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Author Topic: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column  (Read 33638 times)

SlowPokemon

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Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« on: August 14, 2011, 03:36:18 AM »

Okay so I like soundtracks. :S And I like organization. And I like criticizing. So here goes with my first soundtrack review, I had fun with it and it's better than directing my criticism at others.

Soundtrack Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides by Hans Zimmer

Okay, first off, I like this soundtrack. I really do. There is some really great material here. But...much of it is masked behind some rather annoying things:

A) The horrifying fact that there are only eleven score tracks. The remaining seven are taken up by remixes of the score tracks, none of which are the least bit entertaining or good. I have no idea why Disney pushed the remixes on the soundtrack. They are not good. So I'm only reviewing the first eleven tracks.

B) The inclusion of Rodrigo Y Gabriela to the soundtrack. This is something of a mixed bag, because they are sometimes annoying and sometimes beneficial to the music. There are three tracks comprised entirely of the guitarist duo, and two more which include them playing along with the orchestra. This means that there are only a few genuine Zimmer pieces on the soundtrack, something truly to be lamented.

Okay, so the soundtrack starts off on the right foot with "Guilty of Being Innocent of Being Jack Sparrow." It's a play on the classic pirate themes from the first few movies, and it's a nice introduction to the fourth movie with an adventurous feel.

It next introduces Rodrigo Y Gabriela to the mix, accompanied by the orchestra in "Angelica." It has an extremely Spanish and tango-esque feel to it, with lots of great cello cues and the like; and while it does focus mostly on the guitars, they really fit the theme so it's all good.

Next comes "Mutiny," which has some pretty decent stuff. It's all very dramatic and tense but it's not mindless, there is some method and it's actually pretty good.

Then we come to the first track solely performed by Rodrigo Y Gabriela, "The Pirate That Should Not Be." It's rather meh, doesn't have many redeeming qualities, and is not great for multiple listenings. Should have been called "The Track That Should Not Be," in my opinion.

Next is the eerie "Mermaids." It begins blandly with faint murmurs, which slowly amounts to a haunting chorus and finally to frightening and gripping orchestral tunes with manic chanting in the background.

It is immediately followed by the second solely guitars track, "South of Heaven's Chanting Mermaids," which is pretty much a more mellow play on the theme found in "Mermaids."

After that comes "Palm Tree Escape," featuring Rodrigo Y Gabriela but (wisely) focusing more on the orchestra. It's a pretty nice track.

Then we come to the epic "Blackbeard," having several great dramatic themes in one track; yet somehow not sounding rushed or unpolished. The beginning has a great tense theme with a drunken rhythm; it's truly great.

Finally Now we have the last of the Rodrigo Y Gabriela pieces, "Angry and Dead Again," the worst piece on the soundtrack and not very fun to listen to.

The penultimate track, "On Stranger Tides," is creepy and dramatic, beginning with a poignant refresh of the Mermaids theme and leading into the dramatic theme heard in earlier tracks.

Finally, "End Credits" brings the Pirates theme back into play and ends on the note it began with (but oddly, was never referenced throughout).

Overall, it's an okay soundtrack. The remixes and guitarists take up too much room but the Zimmer tracks are good enough to merit this soundtrack a rating of **.

Track List (excellent tracks in red):
1. Guilty of Being Innocent of Being Jack Sparrow ~ Hans Zimmer
2. Angelica (feat. Rodrigo Y Gabriela) ~ Hans Zimmer
3. Mutiny ~ Hans Zimmer
4. The Pirate That Should Not Be ~ Rodrigo Y Gabriela
5. Mermaids ~ Hans Zimmer
6. South of Heaven's Chanting Mermaids ~ Rodrigo Y Gabriela
7. Palm Tree Escape (feat. Rodrigo Y Gabriela) ~ Hans Zimmer
8. Blackbeard ~ Hans Zimmer
9. Angry and Dead Again ~ Rodrigo Y Gabriela
10. On Stranger Tides ~ Hans Zimmer
11. End Credits ~ Hans Zimmer

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
ADACHI, MINAKO
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black & White Super Music Collection (2010) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black 2 · White 2 Super Music Complete (2012) *****

