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My full Soundtrack of the Month series has gone on hiatus and for the time being has been replaced by much smaller soundtrack features, which I am simply calling Soundtrack Features.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My full Soundtrack of the Month series has gone on hiatus and for the time being has been replaced by much smaller soundtrack features which I am calling...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

Teaser

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.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Soundtrack of the Month: May 2016


I am a vocal fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The quality of Marvel movies has far exceeded that of most other films in the industry, and has remained consistent in this top-notch quality for half a decade. The storytelling and direction has been absolutely superb, and beyond industry standards nearly every step of the way. Along with this impeccable level of presentation, we have the music.

Iron Man 3 is a subject of much controversy among Marvel fans. I may value it as one of my favorites, but many people don't feel the same way. Even if you found the film less than satisfactory, you'll undoubtedly still very much enjoy the music. Brian Tyler paints an incredible backdrop to the story and Tony Stark's struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder, following the events of The Avengers.

When it comes to film soundtracks that could be described as "epic," the names of a few composers often get tossed around. They're typically from past generations, known most prominently for works from decades ago. Brian Tyler, on the other hand, has only been rising to fame in the last decade, and stands on his own among long-time legends in the industry.

Brian Tyler is the perfect fit for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the scale of its films. After Iron Man 3, he would also return to score Thor: The Dark World on his own, and Avengers: Age of Ultron with legendary composer Danny Elfman. No further collaborations with Marvel have been announced, but it'll be no surprise if he returns to the film universe in the future.

Featured Tracks

Track 1: Iron Man 3 – Epic. Epic, epic, EPIC. That is the word the comes to mind when I listen to the main theme of Iron Man 3: Epic!

Track 3: Attack on 10880 Malibu Point – I'm not sure, but this might just be the most intense soundtrack cue in my library.

Track 6: New Beginnings – On the contrasting side, we have softer, more melodic music to accompany the less active and more hopeful portions of this film.

Track 20: Can You Dig It – This song admittedly took some time to grow on me. It's a more active, energy-pumping rendition of the film's main theme, used for the film credits. It's the kind of music you could work out to.



Purchase Iron Man 3 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) on Amazon or iTunes.
Or listen to it for free on Spotify or YouTube.