- Composed by Lorne Balfe
- Activision / 2012 / 31:59
The sequel to a popular children’s platform video game, Skylanders: Giants will be making its way into many kids’ bedrooms over the coming months. Lorne Balfe returns to provide the music, released on an album oddly called “The Official Orchestral Soundtrack” (presumably to distinguish it from the legions of unofficial Skylanders: Giants soundtracks). It’s a somewhat misleading title since the music is not actually orchestral at all; perhaps a couple of the solos come from real instruments, but the rest is samples. It doesn’t really matter – we’re not exactly talking Bartók here, so the electronic approximations work well enough. The music is very simple, fairly typical Remote Control-style (it could come from a Dreamworks animation or something) – and really rather entertaining.
The silly, sub-Pirates of the Caribbean opening theme doesn’t get things off to a great start in “Giants”, but things recover well from there. The music stays in the same lighthearted style, but the rather tired sound of the opener is left behind and a certain freshness can be found. “Cutthroat Carnival” is a frenetic jig, “Glacier Gully” a wildly adventurous ride, “Secret Vault of Secrets” a bass-heavy piece of old-school Media Ventures action (complete with – sampled – deep male choir). The one darker moment is “Drill-X’s Big Rig” – with its comic melodrama it’s probably the most fun cue on the album. True, there’s nothing of particular substance here – but unlike when a similar sound is used in major films, that’s hardly a cause for complaint (and indeed is probably something to be embraced on a project like this). It’s an entertaining half hour’s music, with simplistic goals that are comfortably met. ***