Saturday, 6 February 2010

Music Makes The Game: Earthscape review

Usually I don't review music - my tastes seem to differ quite wildly from the rest of society eg: I like good music (eg, from independent computer-based artists) and the general populus likes bad music (randomly generated pop chords) with a few exceptions.

So I feel that sometimes it is my duty to wave my virtual arms around and point at something I think is worth listening to. If not just for the calibre of the artists involved but for the calibre of the games these people have worked on in the past.

If you're not interested in my opinions, which as usual is fair nuff, then you can listen to it using this neat little object thing here:

<a href="http://alexanderbrandon.bandcamp.com/album/earthscape">Severn City by Alexander Brandon</a>

Most of the album is written and produced by Alexander Brandon, composer on Deus Ex, Neverwinter nights 2, Unreal Tournament and Jazz Jackrabbit. The final song is co-created with Andy Sega, composer on Freelancer, Wing Commander: Prophecy and the Crusader games (awesome).

As usual with both of these chaps there is a generous amount of synth-pad layering throughout and energetic bass lines that can be, very occasionally, distracting. However there is definitely an effort to do some different things here. Track 5, "Funky Rustic" for instance has an interesting change in nature fairly early on that really works for me. It introduces some african-ish drum lines that mix strangely well with the guitar.

The first track "Severn City" has an amazing ability early on to keep sounding like it's going out of tune when it's not. For a while I couldn't make up my mind if I liked it or not but after a few more listens I decided that I did.

Generally the disapointing thing for me in this album was the lack of a constant melody. Many tracks fell back into accompany-mode a lot of the time and would be great for games but possibly not for an album.

What made up for this was track 9: Square Mile - I absolutely loved the all-harmony singing parts. And while the verses are great for this they are followed by a fantastically uplifting chorus. Some more of the guitar solo heard near the beginning would have been good though?

I'll stop there because, well as I said I don't usually review stuff like this. All I can say is: It's free to listen to and only a $10 to buy and support these chaps.

Click here to visit the Earthscape buy page

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