Fallout 4’s Soundtrack – Culturing today’s youth, one Wanderer at a time

Fallout 4's soundtrack is filled with catchy swing and blues from 1930-1960. Could it change our way of looking at music?

It’s no doubt that Fallout 4 is one of the biggest game releases of the year. In fact, with sales at launch rocketing over $750 million, I think it may end up being one of the biggest game releases of all time. When some form of entertainment (be it a movie, video game, or otherwise) grabs this much attention, it can have a huge impact on our society as a whole. 

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Society and culture, humans in general, are extremely susceptible to change, especially in this day and age. Fallout 4 could actually affect our way of life, but how? Will world leaders build bomb shelters and launch nukes so that they can play in the irradiated wasteland? Probably not. It’s the small things that players barely notice that get stamped into their brains by their subconscious. Things like the music…

Apart from the scored theme tracks, all of the tunes in Fallout 4 are genuine. “The Wanderer” in the trailer above, for example, is a blues classic released in 1961 by Dion. A super catchy riff and lyrics that tell a story can make the song instantly melt into one’s brain for a week, after hearing it for just two minutes. Perhaps this is why it landed a spot on Rolling Stone‘s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

You may not notice outright while you’re traveling the Commonwealth, but Fallout 4 crams awesome classic tunes down your throat at every turn. Nearly every Raider encampment has at least one radio set up, rocking some tunes, almost every settlement has one pre-installed, and you can tune to the radio on your Pip-Boy! 

Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes” is the oldest song to hit the soundtrack with an original copyright set in 1934.

With songs like this, players can’t help but notice the beauty of swing and blues. They perfectly accentuate the style of the game, and what’s more, they get stuck in players’ heads. With such catchy tunes, the fans might change their look on music as a whole.

It’s arguable that music is currently in a rut. Pop and country genres are more popular than they have ever been, and continue to spam out nearly indistinguishable sounds each and every day. The world of music needs a restart and to head back into one of the most popular genres of all time: swing. 

There are scientific theories that this century will (loosely) repeat the last in terms of fashion and entertainment. It’s nearly 2016, and the mass populous has been stuck on pop/country for 17 years. It’s time for a change, and Fallout 4‘s catchy, driving soundtrack could be the start of it all. Music needs to be more than synthesizers and twangy guitars. 

In addition to the great sounds of the added musical tracks, the original soundtrack by composer Inon Zur is totally enthralling with a unique blend of classical and new age instruments. With the piano taking the prominent role in the score, the sound is light, yet bold. 

All-in-all, Fallout 4 scores a massive check-mark in my book under “Is the soundtrack epic?” It’s incredibly enrapturing and definitely one of Bethesda’s best yet. The classical, blues and swing should rub off on fans as they travel through the wasteland, while the original score keeps players on the track to loving big band, soundtrack tunes. Do I think that the world will popularize swing music by 2020? Absolutely not, but with revitalizations like the sound of this game, I’m happy that humanity still remembers what music is.


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