Austin Wintory
Journey Original Soundtrack


4.5
superb

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (86 Reviews)
March 5th, 2014 | 33 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: It may not have the same effect standing alone, but Austin Wintory really captured what made Journey such an emotional and cathartic experience.

In our society video games keep getting shunned by the media because they get generalized as being bad influences and lacking substance. The media depicts video games as one of the lowest forms of art and as a result it gives them a bad reputation. What the media fails to touch on are the games like Journey that can only have a positive effect on us. Journey gets its point across without the player firing a single bullet, splattering one drop of blood and absolutely no dialogue. To top it all off, it features some of the best music to grace any form of interactive media. It's stirring, ambient, calming and happens to be one of the major driving forces that really makes Journey hit so hard in terms of genuinely feeling. Music in any type of art of visual art is meant to convey the scope and severity of the situation and Journey's music not only expresses these aspects: It takes on a life of its own.

A video game about an unknown figure on a "journey" that involves simply walking to the bright light at the top of a mountain needs the music that expresses determination and catharsis. Right from the start, "Nascence" fits with it's slowly simmering strings and beautiful ambience. This carries over into "The Call" with its incredible post rock like build. Plenty of the pieces that Austin Wintory composed for Journey showcases an immediate post rock aesthetic with their slow rising builds and breathtaking crescendos that always seem to explode at the right moments while playing. The music capitalizes on bringing out all of these breathtaking moments in the game with all of these inspiring pieces like "The Road Of Trials" when gleefully sliding down the hills of the unknown desert and "Fourth Confluence" where you look at the stone tablets that vaguely tell the cloaked figure what happened before starting his pilgrimage to the light. Austin also flushes out the sinister moments as well with the ominous drums in "Descent" while struggling to ascend the bottom of the mountain. With no dialogue and only a lone companion to interact with along the way, the game needs the perfect way to express the gravity of what exactly is happening and Austin Wintory accomplished just this with his grammy nominated soundtrack.

Even though listening to this soundtrack alone doesn't have the same effect, it's still worth a listen simply to be inspired. Austin created an evocative soundtrack like no other and it really shows in songs like "Apotheosis." This song embodies the end of your trial with it's extremely gleeful mood and intense string string arrangement. As soon as you fly to the top of the mountain while the simmering strings swell, you will be at a loss for words. No other video game soundtrack has ever perfectly delivered in this type of mood before like Journey's soundtrack does. It's still worth it to give this gem a listen alone, but to experience it right play the game. Anyone with an appreciation for music and art will not regret it.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


22008 Comments


yeah this is nice

Digging: Miguel - Kaleidoscope Dream

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Did you play Journey fish?

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


22008 Comments


didn't play it (no ps3) but I've listened to bits off this

TalonsOfFire
March 5th 2014


8145 Comments


Incredible game and amazing soundtrack. I mostly agree with the first paragraph, but I think video games are starting to be more accepted as an art form. Especially given all the publicity Bioshock Infinite got.

Digging: Stella Luna - Stargazer

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Cool man. Idk where you live, but the reason I put that bit was because here in the US, in this past
year and a half there was lots of shootings at public places and like a terrible amount that we have
never seen before. Video games were often brought up in conversation and generalized as terrible
influences when games like these often get shoved under the rug by the media here. It's a shame imo

Mort.
March 5th 2014


3770 Comments


"It's a shame imo"

yeah it definitely is as it usually draws attention away fromn the real issues that cause school shootings (like bullying etc). I remember DOOM being blamed for columbine, and they just ignored the fact those kids had been relentlessly bullied at school


yeah but anyway this is a great game and soundtrack nice review

Digging: Sianvar - Sianvar

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man. Other than the grammy nomination, I don't really remember this game getting lots of media
coverage outside of the gaming spotlight.

DrGonzo1937
March 5th 2014


5901 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review mongi. This game blew me away when it came out. So emotional. haha

Digging: Ilenkus - The Crossing

heyadam
March 5th 2014


1715 Comments


Game and soundtrack are both absolutely phenomenal. It's one of my all time favorites

Digging: Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties - We Don't Have Each Other

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Gonzo. Same dude, I've yet to meet someone who thinks otherwise haha

Green Baron
March 5th 2014


20000 Comments


Sweet game

I'm the only one I know who thinks that

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Toondude10
March 5th 2014


4113 Comments


Never heard of this before...honest to god.

Digging: Hey Rosetta! - Second Sight

AFalseWinter
March 5th 2014


34 Comments


you're hitting the nail on the head Mongi
thatgamecompany and Team Ico know their ways around interactive art/ rad muzik

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you have a ps3 Toondude, this is a must play game. It won tons of game of the year awards if that means anything.

Toondude10
March 5th 2014


4113 Comments


yeah ummmm...I currently don't own a gaming system as of yet...

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
March 5th 2014


10280 Comments


the moment where the dude falls onto the ground in the snowstorm omg

Toondude10
March 5th 2014


4113 Comments


Geez, I need to look up this game

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

The first time I played this, as soon as I flew up to the light with the stranger was a type of
feeling I've never experienced while playing any game or watching any movie

PostMesmeric
March 5th 2014


388 Comments


You have no idea how great it is to see more video game album reviews on this site.

Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
March 5th 2014


10810 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well noticed this didn't have a review and this is one of my fav games so I felt compelled to haha



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