Review

The Best of Lucasarts Original Soundtracks

If John Williams or Randy Newman started composing music for videogames, soundtracks like this one could become the rage. In the meantime, this compilation will likely languish in obscurity. LucasArts prides itself on giving its videogames the same production values as its movies. Hence the cinematic sound of this CD's 23 selections -- the four spaghetti- Western themes taken from the Old West PC romp Outlaws have more than a passing resemblance to Sergio Leone-era Ennio Morricone. But the effort mostly disappoints. The seven tracks from the folkloric adventure game Grim Fandango offer a little tabla, a bit of tango, and even some flamenco -- all of which are distinctly overproduced. The six spottiest works are from the swashbuckling Monkey Island series. ''Underwater Lagoon'' would be more fitting as elevator music in a Caribbean tourist trap than a madcap adventure. With some tweaking, ''Pegnose Pete's Hideout'' could've been a gorgeous threepenny polka worthy of Tom Waits. Ultimately, this CD is an exploration of the pitfalls rather than the possibilities of videogame soundtracks.

Originally posted Feb 07, 2003 Published in issue #694 Feb 07, 2003 Order article reprints
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