Tropico: Paradise Island Soundtrack Review

  • Name: Tropico: Paradise Island Original Game Soundtrack

  • Label: LMS Records

  • Composer(s): Daniel Indhart, Jesus A. Perez, Lucho Campillo and Oscar Luis Morejon

  • Number of Tracks: 14

One day, somehow the tunes from the most excellent game Tropico and its expansion pack, Paradise Island crept slowly into my head and once again I found myself humming to the Latin American beats. One thing led to another and then I thought, "Man, I seem to love this music so much, surely I can buy it somewhere online?" - Sure enough, the most excellent online music store, CD Baby had copies of the soundtrack to Tropico and its expansion pack Paradise Island. I deliberated over which one to get but eventually settled for Paradise Island since it had slightly more memorable tracks, at least in my humble opinion. Within only a few days, I received the CD. So let's see if it was worth the $34.75 (including shipping and handling) that I paid for!

Artistic Merit (79%)
The music on this track is I must admit, an acquired taste. I guess the closest parallel to a popular group I can make with this sort of music is the Buena Vista Social Club - after all, Tropico is a thinly veiled parody of Cuba anyway, so why not have Cuban styled music to accompany it? So if you don't like this sort of music from the start, it's going to be hard to like the album - but even if you're not a fan of the music, you have to appreciate the genius of getting live Latin American music on this soundtrack, it just fits the game so well.

Anyway, I'm happy to say that all tracks on this album aren't filler - they're all decent songs in their own right and quite a few stand out as well. You've got of course the memorable Main Menu music, Perrito Callejero (which when translated into Altavista Babel Fish, mentions something about a small dog, which makes sense since there's some barking in the song), then you've got one of my favourites, La Promesa (which includes not only the in-game version but the full vocal one too) and Morena Cafe, which has a really repetitive chorus, but trust me, you'll be humming/singing the chorus for years to come whenever you're outside relaxing with a cup of coffee on a fine, sunny day. The music oozes the Caribbean and just makes you wish you were there. In fact all the tracks by Daniel Indhart (the primary composer/arranger for the album) and Luis Carlos Campillo are gems. Jesus Alejandro Perez-Alvarez and Oscar Luis Morejon's contributions aren't exactly push-overs either.

Value (100% - Good)
Quite frankly, I think the Tropico and Paradise Island soundtrack is up there with my all-time favourite game soundtracks since it gels so well with the game that just listening to the music makes you think you're playing it (or even better, sipping a cocktail on a beach of a Caribbean island!).

Length (50% - Average)
The length of the album is average and is similar in length to more conventional albums out there with 14 tracks of 2-6 minutes each.

Total Score: 76%
If you're interested in the album, check out CD Baby, they were quite punctual with their service and I had no problems.

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