To The Moon Original Soundtrack
To The Moon Original Soundtrack
November 4, 2011
Buy at Bandcamp
To The Moon is an indie adventure title released in the fall of 2011 by Freebird Games. This touching sci-fi tale has garnered impressive acclaim as of late, due in no small part to its music, composed by Kan R. Gao and featuring Laura Shigihara. How does the medium length soundtrack work as a standalone release?
The soundtrack begins with the relatively lengthy “To The Moon – Main Theme.” With touches of electronic sounds peppered throughout amidst more traditional instrumentation, this soft theme perfectly captures a fusion of technology and humanity. Indeed this track defines the rest of the album, which contains a heavy dose of more classical instrumentation and sparing doses of modern, electronic influence.
The brunt of the album is composed of softer pieces. These range variations on the main theme, such as the two “For River” tracks, to entirely new tracks, such as “Once Upon a Memory” or “Tomorrow.” In each case, the modest organic nature of the compositions complements the image of the game. That said, they all start to bleed into one another after a while and the incorporation of multiple variations of the same theme exacerbates this. The individual tracks tend to be more enjoyable than the collective experience, at least on a stand-alone level.
Gao mixes it up a bit with some more exciting tracks. Some some more electronic sounds, such as “Teddy” with its electric guitar parts. Others are more whimsical, such as the eerily enchanting “Between a Squirrel and a Tree” or the mysterious “Beta-B”. Other highlights include the endearing and silly “Bestest Detectives in the World,” and later on, the chipper, perky “Take Me Anywhere.” While most are well composed, few are as enjoyable as the soft themes that form the core of the soundtrack.
The album culminates in the climactic “Launch,” which surely plays a pivotal role in the game’s story. “Everything’s Alright,” composed and performed by Laura Shigihara, appears in three variations spread throughout the album. This song is nice and sweet, not too long and quite pleasant to listen to. It won’t blow the listener away, but it will bring a smile to one’s face. The album ends with three trailer themes, the second of which features Shigihara singing the main theme, which is a nice little bonus. Blending the central theme with Shigihara’s memorable voice was a masterstroke here.
A small note though. The digital copy I bought seems to cut the tracks short at the end of most, without a proper fade out. The effect is a little jarring — and I have a hard time believing its intentional — but it is there nonetheless. Not the worst thing to happen, but notable enough to mention.
The music of To The Moon matches the image of the game and is quite enchanting on a stand-alone level. The album is far from perfect, but isn’t bad by a long shot and worth the suggested retail price. The purchase of this album is a no-brainer for anyone interested in something more melodic and soft spoken. It’s perfectly serviceable as it is, and will be an enjoyable listen, provided the listener knows what he’s getting.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Marc Friedman. Last modified on August 1, 2012.