on 21 June 2013
The Last Of Us has succeeded in forming one of the most memorable gaming experiences in recent memory, perhaps of all time, by creating a world so rich and well detailed but subtly evocative and intricate in it's execution - all in the wake of tired, old concepts. It is an outstanding achievement overall, and this soundtrack is a big part of that and defines both the emotional resonance and the intricate and subtle design of the game.
Gustavo Santaolalla has provided a very evocative piece of work here, though that won't be new to fans of his previous work. He can make a single guitar note impact so much, and say so much more than any concoction of strings, orchestral hits and drums could. Truly, the beauty of this work is in its simplicity and stripped down nature.
The gentle guitars and ocasional lonely strings throughout bounce around and fade into the dissonance, providing a lonely, almost mournful, accompaniment to not only the path of Joel and Ellie, but to the world of The Last Of Us as a whole.
In a world where so much has been lost, the songs speak almost as an echo of nostalgia to the world as it was before. It gives an ethereal feeling like the atmosphere and environment is the only thing left to reflect back the emotional humanity that most people have lost.
There are moments of true, peaceful beauty and moments of heartfelt reflection between moments of tension and paranoia, again feeling pretty apt for the world the game portrays.
Even when the songs have more structure, or more pace and and sound more 'song like' they are still do not feel bold, brash or in your face. Even the occasional drum pounding feels humble.
It can be occasionally reminiscent of the plucks and notes of old westerns, and the game almost holds a black mirror up to this concept - Instead of a walking amongst a lawless land of opportunity and daring-do, imagine instead a broken land of loss and mourning, with little hope to be found.
The tone of the album resonates with the tone of the world so brilliantly that it is hard to imagine one without the other. For a soundtrack, I basically couldn't give it higher praise than that.
This entire album is, quite simply, a brilliant piece of work. It may sound light to the ears, (even in its loudest moments) especially compared to other game soundtracks, but this only makes it incredibly heavy and emotionally rendering on the heart.
A beautiful soundtrack to a beautiful game, and I'd recommend this to everyone who has played it. Post completion, it's a fantastic way to relive and reminisce about the game.
If you haven't picked the game up yet, or maybe you don't even play games or you are simply a music lover - I'd still recommend you give this a try. The soundtrack tells a story in itself, and I'd be surprised if you weren't interested in playing the game after listening to this.
Nothing short of a triumph for gaming and soundtrack work.
on 12 July 2013
In a world of mainly mediocre and uninspiring games, Last of Us is a truly amazing piece of interactive entertainment. And part of the reason it's so amazing is this soundtrack.
I buy very few albums these days, because I generally listen to speech radio and podcasts rather than music. But this experience made such a deep impression on me that I had to reward the creator by purchasing. It would be impossible to imagine this superb gaming experience without this music.
Congratulations Mr. Santaolalla, you helped create a very special experience for millions of us.
PS Apologies to anyone who noticed I previously reviewed the game, and not the music!
on 16 August 2013
The Last of Us as a game is a masterpiece that has taken the world by storm, earning absolute scores in many renowned gaming magazines and sites across the globe. It is a gritty, no-holds-barred view of a postapocalyptic civilization with infected roaming the wasteland and the last pockets of civilization fighting for whatever may come in handy. The game sees two likeable characters, Joel and Ellie, on a journey across the U.S. and their relationship growing stronger and more intimate after every deadly encounter with enemies.
The music is a direct reflection of that. Mr. Santaolalla, the composer of this amazing soundtrack, has crafted thematically rich, yet intimately delicate music that underscores the adventure of the two protagonists. Considering the nature of the game, it is understandable that the soundtrack is very dark and melancholic in tone and with a few tear-jerking moments. What sets it apart from the rest is its fairly non-conventional concept and especially its instrumentation. There is no one single theme that would bind it all together. Instead, the music uses several themes that serve to strengthen the emotional impact of various situations and moments throughout the game. The themes are instantly identifiable and and various renditions of each theme differ from each other in instrumentation and tempo -- sometimes a theme is played with several instruments at once and other times it's only a few. It works wonders each time, though, and every rendition helps make that particular moment unique. Thrown into the mix is a collection of more moody, ambient pieces mainly consisting of various types of percussion supported by one or two other instruments sometimes used in an almost dissonant way.
