LostWinds Soundtrack EP :: Review by Joe Hammond
LostWinds and its sequel Winter of the Melodias are two of the Wii's (specifically WiiWare's) many hidden gems. With its lavish and beautiful environments, interesting characters and designs, and creative gameplay using wind mechanics via the Wii remote pointer, it won the hearts of the gamers who bought it and critics alike. Toku and Enril's journey is one that's well worth taking.
Complementing the overall feel of the game, the music led by industry mainstay Alistair Lindsay is very atmospheric, minimalist, and Asian in it's nature. However, it makes for some decent standalone listening too due to some creative melodies and harmonies. A recently released six track, six dollar EP contains the music from both games in the series there's not very much on offer, but it helps keep the feel of the game intact.
The "Title Theme" begins the album, and definitely sets the mood for the rest of the game. It's also the most melodic piece on the album, with a memorable theme played on very subtle instruments. The accompaniment is provided by some plucked string instruments such as the lute, with different types of flute and string instruments providing the melody. There's also a bass drone in the moments where the melody repeats. Overall it paints a fantastic picture of the games environments even without the graphics on screen.
The flute and lute is all that's used in the next track, "Blossom Grove", which is played out like an improvisation. The two instruments work off each other really well to create a relaxing track that's good to listen to. This approach is continued in "Lost Cavern", this time using a few more instruments such as bass and ethnic woodwinds. Using the major pentatonic scale throughout makes for some sense of continuity, stopping the composition from becoming random.
More is added to the texture of "Melodia City" such as an ambient choir and some metal tuned percussion. This piece has more of a coherent time signature to it, and the instrumentation is different enough that it paints a different picture to the pieces before it. "Summerfalls" introduces some thicker string textures, giving the piece that summery feel. The last track on the album is completely different from what we've heard before. "Riveren Battle", an action track focusing on fast paced percussion and ostinatos. It has a pretty intense feel, but not so much that it feels out of place with the rest of the soundtrack.
While short, the LostWinds Soundtrack EP is amazing. There's a coherent and unique style throughout all of the music, and it really sets the tone for the game. The runtime on this EP is also ideal if the album was more than half an hour of the same it would get tedious but it's short length means that it remains an enjoyable listen throughout it's run time. The only thing holding it back from a perfect 10 is if there were a few more elaborate musical moments, like what made Journey's soundtrack such a masterpiece. As is, it's relaxing music yet it's worth paying attention to hear all the subtleties. Great music.
Overall Score: 9/10