AOKI, MORIKAZU
Nintendo DS Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Super Music Collection (2006) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black & White Super Music Collection (2010) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black 2 · White 2 Super Music Complete (2012) *****

ATENCIO, X.
The Haunted Mansion (2009) ****

BAKER, BUDDY
The Haunted Mansion (2009) ****

BRION, JON
ParaNorman (2012) ***

DESPLAT, ALEXANDRE
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One (2010) ****
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two (2011) ****
An In-Depth Look at the Music of Harry Potter (2010, 2011) ****, ****

DOYLE, PATRICK
An In-Depth Look at the Music of Harry Potter (2005) ***

ELFMAN, DANNY
Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) ****
Beetlejuice (1988) ***
Edward Scissorhands (1990) *****
Big Fish (2003) *****
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) ***
Dark Shadows (2012) ***
Frankenweenie (2012) ****
Hitchcock (2012) ****

HISAISHI, JOE
My Neighbor Totoro (1988) *****
Kiki's Delivery Service (1989) *****
Porco Rosso (1992) ***
Princess Mononoke (1997) *****
Spirited Away (2001) *****
Howl's Moving Castle (2004) *****
Ponyo (2008) *****

HOASHI, KEIGO
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010) *****

HOOPER, NICHOLAS
An In-Depth Look at the Music of Harry Potter (2007, 2009) ***, ****

HOSOE, SHINJI
Extreme Escape 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors Soundtrack (2009) ****
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward (2012) ****

ICHINOSE, GO
Nintendo DS Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Super Music Collection (2006) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black & White Super Music Collection (2010) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black 2 · White 2 Super Music Complete (2012) *****

IIYOSHI, ARATA
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky (2009) *****

ISHIHAMA, KAKERU
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010) *****

KAGEYAMA, SHOTA
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black & White Super Music Collection (2010) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black 2 · White 2 Super Music Complete (2012) *****

KIMURA, AKEMI
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2005) ****

KONDO, KOJI
Super Mario Galaxy (2007) *****

KOSAKI, SATORU
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010) *****

MASUDA, JUN'ICHI
Nintendo DS Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Super Music Collection (2006) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black & White Super Music Collection (2010) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black 2 · White 2 Super Music Complete (2012) *****

MIYAZAKI, SHINJI
TV Anime Pocket Monsters Original Soundtrack Best 1997-2010 (2010) *****

NEWMAN, THOMAS
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) ****

NISHIURA, TOMOHITO
Professor Layton and the Curious Village (2007) ***
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box (2007) ***
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (2008) ****
Professor Layton and the Last Specter (2009) ****
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (2010) *****
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask (2011) *****

NOHARA, SATOSHI
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black 2 · White 2 Super Music Complete (2012) *****

NOMI, YUJI
Whisper of the Heart (1995) ****
The Cat Returns (2002) ****

SATIE, ERIK
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010) *****

SATO, HITOMI
Nintendo DS Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Super Music Collection (2006) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black & White Super Music Collection (2010) *****
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black 2 · White 2 Super Music Complete (2012) *****

SHIMOMURA, YOKO
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (2005) ****
Mario & Luigi RPG: Sound Selection (2009) ****
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (2013) *****

SHORE, HOWARD
Hugo (2011) ****

SONDHEIM, STEPHEN
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) *****

SUGIMORI, MASAKAZU
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2001) ****

TAKADA, RYUICHI
The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010) *****

TAKEBE, SATOSHI
From Up on Poppy Hill (2012) ****

TANIGUCHI, TERUO
Nintendo DS Pokémon Black 2 · White 2 Super Music Complete (2012) *****

WILLIAMS, JOHN
An In-Depth Look at the Music of Harry Potter (2001, 2002, 2004) *****, ****, *****

YOKOTA, MAHITO
Super Mario Galaxy (2007) *****

ZIMMER, HANS
The Holiday (2006) ***
Sherlock Holmes (2009) ***
Inception (2010) ****
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) **
The Dark Knight Rises (2012) ****
« Last Edit: January 24, 2014, 09:43:28 PM by SlowPokemon »
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Clanker37

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2011, 02:37:20 PM »

Interesting. Only 11 original tracks? That's just lazy.

