Tough break, Coldplay, Madonna, and Kid Sister. You picked the wrong day to try to release new material, as the world as we know it has shut down completely over the release of Grand Theft Auto IV. While I personally cannot be separated from my copy of Mario Kart Wii, if you’re the type who enjoys (digital) murder for sport today is like Christmas and that time when Sonny Corleone got shot at the toll booth all wrapped up in one. The even better news: The music you’ll hear while you’re busy banging hookers and executing cops is really good.
Rockstar Games has always included excellent soundtracks for the series, so GTA‘s in-game radio stations’ extensive playlists are probably no surprise. This time, however, the developers have made purchasing the music you’re listening to a little easier.
Calling ZIT-555-0100 on your in-game cellphone tags whichever of the 200 included songs is currently playing on one of the game’s 16 radio stations, so that later, when you log in to Rockstar’s new social network, you’ll be able to preview, buy and download them in the 256 Kbps DRM-free MP3 format for 99 cents each or less.
The tracks are exclusively sold through Amazon’s MP3 service, which seems to be another way for the majors to try to stick it to iTunes. Either way, the tracklists are stunningly perfect (as opposed the the Pitchfork curated MLB2K8 soundtrack, which I turned off after day three), with a international funk station DJ’d by Femi Kuti, an R&B collection featuring both Lloyd’s “Get It Shawty” and Ginuwine’s “Pony,” and a portion of Koyaanisqatsi. What more could you ask for? What seems to be the game’s complete list of tracks can be seen at Amazon, or you can wait for the inevitable compilation torrents to appear in a few days. Your choice.