CHVRCHES – Death Stranding

“It’s a weird one, this.”

Tim: So, Death Stranding is a game coming out for PS4 in a month or so, and despite it having been announced over three years ago and having released multiple trailers, no-one really knows much about it. One thing that was made apparent a few days ago, though, is that CHVRCHES have done a song for the soundtrack. This one, to be precise.

Tom: Ah, soundtracks, the perfect place to throw that track that wasn’t quite good enough for the latest album.

Tim: It’s a weird one, this. Admittedly, the number of great video game songs can probably be counted one the fingers of one hand, so this was always going to be a tricky one, but it doesn’t really make much even so. Take the lyrics: the relationship’s falling apart, but hey, let’s have something of it while it still exists. What’s that got to do with anything in a game which, if the trailers are anything to go by, looks to be a first person RPG et it a world after some big weird event has happened?

Tom: I mean, you could ask that of most soundtrack songs: frequently it is just a marketing tie-in.

Tim: Musically it’s, well, it’s alright, though it doesn’t seem all that well put together: it’s the words again, or rather the vocals. Everything underneath it, see, is lovely – as music on its own, it would in fact make a great instrumental soundtrack, easily able to hold its own amongst some of the best. But with the vocals layered on top, almost at times seeming like an afterthought, it just leaves me feeling a bit cold. And that really frustrates me.

Tom: Huh: when we disagree on a track, it’s usually the other way round, and I’m normally the one being left cold. But this time, no: the opening verse grabbed my attention, and it kept going throughout the… huh. Five minutes. This is a five-minute track, and I wasn’t bored during it. Even with the lengthy instrumental in the middle.

If I haad to nitpick, then I’d say I’m not sure about those hard-gated cymbals, but that is just CHVRCHES’ style. I even hoped for a Big Final Chorus, and got one. This works for me. I guess I shouldn’t be so cynical about soundtracks.

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