Having endeared to gamers way back in 1989, the classic NES platformer A Boy and His Blob received a surprising remake in 2009, courtesy of WayForward Technologies. Daniel Sadowski took a break from his usually barbaric scoring activities to offer a heartwarming new score for the title. After a considerable delay, the soundtrack was released through iTunes in October 2010 for listeners to enjoy in their own time.
Daniel Sadowski initially portrays the re-imagining of a familiar universe with a blend of new and old on the "Main Theme". The attention-grabbing introduction is filled with the overblown brassy orchestration typical of many modern games today. However, the track soon develops a more personal character with a reflective trumpet countermelody and even a reference to the original game's youthful main theme. "The City March" is another arrangement of the original game's theme, once again blending heroic and frivolous orchestral colours. Aside the occasional obnoxious moment, both compositions have quite a special quality to them and offer a very fitting portrayal of the unlikely protagonist.
Beyond these uplifting headliners, the overall tone of the soundtrack is quite sentimental. For instance, pieces such as "Home Sweet Home", "Longing for a Home", and "A Tearful Goodbye" create a distinctive storybook atmosphere; enriched with cantabile string melodies, elevating choral writing, fantasy harp flourishes, and all sorts of other forces, they certainly capture a sense of youthful bliss. These compositions are intentionally quite immature and derivative in their approach, not to mention rather short, so won't appeal for those looking for cutting-edge sounds. However, they still absolutely fit the game and are potentially very likeable even on a stand-alone level.
In addition to the sentimental aura, the soundtrack is full of light-hearted and frivolous compositions. The whimsical dance rhythms and novelty sound effects of "The Moon Forest", "Village of the Blobs", and "Blobolonian Beauty" capture the nature and homes of the various creatures in the game in a suitably humorous and vivid way. It's as if Elfman's film scores, Prokofiev's children's stories, and, of course, old-school game music have combined to create an irresistible concoction. A more contemporary composition is "Subterra", which invites listeners into another world with warm ethereal synthpads and sparse ethnic percussion to beautiful effect.
Darker pieces gradually grow more dominant during the soundtrack to represent the progression of the game. However, Sadowski still maintains a degree of continuity with the rerst of the score. "Home Dark Home", for instance, is a fascinating twist on the original home theme and conveys a sense of spoiled beauty. "Emperor's Battle" meanwhile presents a humorous twist on the typical dark gothic final boss themes out there, showing that a boy and a blob can defeat even the most formidable foes. The score ends with the intimate ballad "Everything to Me", featuring Bethany Mosley's soothing vocals, and a reflective credits medley presenting inspired arrangements of several themes.
Overall, this an endearing soundtrack for an equally endearing game. Sadowski did a good job portraying the various facets of the fantasy world of A Boy and His Blob while still offering thematic and stylistic references to the original game. The score does have its limitations, for example its naive orchestrations, limiting synthesis, and short track times, but none of these features detract from the overall emotional feel of the score. Overall, a recommended purchase for those who enjoy light and sentimental game music.