When thinking of classical game soundtracks, Jessica Curry has cemented herself in the top-tier thanks to her works as part of The Chinese Room. “So Let Us Melt” see’s her continue to cement that with the score to the VR title of the same name. It’s the first time I’ve heard the soundtrack to a Curry score without playing the game, but the soundtrack utterly stands alone as some of the best classical scoring of the year.
Jessica has a certain wonder and rapture in what she brings to music. The epic five-minute “The Growing of the World” personifies this. From the excited string arrangements to the rolling pianos to the fantastical choir – everything is shaped around pushing towards certain journey points in a song. Each phase has its beginning and unfurling to its fullest before pushing to the next section. It’s what makes her work feel like a roller coaster journey and it’s what makes things special.
There’s a motif that runs throughout the soundtrack, a simple pull between two chords – although you’d never think its just two states. “Counting the Atmospheres” does a great job of showcasing how each layer of music can pull back to two chords and then expand on an idea in different ways. It’s regal, wonderful, awe-inspiring and carries weight because there’s a lilt to things that give an edge to transitions. Each track explores either this theme or motifs from the glorious choir in “Sonder” with the occasional branch out such as the gothic “Anything For Kenospoia”. Infact – it’s that gothic edge you’ll find throughout the soundtrack that gives the music its pointed edge – much like how “Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture” had the religious softness in its falsetto. That softness is used beautifully in “Brought to Rest”.
There is also an element of synth work hiding behind the orchestrations too and it only pokes out occasionally. The epic soaring “The Leaving” has a metallic wave bouncing around that mutates into a string section cleverly and flits back and forth between the two instrument sections on the volume slider. It also pushes Curry into more abstract atmospherics with “Lassiter” being an example of oceans of synths and frequency effects working their magic to create an alien world out of organic instruments – all underscored with the harp. However, at its heart are great melodies, a strong string section and a gorgeous choir – the latter singing out the soundtrack with the vocal only “So Let Us Melt” which feels both old and new, and very emotive.
Across the 15 tracks and hour of music, you’ll be whisked away to a fantastical world full of wonder and delight and feel every part of its power at your finger tips. Easily one of the best classical releases of 2017, and one of the best game soundtracks of the year too – I urge you to pick this up.
Recommended Track : Our First Singing