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Hitman: Contracts

Jesper Kyd

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Customer Reviews

Kyd is one to watch

When it comes to video game music, there are really two auteurs: Nobuo Uematsu (of Final Fantasy fame) and Jesper Kyd. It is telling, though, that with the recently released fourth Hitman game, "Blood Money," the game's producers have used Kyd's name extensively when selling the new title. Such is the power of this man's video game scores that sheer word of mouth has made him a sudden and surprising boon to any game with which he is involved. Hitman 2's soundtrack was overall triumphant and epic in tone, but with a vengeful twist, however it was dotted with several unremarkable tracks. With Hitman 3, Kyd begins to really express and interpret a character, namely the barely contained sociopathy of Agent 47. Many have noted the heavier use of electronics, but what draws me to Contracts is the tone, quiet, measured and occassionally violent. Kyd once said that when scoring an action scene for a film, one usually goes for a loud, bombastic sound. But with a video game, where such a scene might go on for twenty minutes, you'd go mad listening to a film score interpretation. Thus he moved away from the cinematic approach that most games go for and made music that is interesting to listen to in its own right. I highly, highly recommend getting this album, pure and simple. It's not pleasent, but it's extremely engaging and thought provoking.

Incredible score for a game, but too much of a mixed bag...

Unlike Kyd's score for Hitman 2 (which was largly influenced by IOI), Kyd was given much more composing freedom (which he chose to portray the dark underlinings of 47's psyche and the seriousness of his flashbacks). Kyd uses more electronic sounds than his previous ventures and an almost haunting shrill whine throughout most of the tracks (especially in the title theme, which sounds like the aftermath of a series of gunshots when the ear is still ringing harshly). And while the score is certainly more "hip" than previous albums, it is too much of a mixed bag of sounds. The careful, echoing ambience of "Winter Night" collides too harshly with the industrial, electronic beats of "SWAT Team" and especially the haunting, but somewhat overblown sounds of "Sanitarium". In all, I had to knock Kyd a point for the annoying repetition of melodies in tracks like "Slaughterhouse" (which, at times, sounds like a bad, low-budget horror movie before becoming a modern, almost bold action soundtrack). This weird clash of sounds brought down the overall score for this album. However, his score for the new Hitman title, "Blood Money", seems to have fine-tuned his style and should prove to be an exciting listen.


Hitman Contracts was a mediocre game compared to it's predecessor, but the audio was a jewel. Jesper Kyd, a brilliant disc jockey, completed the environment of these sadomasochist settings brilliantly with his eerie music. Listening to this will remind players of their memories of this game: first seeing the mad butcher malcolm, or having a body found that blew one's cover, or the soothing music of the budapest bath hotel. It's all eerie yet these are surprisingly soothing tunes.

Hitman: Contracts, Jesper Kyd
View In iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Soundtrack, Music
  • Released: May 25, 2004

Customer Ratings