Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Music by Greg Edmonson
Sumthing Else SE-2075-2 (US)
23 Tracks 63:06 mins

Just when I thought I could not possibly hear another great game score soundtrack after the bounty that has come my way in these opening months of the year, here comes another one. Well, in fact, I suppose it belongs in last year's crop really but, as I've only just received a copy from the label's publicists Top Dollar (thanks to the mail service losing one), I've only just got to hear it.
Composer Greg Edmonson of course worked on the original Uncharted: Drake's Fortune game, his music for the short-lived TV sci-fi show Firefly having brought him to the attention of the game's developers. Like, Bear McCreary, Edmonson has a leaning for unusual ethnic instrumentation and the resulting score for Drake's Fortune apparently reflected this, and was well received, though I am personally not familiar with his music for that game. I therefore do not know if many themes were carried forward for Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, but I do know that he utilised the services of the same forces, the Skywalker Session Orchestra. So, basically, all I can do is comment on the music heard on this disc.
I imagine the opening cue, "Nate's Theme," is reprised from the first game, and is a suitably heroic horns-lead piece, largely for conventional orchestra, though driven by jungle drums. In fact horns are to feature strongly throughout, as the theme continually makes its presence felt.
"The City's Secret" is a suitably mysterious scene-setter, with an ethnic woodwind solo leading the way and continuing with a mix of ethnic sounds and conventional orchestra, before taking a more decidedly ethnic turn, complete with vocal, and then ending on a more weighty note.
The first big action cue follows in "Bustin' Chops," and, as one would expect, plenty more follow, like the militaristic "Helicopter and Tank;" the desperate "Warzone;" the largely propulsive "Cat and Mouse;" "Cornered;" the menacing second half of "The Gates of Shambhala;" "Brutal Combo Mambo;" the initially quite tragic, and then menacing "A Rock and a Hard Place;" and "Take That!"
In between, we have cues like "Reunion" with its warm erhu solo; the questing "Breaking and Entering;" the lovely ethnic woodwind-lead "Marco Polo;" "The Monastery," the opening of which could easily have come from "Kundun" or scores of that nature; the sympathetic acoustic guitar of "Refuge;" the tragic strings of "Train Wrecked;" "Broken Paradise," with its throat singing and eastern percussion, which continues, allied with erhu, into "Broken Paradise," before more action breaks out; the big and impressive variation on the main theme in "Among Thieves."
The penultimate track, "Tunnel Vision" is big and menacing, and leads to the album finale, "The Heist," which ticks along expectantly without really coming to anything, making for a bit of an anti-climax. But he only real mis-step on the disc is the rocky "The Road to Shambhala," which is credited to Carmen Rizzo, and, apart from its ethnic opening, seems totally out of place.
All in all, yet another classy game score, which makes me wonder whether the film score offerings of the coming months can ever hope to match up to what I've heard for games so far this year. The bar has certainly been set high by the likes of Messrs McCreary, Schyman and Edmonson.
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is available on CD from your usual stockist now, or you can of course download it from


Post a Comment

<< Home