Celeste – Madeline’s Grab Bag

 

  Album Title:
Celeste – Madeline’s Grab Bag
Record Label:
Radical Dreamland
Catalog No.:
N/A
Release Date:
February 14, 2018
Purchase:
Buy at Bandcamp

Overview

Rounding out the trio of Celeste soundtracks currently available is Celeste – Madeline’s Grab Bag. This collection of fanfares and bonus content isn’t intended as a standalone listening experience, but rather serves as a complimentary addition to the original soundtrack. That said, the content within just might entice fans of Celeste to pick up this soundtrack expansion.

Body

This Grab Bag begins with a suite of 8-bit takes on Celeste’s various level themes, arranged by Kevin Regamey of Power Up Audio. Here Kevin makes impressive use of basic NES square wave and white noise sounds to emulate the original soundtrack on a microscopic scale. More impressive still is that each track is set in the same meter and tempo – implying that if these tracks hadn’t been concluded with fadeouts, the transitions between them would be almost unnoticeable. This, given Celeste’s dynamic nature, is an especially nice touch.

Kevin’s 8-bit suite is most of what’s on offer in terms of substantial tracks. Immediately after the suite comes the isolated piano accompaniment from “First Steps.” Even by itself, the piano track has the feeling of a complete – albeit more subdued – composition, and makes for wonderful, almost minimalist experience. A little later, “Secret Shrine” offers a chance to zone out to the uplifting swells and lulls of warm pads with a non-intrusive beat in the backdrop.

The rest of the Grab Bag is comprised of brief musical cues for in-game events. Considering how short they are in comparison to the meatier content in Celeste’s original soundtrack, Lena’s decision to release these cues separately makes sense. Still, fans of the original soundtrack can appreciate the way that cues like “Shattered Mirror” and “Enter the Mirror” reflect the motifs of the environments in which they make their in-game appearance. Plus, the various “Chapter Complete” cues are stunning, from the endless upward spirals of “Ascending” to the precious sendoff fanfare, “Summit.”

Summary

Celeste – Madeline’s Grab Bag isn’t essential, but it isn’t meant to be either. As an expansion of a solid body of music, it serves its purpose well. Fans of Celeste will appreciate the opportunity to add these fragmentary pieces to their game music library. Everyone else might too – but they should first get to know the original soundtrack from which these fragments came.

Celeste – Madeline’s Grab Bag Reilly Farrell

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

3.5


Posted on March 21, 2018 by Reilly Farrell. Last modified on March 21, 2018.

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About the Author

Reilly Farrell is one part Bay Area electronic composer and one part capybara fanatic. He loves video game music and rodents of unusual size and wants the world to know how great they both are. His musical tastes are about as diverse and eclectic as a JRPG musical score - which might explain why so many of his favorite albums are JRPG soundtracks. Personal favorites include The Legend of Zelda, The Legend of Legacy, The Legend of Dragoon, The Legend of Mana, and Katamari Damacy - which is also legendary. Drop a line anytime, and thanks for stopping by!



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