I will be interested in what comes of this topic!

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2011, 04:03:21 PM »

I see you're not going to be sticking to Alexandre Desplat for the entire time!!! haha.

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SlowPokemon

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2011, 01:26:29 AM »

Ha ya jinxed yourself

Soundtrack Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One by Alexandre Desplat

So I was going to write a review of the second part's soundtrack, but I figured why not be thorough and do a two-part special?

Anyway, I love this soundtrack. It's definitely my favorite of the Harry Potter soundtracks (though they are all great). This was the first soundtrack in the franchise to feature music composed by Alexandre Desplat, a composer well known for the scores to many films such as The King's Speech and Julie & Julia. Desplat brings something completely new to the table with his work on this film, in comparison to both his previous scores and previous Harry Potter scores.

Desplat really seems to enjoy bringing a wide variety of instruments and types of music here. He includes lighthearted themes, tense themes, moving themes, really all sorts. His style overall seems to be that of subtleness; by that I mean his music is really fantastic, but there's not a lot that is what I call "hummable."

A perfect example is the "Obliviate" theme, the opening track which becomes a sort of motif for the movie, and is in my opinion the best piece on the soundtrack. It's a truly amazing piece, and a great introduction. Desplat likes to show some dark fun with the theme that appears in "Snape to Malfoy Manor" and "Death Eaters," while at the same time being moving and sorrowful in "At the Burrow," and "Harry and Ginny." "Polyjuice Potion" represents the reunion of friends theme, referenced in a couple other tracks. Desplat then turns to his lighthearted side with some playful strings in "Dobby," then segueing into the almost comical danger found in "Ministry of Magic"and "Detonators." The darkly compelling track "The Locket" brings us back into the tense music. "Fireplaces Escape" is a track that I didn't much care for on my first listen, and doesn't stand out terribly, but is nice to listen to and is very dangerous and exciting.

Desplat's subtleness once again comes out in his moody, extremely uneasy and on edge pieces "Ron Leaves," "Bathilda Bagshot," and "The Exodus." "Godric's Hollow Graveyard" and "Hermione's Parents" are both darkly emotional pieces, immediately followed by the horrifyingly compelling "Destroying the Locket." "Ron's Speech" is all about the sweet part of the bittersweet Obliviate theme, and turns out quite nicely. "Lovegood" brings back the alluring and comical quirkiness of the score, which is then followed by intriguing darkness in "The Deathly Hallows." "Captured and Tortured," "Rescuing Hermione," and "The Elder Wand" bring back some frightening themes, creating a good effect overall and managing to end on the wonderfully moving "Farewell to Dobby."

There are three bonus tracks on the iTunes soundtrack download: "Voldemort," "The Dumbledores," and "Bellatrix." Voldemort is dark and uneasy but there really isn't much to it, but the other two are very good. "The Dumbledores" is a full version of the Dumbledore theme heard in some earlier tracks like "The Will" and "Detonators." "Bellatrix" brings out the wildly dark side of the orchestra in a crazy assortment of instruments.

Rating: ****

Track list (excellent tracks in red):
1. Obliviate
2. Snape to Malfoy Manor
3. Polyjuice Potion
4. Sky Battle
5. At the Burrow
6. Harry and Ginny
7. The Will
8. Death Eaters
9. Dobby
10. Ministry of Magic
11. Detonators
12. The Locket
13. Fireplaces Escape
14. Ron Leaves
15. The Exodus
16. Godric's Hollow Graveyard
17. Bathilda Bagshot
18. Hermione's Parents
19. Destroying the Locket
20. Ron's Speech
21. Lovegood
22. The Deathly Hallows
23. Captured and Tortured
24. Rescuing Hermione
25. Farewell to Dobby
26. The Elder Wand
27. Voldemort (Bonus Track)
28. The Dumbledores (Bonus Track)
29. Bellatrix (Bonus Track)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:31:01 PM by SlowPokemon »
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DrP

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2011, 02:08:32 AM »

How uncanny, those are the ONLY tracks I have checked in iTunes... haha
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SlowPokemon

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 12:30:32 AM »

Soundtrack Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two by Alexandre Desplat

Here it is, the second part of my two-part special. Alexander Desplat returns to compose the score for the second part of the final installment in the Harry Potter series. Wow. That’s a lot to live up to.

