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Soundtrack Review

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National Champions
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Composer: Jonathan Sanford
Label: Sony Music Soundtracks
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 10 December 2021

Sony Classical releases Jonathan Sanford's ambient score for National Champions. Three days before the college football national championship game, star quarterback LeMarcus James and teammate Emmett Sunday ignite a player’s strike declaring they won’t compete until all student-athletes are fairly compensated. With billions of dollars at risk and legacies on the line, the stakes could not be higher. Now, with only hours until kickoff, the head coach and various power brokers must race against the clock to protect or destroy the prevailing collegiate athletics system...

If you didn't know what you were listening to when you played this you'd be forgiven for thinking it was the soundtrack to a near future post apocalyptic horror movie. While composer Jonathan Sanford delivers some wonderfully mellow ambient background music here, there's very little in the way of themes to latch onto. It's almost as though Sanford composed the score without seeing the rough cut of the movie, providing an overall feel of what the director wanted, allowing the editor to slip in music wherever it was needed.

Sanford, talking about the score, also didn't really shed much light on why the music went down this path: "There are so many people around the world without a voice, at least not a voice big enough to have a real say in any given matter. We set out to amplify those voices, the voices of the unheard... and made it into a score."

Well, that could be right, but all I could picture in my head was dusty overgrown roads, wrecked vehicles, crumbling buildings and armies of the undead roaming the earth. If this had appeared in an episode of The Walking Dead then it would have fit right in. Now, I'm sure it works wonders in the movie... but on paper it doesn't really feel like it.

An interesting collection of ambient background pieces that may act well as a backdrop to your gaming experience as you play any zombie apocalypse game.


Darren Rea

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