de Blob 2 Soundtrack
While THQ's de Blob 2 wasn't a massive leap forward, it built upon the interesting concept of its predecessor and was more accessible to consumers thanks to its multi-platform release. But for some reason, the game didn't sell as well as expected and THQ sadly shut the doors on its developer Blue Tongue Entertainment. Once again, John Guscott returned as composer for the title and stayed faithful to his approach to de Blob. The composer released the music for the title for free as a digital download.
Right from the title theme, John Guscott emphasises continuity between de Blob 2 and its predecessor. This track is an obvious arrangement of the original de Blob theme and it is as groovy as ever. Guscott's arrangement largely preserves the funk style of the original, but the incorporation of some bolder horn section and a few humorous turntable scratches keep things interesting. This isn't the only track that has much in common with the original. For example, "Prisman Holiday" is obviously inspired by the original game's "Décor" with its bossa-nova stylings and jubilant female vocals. Other references are more subtle, for example the conserved bassline between the sequel's "The Roll and Bounce" and the original's "Into It". But while Guscott didn't want to shake things up too much, he still expands and refines the original ideas in a number of ways.
Though funk is once again the basis of de Blob 2, the music is quite diverse on this release. Guscott linked the music to moods throughout the game and, while most tracks are light-hearted, there's some subtle varieties in tone. For example, "Paradise Island" exactly fits the tranquil mood with its samba rhythms and unobtrusive instrumentation, whereas "The Factory" sounds more incendiary with its firm bass line and persistent progressions. There is also plenty of stylistic variety, including the bluesy guitar-based "Boogaloo in Blue", the infectious Latin rhythms of "Paint Party", and the disco parody on "Colour on the Dancefloor". Two of the more surprising tracks here are "The Chase" and "Blob in Space", both of which channel a surf rock style that wasn't featured on the previous soundtrack. Used in the final level of the game, the latter is especially effective with its boundless melodies and theremin parts capturing a sense of space without losing the popular music vibe.
Like the predecessor, the compositions in de Blob 2 evolve depending on how much you paint. This time, the compositions evolve from a little existing ambience often just a few riffs instead of nothing like the original. This ensures a richer accompaniment to the game and ensured that Guscott had to pull out all the stops on the development section. The stand-alone release this time also emphasises the evolution more. "The Colourist Agenda" is among the best examples of this, building up from some bass and drum lines into a fully-fledged disco piece featuring dazzling strings and contrasting sections. It takes a little too long to get going on the stand-alone release, as do a number of tracks here perhaps Guscott should have started big and ended even bigger. However, the sections from the 3:30 mark help to make the wait worthwhile.
Once again, the soundtrack for de Blob 2 is well-produced and features the talents of numerous instrumentalists. Just as on de Blob, the performers are at the heart of funk-based tracks such as "Stencil Jive"; whether slick guitars, retro organs, or exuberant horns, every performer here brings life and character to the phrases. Another excellent showcase of talent is "Pinked" with its extensive guitar, trumpet, and steel drum solos. It's among the very best of the series. Indeed, this time round, the performers don't seem be compensating for dry compositions. John Guscott uses his time and experience to produce interesting and polished tracks to inspire the soloists.
de Blob 2 is bigger and better than its predecessor, both musically and otherwise. John Guscott stays close to the ideas of the original game's music throughout, which is largely a good thing despite the soundtrack sometimes recycling ideas. The soundtrack impresses by building on the ideas of the original with richer stylings and elaborate development. Given this is a free download, it's well worth giving it a shot.
Theme from de Blob2
The Roll & Bounce
The Colourist Agenda
Boogaloo In Blue
Colour On The Dancefloor
Blob In Space