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Album Information Reviewer Rank
Spyro the Dragon II - Ripto's Rage (PSX Rip)
Published by:
Release Date: November 30th -0001

Composed by: Stewart Copeland

1 Disc, 38 Tracks
Catalog: There is no catalog entry for this album.
90

Reviewed by: S3KI

The soundtrack for the second Spyro the Dragon game features a big jump in music style for Stewart Copeland. While on the surface it seems like the same strange cross between New Age and Rock with the most interesting percussion parts mixed in, there is actually a significant difference between this soundtrack and it's predecessor (and similarly, between Spyro 3 and this one). The Spyro 1 soundtrack was amazingly sedate. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but it didn't have a lot of energy behind it. And this seemed to match the game as well, which was puny and pathetic in comparison to the next two (for more on the Spyro 1 soundtrack keep your eyes open for my upcoming review!). This second soundtrack features a lot more vigor and spirit, vitality if you will, than Spyro 1. And as such, I like it more! ^_^

To begin with, let's look at Summer Forest Home. This song is not what you imagined after all my hype of energy and spirit. All three "home world" themes are soft synth songs, bringing a sort of calm over the body. This song doesn't really hold much for someone looking for COOL NEW MUSIC! but for most people it seems to work, despite it's remarkable lack of vitality. It sort of flows along, like a small little stream, gurgling away and along into nothingness. There are peaks in the music, and dips. A truly remarkable song, this piece of music is amazing in it's simplicity. I find that I can always keep listening to it, no matter what. It's great for going to sleep, and for trying to calm down.

Next on this list is one of my favorite songs on this album - "Hurricos." When I listen to this song, each time, I have a little euphoria. It stems from the wierd, simplistic percussion and crescending and decrescending strings. It brings a sort of emotion beauty to mind, and makes one happy to be human. The little guitar slicks are cool too, and bring a familiarity of Copeland music from the first game. This song, like Summer Forest Home, sort of glides along, never really peaking out (like Colossus) but just flows the melody along, winding a little path.

My next feature song picks the tempo up, with "Breeze Harbor." This song opens slowly enough, but it's Copeland ~ don't worry, he's just getting you introduced with the underlying rhythms. Shortly enough the electric guitars come on, quickly joined by a bass line and high pitched bells. The song kicks into full gear with the drum set, and moves swiftly along to it's main melody, played on the bells. This song is quite playful and really matches it's environment in game ~ a harbor! ^_^ The creaking percussion sound really gives a feel of old boats, and the high paced action of the level gets encompassed by the fast-moving song.

Next up on our journey is "Scorch", one of Copeland's most unique songs on the album. The song opens featuring a flute. A flute! And a rather low-pitched flute at that, making this even more unique. Soon thereafter, a whistler takes the melody, but looses it to the flute once more. The song slowly builds with additional parts and percussion. Finally, as a climax seems imminent, guitars joining in ~ they pan out and the song repeats itself.

For my next trick we'll look at my second favorite song on the album ~ Shady Oasis. This song isn't anything truly special for a while. It actually sounds like a hyped-up version of "Scorch." Really neat percussion parts join in, and it seems like Copeland's made himself a very nice song here. Then it seems like the song's tapering off... and the most beautiful percussion instrument you've ever heard is played. A rather muffled Grand Casa (I think... hehe) gets slammed on in a very fun manner, bringing the song to it's cool finish (note: the Grand Casa is the highlight of this entire album for me... every time I start listening to Spyro 2, I find my way to this part ~ I just love that thumping beat!).

And now for my third favorite song ~~ Gulp's Overlook! To me, this song embodies why Copeland is such a good music composer. Opening as a truly classical piece (the reverb actually makes the huge climaxes almost unbearable for any sound card), a guitar enters and then a drum set and the true melody becomes present. The rock set falls back again for the song to repeat itself. A note I want to make about this song is the rather sweet french horn fanfares and the percussion. The fanfares are, well, just plain cool. This is one of the best boss themes I've ever played a game with, and the fanfares provide a musical form of tension. The percussion is more of a minor note ~ you'll notice in the classical only part, there's a grand casa in the background! Hehe... okay. ^_^

The coolest song on the soundtrack is next up ~ Spy vs. Spy. Played when you're set to follow "Agent Zero", (related in anyway to Agent Nine of Spyro 3? I wonder...) this song really reminds one of James Bond creeping around somewhere, getting the job done. I always enjoyed this song; unfortunately, in my original rips (not what's up now, thankfully) I was only able to get a portion of it and not the full song, so I had to loop it and be satisfied with what I had. No longer!

Last up for feature is the final boss theme, "Ripto's Arena." Going the way of many composers, Copeland has a very loud tense song topped off with a singer, trying to bring a sense of grandeur and glory to your cause. This song is a lot more enjoyable for me than Spyro 1's ending boss theme ~ that seemed a little to banal, with all the chaos and such. This one has a lot more organization and feeling behind it. I think probably the coolest part of the song is when almost everything drops out, but the tambourine whirls and the organ goes in overdrive to get the song going again.

the Final Word
All in all, I think this soundtrack is great, highly effective for the game, and an all-around joy to listen to. Even if you didn't like the games, I strongly urge you to listen to the music ~ a wide variety of styles, and an overall feel that's bound to make anyone smile!

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