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Digi-Log Conversation: Sonic Adventure Original Soundtrack :: Review by Charles

Digi-Log Conversation: Sonic Adventure Original Soundtrack Album Title: Digi-Log Conversation: Sonic Adventure Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Marvelous Entertainment
Catalog No.: MJCA-00034
Release Date: January 20, 1999
Purchase: Buy at eBay


I like to think of the Sonic Adventure Original Soundtrack as a transition album when it comes to Sonic music. The actual game was a transition in itself, being the first 3D Sonic game ever created. The music shares many qualities with past soundtracks but just like the game being 3D, the soundtrack is trying something new too. We can even welcome composer Jun Senoue and his band Crush 40, who are working for the series for the first time. Although Sonic Adventure was the first Sonic game with unfamiliar vocal music, this specific album contains most of the instrumentals from Sonic Adventure. The instrumentals will hit closer to home for the old-school sonic fans, but they are in now way home.


Whether you love it or hate it, some of the new rock styling is perfectly fitting for the game. It's no Sonic Adventure 2, which is one of the greatest Sonic soundtracks in this style, but there's a lot of materiel to enjoy here. It makes the game that much more fun and energetic. "Open Your Heart" and "Introduction" are the two vocal main themes that kind of snuck onto this album. They started this long tradition of hardcore rock themes in Sonic games. This is a taste of what you'd find on the vocal collection album, though a lot of vocal themes are a bit more upbeat. The vocal tracks are very catchy and well composed. Although its fun to have a taste of the vocal music, its really not what this album is about at all.

"Be Cool, Be Wild and Be Groovy", "Crank the Heat Up!" "Sky Deck A Go! Go!", and "Azure Blue World are more of the instrumental rock tracks I was talking about in the beginning. It just makes perfect sense to have these upbeat, and super fast paced rock themes in a Sonic game. Although the tunes rely on a rock guitar, there are other instruments like saxophones that give the tunes a distinctly Sonic feel. "Be Cool, Be Wild, and Be Groovy" has some very fun fast pace guitar riffs and it's hard not to want to run when listening to it. It makes for good jogging music! These rock instrumentals are all great highlights of the album.

There are some uglier transitions on this album that kind of reflect the mess that Sonic has become these days. Just as a lot of people found non-Sonic levels to be annoying additions, some may find that the music for those levels isn't up to par either. I'm not talking about overworld levels like "Welcome to Station Square", which contain lighter rock. I can live with those. I mean when Jun delves into jazzier genres. I like a nice jazzy tune, but the kind that Jun Senoue makes can be annoying and barely memorable. While they still have a bit of a Sonic feel and they aren't exactly horrible pieces, they are nothing close to Sonic's music and they define the gameplay transition that Sonic took of having more than just Sonic be playable.

There are some great atmospheric themes that I haven't heard much of in previous and recent Sonic games. These tunes also have to do with the game play transition, but they went over a bit better. I definitely liked these ambient pieces, which were surprisingly beautiful for a Sonic game though still fitting. "Snowy Mountain" is the first one that pops into my head. The quiet background rock guitar gives the track a contemporary Sonic feel, but doesn't ruin the beauty of the track and still fits a snow level perfectly. The slight tempo changes are really cool too, though I wish it would all last longer. It's one of the best non-rock tracks on the album. I also enjoyed "Mystic Ruin", which had a bit more worldly of a feel.


Though the vocals were a big part of Sonic's musical transition, these instrumentals have established a firm bar for later Sonic games to look back to. The instrumentals also help keep it grounded to its roots a bit, though the definitely can stray at times, especially having a new composer. I can't say 3D Sonic music ever touched me emotionally being the kind of game that it is nor did I ever find it fun/quirky. Whether it is serious or light hearted, it's just Sonic music. In saying that, it probably would help to play the game, but I could imagine others liking it thought he vocals are much more mainstream friendly. Jun Senoue has created his own sound and put the Sonic games through a smooth transition even if he had to reflect some of the slower game play levels. It's no old-school Sonic and some will be disappointed about that lost sound, but it's a worthy start to a new generation.

Overall Score: 8/10