Game Music, Reviews

A Boy And His Blob Original Soundtrack: Blobs on the Wii Make Great Music! (Review)

November 20, 2009 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook A Boy And His Blob Original Soundtrack: Blobs on the Wii Make Great Music! (Review)on Twitter

Yes, both “blob” games on the Wii have amazing soundtracks. I’m of course referring to last year’s de Blob from THQ and the recent release of A Boy And His Blob (ABAHB) from Majesco. We had the pleasure of talking to ABAHB composer Daniel Sadowski in an interview earlier this year, before the game was released, and we’ve since received word that the soundtrack will be coming to iTunes in the near future.

Well, we have an exclusive review of the game’s score for you right here and now. For anyone who played the game, you already know how the soundtrack contributed to the magical atmosphere of the game, but for those who didn’t play it, Sadowski combines orchestral and ambient elements to create an engaging score that is just as unique and vibrant as the game’s visual style.

Check out our early review of the A Boy and His Blob Soundtrack after the jump!

Starting from the top, “Main Theme” opens with majestic strings and brass that voice epic melody that’s accented by bell trees and a harp, lending the piece an upbeat mood that’s befitting of the adorable blob and his boy companion. You’ll also want to pay attention to the pizzicato string melody that comes in about halfway through, as it’s a throwback to the main exploration tune from the original A Boy And His Blob on the NES. I was certainly surprised to hear it return here, and fans of the old NES game should really appreciate this.

It’s then immediately on to more sweetness with “Home Sweet Home,” featuring a beautiful string and harp backing along with a whimsical piano melody. It’s a fun, sort of playful piece that fits the tree house home perfectly. From here, it’s “The Moon Forest,” another string, harp, and piano ballad that is accented by chirping insects and strangely friendly sounding creatures calling out into the night. It comes off like a gentle lulalby.

Things get a little more energetic with the first “level” music, “Forest Greens.” It takes on an adventurous tone with a steady timpani drum, a shaker, and an ascending pizzicato string melody. This is a great introduction to the world of A Boy And His Blob. “Shaded Plains” is a bit more mature in approach with heavy string stabs providing a sturdy backbone for an airy woodwind and xylophone melody. It’s finally on to “Swampy Things,” which provides the soundtrack’s first contemplative piece of music. It sports some nice tribal percussion and along with a thoughtful melody that plods along as if aware of the dangers ahead.

The next track is one of my favorites. “The City March” is a straight-forward arrangement of the original A Boy And His Blob exploration tune that I mentioned earlier. If I recall, there were very few pieces of music in the original A Boy And His Blob, and this is a super fun and modern take on the memorable theme, retaining the upbeat nature of the piece with tambourine and doubled-up triangle and pizzicato strings on the melody.

It’s then on to the next world, which contains the best song here. “Subterra” is simply an amazing piece of music that coincidentally happens to be my favorite, most fans’ favorite, and even Sadowki’s personal favorite. Okay, so it’s likely not coincidence. It opens with alternating ascending and descending arpeggios on synth lead before rich belltones come in to give the piece a great sense of space. Distant tribal percussion, strings, and pads all add to the mix, making for a transcendent listening experience that is truly the best of what A Boy And His Blob has to offer. Another track, “Beneath the City” sports a similar style and instrumentation, and is another highlight.

“Village of the Blobs” and “Blobonian Beauty” are two of the most playful tracks on the album, as the titles would suggesting. They feature quirky and minimalistic progressions that match well with the visually stimulating experience that is Blobonia. “Village of the Blobs” in particular has a mischievous air about it that sounds like it’d be a home to a race of gnomes.  Or blobs.

But it can’t all be butterflies and rainbows, unfortunately. “The Looming Citadel” gets us into darker territory with a melody that is actually… foreboding! There’s some great choral work towards the end, suggesting that something epic is ahead. Next, “Gears of Blob” is not only a great track title, but it’s also a great piece of music with mechanical clangs and chugs to go along with a frantic melody that drives you forward. I really dig the electronic elements added to this piece. “Home Dark Home” sports similar mechanical noises, but sounds almost desperate with its melancholy string and harp melody. It has its moments of beauty, but overall, things sound pretty dire. I don’t want to ruin anything, but when you finally reach the final boss, the music you’ll hear sounds like a blend of evil march and evil circus music with a playful organ melody. It’s a pretty intense piece in the context of the game.

The last two tracks are really special. “Everything to Me” is a vocal ballad composed and arranged by Daniel Sadowski, sung by Bethany Mosley, with lyrics written by ABAHB Director Sean Velasco. It features a lovely lullaby-esque piano and strings backing for Bethany’s soothing voice. While it is the ending theme, the music and lyrics express lots of emotion tinged with sadness given that the boy and his blob have finished their journey. It’s a nice treat for sure. The last track, “A Medley of Credits,” allows Sadowski to go out with a bang, coming as a series of epic arrangements of the best themes from the game, including my two favorites: “The City March,” and “Subterra,” which is masterfully worked into the powerful medley despite it being one of the most low key tracks on the album. This version features some excellent guitar work to replace the synth lead arpeggios of the original, and is the best possible way to end the album in my opinion.

Well, there you have it. A Boy And His Blob. As I mentioned in that pre-release interview, I mainly knew Sadowski for his track on that Best of the Best album from several years ago, and had it drilled into my head that he was an electronic artist. This soundtrack proves me wrong, and it’s a truly wonderful and emotional listening experience that compliments the game so well that it effectively tells the game’s story even outside of the game. It should be on iTunes soon, so be sure to watch out for it. We’ll try to keep you posted as we hear about it, and watch in the coming days for another interview with Daniel Sadowski looking back at his work on the game.

Did you get around to playing A Boy And His Blob? What did you think of Daniel Sadowski’s score?

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