Red vs. Blue - Season 10



Pros: A solid soundtrack for anytime listening
Cons: Not too terribly into the songs with lyrics.

The Bottom Line: It’s an interesting mix of styles and flavors, and a few tracks hit just right with me, making it a-okay in my book.

I could make a ton of Rooster Teeth and Red vs. Blue jokes here, but I’ll refrain from doing so since you’re here for the music and not the inside jokes. While this soundtrack isn’t technically from a video game, the basis of it derives from one. Red vs. Blue is a show created by Rooster Teeth utilizing Halo models. Hence, the video game bit. The funny part is that I’d been poking around this soundtrack when I tried out Amazon Prime which included their music streaming portion. Then when I supported Rooster Teeth’s Lazer Team project, I ended up getting this CD as part of a perk. The universe works in funny ways, sometimes.

I already knew Jeff Williams had plenty of skills. His work on Rooster Teeth’s other series, RWBY, is rather enjoyable, though to be fair it was his daughter Casey Williams that I noticed first – mostly because I was wondering how the hell they afforded someone with a voice like hers (not knowing at the time who she was).

If this review is a bit long for you, I apologize, but with so much diversity and this being a review and all, it’s bound to be. That and I did spend 5 miles on a treadmill listening to and contemplating this.

Now there are a whopping 30 tracks on here, coming out to about 68 minutes. They run the gamut in terms of length, with the shortest being track 22 at 0:20 and the longest track 27 at 4:25. While I won’t go through each of them individually, I will take a few moments to point out a few things about certain ones.

1. Fragments (feat. Casey Williams, Lamar Hall & Barbara La Ronga) - 3:33 This took me by surprise the first time I listened, as I was not prepared for this kind of style or sound. It took me a while to find the right description and finally settled on thrash sprinkled with future bits. The speed of the guitar and drums combined with the delivery of the lyrics – well, what can I say?

2. The More (feat. Lamar Hall & Sandy Casey) - 2:30 Lyric-wise this makes me think of hardcore rap, but the execution and sound/electronic instrumentation puts me in mind of 90s rap. This took me by surprise as well and I had a hard time placing it in the series.

3. Now That We've Come So Far (feat. Nicole D'andrea) - 3:14 Once again things switch up and the upbeat speed of this one reminded me of what you’ll find in a lot of anime when it comes to zippy rock-ish songs – and then I laughed because at one point the singer does indeed switch over to Japanese. So, there’s that. Still, later on I discovered that settled in this song was essentially the main theme that Jeff Williams picks up here and there.

4. Terrify! (feat. Sandy Casey) - 2:31 More lyric stuff here, and we’re back to thrash with a bit of orchestral flair. At this point I admit, I was getting impatient for the fully orchestrated stuff to get going.

5. Terminate (feat. Lamar Hall) - 2:02 Ready for more rap? Here it is. Similar in design to track #2 but with a little less involved.

6. Worst Lockpicker Ever - 2:19 This is where the actual straight non-lyric music begins. And with a bit of Dr. Who-like solo singing, it caught my attention right away. And then it got very interesting with the instrument use…

7. Space Battle - 2:25 This is the first track that utilizes chorus, something I’m always happy to hear. It’s not overbearing, either. Just right.

8. Heroic Entrance - 0:44

9. C.T. - 1:05 Hey, do you remember when I said that Williams slipped the main theme from track 3 into pieces elsewhere? Well, here it is. And nicely woven, I might add.

10. Debris Field - 2:59 This one caught my ear too. I think it’s because of how it starts – with some Dr. Who-styled solo artist singing, remaining low and dark, before jumping back into dramatic action and finishing up with climactic chorus. Now that I think about it, Jeff Williams and Murray Gold should hang out.

11. The Darkness of C.T. - 3:35
12. Ouch - 0:53
13. Land of Enemies - 1:48 It’s a party here. What else can I say?
14. Welcome to Maine - 0:28

15. Mental Meta Metal - 4:22 Let’s face it, you just don’t hear electric guitar like this anymore. I’m pretty sure Williams is a fan of that oldschool design, and he incorporates it well into what’s going on in here – and there’s a lot going on in here. It’s almost like three different parts and it gets pretty interesting at the end with those little jangles, I must say.

16. Mystery Blue Guy - 0:50

17. Pray (feat. Lamar Hall, Red Rapper & Sandy Casey) - 2:25 Funny thing, I fuss about the lyric stuff above, and this returns with more rap, but I swear that the guy leading off sounds like Eminem. This one I like. Probably because it’s slower and heavier, though it does still retain some of that 90s style rap sound.

18. Training Room Showdown - 2:54 So many creepy-crawly spidery violins…

19. Suit Up/Partners in Crime - 1:06
20. Message from C.T. - 2:51
21. Tex vs Tank (feat. Barbara La Ronga) - 1:26
22. Your Catch - 0:20
23. Twins - 1:01
24. Ballet Breakup - 1:39
25. Freelancer Implosion - 2:46
26. 100 Tex Battle - 1:49

27. Finding the Director - 4:25 THIS song got my writing muse to come out and play. Slow, soft, and primarily piano, it’s also got a hint of sadness and regret. I’m logging this one away in my brain for future use in a scene. Thanks, Jeff.

28. That's How Voting Works (feat. Red Team) - 2:31 Be ready for ridculousness. Nothing but ridiculousness.

29. Come On Carolina (feat. Sean Duggan) - 2:51 Laid back – and still 110% ridiculous.

30. Forever (feat. Casey Williams) - 3:41 No issues with this song because A.) it’s lovely, B.) Casey has a lovely singing voice, and C.) this is the sort of song one might expect to hear during the credits, and it works perfectly well as such. If that’s not where it is, then oh well, it’s still a nice song.

The tricky part about some of this is that I haven’t actually seen Red vs. Blue season 10. Yeah, yeah, I know. I finished season 6 and never got around to continuing. I mean to someday. I say that this makes it tricky because it’s harder to properly judge soundtracks without knowing what they’re meant to fill. While the instrumental bits aren’t problematic in this way at all and stand very nicely on their own, it’s the lyrical stuff that sort of nags at me. I have a hard time figuring out how they fit in with the RvB design. All I can think is that they float around in the back while Monty Oum-crafted action is going on in front of the viewers’ eyeballs. In which case you’re going to be paying serious attention to the latter and not so much to the former.

However, I will admit that I’ve never been the biggest fan of lyrical work hanging around soundtracks. In fact, I typically look down upon those songs/soundtracks that have been “made for the movie” or “inspired by the movie.” Usually because they just don’t fit or their design is so different from the rest of the movie it just makes it weird. Heck, I skip half of the Mortal Kombat soundtrack because I can’t handle what they’re throwing at me. So I think in this respect, when it comes to those tracks, part of me turning away is due to my nature and personal taste. After all, I was never the biggest fan of thrash and I’d say my attention to rap is 50/50. The final two tracks on the album don’t count because they’re purposefully silly (which, amusingly enough, makes them fit in perfectly with the world of RvB).

But that’s easily just me – I’m sure others will be jamming away. Like I said, all the instrumental goodies are just that – goodies. I have a good time listening to them and there are several that made me take note on my long treadmill trek.

So if you like Red vs. Blue, Jeff Williams, or I’ll even say if you like Murray Gold’s work, then give this one a shot. I know I’m enjoying myself with it.

NT

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I am an author, I sell books for a living, and I love music like there's no tomorrow. I've experienced much of this country, from forested hills of the East, to the golden plains of the Midwest, the sandy beaches of the Southeast, and the oh-so-majestic mountains of the Rockies. And when all else fails, eat chocolate.