Album: You, Me & Gravity: The Music of Planet Coaster
Description: New music by Jim Guthrie is always a reason to celebrate. The singer-songrwiter and composer has been featured on this site twice before, with Sword and Sworcery and Indie Game: The Movie. I am excited to bring his return with You, Me & Gravity: The Music of Planet Coaster, written in collaboration with musician J.J Ipsen (Hayden, Brave Shores, The Two-Minute Miracles).
First off, this is a soundtrack to a new video game that released earlier this month called Planet Coaster, a construction and management theme park sim which has had a fantastic start and has been critically received (9/10 on Steam, 8.5/10 on IGN, 85% Metacritic). Listeners understand that soundtracks are written to follow the events on screen, and that is sometimes true with video game soundtracks. Sometimes, however, it is not, and especially so in simulation games where the music serves to improve the enjoyment of the sim experience. Take, for instance, one of my favorite video game soundtracks of all time: The Sims. Anyone who played The Sims or even was in a room with someone who did took an instant liking to the music and when the Build tracks came on it had a Pavlovian effect in stimulating a desire to create, buy and mix things up.
You, Me & Gravity: The Music of Planet Coaster achieves that same pinnacle of effectiveness, in my opinion. It’s cheery folk-pop and upbeat shuffles illicit that same feeling of happiness and desire to be creative that I got from The Sims music. There’s whimsy, there’s bounce, there’s drive, and there’s a curious wonder, all created by an ensemble of instruments whose sound compliments one another resulting in a cohesive and smartly built soundscape. Let me tell you, this soundtrack, as a solo listening experience, is immensely enjoyable. I’ve played this on multiple weekend mornings while I make breakfast for my kids and it puts a good cheer throughout my home. I’ve also leaned entirely on this album while creating my sons’ yearly memory books as there is no unpleasantness or dissonance in these tracks and it puts me in a positive mood.
This is not the album you want to listen to if you are upset and want to stay upset. This is the album you want when you’re having a great day or want a pick-me-up.