Chances are that you’ve seen this if you’ve been scouring the VGM blogosphere recently.
“This” meaning a very bold statement made by the London Philharmonic. Apparently they are playing the “greatest video game music” on this album. I can’t help but wonder if they actually received input before choosing what to record. Take a look at the track list on Amazon.com.
I’ll come out and say it: I don’t know a lot of these tracks–as stated in my Prelude page, one of my goals is to listen to more modern game soundtracks because I simply haven’t been paying that much attention. However, I find it hard to believe that in the, albeit short, history of video games, 68% of the “greatest” VGM comes from games released in the last 6 years. Do I think that VGM is ultimately improving? Yes. Do I believe that including the Angry Birds theme isn’t a marketing ploy? Or that a song that’s not on a radio station in a GTA game is better than Luther Vandross? No. But to be fair, I haven’t given the Angry Birds theme a good listen. Maybe it is greater than anything I’ve ever heard before that isn’t on the album and I’m just being biased because of my feelings towards the game itself.
*Note: I made a comment on another blog about the absurdity of the Angry Birds theme’s inclusion and just a few minutes ago received a response that it’s one of the best arrangements on the album. I also responded to that, if you’re interested in looking.
In my mind, the London Phil mostly played it safe. Since scores over the last 6 years have been increasingly orchestral, they seem to have decided to include them over songs that they’d have to arrange “heavily” (aside from Angry Birds–because they just had to include that). They chose songs from games that they knew would make the album sell (i.e., Call of Duty, Mass Effect, World of Warcraft, to name a few). If anything, the hubris in the title just makes it obnoxious.
This all being said, I will use the album as a listening guide to check out some new stuff.
I won’t, however, be checking out the London Phil’s arrangements upon first listen.