Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Adventures in Pixels by Ben Landis: A Lost in the Music Review

Last year while doing my 5 Bucks To burn I briefly covered an album that goes by the name of Adventure in Pixels by Ben Landis. I gave it a quick rundown, but I believe I was too brief on my review of the album. The album deserved a better review so today on Lost in the Music, I am taking a second look at Adventures in Pixels.

I got Adventures in Pixels a couple of years ago from the Game Music Bundle that was being offered and I gave it a listen and enjoyed it, but didn't really pay it any attention. At the time, while I enjoyed it, I couldn't see how I could do a full length write up on the album. However, after listening to the album since the original write up, I have to say I was wrong. I truly enjoy the album and it deserves a second look.

What truly makes the album special is that it invokes an 8 and 16 Bit feeling of nostalgia. As I stated previously, the album is a love-letter to the bygone era of gaming, where a console was measured in bits and mascots. When listening to Adventures in Pixels, I feel as if I am 10 Years old again and playing my favourite RPG.

Going through the album, the one song I keep coming back to is Matt's Theme. The song is the quintessential hero track. One that evokes feelings of being a noble hero from humble origins. Yes it's cliche and these days people may mock on how quaint it is to have such a hero, but let them be naysayers. As long as you are enjoying it and nobody is hurt, then what's the harm.

While other hero tracks are ideal for the character, Matt's theme could be used for everyone and not limited to a single person. While I doubt that was the artists original intention, from my perspective that is how the songs can be interpreted. This is a theme not for the withdrawn waif, the noble treasure hunter or the stoic samurai but for the common everyman.

Anybody can be a hero.

I really enjoy the concept behind the album. Its a soundtrack based on a false game and has its story told between two mediums, musically and with single panel comics that accompany each track. While the art isn't the best, it does paint a portrait of what is going on in each track. This was a great feature for the album and kind of makes me wish other chiptune groups would follow Landis' lead here.

So in the end, should you pick up Adventures in Pixels? Yes. It has a unique concept that has not been replicated yet and not only that, the music is fun to listen to. I am not going to say that Landis' is not the master of the craft, but he does know how to invoke feelings of nostalgia

You can find find Adventures in Pixels on Bandcamp.

As a heads up, I am doing a review of nicklePunk's latest album so tune in tomorrow for a special update.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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