Thursday, 10 October 2013

Crowning Music of Awesome: Snake Eater by Cynthia Harrell and Norihiko Hibino

I am not a James Bond fan. I can appreciate what it has done for modern cinema by introducing the big budgeted macho films for the average person. I can also appreciate that the character James Bond was based on a Canadian superspy from World War II (check Wikipedia for WilliamStephenson). However I can’t bring myself to watch the shows. Perhaps one day I’ll give the series a watch, but until then I can appreciate one of the other things the James Bond films have brought and that is the song. What song you ask? The title track to Metal gear Solid 3 Snake Eater.

Now I know that Snake Eater has no place in the James Bond franchise, but taking one listen to the title song, you can’t help but imagine a team up between 007 and Snake. While Bond is bedding the attractive female scientist or diplomat to get information, Snake is sneaking through an enemy compound and killing guards in the most brutal possible way to stop a giant tank of global destruction.

Vocalist Cynthia Harrell does a damn fine job with the song. However, her singing alone is not what sells the song. The other half of the Snake Eater team would be Norihiko Hibino monumental instrumental work. Between the two of them, they crafted one of the best songs in the franchise.

So why do I consider this a Crowning Music of Awesome? For all intents and purposes the Metal Gear series has been a dramatic affair. Even the more light-hearted games have dark moments which cannot be ignored. For Snake Eater, it is both the title song and the song for the ladder sequence (you know the one) that probably sticks out the most for people. This part of the game is called a Quiet Drama Scene. For the first time in the game, you are not being shot at or trying to sneak through enemy territory. Instead you are climbing this ladder.

Climbing the ladder for some was more of an annoyance same with me. However as I became older, I can see why this scene is here. Instead of scaling a mountain and having to avoid sentries, you are given this option to climb this ladder. For the character, I also think that this gives him a chance to reflect on his actions so far in the game, before the second half starts. Again these are just theories of mine.

Snake Eater is one of those songs that stick with you. You can’t really hate it as it is a wonderful pastiche of Bond songs, and it provides a welcomed rest during the action packed scenes of the game.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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