August 17, 2019

Various Artists - The Music of Red Dead Redemption II: (Original Score) Review

Various Artists - The Music Of Red Dead Redemption II: (Original Score) Review

Various Artists - The Music of Red Dead Redemption II: (Original Score) Review

Just as video game developer Rockstar promised, the original score to their engrossing cowboy western game, Red Dead Redemption II released August 9th, and just as their pedigree for cinematic and Oscar-worthy storytelling captured the hearts and minds of fans across the world, so too does their original score for the game itself.

This is the companion release from their earlier soundtrack version of Red Dead II, which I reviewed and was released earlier in July, but instead of vocalized, bluesy, country-western songs, this release compiles brand new materials and adds another half-hour to its runtime, totaling to a full-length 72 minutes of Western musical progressions and acoustics. It is meticulously crafted by veteran composers and industry musicians and pulls listeners who haven't ever played a video game into a world all its own, and given the saturation of popular music these days, it becomes an absolute delight to listen to a type of music that is so different but supposedly common in the days of the Wild West.

Outlaws From The West is the classic Wild West theme as it has all the reverberating guitar melodies and percussive claps to make you feel like you're in a movie, and is reminiscent of an orchestral Godspeed You! Black Emperor track. Other songs take on a more passive tone, as Blessed Are The Peacekeepers plays with a string section as it complements the acoustic guitar melody and low echoing wails to make a moody and filmlike atmosphere. Other tracks that achieve this quiet cinematic quality include It All Makes Sense Now, The Fine Art of Conversation, Country Pursuits, and The Wheel, while others ring up the tension such as Mrs. Sadie Adler, Widow, Paradise Mercifully Departed, and Icarus And Friends. Again, some even sidestep the classic Western sound in favor of a more New Orleans style of music in songs like Banking, The Old American Art, and American Venom.

Ultimately, The Music of Red Dead Redemption II is exactly what you'd expect from an award-winning spaghetti Western video game: a revisit of a time we never truly knew in the best possible imagining by seasoned and experienced musicians and composers. It is an excellent backdrop to practically any activity, and it stands as a special musical release of Western music.

The Music of Red Dead Redemption II - 8.5/10

Recommended Tracks: Outlaws From The West, Blessed Are The Peacemakers, Red Dead Redemption