Listening to a Bayonetta soundtrack is always a huge undertaking. The first game’s soundtrack was five discs, and not to be outdone, Bayonetta 2 also clocks in at five. Still, much with the games, there’s a lot of quirkiness and charm found within the eclectic mix of electronic, orchestral, and jazz themes presented.
To go along with this large collection of music, there’s also a number of contributing composers from Platinum games and elsewhere who make this soundtrack what it is.
Does the Bayonetta 2 soundtrack surpass the first game’s effort? Read more below.
First and foremost, despite the staggering number of tracks, many are short cinematic cues provided by Norihiko Hibino and Takahiro Izutani at GEM Impact (disclosure: we do some PR work for GEM Impact, so I won’t be discussing GEM Impact’s contributions much), which I think it suffices to say offer some great musical ideas, but come in at too short to really be fulfilling to the listener. Still, with these cinematic cues interspersed in between stage and battle themes, the album’s presentation tells the story of the game more than it provides a contained outside listening experience. You’ll likely be creating a separate playlist of the meatier tracks for that. But the music you’ll find across the board includes explosive cinematic cues, loungy jazz pieces, dark and ominous stage music, and epic orchestral boss battles.
There’s also a dramatic shift in the score from the upbeat and playful nature of the music featured towards the beginning of the disc and the darker and more atmospheric stuff found later. Some of these more bubbly pieces include an electronic rendition of “Moon River,” which is probably my favorite track on the album. The vocalist is amazing, and the spunky take on the theme is perfect for Bayonetta. I also love the cheesier main theme, which also sports vocals.
From there, we get everything from a droning, sleep-inducing title theme, beautiful angelic choir in one stage theme and a wonderf collection of desperation, terrifying, and decisive stage themes as the score progresses, and some powerful boss battle themes. My favorites on this front include the galloping “Valor,” the funky jazz organ-infused “The Giants,” and the Castlevania-flavored “Alraune Dementia,” with its jazz/rock hybrid presentation. Other themes tread on grandiose with “Beyond Time,” to tragic, dreamy with “Sweet Memories” to retro with the authentic 8-bit “Mysterious Destiny.” There’s really a lot of emotional ground to cover.
I have to say that I enjoyed the Bayonetta 2 soundtrack more the the original. The packaging is also quite nice, with a sleek silver slipcase that houses a disc case with a blue translucent moon that you can see the discs through. It’s a nice touch, and I’d suggest this soundtrack to anyone who loved the game, or anyone who’s into dark atmospheres and electronic/orchestral hybrids with a touch of jazz.
You can pick it up at CD Japan if you’re interested.