Ollie King Original Soundtrack
Ollie King Original Soundtrack
May 12, 2004
Buy at CDJapan
The Arcade skating game Ollie King is composed by Hideki Naganuma. It was his followup score to the greatness and eclecticness of the Jet Set Radio series. Listeners will find a similar style in “The Concept of Love” remix, as well as some experimentation — the kind that Naganuma san is never shy in trying out. This soundtrack album is more like a mini release and, as such, there are only a few tracks — eight full song and two quick sound reels. It appears to be the complete soundtrack for the game, however, and this puts it one step ahead of the longer Jet Set Radio scores.
First, is “The Concept of Love (The Concept of Passion Remix)”. Chris, the site’s webmaster, recommended this track to me and it was also what attracted my attention to this previously unknown score. This remix is exactly what a remix should be. Different enough to qualify yet close enough to the original to be enjoyed by both camps — those who prefer the version from Jet Set Radio Future and those who may have once heard it in Ollie King.
Passion Remix has more of a fusion / dance feel to it, which immediately makes it feel different from the original. I favor the introduction over the original, as it eases the listener into the track more. The repetition that some disdain about this track has increased, so if you didn’t like the original, you won’t like this one. The repetition of the song works in its favor, though. I like the increased use of this near the end of the track, as it feels like a crescendo and the high point of this remix. A definite must-listen for fans of the original and the reason I took a look at this soundtrack. Moving on.
Continuing with the mixes, “Teknopathetic [e-Pop ‘n’ Disco 80’s Mix]” is the second remix on Ollie King that originally came from Jet Set Radio Future. This version is almost completely different from the original, with a much slower tempo and beat, like the whole track has been slowed down. The original was a high-energy piece and lots of fun to listen to. This one is still good, but I am not sure why the beat has been slowed down so much. I still favor this track though, despite how it doesn’t feel particularly disco-like, also pop music in the 1980’s was never this subtle…
“Boarder 70 (Somethin’ Jazzy for Your Mind Mix)” is a remix of the original from the same soundtrack. It reminds me of the best dance remixes of the 1990’s; different enough to be worth listening to, yet familiar at the same time. Naganuma continues to weave energy and danceability in a fun little track. Bravo. I especially like the insertion of the obviously out-of place sound effects, which sound like something from a NASA mission! They are so random that they are just the right sound effects, if that makes any sense.
“Let it Go” doesn’t sound too similar to past Jet Set Radio tracks, and reminds me more of the work of Deavid Soul, specifically “Yappie Feet”. This is as such due to the diva-esque voice in the background who screams “Get yourself together!” in between the “Let it Go!” and other rap lyrics. This creates quite the crazy mélange that all comes together to make my second favorite track on Ollie King. “Brother Goes Away” meanwhile is reminiscent of the shrill nature of Guitar Vader; it seems like a tribute to “Super Brothers” as much as the previous track was to D. Soul. I really don’t care for this track in comparison, though. Besides the shrill vocals, the beat is pretty inconsistent and not much fun to listen to. If I was allowed to dance, it would take quite the effort to get my groove going with “Brother Goes Away”. Skip it.
“Boarder 70” is funky and full of energy. If a comparison must be made, it is most similar to “Funky Dealer” from Jet Set Radio Future. The same random dialogue, heavy and entertaining beats, and overall danceable and fun are here. A definite highlight. “Too Fast”, on the other hand, is a mess of different sounds that somehow comes together to create something pretty interesting. It isn’t one of my favorites, but I don’t skip over it that often either. Give it a chance.
“Funk to the Top” is the track most different from the rest of Ollie King‘s score and reminiscent of the work of Richard Jacques, specifically his Jet Set pieces. The arrangements and beats are similar, and this is a good thing. I enjoy Mr. Jacques’ work and am glad to see this score seemingly paying tribute to his work. I haven’t heard Jacques’ supposed magnum opus in Headhunter, but “Funk to the Top” is pushing me closer. Finally, the Ollie Grooves # 1 and # 2 are just 20 seconds of sound effects with a transition beat, probably used in between level loading or a similar situation.
Overall, the Ollie King Original Soundtrack is exactly what fans of Hideki Naganuma had come to expect. There are lots of unique pieces with loads of style, presence, and fun. Mr. Naganuma is definitely an untraditional video game composer, and Ollie King does everything to further confirm this. I actually think that this album is the best choice for first time Naganuma listeners, due to its brevity. Check it out!
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Oliver Surpless. Last modified on August 1, 2012.