I quite like this game ok. I also very much liked the Bastion Soundtrack, last I checked it had some 40 plays per track in my library, which is quite a lot for me (I'm also remixing one of the tracks from it). Safe to say I know it well and am very fond of Darren Korb's production and composition techniques.
I mentioned a while a go that I'd like to review this soundtrack, saying that I'd listened to it a lot, and I had, more in a "I really like this song, I'll listen to this song" rather than going through the album track by track. However to give a proper review I've now sat down and gone through the album one track to the next a few times.
Now, I'd become quite familiar with a few of the album's tracks that had stood out to me personally, such as "Paper Boats", "We Become", "The Spine" and "Stained Glass". Sitting down to listen to it track by track threw me off a bit. No one track seems to lead to the next with a strong musical connection. I can certainly feel the album telling the story of the game, I can certainly feel the mood change, but tempos, styles and instrumentation don't seem to translate from one track to the next in a way that gives me a listening experience that is particularly smooth. I mean its not like any of it is bad or jarring, just that when we move from slow motifs into tracks with furious breakbeats I am somewhat thrown. Having played the game I have been exposed to the whole games soundtrack and it works very well for the game but when listening to the album each track sort of came as a surprise to me.
Obviously, its a soundtrack and the music on the CD is created to accompany the game, but then again, so was Bastion's. The Bastion soundtrack flows beautifully from one track to the next, although this could be a result of listening to it so much, I can practically hum the next melody before the song has actually begun. Perhaps its the wider use of styles and instrumentation but I am simply not getting that experience from the Transistor OST, even if I found it easier on repeat listens.
Now that's my main frustration out of the way, each song on the album is very solid in its own right. Some clever use of time signatures and rhythms have been used to bring something new to each track, and while I mention the tracks do not flow into each other they certainly all surround the same theme well enough to present a narrative and development of ideas musically. Overall I'm more of a fan of the softer pieces such as "Sandbox" apposed to the harder glitchier pieces like "Apex Beat" but thats simply personal preference and the kind of easy listening I'm really looking for at the moment.
The vocal work is simply beautiful throughout, I'm not a huge fan of vocals but I found them to be enjoyable throughout, excellent melodies that accompanied the tracks very well. The recently released bonus edition of the soundtrack includes hummed versions of the tracks without vocals, I'll certainly be listening to this over some of the tracks on the original. Paper Boats stands out as the best track for me, its simply beautiful and I listen to it very often.
I don't give scores, but what I will say is that it's very solid, a change of pace to the other things available and maintains the some similarities to the Bastion Soundtrack.
Thanks for reading!