Jukebox Heroes: World of Warcraft's Mosaic soundtrack

Jukebox Heroes World of Warcraft's Mosaic soundtrack
If you were one of the lucky ducks who went to BlizzCon in 2009 and you were a soundtrack fan, then life smiled upon you. It was there and there only that Blizzard sold a now-rare World of Warcraft soundtrack called Mosaic. I guess "Mosaic" sounded better than "Leftovers," although that's really what it was: a collection of leftover tracks that hadn't been included in an official WoW soundtrack to date.

The amazing thing is, Mosaic is quite good -- better, I think, than The Burning Crusade. I was pretty shocked to discover it a year or so ago, although I wasn't as shocked considering how much I've come to realize that studios just don't put out a lot of their game's music.

So what we have here is a hodge-podge of 16 tracks ranging from the silly to the sublime. They might not be as famous as some of the featured tunes from the other soundtracks, but chances are that if you played WoW, you'll recognize them even so. Here are my picks for the best of the litter.

1. To The End of the Earth

This track definitely has a Wrath of the Lich King sound to me, unless someone tells me otherwise. It starts out with the noises of the sea before introducing a sad, forlorn dirge that is beautiful in that "one last sunset before the world ends" way. The strings are so powerful here, echoing off into the distance with each draw. It makes me all sad inside, but in a way that I relish. That's weird, right?

2. Call of the Crusade

This is probably the most beloved piece of music that I've encountered outside of the original game OST. Everyone and his mother heaps praises on the Argent Tournament score, and for good reason. It's just wonderful, pure and simple.

The Tournament score was put into a lengthy medley here, and it's over the course of 11-plus minutes do we take a trip down some of the most heart-wrenching, rousing, and inspirational melodies recorded for this game. My only complaint is that I wish it had been broken up into several songs, as the breaks between the different melodies is pretty apparent. It's not too often that I want to put 11 minutes of anything on Winamp.

3. Brewfest

Well, this will either annoy you into shooting your speakers or leave you with a silly grin on your face. It's Blizzard's take on Oktoberfest with goofy sounds and a peppy accordian taking us through a journey of beer introspection. I can't help it; every time I hear something like this, I think I'm at an amusement park -- and that ain't bad.

4. Honor Hold

Why this wasn't put on TBC's soundtrack I have no idea; it's just a gem and so iconic of that score. The opening notes blast trumpets as if they're being played across the hills, and it never fails to give me goosebumps. It's a majestic piece but one that is saturated with emotion. Whether you interpret those emotions as sad, nostalgic, proud, or otherwise is up to you. I like to think "proud."

5. The Gods of Zul'Aman

This piece is more atmospheric than melodic to me, setting up a savage jungle theme that ultimately makes me a little uncomfortable to hear it. Not that it's bad, just that I think it's designed to make adventurers feel a little wary as they entered this place.

6. Secrets of Ulduar

This track is slow to get going, spending the first minute-and-a-half bleating out the ominous synth notes that we've heard from WoW a hundred times before. But then it gets interesting, with a regal fanfare and choir... that fades into a trip down a dark symphonic river. It's not all sinister, as the track introduces the occasional ray of beauty to break the tone. I guess I like this lengthy track because you can just imagine the journey from listening to it. Sometimes that's all I need.

MMOs aren't just about looks; they also have great soundtracks that often go unnoticed. Heroes don't stand for that! Every Tuesday, Jukebox Heroes will check out a game's soundtrack and feature the best tunes to share and discuss. Your DJ for the hour is Justin Olivetti, and the request line is open!
This article was originally published on Massively.