Artist: Japanese breakfast
Genre: Pop, Instrumental, Soundtrack
Best tracks: “Glider”, “Eccria (Night)”, “Sansee (Day)”, “Beetle Detour”, “Burnt Oak Station (Day)”
Weakest slopes: “Sansee (night)”
Release Date: September 24, 2021
Duration: 1 h 36 min
Michelle Zauner has been a busy artist. The Korean-American musician released her acclaimed soft-rock album “Jubilee” in June of this year, as well as a best-selling biographical novel called “Crying In H Mart”. And last week, she released the new soundtrack for the video game “Sable” (developed by Shedworks) under her stage name, Japanese Breakfast.
The ‘Sable (Original Video Game Soundtrack’) is cool, laid back and smooth. Zauner collaborated with a string group to imbue the album with nostalgic and childish wonder. With the synths, strings and the piano section with sometimes soft bongo percussion, what we get is an ethereal, otherworldly album.
The soundtrack begins with Zauner’s vocals in tracks such as “Main Menu” and the lead single “Glider”. The rest of the album is filled with wordless instrumental pieces reminiscent of music from Studio Ghibli films like “Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind”, “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle”. The influence of composer Joe Hisaishi is there.
In the track “Glow Worm Cave”, there is an 80s film vibe with the cave-like echo that seems to refer to “Nausicäa”.
“Redsee (Day)” begins with synths in the same way as “Posing In Bondage” (a track from the album “Jubilee”). So there is almost a link between these two projects.
The first half of the 1.5-hour disc swims seemingly endlessly in a pool of trance sounds and ruminant music. It’s magical, calm, calming and almost nocturnal. This might put some listeners to sleep and make you wonder: won’t the video game player feel too relaxed and turn off the game to rest if this is the kind of music they are he must hear? Fortunately, things get more upbeat, energetic and happy in the second half of the album with the light “Beetle Detour” and “Machinist’s Theme”. “The Cartographer’s Theme” is another wobbly and playful track that resembles the theme of an eccentric scientist character in a Hayao Miyazaki film.
On a different note, there is “Redsee (Day)” and “The Wash (Day)” in the playlist, but not “Redsee (Night)” or “The Wash (Night)”. We wonder where these pieces have gone.
Japanese Breakfast brings a twist to conventional video game music by producing soothing and relaxing sounds full of wonder and rumination. This, in fact, is in keeping with the genre of exploration of the game world and painting-like visuals. Action games tend to be energetic and frantic with a metal soundtrack that can feel squeaky and loud to some. The “Sand” soundtrack is the best choice for those gamers who want a quieter and more calming experience while playing the game. It’s also a great choice playlist for non-gamers.
Listen to “Sable (original video game soundtrack)” on YouTube
The album is also available on Spotify.
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