overall score: 7/10