TOP SPOTS: SOUND

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Nike "Masks"

Albert Pujols, Brian Urlacher, Torii Hunter, Mariano Rivera, Ben Roethlisberger and Ladainian Tomlinson are athletic warriors, warming up in a dark alley to a track that is alarming, dissonant and adrenaline-inducing. The strong beat and instrumental shrieks make warmup exercises look like an ancient ritual, and combined with masks that are both ridiculous and nightmarish, it elevates the footage to something that seems more important than sports. At left, Agoraphone's Beth Urdang dispels the myth.

Music Company: Agoraphone Music Supervisors: Dawn Sutter Madell, Beth Urdang Artist: Cop Shoot Cop Song: "Migration" Agency: Wieden + Kennedy/Portland CDs: Mike Byrne, Hal Curtis CW: Mark Fitzloff AD: Storm Tharp Director: Tarsem/@radical.media Editor: Robert Duff

Mercedes (U.K.) "Space to Think"

The piano tones would fit well in a lullaby, but the fussy, manic visuals in this spot are nightmarish, and as the tune continues, the lack of resolution makes the whole spot more surreal. We see frantic, blurry shots of an office and a man trapped in boardrooms and endless hallways accompanied by a song only slightly off-kilter. However, the most interesting part of the track is the silence when the spot's frantic dreamer enters his car. Despite the soft tones heard at the beginning, the break gives a sense of relief, welcoming the tag, "Space to think."

Composer: Peter Raeburn/Wave Studios Agency: Campbell Doyle Dye Creatives: Tom Ewart, Dave Sullivan Director: Frank Budgen/Gorgeous Enterprises DP: Alwin Kuchler Editor: Paul Watts/The Quarry Postproduction: Glassworks

NYC 2012 "Bugler's Dream"

The City of New York sings for its supper, because the Big Apple eats people alive, and athletes are so tasty. The committee looking to bring the Olympics to the five boroughs takes the natural sounds heard on the streets and replaces the well-known Olympic fanfare with church bells, ballpark organs, taxi horns and street buskers. In a dual-coast composing job, Sherman Foote and Scott Salianas arranged the track and mixer Steve Rosen united the sounds to make a seamless song.

Composers: Sherman Foote/Big Foote, Scott Salianas/Machine Head Mixer: Steve Rosen/HSR Agency: Young & Rubicam/N.Y. ECD: Michael Patti CWs: Tommy Henvey, Dave McMillan ADs: Chien Hwang, Johnny Tan Agency Music Producer: Paul Greco Director: Joe Pytka/Pytka Editor: Sherri Margulies/Crew Cuts Postproduction: Nice Shoes

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