I was really impressed with Desplat’s work on the first part, and was excited to hear he was returning for part two. The soundtrack isn’t quite as amazing as its predecessor, but there is a lot to be admired here. The main thing about Desplat that I mentioned previously is that his themes are very subtle. This is more so for the second soundtrack than it is the first, where there are loud and obvious themes like “Ministry of Magic” and “Snape to Malfoy Manor.” There are those types of themes here, but mostly the soundtrack is quiet and very subtle.

“Lily’s Theme,” the opening track, is both quiet and subtle, and very simple, relying on merely a vocal part to introduce the theme and then bringing in a couple strings to reinforce it. It’s quite a powerful track despite this, and one of the best on the album. Immediately following are the Gringotts adventure pieces: “The Tunnel” brings something more blatant to the table and manages to be one of the louder, catchier, and more obvious tracks, if only for a short length; “Underworld” is a compelling track relating the underground vault, for a moment bringing back the Locket theme from the first part as a treasure theme in the second. “Dragon Flight” is a ferocious and amazingly beautiful remix of Lily’s Theme, with a full orchestra this time, and is quite powerful.

“Neville” takes an opportunity to bring back the reunion of friends theme heard in the Polyjuice Potion track from the first part. Then we have “Statues,” the real gem on the album which is heartfelt, beautiful and devastating; it really captures the feel of the whole movie overall. This theme is later reused in “Courtyard Apocalypse.” “Snape’s Demise” is a horrifying tribute to the headmaster’s death, at first heard with a sort of hissing noise in the background, and ending with a soft reprise of Lily’s Theme, signifying the ties she had with Snape. After that is “Severus and Lily,” the longest track on the album at 6:08, and one that is incredibly sad and beautiful. This piece has enormous emotional significance. I especially like how he used Snape’s first name, I think to humanize his character a bit. “Harry’s Sacrifice” is a tender and mournful remix of the Obliviate theme (finally!) that captures the sadness of the moment. “The Resurrection Stone” brings back Lily’s Theme in a soft and subtle moment, one of the best on the soundtrack. Then we have the somewhat action packed tracks, “Neville the Hero,” “Showdown,” and “Voldemort’s End.” They are a bit lackluster, but add something to the soundtrack other than just quiet themes. Finally, in a sweet track with a bit of the Statues theme hidden in there, “A New Beginning” tenderly ends the soundtrack on a sweet and soft note.

Rating: ****

Track List (excellent tracks in red):

1. Lily’s Theme
2. The Tunnel
3. Underworld
4. Gringotts
5. Dragon Flight
6. Neville
7. A New Headmaster
8. Panic Inside Hogwarts
9. Statues
10. The Grey Lady
11. In The Chamber of Secrets
12. Battlefield
13. The Diadem
14. Broomsticks and Fire
15. Courtyard Apocalypse
16. Snape’s Demise
17. Severus and Lily
18. Harry’s Sacrifice
19. The Resurrection Stone
20. Harry Surrenders
21. Procession
22. Neville the Hero
23. Showdown
24. Voldemort’s End
25. A New Beginning

Also no bonus tracks this time. Sadface. Just a video of the orchestral recording of "A New Beginning." Still cool, but yknow... :P
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:31:21 PM by SlowPokemon »
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Oritendo

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 08:01:16 PM »

How uncanny, those are the ONLY tracks I have checked in iTunes... haha
nice siggy.  :)
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SlowPokemon

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 04:20:15 AM »

So guys (anyone who actually bothers to read this, or even cares about my obsession with soundtracks xD) this week I'm gonna write a review of a soundtrack I really like, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events by Thomas Newman. So, uhh, look forward to that. Or not.
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FallenPianist

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 03:10:04 AM »

I really love your reviews and I actually read all of them. I've never listened Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events' soundtrack so I'm actually really interested in your (upcoming) review of it.

Keep up the good work!
And also, you're not the only one with an obsession for soundtracks  :P
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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 03:23:44 AM »

Oooh! Exciting! I can't wait.

