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While the Summer drought may now be over as we speed towards the back half of 2013, lets take a look back at some great music from earlier in the year. I’ve got some big names from the past few months so kick your feet up, crank the volume and enjoy some of the best sounds from the past few months.
The Last of Us
One of the best games for the PS3 and this generation, The Last of Us tells a bleak story with humanity pushed to the brink by a fungal outbreak. While the game is tense and gripping, the soundtrack will leave you just as emotionally invested as the gameplay. Composed by Academy Award winner, Gustavo Santaolalla, the soundtrack has a very distinct sound to it featuring acoustic guitar over percussion rhythm. As the songs swell and build, the string plucking becomes fiercer and more intense. It’s compelling and focuses more on the emotional side of the game rather than the suspense and horror. The best of this can be heard from the title track, The Last of Us, starting slowly and building into a very strong and memorable tune. It’s not always that I say this, but not only will the game’s story stay with you long after you’ve played, but so to will the music.
The Last of Us
The Quarantine Zone
Have a listen to the entire thing here! https://soundcloud.com/sony-soundtracks/sets/the-last-of-us
State of Decay
One of my favorite composers out there today is Jesper Kyd, who’s done some amazing soundtracks from Borderlands to Assassin’s Creed. To see him working on a smaller project like State of Decay was a surprise but his compelling sounds and craftsmanship are on full display. You’ll be hearing Kyd’s classic style, pairing acoustic guitars and classic instruments with digitally enhanced sounds. Main theme shows this off brilliantly with a powerful guitar sound playing alongside moody electronic sound. It fits the game’s theme perfectly and is something you could imagine hearing in any great zombie movie. Mixing elements from emotions ranging from despair to also featuring songs centered around hope, it’s a diverse and wonderful listen. Again, it’s a major win for the always excellent Jesper Kyd.
While critics may have been a bit divided on this new IP, the one thing that wasn’t up for debate was its excellent soundtrack. Featuring a very unique style of its own, composer Olivier Deriviere used one of the more interesting methods I’ve heard of for getting the music to fit the game perfectly. To start, he recorded the orchestral score completely, then took that work and used digital tools to modify and alter it. Because of this the music has a sound of being both organic and electronic which constantly makes the music seem like it’s fighting one another in a completely good way. It’s incredibly unique and memorable. At times you have this sweeping orchestral track and every now and then you have digital and synth noises remixed in over it. It’s a very cool effect and really creates a fantastic synergy between the game’s world and the soundtrack which supports it. Definitely check it out.