The instrumentation is rich in terms of the wide range of instruments used but is otherwise very minimalistic. It is generally very much in the vein of Gustavo Santaolalla's previous works. Some "brighter" themes and their renditions are mainly performed with various types of guitars and similar plucked string instruments, sometimes with a bit of light drums. More somber interpretations are based on instruments such as cellos and and wind instruments that induce a strong sense of sorrow and pain. There is never a point where there would be many instruments playing all at once. Instead, the whole score is just "islands" of instruments playing to convey just the right emotion for that particular moment.
To sum it all up, this album is a must for all fans of the game. You can relive all the strong moments through listening to it. But even if you have not played the game or don't listen to soundtracks much in general, I still encourage you to give this album a chance. Its unique sound and a vast array of soft, intimate themes just might suit your fancy.
on 19 April 2014
This soundtrack is the best. Just, out of all of the soundtracks to all of the things, this one is the best. And while you could listen to both volumes and more on the Internet, why not get it on a weird circle that you put in a machine, and get the totally as ass little booklet that comes inside. Seriously, that little booklet is cool.
on 23 August 2014
Gustavo Santoalalla did it again with ''The Last Of Us'' soundtrack.
This is my favorite work of Gustavo Santaolalla and arguably one of my all time favorites.
The Last Of Us is an amazing game by itself but it wouldn't nearly be as good without gustavo's music,
he knows how to capture the feeling of a scene perfectly, Sometimes with the simplest melody.
The album stands perfectly fine on its own, but is arguably better when you did indeed play the game.
The title track is one that you will remember, (which i find rare) also thanks to its simplicity.
i haven't heard a soundtrack that stuck to me this much since ''The Lord Of The Rings'' Soundtrack.
Thank you Gustavo, i hope to hear more from you in the future!
Give it a listen, it's more than worth it!
on 12 July 2013
Stunning soundtrack to the greatest game released this console generation simply fantastic naughty dog are the best developers by far and the soundtrack compliments the game spot on
on 27 January 2014
This soundtrack carries so much of the weight of the story of Joel and Ellie within its fractured and sincere phrasing and frequent evolution of a melody that carries through the album. It morphs and changes to reflect the emotions perfectly and Gustavo plays with such emotion and passion that whenever I put on either the full on booming and grand "The Last of Us" or the quiet and melancholy "The Last of Us (Goodnight)" I listen intently and enjoy every second.
Being a game soundtrack it holds a lot of its power within the game itself. But on its own, undoubtedly, it is a beautiful feat of a soundtrack, and one to be enjoyed standing on its own just as much as playing the game.
If you're a fan of the game, I highly recommend buying this. You won't regret it. .
on 31 January 2015
As anyone who has played the game knows, Gustavo Santoalla's soundtrack for The Last of Us is incredible and is definitely worth a purchase! The cd contains a whopping 30 songs which take the listener on a journey from understated beauty to haunting oppression and back again. Listening to the music in isolation of the chaotic sounds of the game really allows the nuance in Santoalla's playing to shine and the short and sweet nature of many of the songs will make them perfect for repeated listening. The cd alone deserves a 5 star but on top of that there's an interesting couple of pages within the booklet where Neil Druckmann discusses the music of the game and a couple of pieces of concept art too but it all comes in an ugly clear plastic case which is a shame.
on 24 March 2016
Having played this game again on PS4 recently, I was once again amazed at the sparing but wonderful use of music. However, it wasn't until I watched Netflix's brilliant documentary series 'How To Make A Murderer' that I realized Santaolalla's brilliance. I instantly recognised his eery, lonely soundscape of Americana. This inspired me to look up his name, and I subsequently bought several of his albums. This OST is primarily comprised of short refrains which are repeated throughout the game , together with several versions of the main theme and other longer tracks. It is therefore an odd listen, but thoroughly enjoyable in a bleak sort of way.
on 10 September 2014
This album was written especially for the computer game. The tracks are varied and instrumentally rich. Wonderful! Great to sit and listen to rather than as background music. I really love the fact that there are no human voices too. How often have you listened to a great musical intro to a track, only to have the music fade behind the sound of someone singing......so often spoiling your enjoyment of the music.