Myst: the classic point and click puzzle-solving adventure that essentially defined the genre. The game has been re-released and re-made a number of times, and it deserves all the attention it can get. If you've never played Myst, shame on you.
Originally, Myst was going to be a game without music: just sound effects. But then one day, Robyn Miller was screwing around and composed one song (many assume it to be the Myst Theme); that got him on a roll, and this 26-track soundtrack was the result.
I've owned this soundtrack for many years, sold it, and then re-purchased it, recognizing my mistake in selling it. Within this soundtrack are the memories to one of the best games ever made for PC. Yet, while most of the music is either live instruments or just really incredible keyboard synth, the compositions are the definition of ambience. There is silence between almost every single note. Almost every song is slow, dreary, or atmospheric. This is the nature of the Myst soundtrack, and in-game, the result is perfect.
Outside of the game, this soundtrack is good for sleeping, napping, resting, and otherwise relaxing. Even some of the harsher tracks (like those from the mechanical age) are soft enough to lull you to sleep.
Some songs are more "musical" than others; the Myst Theme, Mechanical Mystgate, and others include some lovely melodies and plenty of pizzicato strings. Other songs (such as Selenitic Mystgate) will have nothing more than some reverberated percussion sounds and a note here or there: nothing that could be defined as a solid melody. These songs are the truly ambient ones, as they barely even count as "music" proper; they are almost a soft noise.
The bonus tracks are intensely musical: it is clear that these got cut from the game because they are too loud and overbearing: they would dominate the gameplay. This is especially the case with "Early Selenitic Mystgate", a song that I would expect to hear during the FMV sequence of some PS1 RPG.
This soundtrack was originally released as "Myst Soundtrack" directly by Cyan in 1995, but Virgin reprinted it in 1998 as "Myst The Soundtrack" around the same time that the Riven soundtrack was released. The Virgin reprint is still easy to find (Amazon has plenty of used copies in stock). Go re-live the memories and pick up this album!
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann