Music/Soundtrack Reviews # 1: Max Payne 3 by Health

28 Mar

-For the Uncensored!            

Now, there are many things to discuss when it comes to Max Payne, and as I made the case that Max Payne 3 is one of the greatest finales in all of video game history, not on a technical viewpoint, but on a musical scale too. What makes Health’s synth soundtrack of Max Payne 3, almost synonymous with the game is that every time I play it, there’s a sickening feeling I get. Not in a bad way. 

            Music for the last fifty years has always fell into the cliché of having to make scenes that fall flat emotionally work. We all have heard that type of orchestral background music that sometimes makes the film more important than it should be. You wouldn’t be remiss if you thought of every 80’s comedy that had to make the scene funnier than it should with the music acting as a scale to help make the shitty lines delivered funnier, or help create a mood that isn’t funny. Like, no one thinks of great the Weekend at Bernie’s score is to know that the hilarity of the film is won through the acting and the scenes the cast play. So, music, in that film is secondary, and the story is key.

            What Health understood about Max Payne is that the iconic theme song to Max Payne is integral to the video games series. If you didn’t hear Georgio Morodors classic synth music to Midnight Express (1978) or Scarface (1983), as the music to both films matters that you can’t separate the two. Health demonstrates the emotional beats of Rockstar’s game as they didn’t even translate the Spanish dialogue almost isolating you, and the synth sounds have to serve as a comfort to Max and the player. If Health fucked up the soundtrack, the fans, including myself, would notice it.

            When there is house music playing, you get that Max doesn’t like it, and it’s far less inviting, as it’s meant to hinder Max’s psyche. In the panama scene, in Chapter 12, he’s working security for Raul Passos, but as you wake up from a hangover, you have to shoot your way out of the boat. The music gives you that creepy feeling as even the narrator, Max, has to remember the past, questioning his line of thinking. 

            What Health accentuates is the tension, fear, and paranoia of being lost, alone, isolated, and what Max goes through is only accentuated through the synth wave sounds. There are moments when Max can play a piano, in the middle of the game, and he plays the theme song from the series. It’s pretty fun.

            But to me, all of the sound and synth create this dramatic effect where as I’m watching Max Payne 3 on YouTube, it brings back the danger and action that is embedded with the violence and story. It’s one of the only game soundtracks that is integral to Rockstar’s finale to a great game, but the synth sweetens the deal.

            I would also list Health’s synth achievement with Vangelis’s Blade Runner soundtrack, too.

            All of the soundtracks I listed, Health brings together, as much of the game’s story is meant to be a blur, as strobe of lights appear around Max, as if it’s to represent broken memories that are coming together. When the synth plays, it brings all of Max’s sins into the foreground, as he’s the doomed detective, and everyone he tries to protect dies, the synth heightens the sadness of Max’s journey through Sao Paulo’s rich parties, slums, and ultimately through the soundtrack, Max’s redemption.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. Also, he writes on https://louisbruno.substack.com, where you can support him directly. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.  His next series, City of Sand, will be available sometime this year.

Note from Louis: Thanks so much for reading my articles and being such a constant reader, and listening to my podcasts. I usually write two to three articles a day during the week, but one to two on the weekends. Also, if you haven’t already, please subscribe, Thank you so much. All help is appreciated. If you do subscribe, you can have access to top tier articles and reviews, and also grow my page to help keep stay corporations mad all day. 

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