Jesper Kyd has performed some excellence in his game soundtracks with some very stirring performances and renditions. “Hitman: Contracts” see’s him return to a series he composed successfully to before however the same cannot be said for this soundtrack.
“White Room & Main Title” open up with electronica beats reminiscent of MGS1 for the PlayStation and James Bond styled underscoring synth strings. Vocal snippets add to the tension in what is an excellently styled piece to open the soundtrack.
“Swat Team” is a strange blend of electronic beats, melodic synths and all kinds of dance fusion tricks of the genre. It works well when all spliced together but lacks punch somehow. “Hong Kong Underground” is an interesting piece in that the same few samples are repeated over and layered on top of each other. The problem being is that it becomes a tad too repetitive and never really breaks out into the potential epic you could envisage.
“Slaughter Club” then gives us a 9 minute low-fi track that slowly but surely envelopes into a dramatic pacey conclusion but you do really have to sit and wait out for it. A few minutes shaved off would have improved the track greatly. “Streets of Hong Kong” could follow the same advise as it seems to get lost in what its trying to become – an ambience piece or a bizarre electronic display. At least the latter track of the two has some kind of melody though.
Once “Double Ballers” arrives you are given the hurry up with a dramatic number which works well but uses the same low key discorded stringed keyboard sound that is used on every single dramatic piece. By now it sounds a bit weary. As a standalone track this track fares better but mixed with the rest of the soundtracks its a bit lost.
“Winter Nights” however is an interesting track of ambience and evasion which is a pleasant surprise with “Weapon Select Beats” sounding almost like a neon Silent Hill piece. “47 Detected” continues ambience and evasion with a quiet but electric sound which is a good piece which “Invader” really gets into with an excellent noiz based piece which is both gritty and dirty.
“Slaughterhouse” is a juxtaposition of distorted percussive noises and thin bass swirls but with no real destination falls flat for being six minutes long, while “Sanitarium” mashes soft ambience with hard hitting boings and dongs which makes for interesting if not entirely successful listening. “Budapest Bath Hotel” finishes off the album with more of the same. The final two tracks enjoyment depends entirely on my mood so I can take them or leave them up at least they try something different.
More of the same can sum up the “Hitman Contracts” soundtrack. It’s repetitive, too low-fi with no kick, gimmick or slice of atmosphere to make sure the route it has taken can lead it all the way to ear-candy. Instead its more of a dull ache in the background that you wish was over so you can return the the grandure of the previous effort. As it is, its far from an awful soundtrack but it just pales in comparison to Hitman 2’s soundtrack and many others in a similar vein. Not Jesper’s finest hour in my opinion.