Composed by
Peter McConnell

 

Published by
Double Fine (2006)

 

Tracklistings
1) Coach's Welcome
2) Bobby Zilch & Sasha
3) The World Is a Better Place
4) March of the Psychonauts
5) Lili Kidnapped
6) Was That a Dream?
7) Top O' the Lungfish
8) Call Me Linda
9) Dr. Loboto's Evil Plans
10) Ah, the Theater!
11) Rise Up, Milkman
12) My Patron
13) Beauty and the Bull
14) Love Found and Lost
15) End of the Asylum
16) The Fathers
17) Summer's End
18) Psychonauts Theme Medley (Remixed and Remastered)

 

Extras
- Game website
- Composer website

 

Availability
- Double Fine shop
- Synsoniq Records

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Psychonauts: The Original Cinematic Score

Please also see our review of the original Psychonauts Soundtrack album

The Psychonauts Soundtrack album contained most of the in-game music cues, but it lacked the underscore for the cutscenes. With the success of the album and the many fans crying out for more, developer Double Fine decided to release all the cinematic music separately on the Psychonauts: The Original Cinematic Score album. Composer Peter McConnell would even remix and remaster portions of the music for a better stand-alone listen.

As a soundtrack album, The Original Cinematic Score does have severe troubles standing on its own. The reason for it is the very dialogue-driven nature of the game’s cutscenes. This inevitably has to result in a subtle, unobtrusive underscore as not to disturb the on-screen presentation. Furthermore, the shortness of these sequences barely allowed McConnell to develop his cinematic cues: most of them are hardly over two minutes long, some even less than one minute. What one ends up with is a set of highly specific musical ideas and snippets that offer little redeeming value when torn out of their context. “The World Is a Better Place”, for example, is little more than timed clashes of light percussion and “My Patron” builds heavily on comical underscore.

As a companion piece to the Psychonauts original album, however, the cinematic score does have its distinct merits. First of all, the existing themes are present and worked cleverly into the underscore. In fact, the true potential of the thematic material is to some extent only evident when heard in the context of the cutscene music. The conspiracy-motif in particular makes striking appearances: most notably and complex in “Dr. Loboto’s Evil Plans”. Also, there are a couple of lengthier cues that offer some development of musical ideas. One of the most interesting examples is the very dynamic and exciting “Summer’s End” which presents the Psychonauts theme in different arrangements. The victory fanfare version of this prominent theme is a definite highlight.

As a whole, the Cinematic Score album is a worthwhile listen, especially for completists. It is, however, only in connection with the original Psychonauts album that this score unfolds its true potential. The combination of both releases proves to be an invaluable guide to the pure enjoyment that is the Psychonauts musical world.