Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Soundtrack, Jeremy Soule, 2002
Your video game might be based on a movie blessed with a score by one of film’s most legendary composers. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up with a great game soundtrack album. Just look at the disappointing amount of noteworthy material from those Star Wars and Star Trek games that have actually released on album. Legal matters of licensing that limit access to iconic melodies don’t necessarily help things. However, this limitation that can also be encouragement for a composer to find his own inspired approach.
Such is the case with the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets soundtrack, easily the best of Jeremy Soule’s five scores for the game franchise. It also benefits from a better album presentation than Soule’s other Harry Potter soundtracks. Only eight minutes of notable material are missing from the album release, which thankfully excises a lot of ruminative underscore. Sadly, in 2009, Electronic Arts unceremoniously pulled almost all of its Harry Potter game scores from online music scores. Frustrating album situation notwithstanding, Chamber of Secrets is Soule’s most satisfying fantasy soundtrack. Yes, that’s a big claim to make, considering his work on franchises like The Elder Scrolls and Guild Wars. But Chamber of Secrets achieves a consistency of quality that Soule’s more bloated score releases don’t accomplish. He doubtlessly deserved his 2004 win of the BAFTA Games Award for Best Original Music for Chamber of Secrets.