Sonic the Hedgehog Original Soundtrack
Sonic the Hedgehog Original Soundtrack
January 10, 2007
Buy Used Copy
The most infamous Sonic game to date, 2006’s Sonic the Hedgehog brought a major disappointment among all the fans that eagerly cluttered around to see this title bring the series back to light. Unfortunately, that ship has long sailed away, but if there is one redeeming factor that can always be brought up whenever this game is mentioned, it is the soundtrack itself. It is quite a shame to see all of that hard work gone to waste, but thankfully, the complete soundtrack is available for fans to get a hold of. One of the largest soundtrack of any Sonic soundtracks in quite a while, with 80+ themes spanned out among three discs, there are plenty of musical variations for fans to give a listen to.
Part of what made the soundtrack very memorable was its departure from Jun Senoue’s musical direction. Jun Senoue managed to establish plenty of memorable guitar tunes in Sonic Adventure. As the series progressed, much of the songs became more or less experimental with heavy emphasis on guitar riffs, most notably with Shadow the Hedgehog. As a result, much of the music afterwards began to be a hit or a miss among the fans. For Sonic ’06, Tomoya Otani steps in to produce the music, with Hideaki Koboyashi, Mariko Nanba, Takahito Eguchi, and many more joining the team to create one of the more elaborate Sonic soundtracks in quite a long time.
Sonic the Hedgehog Original Soundtrack features wonderfully selected genres and elaborate instrumental arrangement, which is nothing short of amazing. Previous Sonic soundtracks often took an odd approach to the genre, such as Sonic Adventure 2. It did have its usual Rock, with the simplistic guitar riffs, but it also made full use of Rap, Jazz Fanfare, and even Heavy Metal, but its end result felt way too cheesy and too full of itself that made listening to the songs a guilty pleasure. Sonic ’06‘s goes a bit beyond, with stage music constructed to feel a lot like a real mainstream and worldly music, with a less repetitive feel and well written instrumental solos for the stages.
“Aquatic Base ~Level 1~” uses a duel piano and techno synthesizer trance to give off a cool and soothing feeling of being underwater. The ambient tune also makes a small use of mysterious vocal chants, as well as small sections of marching drums that still manages to keep it ambient. The two variations of “Radical Train” are the definitive classic and progressive rock inspired tunes, with a lead guitar that strongly resembles a style made famous by Pink Floyd. It also carries out a funky bass reminiscing that of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Congo drums fill in the progress, pushing the sense of urgency to give chase against the train. “White Acropolis ~The Base~” sets in the story of espionage in a winter night with its hardcore techno bass and an echoing synthesizer, followed by the use of an equally hardcore guitar riff. In contrast, “Wave Ocean ~The Inlet~” is a wonderful combination of fast pace rhythm guitar chords and drums with the lead guitar playing a beautiful and tranquil solo that fits the mood of a tropical beach.
As wonderful as the soundtrack is, it isn’t without its small fair share of problems. The soundtrack also includes all the event tracks that were played in the background during the entire story mode of Sonic ’06. Since the game’s storyline was immense, the events completely take up more than half of the entire soundtrack. The cues are mostly orchestra arrangements, created to give off the feeling of a cinematic blockbuster. The orchestra, for the most part, is adequate and won’t exactly rival other games that are well known for such arrangements. Nothing I can consider bad in any way. It just wasn’t too memorable or unique for me. Everything takes it very slow and calming to tell the story of sadness, hope, and love. A recurring theme in all the events is a variation to Sonic’s theme “His World” and Princess Elise’s theme “My Destiny”. It serves only to remind us that this is suppose to relate to Sonic, and it’s partially the reason why fans will easily skip over all these events.
Each disc represents each of the main hedgehogs — Sonic, Silver, and Shadow. It has its respectable colors, and the themes chosen for each disc relates much closer to the character it is included with. Each disc also carries their respectable theme songs. Sonic gets “His World”, a nice hard rock performance with bits and pieces influenced by much of the orchestra found in the events. It features a combination of rap and regular vocals by Ali and Matty of Zebrahead. Shadow gets “All Hail Shadow”, a cover performance by Crush 40 that was previously performed back in the game Shadow the Hedgehog. And Silver’s theme “Dreams of an Absolution” features a simple chord progression on synthesizer arranged by the original Remix Factory artist Lee Brotherton, who we know today as Bentley Jones. Bonus song are also scattered about, such as the complete version of Sonic’s theme that was originally heard in the E3 version and even a karaoke version of “My Destiny” for those guilty enough to sing along to.
It’s more than wonderful seeing a Sonic soundtrack step away from the usual cheesiness style of music, especially some of the guitar tunes Jun Senoue is well known for, especially when the music goes an extra length to be as relaxing or as fast pace and, overall, very elaborate. The event themes completely shroud the best parts of the album, but it shouldn’t keep a fan from exploring the three disc set to find more than enough memorable tracks to fall in love with. With a combination of classic rock inspired tunes, peaceful piano recitals that segue into an ambient and hardcore techno guitar riffs, and even going far as to be as mysterious ambience with chilling use of echoing guitar solos, it’s regarded as one of the best Sonic soundtracks to come out in a long time. Tomoya Otani has done a great job, and we hope to see more of his musical direction for the next Sonic the Hedgehog title.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Rafael Orantes. Last modified on August 1, 2012.