Composed by
Steve Burke

 

Published by
Sumthing Else Music Works (2005)

 

Tracklistings
1) Kameo's Quest
2) Enter the Shadow Realm
3) Shadow Realm
4) Elemental Warriors
5) Hero's Theme
6) Serenity
7) Forest Glade
8) Crystal Cavern
9) Enchanted Kingdom
10) Dragon's Approach
11) Thorn's Lair
12) Battle Prelude
13) The Badlands
14) A Lament for Solon
15) Into the Light
16) Darkness Looms
17) Ortho's Theme
18) The Snow Tribe
19) Theena's Sorrow
20) Taken Hostage
21) Thorn's Pass
22) Ice Siege
23) Ice Mountain Onslaught
24) Drok's Theme
25) Thron's Arrival
26) Danger in the Sky
27) Legend Unfolds

 

Extras
- Game website
- Soundtrack website

 

Availability
- Amazon.com
- Sumthing.com
- Synsoniq.com

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Kameo: Elements of Power

Kameo: Elements of Power is one of Microsoft’s new XBox 360 launch titles. The game was generally heralded for its inventive and fun gameplay, beautiful and sharp visuals and great sound and score. The player took the role of the Elf princess Kameo who had the ability to transform herself into various unusual creatures like a yeti or a plant with boxing gloves. With the help of these special powers, she had to defeat the vile troll king Thorn to rescue her family and save the Enchanted Kingdom.

To match the gorgeous visuals of the title, developer Rare decided to hire composer Steve Burke to write the score and let it be performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus. This results in an orchestral, very classically oriented and varied score. “Kameo’s Quest” opens up the album appropriately with a sweeping choir statement before falling into a percussive and heroic march. The combination of military percussion and choir is one that Burke often uses to create an epic feel and it works very well. Good examples of this are “Battle Prelude” or “The Badlands” that both build upon blaring brass, pounding drums and a dose of choir at just the right points to make the cues epic and monumental. As a matter of fact, Burke tries to make the score sound as big and sweeping as possible at every turn and uses all the trademarks fantasy movie scoring relies upon.

One of the highlights of the score is undoubtedly “Hero’s Theme” that builds upon a striking arrangement of choir, brass and addictive, easy-going rhythms. It’s a chivalrous and epic theme and is only matched by the fantastic action cue “Thorn’s Pass” that will stun with you its pounding rhythms and brass fanfares. It also introduces a second theme, one for the Enchanted Kingdom that Kameo has to save and is also featured in “Enchanted Kingdom” in a soft female vocal statement. There are a few other motifs in the score that are quoted here and there and make sure the album has a thematic consistency.

The score has its quieter, tenderer moments too and they are just as enjoyable. “Serenity” features enchanting crystalline percussions and a soft female chorus while “Forest Glade” mixes heart-warming string lines and clarinets. They are beautifully constructed pieces and offer an excellent contrast to the harsh and percussive action cues. Sometimes, Burke even goes for the over-the-top whimsical as for example in “Crystal Cavern” that will put a smile on your face because of its quirky and unusual instrumentation.

The score balances both the action-oriented and the beautiful/ethereal elements very well and mixes it for an enjoyable listen from start to finish. In fact, there are no ambient pieces whatsoever on the album which means that the score will probably remind you more of a score written for film than game. But no matter if you’re a fan of game or movie music (you are hopefully both!) you should get this album as fast as you can. Game music seldom gets better than this.