The Saboteur Original Videogame Theme

Saboteur Original Videogame Theme, The. Лицевая сторона . Click to zoom.
Saboteur Original Videogame Theme, The
Лицевая сторона
Composed by Christopher Young
Published by E.A.R.S.
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 Digital - 3 tracks
Release date December 22, 2009
Duration 00:06:46
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It's easy to see why The Saboteur, EA Games' WWII sandbox shooter set in Nazi-occupied Paris, received a score release, despite a soundtrack that mostly consisted of period songs. Continuing the tradition of drafting a big name composer solely to create a game's main theme, film music composer Christopher Young was hired to write the original music for The Saboteur. Due to Young's work on soundtracks for the likes of Spiderman 3 and because of his standing as the foremost creator of intellectually and emotionally satisfying horror movie scores, anticipation predictably ran high when his involvement with The Saboteur was announced. However, what listeners got in the end has to be one of the briefest mainstream game score releases ever: clocking in at under seven minutes, it's safe to say that the soundtrack release for The Saboteur mainly saw the light of day because it came from the pen of one of film music's big guns. Is this soundtrack release then only an attempt to cash in on Young's good name, or does it deliver some substantial music during its brief running time?


Young achieves his proclaimed aim to create music for The Saboteur that's "mysterious and dark but filled with a subtle feeling of hope" quite well in the soundtrack's opening piece, "The Saboteur Theme". It's a slow, sultry jazz composition, with the theme — a seven-note motif — presented as a melancholy clarinet solo. Lush strings enter the fray soon enough, and the track's more lively finish is beautifully atmospheric, as the clarinet gets to duet a bit with the saxophone. While the theme's use is repetitive and hardly original — it is repeated six times, twice with a short coda — the track paints a fitting, if somewhat clichéd, image of Paris in the early 1940s.

"The Saboteur Theme (Action Mix)" starts out as a faster-paced jazz piece for drums and plucked double bass, before segueing into a generic passage for full orchestra, featuring all the hallmarks of modern, anaemic Hollywood action score writing: violin ostinati, throbbing deep string rhythms, and a heroic melody in the brass. That melody turns out to be the once wistful main theme, and its masculine application on this action track highlights the motif's surprising malleability. Unfortunately, the theme's surrounded by uninteresting musical material, and things deteriorate further when the piece jarringly switches twice between sections for orchestra and jazz band. The theme makes another appearance towards the track's end, played by the violins against more string ostino rhythms and a three note figure in the brass, but by then, the theme's wearing a bit thin and is overwhelmed by the loud, monotonous orchestral material.

"The Saboteur Theme (Piano Version)" continues the descent into mediocrity by taking "The Saboteur Theme", replacing the clarinet with a piano, and calling it a day. Don't expect any elaborate reworking of the theme for two hands — instead, the piano simply replays the theme one single note at a time.


There's not much to recommend on this soundtrack release: its short running time would be forgivable if it delivered the goods (and was priced accordingly). But apart from a versatile main theme and one 96 seconds long jazz track that is pleasant, but hardly outstanding, listeners will be hard pressed to find anything worthwhile here. "The Saboteur Theme (Action Mix)" doesn't justify its longer running time due to its uninspired action material and puzzling shifts of mood and genre, and "The Saboteur Theme (Piano Version)" can only be described as "lazy". The Saboteur is available on iTunes for US$2.97, which is quite a bit for not even seven minutes of music, and for the same price, you could get Jeremy Soule's vastly superior soundtrack for zOMG! Considering Young's compositional skills, his work on this soundtrack is seriously disappointing.


Music in game


Simon Elchlepp

Album was composed by Christopher Young and was released on December 22, 2009. Soundtrack consists of 3 tracks tracks with duration over about 10 minutes. Album was released by E.A.R.S..

CD 1

The Saboteur Theme
The Saboteur Theme (Action Mix)
The Saboteur Theme (Piano Version)
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