Original Review by Alan Rogers

I am not much of a video game player – though I have been known to dabble in a bit of Wii every so often – but I do know that video game scoring has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years. Composer Colin O’Malley has worked on a number of titles for Electronic Arts (including the game version of Superman Returns) and EA Sports NCAA Football 11 features music from the college football video game that was released on a variety of gaming platforms in 2010.

Featuring just 18 minutes of music, this release is not going to take long to get through (the release is a cut-price release because of the short playing time) but what there is is certainly exciting. Things start off with “The U”, music that underscores the intro video that plays when the game first boots up. Packed with blaring brass fanfares, synth strings and martial percussion, this cue summarises all that follows for the next 8-9 minutes. Each of the subsequent tracks are mainly variants of this initial cue. And they are all great! The inclusion of the drum-only tracks at the end (featuring all of the score cues except for “Home Field Advantage”) feels a bit like padding to fill out the time a bit, but as I love percussion I enjoy their inclusion (just as I relished the inclusion of the percussion-only versions of “Ripley’s Rescue” and “Combat Drop” in Varese’s Deluxe Edition of James Horner’s score to Aliens).

The music O’Malley has composed for this video game is very reminiscent of the music heard on most of the US-based sports shows I have seen (I am sure that this was probably the original plan). It’s fast-paced, it’s bombastic and very straight to the point. I am surprised that the composer makes no mention of this release or the release of his music for EA Sports NCAA Football 12 on his website. The music is not particularly subtle but it is certainly adrenaline-fuelled and fun to listen to. A great little time filler for any occasion. EA Sports NCAA Football 11 is available at the usual digital download stockists.

Audio samples can be found HERE and then click on  arrow next to running time for samples of entire album or individual tracks.

Rating: ****

  1. The U (1:36)
  2. Wildcat Fanfare (1:06)
  3. Bring On The D (1:35)
  4. 120 Ways To Win (1:42)
  5. The Running Game (1:53)
  6. Home Field Advantage (1:38)
  7. The U (Drumline) (1:36)
  8. Wildcat Fanfare (Drumline) (1:36)
  9. Bring On The D (Drumline) (1:33)
  10. 120 Ways To Win (Drumline) (1:35)
  11. The Running Game (Drumline) (1:51)

Running Time: 17:45

E.A.R.S. (EA Recordings) (2011)


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