This soundtrack, produced by the "Namco Software Sound Team", is a collection of the smooth tunes heard in R4. If you're a fan of dance tracks or drum'n'bass, and felt that half the experience of playing R4 was groovin' to those awesome tunes while tearin' up the track, then you'll absolutely love this soundtrack. The entire CD (with the exception of the "Epilogue" and a few other tracks) pulses with exciting rhythms and an impressive variety of dance beats.
As the title indicates, this soundtrack offers a "direct audio" version of the game tuneage, delivering nothing but the exact same music heard in the game. However, the CD holds its own as a solid collection of tunes that offers a wonderful variety of pounding percussive beats and a sense of musical style. "Lucid Rhythms" is a great example of the smooth mixture between drum'n'bass and a musical style bordering on fusion/acid jazz. The main theme of the soundtrack is "Ridge Racer -One More Win-", with a terrific vocal track recorded by Kimara Lovelace. For me, this was the track that got me craving more of the music from the game. As indicated by the liner notes (and can also clearly be heard), many of the other cuts on the CD borrow samples from this particular track, making it a central musical theme in the soundtrack. This produces a nice sense of musical continuity and coherence that helps to tie the whole CD together.
Other tracks, such as "Revlimit Funk", help to round out the listening experience by adding a good dose of traditional rock. "Epilogue" is another track that provides a musical departure with a dreamy and peaceful arrangement. These provide an aural compliment to the otherwise fast and furious pace.
Lastly, the final track of the CD is a wonderful gem, a completely new track not heard in the game. Since Namco is responsible for the revolutionary PacMan arcade game that made an indelible mark on the gaming industry, the sound team has paid tribute to the legendary big-mouthed ball. "Eat'em Up!!!" is a techno remix of newer musical themes and some classic sound samples from the "Pac Man" arcade game. Overall, Namco's sound team should be applauded for their awesome soundtrack to the latest in their racing series.