Ori and the Blind Forest is essentially a children’s game, so it naturally follows that the soundtrack is more concerned with atmosphere than hard-hitting emotions.
While this entire album is laden with whimsical optimism (atypical fare on this blog), it’s actually the opulence that caught and held my attention. Many tracks are not orchestrated, but orchestration isn’t always necessary and might have even been detrimental in this case. The simplistic (and even minimalist) approach used here is still captivating and makes its point well. Simpler does not mean shallow or vapid. The frequent use of keyboards and the delicate touches of woodwinds lend a thoughtful, daydreamy haze to these frequently brief thoughts. Wistful thoughts make you sit back in your chair and think, but they know where to draw the line and are never blatantly maudlin. These songs have space but rarely drag.
If you have any interest in the jazzy, careful approach typically found among Japanese soundtracks, consider this album.