Going into Journey, everyone knew the soundtrack was going to be something special. Sony released videos about its creation, and it was clearly something they knew would impress players. Strangely, it wasn’t released alongside the game – when players would be most likely to want to buy it, but instead held off for about a month afterwards. While I do question its release date, there’s no questioning that a lot of care went into the content released.
A little over an hour of incredible music is spread across 18 classically-styled arrangements. The soundtrack starts off strongly with the violin-filled “Nascence” , then intensifies slightly with “The Call” before slowing back down with “First Confluence” and “Second Confluence”. After that, “Threshold” livens things up a bit, leading to “Third Confluence” starting off in an ominous way with loud stringed instrumental work and then slowing down before “The Road of Trials” speeds the tempo up considerably. “Fourth Confluence” slows things down again, while “Temptations” and “Descent” each have slow and intense portions to them.
“Fifth Confluence” returns to a slow pace, while “Atonement” is melodic with a mix of ringing bells and violins. “Final Confluence” provides another mix of slow and intense music, while “The Crossing” is another example of intense violin work mixed into a slower song. “Reclamation” relaxes, while “Nadir” continues a slow pace at the start before greatly intensifying towards the end. “Apotheosis” is the longest track at seven minutes in length and is one of the more beautiful arrangements. It concludes with “I Was Born For This”, which is nearly five minutes long and features some incredible vocal work mixed in with more violins.
I enjoyed all of the album’s songs, but the standouts for me are the final two tracks along with the album-opening “Nascence”. Like the game itself, there’s a natural progression from part to part, and it’s better experienced in one sitting, but if you don’t have an hour to spare, at least give those a listen. Journey: Original Soundtrack from the Video Game is available on both iTunes or the PlayStation Store for $5 and the track listing is identical for both services. It’s a must-buy for anyone who either loves the game or has an appreciation for classical music.