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Published on Apr 23, 2011
It was a real thrill to finally get this album and hear it for the first time in my CD player. I knew the music very well from having played the game countless times, and the music has, from the first, been such a key part of what makes the game a slick movie-like experience. More so than with the soundtrack album of the first game, this album sounds like a classy piece of film score. There is one composer in common with the first soundtrack, Masami Ueda, who went on to co-score Resident Evil 3 as well. Working with just one other collaborator this time, the Resident Evil 2 score has a more consistent style. It is influenced by Brad Fiedel's Terminator scores, with a lesser touch of Hans Zimmer and Nick Glennie Smith's The Rock, but his use of rich-sounding piano keeps it from sounding too much like a pastiche. The piano element, when used for the creepy effect, is perhaps a little obvious, but when it's used to convey softer emotions, it is quite elegant.
All the memorable tunes are here, including (best of all for me) the beautifully haunting save-room theme, which often makes me linger in save rooms when playing the game. Titled `A Secure Place', it unfortunately runs only 54 seconds on the album, though this is understandable as it is meant to be an indefinitely-looping piece of music. While this is true of most of the music, other pieces are admittedly more varied and justify longer representation on the album. It can be a little disconcerting, by the way, that some pieces come to an end by suddenly fading out.
There is an odd discrepancy in the track numbering at the beginning, so cue 6 in the listing is actually cue 9. A minor gripe is that the first section of the album features music from the end of the game. A much better way to listen is to order the cues as they occur in the story.
I am a lifelong fan of film scores, and Resident Evil 2 was perhaps the first game score to win my respect. Ueda's style may be derivative, but it is distinctive and he has here co-created a great score for a great game.