Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Original Videogame Soundtrack Review

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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Original Videogame Soundtrack Artist: Winifred Phillips

The soundtrack for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (the video game adaptation of the film of the same name) by Winifred Phillips has been released by the WaterTower Music label of Warner Bros. Entertainment. Fans can now download the soundtrack independently of the game for a total of $12.

Kyle Ackerman

It's not a stretch to say that aside from a few minutes of entertaining flight, the soundtrack was the best part of the Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole game. In fact, it's a boon that the music can be purchased and downloaded without being tied to the game for which it was written. Unlike most video game music, which is at its best alongside the experience it supplements, the soundtrack for Legend of the Guardians is an excellent stand-alone experience.

For more on the difficulty of divorcing a game soundtrack from its accompanying play, read my thoughts on Winifred Phillips' Spore Hero Soundtrack or Sim Animals score.

Unlike the vast majority of game soundtracks – including the composer's own previous oeuvre – this music stands on its own quite well, although it's not necessarily casual driving- or lounging-around-the-house music. Many of the tracks feature a rich orchestral sound to capture that sense of aerial acrobatics so integral to a game about owls doing battle. Heavy on percussion and expansive choral declarations, this music secretes fantasy-themed battles from every pore. Think of most of the tracks as music to play a tabletop miniatures game to, or to read The Lord of the Rings by (the epic battles, not the extended Elven poetry bits). The soundtrack for the game Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole would be great to have on in the background while playing a high-level raid in a fantasy-themed massively multiplayer online game.

While many of the tracks convey a sense of battle and urgency, they also progress as if telling a story, and one that evokes feelings entirely without needing the video game for which they were written. It's a soundtrack that invites the creation of an entirely new narrative in the listener's mind, an experience that makes this particularly engaging music for active listening, instead of simply being background accompaniment.

In point of fact, the track I least enjoyed was the award-winning "With Hearts Sublime." In that case, and when the soundtrack strays from its battle-scarred strength, it starts to feel faux-Celtic, and reminds me far too much of cover bands in the late 1980s trying desperately to mimic Clannad. Despite what I consider to be mild missteps (obviously the Hollywood Music in Media Association disagrees with me about these tracks), I enjoyed the vast majority of the soundtrack, and recommend it as a purchase for anyone in need of tracks steeped in entrails resulting from combat between fantastic creatures.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on December 1, 2010 9:27 PM.

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