Saturday, October 1, 2016

Soundtrack Feature: Stranger Things

Stranger Things is an embodiment of 80s nostalgia, with incredible acting, directing and presentation, told through a 2016 filmmaking style. It's been universally praised, for good reason: It's really good. The soundtrack, based on 80s synth, is critically acclaimed. It's a fantastic score showcasing a wide sense of emotions, ranging from joyful times to deep horror. Having the music evoke feelings of nostalgia is not uncommon.

The soundtrack to the first season of Stranger Things was released in two volumes. You can purchase them digitally from iTunes (Volume 1, Volume 2), or pre-order them physically from Amazon (V1, V2). You can also listen for free on Spotify (V1, V2) and YouTube (V1, V2). The second volume features a 5-minute extended edition of the show's critically-acclaimed main theme.

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My full Soundtrack of the Month series has gone on hiatus and for the time being has been replaced by much smaller soundtrack features, which I am simply calling Soundtrack Features. Yes, it's quite original.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Soundtrack Feature: Ant-Man

Some would say that the Ant-Man soundtrack isn't nearly as epic or grand as the music for other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I think it really does stand out as something special. The main theme of Ant-Man certainly sounds the most like a comicbook-esque superhero theme, and it works wonderfully with the film and its themes. Additionally, the soundtrack was scored by legendary composer Christophe Beck, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. A very enjoyable listen.

You can find the soundtrack on iTunes and Amazon, and you can listen to it for free on Spotify and YouTube.

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My full Soundtrack of the Month series has gone on hiatus and for the time being has been replaced by much smaller soundtrack features, which I am simply calling Soundtrack Features. Yes, it's quite original.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Soundtrack Feature: Overwatch

My most recent addiction is surprisingly not a television series, but an online multiplayer video game called Overwatch. The game itself has no story mode to play through—only online matches—but the developer Blizzard has released a multitude of story and lore for the game through the means of comics, animated shorts, and other methods.

Overwatch contains many memorable melodies, including a grand main theme and various level themes inspired by different parts of the world, scored by a fantastic team of composers. While the soundtrack sadly doesn't feature the scores of the incredible animated shorts, it does include the score to the original cinematic announcement trailer.

You can check out the soundtrack on iTunes, and you can also find it by searching on YouTube. This one's not on Spotify. Sorry about that.

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My full Soundtrack of the Month series has gone on hiatus and for the time being has been replaced by much smaller soundtrack features which I am calling... Soundtrack Features. Yes, I know it's original.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Soundtrack of the Month: July 2016

To close up year two of the Soundtrack of the Month series, I decided to feature something very near and dear to me, a game called Bastion. Settling on an apt description for the genre of the game's setting is, in itself, quite difficult. Perhaps, a post-apocalyptic steampunk fantasy story which takes place on a nation consisting of floating islands. The music is masterfully written and composed by Darren Korb, who also serves as the singing voice for the character Zulf.

The album, like the game itself, is a superb mix of genres, described by Korb as "acoustic frontier trip-hop." It's incredibly unique, and matches perfectly with the bizarrely unique world of Bastion itself. The album opens up with the game's narrator and deuteragonist, Rucks (voiced by Logan Cunningham), giving an introduction, after which the listener is treated to the music of the game.

There are three sung songs in the game, and four on the album. All of them are sung by characters in the game. "Build That Wall" is Zia's theme (sung by Ashley Barrett), and "Mother, I'm Here" is Zulf's theme (sung by Korb). "Setting Sail, Coming Home" is the ending theme, which is an amazing duet hybrid of Zia and Zulf's themes. The final, album-exclusive song is "The Pantheon", sung by Logan Cunningham as Rucks.

Featured Tracks

Track 2: A Proper Story – A proper story's supposed to start at the beginning. Ain't so simple with this one.

Track 12: Build That Wall (Zia's Theme) – When Zia's world literally crumbles to dust around her, her only solace is to sit and play music, and pray that one day help will arrive.

Track 16: The Mancer's Dilemma – A number of the songs can sound quite haunting, highlighting a feeling of tragedy and fleeting hope during gameplay.

Purchase Bastion (Original Soundtrack) on Bandcamp, iTunes, or Amazon MP3.
You can also purchase a physical CD on the Supergiant Games Store.
Or listen to it for free on Spotify or YouTube.

Bonus: In celebration of the conclusion of this series' second year, I put together another playlist of various great soundtrack pieces. Some of them are from soundtracks I've featured; many are not. You can check out the playlist here, and last year's playlist here.

Thursday, June 30, 2016


Here's an obscure teaser for tomorrow's Soundtrack of the Month.

Hint: It's not Overwatch.

As you can tell, I put a lot of effort into this tease, and I definitely didn't think up something to post at 10:30 the night before. Toodles!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Soundtrack of the Month: June 2016

Infinite was composed as the soundtrack to a science fiction exploration-survival video game called Grimm Odds. The game was far in development, but publishing plans fell through last-minute and the game was unfortunately cancelled. Only the soundtrack, composed by Mike Raznick, remains.

The album has a wide range of sounds, from ambient to cinematic. At times it reminds me of another soundtrack Raznick composed, that of Spate, a very dark and atmospheric game. Infinite has much lighter themes, but still contains the same kind of ambiance from time to time.

Featured Tracks

Track 2: Despair Theme – This is the song that most reminds me of the Spate soundtrack. That melancholic cello—so good!

Track 9: Climbing the Peak – The soundtrack was supposed to invoke a sense of awe as the player explored a strange and beautiful alien world. I feel the music accomplished this feeling even without the game to accompany it.

Track 20: Liftoff – This incredible theme was likely to be used for the end of the game, as the player finds a way to leave the alien planet.

Purchase Infinite (Original Soundtrack), or listen to it for free, on Bandcamp.