For those of you who are not aware of what Crash Bandicoot is, the games were classics on the original Playstation. Although the original trilogy of Crash Bandicoot games by Naughty Dog were never matched in quality, Vicarious Visions and Activision did a remake of the original Crash Bandicoot games, along with the soundtrack. This is that soundtrack, so it’ll be an interesting listen. Let’s see how it sounds.
The first track Crash Bandicoot Main Theme is very catchy and has a multitude of beautiful instrumentation, including bongos and xylophone. A great reminder of a great game. It ends after less than a minute, but the theme song is instantly recognizable.
Next is Jungle Rollers which has more pronounced bongo beats, didgeridoo and other forest like instrumentation. It’s a great soundtrack for the updated game. A partial funky bassline is here as well.
Tawna is a guitar heavy piece that is very interesting sounding. Many different instruments and samples are here, and it sounds a lot more exciting than the original. Good effort.
Upstream definitely benefits from the reworked sound here, with real drum sounds and a better sense of instrumentation and melody. It’s rather catchy and the rework does it justice here. Good stuff. Sounds like a tropical island piece, very interesting listening.
Next is Hog Wild which is a wacky redo of the original track, which actually isn’t as good as the original. It’s still worth listening, but more miss than hit here. Still, it is short here, so no worries about that.
Following is Temple Ruins which starts with dark piano and other unusual arrangements. It sounds very dark, yet trippy at the same time. It suits the level perfectly, however. It’s short and direct.
Heavy Machinery comes next for some of the later stages on the first Crash Bandicoot. It’s a creepy sounding piece, with Acid sounds to boot. There is what sounds like electronic harmonica here. Odd.
Cortex Power is a synchronized instrumentation sort of track for that part of the game. The redo of the music here is actually really good, as it is for most of the album. It’s a good listening experience though, fitting in nicely with the game and soundtrack.
Next is Generator Room which sounds very psychedelic and eerie, fitting in that part of the game perfectly. It’s a spooky listen here, sounding interesting all the way through.
Following that is Toxic Waste which is a more rock based track with real guitars and drums. It’s good that these guys understood the importance of different instrumentation in this soundtrack, such as on this song. Good listen for this part of the game.
Pinstripe Potoroo has thundering drums and piano to boot. It is an interesting and quality listen. It is almost like hearing a drum solo, great stuff here. Variety is obviously the spice of life.
Dr. Nitrus Brio is another very rock and roll sort of tune, with some odd additional instrumentation, primarily keyboards. A short and decent tune here.
Following is Dr. Neo Cortex which sounds like a massive head rush. There are some trippy keyboards, Fender style guitars and a suspenseful feeling to the music. Nice stuff to hear. A good way to represent the villian of the game.
Next we head onto the second game with Cortex Strikes Back Main Theme which is a postmodern version of the original Crash Bandicoot 2 theme. It has many horns in it, a very good redo of the original soundtrack. It’s a 21st century Crash Bandicoot approach, which is good. Very catchy.
Cortex Strikes Back Hub which is a funky bass rendition of the original track. It’s colourful and surreal, but is a great redo. More xylophones, bongos, real drums and other instruments are thrown into the mix for your pleasure. Nice stuff to hear.
Turtle Woods is next, which sounds very tribal and is a good rendition of the original piece. It has funky guitars in it as well, Fender Stratocaster style. It’s a very upbeat tune and sounds awesome. Great sort of rock inspired piece by the music developers.
Next is Snow Go Gem which is a driving and interesting rendition of the original, with monster bass. Surprisingly so for a Crash Bandicoot track. It’s yet another good classy listen. Short, yet interesting.
Following is Hang Eight which is a brilliant surf rock redo of the awesome tune from Crash Bandicoot 2. It is a great instrumental and must be heard to experience. Many surf rock guitar tremolo sounds are here for your pleasure.
Crash Dash is a cybertronic rendition of the original track, which sounds odd in this format, perhaps not as good as the original. It’s an interesting listen with loud drumbeats to match, and many of the usual instruments of this soundtrack here. Good stuff all the same.
Crash Dash Bonus comes next, which is a soulful sounding piece for the soundtrack. Some of these melodies and arrangements on this compilation are hit and miss, this is okay though, with a variety of the usual tropical instruments to get your attention.
Next is Ripper Roo which is the theme track for the boss battle here. It sounds very much influenced by tribal American music, but has keyboards, guitar and saxophone to listen to here. Bongo beats keep the groove going throughout, and the arrangements sound very expensive here.
