Game Music, Reviews

Get Sleezy With The Godfather II Soundtrack by Christopher Lennertz (Review)

July 10, 2009 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook Get Sleezy With The Godfather II Soundtrack by Christopher Lennertz (Review)on Twitter

I had the pleasure of meeting Christopher Lennertz at the Golden State Pops Orchestra game music concert a couple months ago, and was able to find out what he had been working on lately. One of those titles was The Godfather II videogame. While we all know that games licensed from major films are usually crap, the Godfather series has actually received positive marks in the past, so I was curious to hear what Lennertz would do with the music in the game.

I can tell you that while there’s not a whole lot of it (about 20 minutes in all), it’s quite good. Of course it references Nino Rota’s “The Godfather Theme” from the films, as you’d expect, but the combination of gritty basslines, classy orchestral elements, and smooth brass sections really hit the spot for me.

Is it worth you time? Read our review of The Godfather II soundtrack after the jump.

Lennertz opens with the appropriately titled “Prologue,” which works in strings, brass, accordion, and some beautiful guitar work voicing “The Godfather Theme” before the piece takes a turn for the grungy and dirty crime world with some gritty bass along with jazz percussion and some seductive brass work. It’s definitely a fitting opening for the rest of what’s here.

“Mean Streets” is a mischievous piece that builds tension with lots of random elements that come in and out of the mix, hinting that something unexpected is ahead. I really enjoy the dirty jazz organ that’s featured along with brass stabs and some cool rhythmic bongo work. “The Don’s View” is another groovy track highlighting one of the coolest characters in film and now the videogames. It’s just as cool as one would expect with its strong bassline and emphasis on brass.

“Meltdown in Miami” is probably my favorite track of the bunch with its electric guitar that plays perfectly off the bassline. A grungy jazz organ sneaks in and out of the mix, sounding all ominous-like, and it’s just an all around cool and powerful track with its explosion of sound toward the end. “In The Family” comes next, lifting some of the tension of the previous track, and working in the iconic theme once again with some traditional Italian instrumentation.

“The Deal in Cuba” is a sleezy track with some raunchy brass and some awesome percussion. The uncertain progression works once again to build tension. I think I’d have trouble playing this game as it always seems like something awful is right around the corner, and this track creates just that feeling. Despite the title, “Havana Shootout” is rather subdued with its chilled out jazz organ and electric guitar chords. It slowly progresses into something fierce, however, with rapidly ascending piano and string stabs with lots of dissonance.

The final track, “Consigliere Meets Roth” works in an awesome string melody that is accented by a descending harp that I wish could go on forever. Alas, the track is less than a minute long, and will leave you wanting more.

I guess that’s the main thing I’d say about Christopher Lennertz’s work on The Godfather II is “I want more!” The score is a gritty sleeze-fest, and that’s exactly why I love it. I didn’t know that Lennertz had it in him! This is definitely my favorite score of his, and I hope he gets the opportunity to write more music like this in the future. Regarding the availability of the music… I don’t know if there is any. We’re looking a promotional copy here, but I sincerely hope the music ends up on iTunes so you can check it out if you didn’t get the chance to play the game. We’ll certainly let you know if and when that happens.

Are you a fan of Christopher Lennertz’s work or The Godfather series? Would you be interested in checking out the music from the game if it was widely available?

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