This past Tuesday I got something in the mail. What did I get? The new “Legend of Korra: Music from Book 1” CD. Woohoo! I haven’t bought a CD in ages. I think the music is available for digital download but I think it would have been cheaper for me to buy the CD as a pre order. Meh, whatever.
Naturally, I’ve already ripped the music to my Google cloud and the CD is currently in the CD player of my car. I’ve listened to the whole album and added some tracks to my “Epic Songs of Effin Epicness” playlist on Spotify. Needless to say, this soundtrack for The Legend of Korra is wonderful.
“Music from Book 1” consists of 26 instrumental tracks. The songs feature traditional orchestra instruments and sweeping movements to evoke emotions of anxiety, sadness, excitement, hope, and love--all that good stuff you would expect in an epic. The great thing about the music in both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra is the combination of western and eastern sounds. You’ll hear the symphonic violin along with the claps of oriental drums. It’s a beautiful and complementary mix suggesting something familiar and something foreign.
"Best score on TV: Legend of Korra. Clever stylistic mash-ups, great orchestration & luscious melodies. The sound is fantastic too. So artfully done and helps create such a believable world. Congrats Jeremy Zuckerman & Ben Wynn!"Bear McCreary, Composer (Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead)
The composers, Jeremy Zuckerman and Ben Wynn, had to step it up a little bit from when they worked on the original series. Since Korra takes place 70 years into the future, that meant new kinds of music. Some of the more fun tracks on this album remind me of charleston or very early jazz. The eastern flavor is still consistent without falling into boring repetition.
The different tracks can range from fun, epic, haunting, silly, to romantic. They music can be great for a Sunday afternoon, background music for a roleplaying game, or something to listen to while studying, reading, or writing. The only real complaint I have with this album is that there are a few tracks I wish were a little bit longer.
Take the song “Fresh Air,” which is basically the main theme for Korra. It starts off quiet with low moans of violins/cellos. The strings then speed up into a beautiful and exciting rhythm. A hopeful and sad melody starts to play and eventually crescendos into a full orchestra. It’s all wonderful and then it just ends. … Well, darn. It’s great stuff, great build up, it’s there, and then it’s gone just as quick as it came. That sort of thing is expected in television scores though. And, really, the longer tracks are some of the best on this album.
In the end, this new soundtrack for Korra is worth every penny. I would recommend going to Amazon to get your copy or listen to it on Spotify. I’m glad this album has been released. Now that Nickelodean has seen all these sales, here’s hoping they will release an Avatar: The Last Airbender soundtrack!
Consensus: The Legend of Korra: Music from Book 1 is hauntingly beautiful and epic despite having some short tracks. 5 stars.