After that we have Bear It which begins with some keyboard melodies, and goes into a bouncy and fun tune for us all to hear. This is one of the better renditions here, very catchy as well. A refreshing listen.
Eel Deal Gem is next, with a clever array of melodies. Oh yeah, there’s some wah-wah guitar in it too. It’s a good rebooted soundtrack which is awesome to hear, although it’s merely for a computer game. Neat.
Road To Ruin is next, with a good mixture of instruments and the original Crash Bandicoot melodies. It’s a fairly good rendition here, with simple sounds and a great head nod to the original Crash Bandicoot 2 music. Towards the end, it sounds somewhat Middle Eastern in its set of melodies.
The theme for Tiny Tiger is next, sounding dark even amongst all the usual Crash Bandicoot instruments. It’s okay, although a little over-the-top at this point. Still, it is an interesting listen.
Following is Diggin It which is a more concise and straightforward piece to hear. Many of these instrumentals are hit and miss, this one is quite good though, with some subtle and good guitar work. Nice.
Dr. N. Gin comes next, and has some interesting metal guitars and cyber melodies to hear. It’s a good piece for one of the main Crash Bandicoot villains. It sounds very listenable.
Rock It comes next. It has some simple melodies and Theremin type sounds. It’s not a very inspired piece of music, but still, for all purposes is fairly listenable. The usual array of instrumentation is here, namely keyboards, bongo beats and other found samples. It just falls flat here.
The last piece of Crash Bandicoot 2 is Dr. Neo Cortex 2. It is a loud and guitar driven piece that has multiple tempo and instrument changes. Interesting, yet not hugely inspired. A good effort, but not a great one.
Next is Warped Main Theme which is a unique take on of the third Crash Bandicoot theme music. It’s very short here, but sounds typical of this soundtrack.
Warp Room comes next. It is a guitar driven piece which differs largely from the original in how it is arranged. Okay, but not sensational.
Toad Village is for the village stages in Crash Bandicoot 3, and improves on the original track in many ways. The instrumentation sounds lush and renewed, making it a large improvement on the original. Good stuff here. The melodies are unforgettable, too.
Next is Under Pressure which is the theme music for the underwater stages in Crash Bandicoot 3. It’s sparse and textured, making it a more unusual Crash Bandicoot piece. Interesting listening.
After that we have Orient Express which is a different sounding piece to the original. Nothing special here though, but is an okay remix of the original track.
Bone Yard comes next, and honestly isn’t very special. It sounds good but just isn’t a good rework of the original. Which is a shame, but that’s how these remixes seem to be.
Makin’ Waves is terrible, and the less said of it, the better. It doesn’t fit the game or the music here at all. Needs rethinking and reworking here, sounds awful.
Next is the theme song for Tiny Tiger Warped. It’s an interesting, yet ordinary, listening experience. It’s probably not the best rethink, but okay anyway regardless.
Following is Hang ‘Em High which is actually a very good rework of the original Crash Bandicoot piece, sounding very Middle Eastern and trippy. Nice effort here. It ends with a lone flute.
Hang ‘Em High Bonus doesn’t really need explaining here. It just has a remixed sound here for the game, nothing special though.
Hang ‘Em High Gem is for the bonus section of the stage. It sounds pretty awful, so don’t be expecting anything outstanding from this one.
Next is Hog Ride which is nothing special, but at least is better than the previous few tracks on this album. It’s a good listen and a better rendition than you’d expect.
Following is the Dingodile theme music, no spoilers here. It has some interesting melodic sensibilities about it, and is actually quite a good listen. A good remix of the original. Very funky sounding.
N. Tropy is a very clever redo of the original music for this part of the game. It’s a good sound and sounds really forward thinking for this part of the game. A good effort.
Future Frenzy is not a good remix of the original. Which is sad, it should be an improvement, but is not. Much of the album is like this, however. Still, it makes up for it in an interesting way but melodically is bad.
Next is Dr. N. Gin Warped which is a metal sounding remix of the original. It’s more of the same, however, and doesn’t really sounding too inspired, despite the fact that it sounds quirky.
We then have Rings Of Power which is another ordinary remix of an original piece. Nothing special here though, just a rather butchered remix of an original tune, sadly.
Dr. Neo Cortex Warped is the final piece on this soundtrack. It is good to hear, but finally finishes a deeply disappointing listen for Crash Bandicoot fans and music listeners in general out there.
If you are looking for a good video game soundtrack, this is not that. Many of the songs are poorly thought out and/or butchered here. Sadly there is no quality control in many of these tracks and a version of the album sticking closer to the original would have helped. This is not good, and needs to be put into the dustbin of history.