There has never been a movie soundtrack more elusive than “Drive.”

For quite some time people have been asking me.. no.. telling me to listen to the Drive soundtrack.

I finally got the chance to enter the seedy world of the Drive universe, and I was both surprised and impressed

The Flow of a Sound

My favorite albums all have one element in common. They take a theme and they stick with it.

An album is not an ALBUM and a soundtrack is not a SOUNDTRACK until the sounds merge into one. That moment where you come to the realization that ten or fifteen wonderfully written tracks have transpired and you were stuck on song number one. Bands are only great when all of the elements accent the others. Much in the same way, an album works when it is a collection of thoughts from one broad idea.

DAN! Get to the point!

The Drive soundtrack works because the music is taken from a pool of differing artists yet gels sonically.

Night Call

The cohesion does not mean that there are not standout tracks on the soundtrack.

The big “hit” on the album is “Night Call”, a thrilling underground dance track that begs to be blasted by the introspective at two in the morning on a Sunday. Kavinsky is the artist who puts out the track. As a Daft Punk fan, I wonder how big of an influence the French House duo was to Kavinsky and I equally wonder how big of an influence Kavinsky played on Daft Punk’s newest effort, Random Access Memories.

Miami in the 80’s

Like “Night Call”, the rest of the soundtrack comes together with that same strung-out dance vibe.

I was pleasantly surprised as I ventured into this album, totally deaf to what I was about to hear. Expecting a thunderous rock epic — the movie is called “Drive” after all — I was initially turned off to what I was hearing. That emotion lasted about five seconds.

I have not seen the Drive movie (obviously, I had no idea what to expect from the music), but I think I know exactly what types of events occur in the picture having heard the soundtrack. Producers take note; this is what you WANT to happen when commissioning licensed tracks for a film.

Pounding House drums, lead synths, and tremolo guitars lead the day in an effort that would make any Miami Vice fan proud.

Vocals are either smooth and whispery or harsh and electronic. Vocoders are used to full effect. It’s wonderful.

Cliff Martinez

Cliff Martinez provides much of the film’s score, and his work is very ambient (read: good for backing dialogue).

Somehow, his tunes manage to complement the atmosphere delivered by the licensed tracks that front-load the soundtrack in a way that is as eerie as the multi-layered, sweeping synth parts. I want to be a part of the angelic yet industrial world he creates.

Hotline Miami Soundtrack

If you like this kind of music and are on this site from some of our game related content, I would recommend checking out the soundtrack to Hotline Miami, an indie computer title with much the same style.

The music in particular is very close to the work in the Drive soundtrack and the game’s themes practically drown in 80’s counter-culture and violence.

Overall thoughts on the Drive soundtrack

The Drive soundtrack accomplishes what any great movie soundtrack should. It inspires me to check out the movie from which it is based and provides a listenable experience from a desk, car, or office space.

The licensed track “Under your Spell” is fitting as I was completely entranced by the techno waves and pulsating beat that accompanied one of the better movie soundtracks I have heard in quite a while. Check it out!

Drive Soundtrack Track Listing:

  1. Night Call (Kavinsky)
  2. Tick of the Clock (Chromatics)
  3. Rubber Head (Cliff Martinez)
  4. I Drive (Cliff Martinez)
  5. He Had a Good Time (Cliff Martinez)
  6. They Broke His Pelvis (Cliff Martinez)
  7. Kick Your Teeth (Cliff Martinez)
  8. Where s The Deluxe Version? (Cliff Martinez)
  9. See You in Four (Cliff Martinez)
  10. After The Chase (Cliff Martinez)
  11. Hammer (Cliff Martinez)
  12. Wrong Floor (Cliff Martinez)
  13. Skull Crushing (Cliff Martinez)
  14. My Name on a Car (Cliff Martinez)
  15. On The Beach (Cliff Martinez)
  16. Oh My Love (Riziero Ortolani & Rina Ranieri)
  17. Under Your Spell (Desire)
  18. A Real Hero (College feat. Electric Youth)
  19. Bride of Deluxe (Cliff Martinez)

Have some good grooves to recommend? Inquire below.