Tearaway Original Soundtrack
Tearaway Original Soundtrack
Sony Computer Entertainment
January 14, 2014
Download at PlayStation Store
The Tearaway Soundtrack is an eclectic mix of some of the goofiest game music I have ever heard. Composers Kenneth Young who was featured on LittleBigPlanet 3’s soundtrack and Brian D’Oliveira who composed the soundtrack for Papo and Yo create musical landscapes that instill joy, wonder and discovery into listener‘s hearts while also making them chuckle at times throughout the soundtrack. The unique blend of bluegrass, electronica, hip hop and folk music gives the music a unique sound that must be experienced at least once by anyone who considers themselves a game music fan. The instrumentation is varied and ranges from hornpipes, Celtic sounding tin whistles, bassoon, various percussion instruments, fiddle and electronic sounds.
“Sogport Scraps Theme” composed by D’Oliveira features an odd sounding march. The brass instruments sound surreal and carry the lighthearted melody. Percussion instruments add a strange ambience and keep the march like qualities alive. This piece almost makes me imagine cartoon-like grizzly bears marching down a city square, juggling brightly colored objects, wearing fezzes, and some of the grizzly bears are riding unicycles. This is not to say the music is not well composed, it is just that the vibe is rather silly. “Decorating” (Young) is a fun and upbeat piece of music featuring ukulele, marimba and accessory percussion. Complete with hand-claps, this piece is bound to put a smile on any fan‘s face. This piece also features clever scissor sounds and what sounds like paper ripping during the beginning, middle and end of the piece. The Latin clave rhythm adds an upbeat element to the music while the catchy melody is sure to make listeners hum along.
While most of this music is whimsical and cheerful, there are some musical moments on this soundtrack that have a slightly dramatic or even serious tone. “The Tear” (D’Oliveira) features effected drums that almost sound like they are far off in the distance. There are mysterious sounding synth layers that create an airy backdrop for the spacey sounding synth solos. Young’s piece “Is This Goodbye” is yet another song that leaves out the silly moments and focuses on creating a more easy to listen to heartwarming type of piece. Young uses banjo, which is an interesting choice for such a sweet sounding piece of music. Strings add harmony and depth to the unique banjo melody. “Is This Goodbye” is intimate and will pull on your heartstrings and ease the tension of the quirkier, more energetic selections from the soundtrack.
“The Message” manages to bring the mood down to a nearly melancholy feeling. The music is charming and beautiful all at the same time. The voices are calming and float gently on top of a lightly played acoustic guitar. The voices sound as if they are sung by a small group of children. The simple combination of a small choir and acoustic guitar and a few mysterious chords add to the warm feeling during this last statement. You may just get chills listening to this song. I much prefer the calmer moments in this soundtrack like “The Message”, but that is not to say the more energetic music is not well written or is not fun to listen to.
Young and D’Oliveira use many genres of music such as hip-hop and folk to create an interesting atmosphere. “Pig Riding” could turn some fans away and make others burst out laughing. Young truly captures an American bluegrass vibe during this piece with a fiddle that sounds like it is straight from the Appalachian Mountains. This music is carefree and laid back, but played a brisk tempo. This track is fun to listen to, whether or not bluegrass is your preferred genre of music. “Renaissance Hop (Record Scratching Tune)” is a prime example of some of the most diverse instrumentation that seemed to work for this particular game. It sounds to me as if there is an effected accordion sound that takes on the main melody. Harp, a funky sounding synth bass line and a hip-hop inspired drum beat make for quite an interesting collection of instruments. This music is well written, catchy and has a unique quality that adds to the eclectic mix of influences and sounds of this sound track.
For some gamers, they will be missing the heavy sounding, fully orchestrated pieces that make an epic statement. Composers Young and D’Oliveira instead chose a simple approach to their music and created a more intimate environment rather than an epic cinematic adventure. “Baby Wendigo Fight” does however have a heavier and slightly orchestral sound, while maintaining the quirkiness that a lot of the soundtrack maintains. D’Oliveira uses bellowing brass accents, a dark sounding melody and epic sounding percussion parts. The more intense sounding pieces such as “Baby Wendigo Fight” and “Squirrels and Scraps” contrast well with the more calm pieces and offer smooth dynamic contrasts. “Beginnings” (Young) is an excellent example of the inviting and light atmosphere the rest of the soundtrack poses. There is a great deal of energy and movement during “Beginnings” and drone like synths layer in the background. It almost sounds like there is a choir sustaining a pedal tone throughout the piece. This could very well be the choir heard on the last track, “The Message”. The opening statement is powerful but inviting at the same time and certainly sets a relaxed mood.
This soundtrack has a mix of emotions and faces which creates a world of sound that is a story as stand alone music. Some fans will cherish the music just as they cherished the game. Other fans will marvel at how unique and diverse the music is. To me, the music truly does stand out as a rather unconventional combination of instrumentation and genres. The music works incredibly well with the brightly colored in-game graphics and unique game play using the Vita’s front and rear touchscreen and motion control technology. I would recommend this soundtrack to any gamer who is looking for something fun but a little different. There is certainly a wide selection of music, if not all of the music, heard during gameplay. Clocking in at over an hour with 44 tracks, this is quite a journey through some of the most interesting game music created to this day.
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Posted on July 28, 2015 by Marc Chait. Last modified on July 29, 2015.