One of early 2006's most intriguing efforts comes via the ever-growing genre of video game soundtracks. BLACK released for Xbox and PS2 (sadly not for Xbox 360), features the captivating music of composer Chris Tilton.
Tilton, a long-time collaborator with Michael Giacchino, has been a part of recognizable projects such as: THE INCREDIBLES, ALIAS, MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III, THE FAMILY STONE, and CALL OF DUTY. In fact, the two collaborated on the main theme for this new FPS (first person shooter).
As action-packed as BLACK is, there's more than just track after track of ear-pounding, heart-thumping, bombast. In fact, there is very little of such music represented on the soundtrack release. In much the way the original CALL OF DUTY did with its reserved score, to my surprise, BLACK features a pensive main theme and brooding, thoughtful pieces more than mindless action-music. The music remains forceful without being in-your-face...or rather THROUGH-your-face.
Perusing through track after track, I can't help but some heavy influence from some of Hollywood's most successful composers: John Williams (but of course). Jerry Goldsmith (Yes...we all miss him.) and even a bit of Don Davis (of Matrix fame). If one is going to be "influenced," this is not too shabby of a lot. Despite such reminders, Tilton, along with the skillful Hollywood Studio Orchestra, give BLACK its own distinct personality.
Of the soundtracks I have been released in early 2006, BLACK is the most well-rounded and flat out entertaining. BLACK is simply what I listen to soundtracks for: memorable themes and music that is a story unto itself.