Hey, Rockers.As promised, here's part two of our Grand theft Auto IV Soundtrack review! Today we'll be listening in on Vladivostok FM.
After playing GTA IV for a month (and doing so intentionally slowly) I am at 50% completion and one thing that has never changed on the in-game stat list is my favorite radio station, Vladivostok FM. From the moment I put in the game I became infatuated with the sounds of Russian and Eastern European pop music. There is just something weird and cool about hearing Russian gangsta rap and Eastern European pop princesses belting out anthems in their native tongue.
Well the brilliant folks at Rockstar Games have made it very easy for Vladivostok fans to download the entire soundtrack album for the station with their Amazon.com partnership, which has yielded one of the deepest video game soundtrack experiences to date. The Vladivostok FM album is the complete 15 song play list from the in game radio station, along with a non-game bonus track (at least I don’t recall ever hearing it in game). Seriously, comrade! 16 songs for only nine bucks is one of the best download deals you are going to find this side of Red Square! (Ok, no more channeling cousin Roman).
If you are among the GTA IV gamers who are turning off the in-game radio or skip over this channel, Vladivostok’s songs range from hardcore Russian rhymes to mainstream music styles with nods to femme fatale voiced numbers that spawn genres unto themselves. Among the stand out songs from this later group are “Schweine,” the fun marching beat number with pig noises in the chorus from Russian singer Glukoza. Hearing this one outside the game is surreal, funny and is an instant sing along (even if you don’t know the words).
“Wild Dances” by the Ukraine’s Ruslana is far and away the best song on the album. This song won the Eurovision song contest in 2004 for the Ukraine and if you didn’t realize it, the singer is Vladivostok’s DJ voice as well. This Eastern European hottie’s style can be described as ethnic rock or folk pop if you like but either way I challenge you to not get into the infectious groove of this upbeat number when you listen to it apart from the game. You are in for a treat when you YouTube her performance of it. Check it out:
The bonus song that I don’t remember ever hearing in the game is an instrumental version of Seryoga’s “Liberty City: The Invasion,” which works equally well without the Russian rapper’s voice. Other standout tracks include “Gruppa krovi” which answers the question of what if the Psychedelic Furs had formed behind the Iron Curtain. (Seriously, someone somewhere must have asked that) and “O tebe” by Ranetki, an all-girl Russian band with great guitar and synth lines. While it doesn’t have any t.A.T.u. or Gorky Park, Vladivostok FM is far and away the best thing to listen to while cruising through Liberty City and this downloadable album let’s you take the listening experience along with you outside the game.