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Friday, June 15, 2007

CD REVIEW - Best of the Best - A Tribute to Game Music, Volume 1

Best of the Best - A Tribute to Game Music, Volume 1
Music by Various Composers (US)
18 Tracks 63:46 mins

Presumably the title refers to the talent involved, as many of the finest specialist game music composers are represented, either as performers or composers or both. It certainly doesn't refer to the music, as this is far from the best that game music has to offer. All of it is realised with synths and samples, which is a little outdated now that more and more scores are being realised either by more authentic sounding samples or proper live orchestras and choirs. And what three pretty ordinary vocal tracks are doing here, I really don't know.
That's not to say I was totally disappointed with this collection, as there are indeed some excellent tracks, with my favourites being "Zanarkand" from Final Fantasy X, which starts out as another techno rocker (there are too many of these on this disc), but acquires orchestral elements to make it an enjoyable, flowing experience; the powerful and rhythmic "The vengeful Spartan" from God of War; the guitars-driven, Spaghetti-western styled "The Legend of Zelda" and the most authentically orchestral sounding track "The White Horse," inspired by The Lord of the Rings.
There are other worthwhile selections of course, like the muscular "The Hunt," inspired by Conan; "Go Mario!," from Super Mario Brothers, a typically offbeat offering from Winifred Phillips; and Chance Thomas' poignant piano improvisation on Michael Giacchino's Medal of Honor theme.
This collector's edition CD has a nice bonus, in that the folodut booklet has mini portraits of the composers involved, together with their autographs.
You can order your copy of the album by going to


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