I referred Slow to some Nancy Myers films with great scores (The Holiday and It's Complicated) and one of Alexandre Desplat's greats, Julie and Julia (I am a sucker for French Provençal sounding music *hint*)
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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 04:35:28 AM »

Holy dung, that reminds me, I still need to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
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SlowPokemon

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 11:32:52 PM »

SOUNDTRACK REVIEW: Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events by Thomas Newman

I really like this soundtrack, which was actually nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Score. It's quirky and bizarre, and fun to listen to. Newman uses a many of outlandish and unusual instruments with the orchestra, giving virtually all of them a place to shine. Also prominent is his use of odd and exotic percussion instruments, giving the album an extremely interesting sound.

The soundtrack opens with "The Bad Beginning," and it perfectly sets the table for the dinner that is to come (that was an odd metaphor). Beginning with a ridiculously, satirically cheerful piece that is heard in full later on, then abruptly cutting to a solemn tone, the track introduces the theme Newman uses for the Baudelaire orphans. It's fun and mysterious and a good listen. The second track, "Chez Olaf," is a sneaky and funny theme for the villain. After the melancholy "The Baudelaire Orphans" and the catchy, quirky "In Loco Parentis," we have the heartfelt "Resilience," which seems somewhat out of place here but is a very good theme. It's very bittersweet, something one would expect from a conventional Newman album. "The Reptile Room," "The Wide Window," and "Taken By Surpreeze" bring a catchy theme based around strings and heavy percussion.

In addition to the fun and upbeat pieces, we have some tracks that are the pure epitome of uneasiness and creepiness; namely, "An Unpleasant Incident Involving a Train" and "The Regrettable Episode of the Leeches." The latter actually scared me the first time I listened to it. It's just a soft, smooth chord for about ten seconds or so...then you jump a mile at the loud chord that suddenly bangs. And then you jump a mile at the second chord immediately following. It's not bad if you know it's coming, but if your volume is up because you can barely hear the original chord, it's quite startling. The two chords are used again at the beginning of "Concerning Aunt Josephine."

"Puttanesca" brings in more of the odd percussion instruments in a playful theme. "The Marvelous Marriage" is a short piece that is very silly and heavily reliant on the accordion. The extremely brief "Lachrymose Ferry" brings in the Baudelaire Orphan's theme from the first track.

Then we have a few amazing pieces, beginning with "Hurricane Herman." It begins with a short crescendo that gives me chillls, which segues into the Baudelaires' theme, and then a heart-pounding action theme. I like it because it manages to be both an action theme and very listenable by itself, as opposed to many other action themes which sound a lot like fillers.

Next is "Snaky Message," a very fun and exotic piece which utilizes a lot of wacky percussion. "Verisimilitude" brings back Count Olaf's theme, adding a violin for extra sneakiness. "Loverly Spring" is the full version of the satirically sweet song we heard in the beginning track. "A Woeful Wedding" brings in a catchier theme.

Then is "Attack of the Hook-Handed Man," which is a bit like "Hurricane Herman"; actually, I prefer this piece. It uses the same crescendo towards the beginning and goes from there.

The penultimate track, "The Letter That Never Came," is a fully fleshed-out version of "Resilience" that really shines.

Finally we have "Drive Away (End Title)" which is a bit repetitive but is extremely catchy and fun to listen to. It is rather lengthy but manages to be a good track that kind of sums up the whole soundtrack--catchy, with lots of strange percussion.

Overall, it's a great soundtrack, especially if you are a Thomas Newman fan, and it will likely keep you busy for quite a while.

Rating: ****

Track list (each rated out of five stars, no halves):

1. The Bad Beginning
2. Chez Olaf
3. The Baudelaire Orphans
4. In Loco Parentis
5. Resilience
6. The Reptile Room
7. An Unpleasant Incident Involving a Train
8. Curdled Cave
9. Puttanesca
10. Curious Feeling of Falling
11. Regarding the Incredibly Deadly Viper
12. The Marvelous Marriage
13. Lachrymose Ferry
14. Concerning Aunt Josephine
15. VFD
16. The Wide Window
17. Cold as Ike
18. Hurricane Herman
19. Snaky Message
20. The Regrettable Episode of the Leeches
21. Interlude With Sailboat
22. Verisimilitude
23. Loverly Spring
24. A Woeful Wedding
25. Attack of the Hook-Handed Man
26. Taken by Surpreeze

27. One Last Look
28. The Letter that Never Came
29. Drive Away (End Title)

xD I have so many reviews I would like to write! I think maybe next week you guys can look forward to a review of Inception by Hans Zimmer.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:32:57 PM by SlowPokemon »
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SlowPokemon

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2011, 02:33:07 AM »

Read my better review of the score here.

