Skylanders -SuperChargers- Official Orchestral Score

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Skylanders -SuperChargers- Official Orchestral Score
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October 20, 2015
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Another year, another Skylanders… Lorne Balfe’s scores for the Skylanders series showed signs of age with the fourth instalment, Skylanders: Trap Team. Unfortunately, the soundtrack for the 2015 follow-up SuperChargers is not significantly better and in fact features some of the series’ biggest musical missteps to date.


After his surprisingly subdued score for Trap Team, Lorne Balfe returns to the exuberant scoring approaches of Swap Force with his soundtrack for SuperChargers. This is evident right from the second track “Matt’s Miraculous Marvels”, which replaces the sleepy soundscapes of the previous score in favour of upbeat melodies and rhythms. Just as he did with one of Swap Force‘s best tracks, “Braving Mount Cloudbreak”, Balfe mixes the acoustic palette typical of the Skylanders series with goofy electronic parts to delightful effect. Perhaps Balfe was inspired by the fast-paced racing action of the game, or perhaps he was accommodating the wishes of returning developer Vicarious Visions, but either way his decision to shift back to light-hearted scoring is a welcome one that is certain to broaden the appeal of the score.

But while SuperChargers is in many ways reminiscent of Swap Force, it doesn’t come close to matching its creativity. “The SuperChargers” sticks closely to series’ tradition, an adventurous main theme filled with brassy orchestration and Celtic orchestration. However, it doesn’t quite rival the main themes of the previous three instalments due to its somewhat predictable orchestration, vanilla melody, and all too premature conclusion. Plenty of other tracks, for example “The Cloud Kingdom” and “City Under Sea”, also labour the series’ sound somewhat despite being generally effective. Others such as “Chompy Garden”, “The Last Resort”, and “Fraser’s TreeHouse” are perfectly enjoyable while they last, the former particularly standing out for its bluegrass influences, but each of them barely lasts for more than a minute. The length problems that plagued other Skylanders scores aren’t resolved in this disappointingly brief 29 minute release.

Balfe does succeed in creating a rather colourful accompaniment to SuperChargers‘ world. From the mellow atmospheric soundscapes of “City Under Sea”, to the dramatic spooky orchestrations of “Riftward Road”, to whimsical lulling melodies of “Waterdrop Way”, all the tracks work well in context while proving engaging listens on a stand-alone basis. “Riftward Road” particularly stands out for all its dramatic turns and emotional interludes during its playtime; it is one of the few pieces here that matches those of Swap Force in its depth and exuberance. The biggest surprises here are “The After Party” and “Not as Advertised”. While the first piece had the potential to be a typical folk dance, Balfe really brought it to life by highlighting excellent violin and accordion soloists. As for “Not As Advertised”, it starts in typical Skylanders tradition with a playful yet robust orchestration, but surprisingly transitions into a harpsichord solo at the 1:12 mark.

SuperChargers is also let down by several tracks featuring vocal themes. While most of “Matt’s Miraculous Marvels” is a bouncy electro-orchestral fun, the loud buffoon noises featured at certain points are downright annoying and detract from the artistry of the soundtrack experience. Worst still, the producers decided it was a good idea to include “Cap’n Cluck’s King Sized Chicken”, a 30-second jingle parodying fast food adverts. Putting my vegetarianism aside, I still can’t imagine why anyone would want to listen to this on a stand-alone basis. It probably has its place in the game, but not on a soundtrack album. Then there’s “SuperCharged With Love”, a love ballad featuring clichéd 80s pop instrumentals and ridiculous lyrics (“You’re got the spirit of a champion / And you’re not gonna flee from the fight / That’s why we’re supercharged with love”). While some parodies are charming, this one is a total misstep and one of the most cringe-worthy vocal themes I’ve ever heard.


Aside from the two vocal tracks, the majority of the material on Skylanders: SuperChargers is enjoyable, effective, and well-produced. However, it lacks somewhat in creativity compared to previous instalments of the series and also suffers from some serious issues in the length department. At 10 USD, I would only recommend this album for hardcore fans of the series. Everyone else should stick to the longer and better soundtracks for Swap Force and Giants instead.

Skylanders -SuperChargers- Official Orchestral Score Chris Greening

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


Posted on November 22, 2015 by Chris Greening. Last modified on November 22, 2015.

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About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

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