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Sonic the Hedgehog
  • Composed by Tom Holkenborg
  • Paramount / 43m

He’s been delighting video game players for so many years it’s always been a bit of a mystery why the remarkable true story of Sonic the Hedgehog has never been told in film. Well, finally a new generation can learn about the blue hedgehog and the remarkable story of his quest for rings. With an all-star voice cast led by an actor and a remarkably realistic motion-captured Jim Carrey starring as himself, millions of fans have been enthusiastic ever since they first saw the trailer for the movie. Scoring duties have fallen to renowned video gamer Tom Holkenborg, who has said on the record many times that he comes up with his best ideas while playing on his PlayStation against other gamers – sometimes in person, and sometimes via a broadband internet link to the world wide web.

Holkenborg has come of age as a film composer over the last year or two and Sonic continues the upward trend. It’s a lot of fun, with a nice theme for the hedgehog, some comical villain music and best of all some nicely-stylised old 8-bit sounds mixed in with the lively orchestral sound. Holkenborg’s ascendance seemed to coincide with the arrival of Conrad Pope onto his musical team so I was a bit concerned not to see Pope’s name on this one but actually it’s really well done anyway. The first couple of cues are great – the opening “Meet Sonic” offers a nice presentation of a classic adventure theme, then in “Welcome to Green Hills” we get some of that 8-bit sound mixed in. Admittedly in the middle section there are a few times the music sags a bit or goes into murkier, more modern action music territory and this is a shame, but this doesn’t really last (much of the action music is brighter, as you would hope it would be) and things get fully redeemed at the end in the tremendous action track “He Is My Friend” and the title track which serves as the album’s finale and offers a full and satisfying performance of the main theme.

Rating: *** | |

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  1. Marco Ludema (Reply) on Sunday 23 February, 2020 at 14:07

    Great review. I’ve already ordered the CD version from La La Land Records. It’s gonna be a lot of fun. In case it has made you curious about Sonic music, I’d recommend the soundtracks of Sonic Lost World and Sonic Unleashed in case you’re looking for more orchestra.