So I'm changing things up by writing a review for a soundtrack of a video game...hope you guys like it!

Soundtrack review: Professor Layton and the Curious Village by Tomohito Nishiura

Of the three games, I like Curious Village the least, both game-wise and soundtrack-wise. It's still a great game, and it's still a good soundtrack, but it is the least good of the three. It's actually a nice introduction to the series, a necessary evil. It's what you have to get past to get to the really good stuff. If you haven't played this game, you really should. Immediately. The cutscenes, voice acting, music, and plotline are all amazing for any of the three games. When I first played Curious Village, it was a completely new experience and one that I overall enjoyed. I've never been one for puzzle games, but these are really amazing.

The reason that Professor Layton's soundtracks are really good rather than great is that it's quite repetitive. The main instrument for the music is the accordion, and while it's a nice French-sounding instrument, it's used a LOT. In fact, the whole soundtrack uses essentially only accordion, piano, violin, vibraphone, and chimes.

The soundtrack starts off amazingly with "Professor Layton's Theme," a jazzy piece which becomes the main theme for the series and the basis for the main theme of consecutive games. It is followed by the fittingly creepy and mysterious "St. Mystere," which has gears winding like clockwork in the background and a very good main melody. Its runtime is just a bit too long for me, but it's a very good piece. It is remixed into a simpler, more upbeat version in "About Town."

The light "Puzzles" introduces the extremely catchy theme for puzzles, which will be heard approximately eighteen billion times during the game. "Baron Reinhold" is exactly what you'd expect from a classic murder mystery movie or something. Then we have "Down the Tubes," the theme for the sewers beneath the city, a piece that I quite like despite also sounding somewhat typical of a mystery.

"The Veil of Night" is a wonderfully soft and sweet track, it's somewhat plain but pleasant to listen to. Some fun tracks come next, "Crumm's Café," which for some reason reminds me of spinning, and the wacky "Pursuit in the Night." The melancholy "Deserted Amusement Park" is a piece where the accordion actually works very well. "The Mysterious Girl" is quite heartfelt and moving once you really start to listen to it.

Next we have the hilariously wacky and somehow menacing "The Great Don Paolo," which utilizes the accordion in a cacophony of notes, creating a fitting theme for such an odd villain.

"The Village Awakens" is another winner, using the piano more and creating a sense of unease for the second half of the game as it progresses into darker areas. "The Looming Tower" does the same with emphasis on the accordion.

Finally, we have "End Theme," a simple and heartfelt piece which manages to capture the game's heart. Here ends the in-game tracks; however, the soundtrack includes live versions of four of the songs, all of which are epic.

"Professor Layton's Theme (Live Version)" is especially awesome; this piece was made for a live performance in my opinion. "End Theme (Live Version)" really takes the piece to new heights in a must-have track. The other two live tracks, "The Veil of Night (Live Version)" and "The Looming Tower (Live Version)" are okay, but their lengths cancel out any good listening value; their themes are often too repetitive to listen to for 5+ minutes. There are also"high quality" versions of "About Town," "Baron Reinhold," and "The Village Awakens," but none sound much different from the original.

Rating: ***

Track listing:
1. Professor Layton's Theme
2. St. Mystere
3. The Adventure Begins
4. About Town
5. Puzzles
6. Baron Reinhold
7. The Plot Thickens
8. Down the Tubes
9. The Veil of Night
10. Crumm's Café
11. Pursuit in the Night
12. The Mysterious Girl
13. Deserted Amusement Park
14. The Great Don Paolo
15. The Village Awakens
16. The Looming Tower
17. Memories of St. Mystere
18. Setting Out
19. End Theme
20. Professor Layton's Theme (Live Version)
21. The Veil of Night (Live Version)
22. The Looming Tower (Live Version)
23. End Theme (Live Version)
24. About Town (High Quality Version)
25. Baron Reinhold (High Quality Version)
26. The Village Awakens (High Quality Version)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:33:13 PM by SlowPokemon »
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SlowPokemon

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2011, 03:37:18 PM »

Read my better review of the score here.

