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Wednesday, December 21, 2005

CD REVIEWS - Prince of Persia and Kameo: Elements of Power

Prince of Persia - The Official Trilogy Soundtrack
Music by Stuart Chatwood and Inon Zur
Ubisoft Promo
19 Tracks 46:52 mins

Veteran game score composer Inon Zur recently shared scoring duties with Stuart Chatwood on the third game in the Prince of Persia trilogy The Two Thrones, and both composers' efforts for all three games are represented on this disc.
The first 8 tracks feature Chatwood's very Middle-Eastern sounding music, driven by percussion, combined with synths and voices. It's all catchy enough, but none of the tracks are long enough to really grab onto. Trouble in the Barracks is a bit of a mis-step, featuring rock guitars, which sound completely out of place; whilst Time Only Knows starts out very Indian-sounding and ends up with a pop ballad by an uncredited female singer.
Tracks 9 - 15 are composed by Zur and are noticeably different for, although he still uses voices, the music is realised orchestrally, with the Hollywood Studio Symphony no less, which makes for a much more cinematic sound. Added to this, there is some quality action writing, featuring plenty of menace and heroism. Zur's final track Kaileena Free From Fate starts menacingly but then a flute solo gives way to suitable "calm after the storm" music before steadily building to its climax.
Not to be outdone however, Chatwood returns with the final four tracks, all of which, whilst still utilising the same basic sound, are much longer and more satisfying than his previous cues, with some fine, rhythmic action writing of his own.
On the evidence of this disc, I would imagine all three games are well-supported and enhanced by their soundtracks.

Kameo: Elements of Power
Music by Steve Burke
Sumthing Else SE-2021-2
17 Tracks 58:11 mins

Steve Burke is a new name to me but, on the evidence of his score for this XBox 360 title, I feel certain I shall be hearing more of his music in the future.
Utilising the City of Prague Philharmonic and Kings Choir, under the baton of Nic Raine, Burke has come up with a very fine score indeed for this action/adventure game. Highlights include the splendid march found in Hero's Theme; the menacing The Badlands; the relentless action of Thorn's Pass, Ice Mountain Onslaught and Danger in the Sky; and the big and impressive choral conclusion in Legend Unfolds.
In addition to the orchestral score, there are three studio-realised tracks, all featuring the voice of Aisling Duddy, the best of which is the quirky march Crystal Cavern. Another vocal, the suitably tragic A Lament for Solon, features the voice of Eveline Novakovic.
Another first-class game score and this one you can buy, so what are you waiting for?


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