Japanese Breakfast - Sable (Original Video Game Soundtrack) Music Album Reviews

Japanese Breakfast - Sable (Original Video Game Soundtrack) Music Album Reviews
A gentle and mostly wordless collection of ambient pop, Michelle Zauner’s soundtrack for the indie exploration game is a streamlined glimpse into her versatility as a narrative artist.

Michelle Zauner has spent this year in an intensely personal state of mind. Her New York Times bestselling memoir Crying in H-Mart centered on her Korean-American identity and the loss of her mother at a formative age, while her latest album as Japanese Breakfast, Jubilee, discussed complex interpersonal relationships while attempting to move beyond grief. Her latest project is a soundtrack for Shedworks’ indie exploration game Sable, and it provides an opportunity to shift the focus.

The music is situated around the coming-of-age journey of the titular young girl. Creatively, Sable reveals a more purely melodic element of Zauner’s work; her halcyon instrumentation retreats from her usual indie rock influences, bubbling into an electronic backdrop for the burnished visuals of sprawling deserts and glowing alien insects. With hints of the sampled experiments of Japanese Breakfast tracks like “Machinist” and “2042,” the score is a streamlined glimpse into Zauner’s versatility as a narrative artist.

Zauner’s voice greets you as soon as you open the game—“Found a way/Found a sun,” she intones like a lullaby—but for the most part, the gameplay is backed by wordless, delicate ambient pop. The tracks are always gentle on the ear, meshing and fading in the background as you send Sable leaping against the solitude of cel-shaded dunes and Metabolist-inspired ruins. For the most part, the tactile, shoegaze dreaminess that permeated so much of Zauner’s previous releases has dissolved. Songs like “Better the Mask” are primarily voice-and-piano affairs. Her location-based score, split between the swift, smooth in-game cycle of night and day, reflects a colorful subtlety. “The Ewer (Day)” hums in soothing, lambent tones, while “The Ewer (Night)” slows like a heartbeat.

Though the playfulness of Zauner’s work is woven into the fabric of these songs, the majority of Sable doesn’t necessarily invite active listening. Instead, it retreats into the background of the gameplay. There’s a brusqueness to the ambience that recalls Boards of Canada circa In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country. “Beetle Detour” chirps like chelicerae; “Abandoned Grounds” reverberates in low, polar tones; “Machinist’s Theme” hums mechanically and matter-of-factly. Not so much an album as the nerve system of a narrative, Sable is best experienced alongside the physical act of in-game exploration.

Above all, the soundtrack’s heart is attuned to Sable’s pilgrimage. Shortly after leaving her home, Sable meets a nomadic guard who asks what this great journey feels like. She can answer with bravado or self-deprecation, or she can admit, prosaically, “The world is big and I feel very small.” “Glider,” the soundtrack’s crown jewel, immortalizes this sensation with soaring harmonies. It’s one of the few songs with sung words, a sweetly grand anthem that swells as Sable departs her now-empty home, gliding out of a canyon into the remote landscape. Hopeful synths rise as Zauner empathizes, “I’m caught between the wind and parts of the unknown,” with her voice textured like granulated sugar. “Every particle in sync,” she sings as if projecting her voice across the planes of the desert. She yearns for freedom while making peace with the unease of that wide world ahead of her.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Japanese Breakfast - Sable (Original Video Game Soundtrack) Music Album Reviews Japanese Breakfast - Sable (Original Video Game Soundtrack) Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on October 01, 2021 Rating: 5


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