Soundtrack Review: Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box by Tomohito Nishiura

Okay! Here we are at the second soundtrack of Professor Layton. Much of what is wrong with the first one is also present here, but it definitely outclasses Curious Village.

Diabolical box begins with "The Elysian Box Theme," which plays off of Professor Layton's Theme in a delightful jazzy piece, one of the best this soundtrack has to offer. Then we have "In London," a dreary (and catchy) piece that actually fits the dirty streets quite well. After "Puzzles Remixed," which is nearly identical to the Puzzles theme found in Curious Village, we find a reprisal of the London theme in "The Molentary Express," which is in a major key, sounds quite distinguished and in my opinion, you can almost hear the train moving by in the background. The next notable track is "The Village of Dropstone," fairly ordinary but pleasant.

Then we have some awesome pieces. "Folsense" is a perfect theme for the phantom town--very lonely, subdued, and depressing. "The Town's Past" is a slow theme that also fits well in the game. After these slow themes, perhaps to balance out the soundtrack, comes the catchy "Time for a Break." The theme is used when playing with the Camera, Hamster, or Tea Set in the Professor's trunk.

Nishiura next brings "The Dark Forest," a peacefully dark track that, like the other themes this game, fit perfectly in the game. "Into the Depths of the Dark" is a bit like this game's tower theme; it's tense enough. Not all that great for listening value though, quite honestly. "Unspoken Feelings" is a good theme for the love story of this game that plays when reading the old diary or when the love story is mentioned (notice I'm trying to remain completely spoiler free here). "The Somber Castle" is an extremely slow track; it almost sounds like a minor version of "The Town's Past."

Next we have one of the true winners on the soundtrack: "The Ball." It uses neither accordion nor piano nor violin. It's played by a full orchestra and has an amazing waltz theme that really needs the orchestra to be great.

"Iris" is the game's end theme for the Japanese version, while the English version got "Iris ~Instrumental Version~" instead, which is slightly lesser because of the absence of lyrics. It's a beautiful song that I can listen to the whole thing of, despite it being 5+ minutes. The album also includes the music box version, which is also quite pretty.

Now we have the live tracks. "The Elysian Box Theme (Live Version)" is great but does get a bit repetitive after a few listens. "Folsense (Live Version)" is actually the true winner of the live tracks, building on the original theme and improving it. "Don Paolo's Theme (Live Version)" is, I'm sad to say, a disappointment. It ends up being too long and a bit annoying. It doesn't match up to the original at all. Then we have "Time for a Break (Live Version)," which also is better than the original. The album also includes high quality versions of "The Town's Past," "The Dark Forest," and "The Somber Castle,"and they still don't sound very different from the originals, except for "The Dark Forest" which is even more haunting in this version.

Rating: ***

Track list:
1. The Elysian Box Theme
2. In London
3. Puzzles Remixed
4. The Molentary Express
5. Suspense
6. The Village of Dropstone
7. An Uneasy Atmosphere
8. Folsense
9. The Town's Past
10. Time for a Break
11. The Dark Forest
12. Into the Depths of the Dark
13. Unspoken Feelings
14. The Ball
15. The True Folsense
16. Iris
17. Iris (Instrumental Version)
18. Iris (Music Box Version)
19. The Elysian Box Theme (Live Version)
20. Folsense (Live Version)
21. Don Paolo's Theme (Live Version)
22. Time for a Break (Live Version)
23. The Town's Past (High Quality Version)
24. The Dark Forest (High Quality Version)
25. The Somber Castle (High Quality Version)
« Last Edit: September 06, 2013, 08:32:18 PM by SlowPokemon »
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SuperFireKirby

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Re: Slow Reviews Soundtracks: A NinSheetMusic Column
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2011, 04:51:43 PM »

Slow, you deserve a medal for this thread.
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