The ambient soul of Grand Theft Auto V


As Michael I have torn down the modern hillside home where my wife’s lover is hiding. As Trevor I have planted explosives on trailers belonging to members of a rival gang, and watched the entire park blow sky-high. As Franklin I have driven an SUV through the front window of my employer’s car dealership. And each violent act of mischief has been more satisfying than the last.

But a funny thing happens when I pause the game to look at my map. Whatever hip-hop song that was playing on the radio has been replaced by a low hum. A haunting synth melody has quietly wormed its way out of Michael Mann’s most distant Miami Vice memories to hang like a cloud over this formerly gleeful anarchic playground. Then it dawns on me that by pressing the START button I have transported myself into the inner lives of these characters. And what lies beneath the murderous urges and zest for destruction is regret.

Michael wishes that he could have a healthy relationship with his kids, a desire obliterated by his homicidal past. Trevor regrets ever having befriended Michael in the first place. And Franklin imagines being born under a different sun. They are three distinct characters united by one mournful melody.


One thought on “The ambient soul of Grand Theft Auto V

  1. Pingback: Anyone else love the pause music on GTA 5? | baking and barre in LA

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