The Longest Journey Original Soundtrack

 

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Review by · August 11, 2006

The Longest Journey is a fantastic graphic adventure game I enjoyed immensely. However, for all my enjoyment of the game, I found the music often sparse, and rather forgettable. It was mostly just short orchestrally styled tracks that appeared once in a while to add atmosphere. Nothing really wowed me about the music. I don’t think a hypothetical absence of music in the game would have made an iota of difference.

And after listening to this soundtrack, my mind has not changed. To be completely blunt, the music presented here isn’t very good. I found the soundtrack mostly boring with few, if any, medium or up tempo numbers and many of the tracks used cheesy sounding synthesized vocals way too often. “Main Menu,” “Reading Music,” and “Inside the Alatien City” come to mind here as examples. The synthesized vocals sound noticeably synthesized with that overly compressed, processed sound and none of the organic warmth of live vocals. As with a lot of fantasy themed soundtracks, the choice for the Bjørn Arve Lagim compositions is classically styled orchestra pieces. While I think that style lends itself well to traditional fantasy settings, The Longest Journey also has post-modern settings and the last few tracks by Tor Linløkken feature more modern instrumentation.

There was not a single standout track for me. All of them were pretty boring and sounded like they were all cut from the same cloth. All of it sounded very cookie-cutter and there was nothing that really grabbed my ear and made me take notice. Just loads of slow, boring, plodding, soundalike, third-rate orchestral drivel with no hooks or melodies to entice your ear. The more modern sounding pieces also sounded like plodding, boring, derivative, third-rate drivel devoid of anything worthy of grabbing my ear. I know the pieces are supposed to be atmospheric, but none of the pieces elicited distinct atmospherics in my brain. Just boredom… and more boredom. The one saving grace is that all the tracks, save for a few, are really really short so you don’t have to endure the boredom for long periods of time. But the long tracks really tried my patience, especially that 12 minute number. I had to summon all my willpower as a listener to sit through this entire soundtrack and not turn it off or just stop tracks midway through and move on. It was excruciatingly painful to sit through.

So in a nutshell, this soundtrack sucks. Every single song sucks.

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Despite my disgust toward this soundtrack, you might want it. The bad news is that the soundtrack is no longer available for purchase. But, there is good news for those who would want the soundtrack. A more complete version (six extra tracks) [was] available legally and free through Funcom. Visit [URL removed] to see and hear for yourself. No packaging, but it is free.

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Neal Chandran

Neal Chandran

Neal is the PR manager at RPGFan but also finds time to write occasional game or music reviews and do other assorted tasks for the site. When not schmoozing with various companies on behalf of RPGFan or booking/scheduling appointments for press events, he is an educator, musician, voiceover artist, cyclist, gym rat, and bookworm.