LostWinds Soundtrack EP

LostWinds Soundtrack EP Album Title:
LostWinds Soundtrack EP
Record Label:
Frontier Developments
Catalog No.:
N/A
Release Date:
June 6, 2012
Purchase:
Download at iTunes

Overview

LostWinds and its sequel Winter of the Melodias are two of the Wii’s (specifically WiiWare’s) many hidden gems. With its lavish and beautiful environments, interesting characters and designs, and creative gameplay using wind mechanics via the Wii remote pointer, it won the hearts of the gamers who bought it and critics alike. Toku and Enril’s journey is one that’s well worth taking.

Complementing the overall feel of the game, the music — led by industry mainstay Alistair Lindsay — is very atmospheric, minimalist, and Asian in it’s nature. However, it makes for some decent standalone listening too due to some creative melodies and harmonies. A recently released six track, six dollar EP contains the music from both games in the series — there’s not very much on offer, but it helps keep the feel of the game intact.

Body

The “Title Theme” begins the album, and definitely sets the mood for the rest of the game. It’s also the most melodic piece on the album, with a memorable theme played on very subtle instruments. The accompaniment is provided by some plucked string instruments such as the lute, with different types of flute and string instruments providing the melody. There’s also a bass drone in the moments where the melody repeats. Overall it paints a fantastic picture of the games environments even without the graphics on screen.

The flute and lute is all that’s used in the next track, “Blossom Grove”, which is played out like an improvisation. The two instruments work off each other really well to create a relaxing track that’s good to listen to. This approach is continued in “Lost Cavern”, this time using a few more instruments such as bass and ethnic woodwinds. Using the major pentatonic scale throughout makes for some sense of continuity, stopping the composition from becoming random.

More is added to the texture of “Melodia City” such as an ambient choir and some metal tuned percussion. This piece has more of a coherent time signature to it, and the instrumentation is different enough that it paints a different picture to the pieces before it. “Summerfalls” introduces some thicker string textures, giving the piece that summery feel. The last track on the album is completely different from what we’ve heard before. “Riveren Battle”, an action track focusing on fast paced percussion and ostinatos. It has a pretty intense feel, but not so much that it feels out of place with the rest of the soundtrack.

Summary

While short, the LostWinds Soundtrack EP is amazing. There’s a coherent and unique style throughout all of the music, and it really sets the tone for the game. The runtime on this EP is also ideal — if the album was more than half an hour of the same it would get tedious but it’s short length means that it remains an enjoyable listen throughout it’s run time. The only thing holding it back from a perfect 10 is if there were a few more elaborate musical moments, like what made Journey‘s soundtrack such a masterpiece. As is, it’s relaxing music yet it’s worth paying attention to hear all the subtleties. Great music.

LostWinds Soundtrack EP Joe Hammond

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

4.5


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Joe Hammond. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


About the Author

When I first heard the music of Nobuo Uematsu in the Final Fantasy series at about 17 years old, my love of video game music was born. Since then, I've been revisiting some of my old games, bringing back their musical memories, and checking out whatever I can find in the game music scene. Before all of this I've always been a keen gamer from an early age. I'm currently doing a PGCE (teacher training) in primary school teaching (same age as elementary school) with music specialism at Exeter University. I did my undergraduate degree in music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. My main focus at the moment is my teaching and education work, though who knows what will happen in the future. I like a variety of music, from classical/orchestral to jazz to rock and metal and even a bit of pop. Also when you work with young children you do develop a somewhat different appreciation for the music they like.



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