I've been a huge fan of Journey since the beginning. I even bought the game a week before it was “officially” out since I am a PlayStation Plus member. Everything about the game seemed perfect from the start. The stunning visuals, unique multiplayer, and interesting gameplay had me in awe immediately. There is one element of the game, however, that received a ton of praise from fans, critics, myself, and just about anyone who played Journey. I am talking about the soundtrack composed by Austin Wintory; the beautiful music that helps shape this game to being one of the best video games ever made. The entire score for Journey was recently nominated for the 55th annual Grammy award show that will air this upcoming February. I want Journey to win, and I want to tell you why.

There are a lot of video games with great music. Everything from 8-bit soundtracks to full orchestrated symphonies have been used in the past. However, there are only a few video game soundtracks that really capture the feeling of the gameplay within the music. Sure, fast paced music during action is a no-brainer, and slow piano pieces are great when there is a touching moment or a death of an important character. During my multiple playthroughs with Journey, I noticed that the music is perfectly cued, and it also plays with my emotions depending on the stage in the game. I have never played a game with such a powerful and appropriate soundtrack.

I personally recommend that anyone with a PS3 plays Journey to get the full experience, because this music is very hard to explain with words. I can post as many songs as I want, but it will never amount to the feeling of playing the game. So, I want to provide two examples of Austin Wintory's composition in Journey, and I will do my best to convey why the game deserves a Grammy.

The Summit

This is the last playable stage in Journey. I thought I saw everything by this point. The good, the bad, the harsh, and the kind. Just when I thought my journey was over, my mysterious avatar launched into the sky towards the summit of a mountain that I tried to reach for the past hour. The game allowed me the freedom to soar through the sky and make my way to the top of the mountain at my own leisure. I can tell you that I definitely took my time. I loved the visuals and exploring, but the music is what really got me. The song that plays at this time is “Apotheosis” on the soundtrack listing. The music gives the feeling of happiness and hope, and it is an astonishing contrast to the horror that I thought was my end. It didn't matter what I did in the game whether I was standing still or flying at a high speed, because the music captured this moment perfectly. I could look into the distant horizon, or I could rush to the top of the summit, but I never felt like the music was rushing me or slowing me down. It was a perfect balance of happiness, hope, and the wonder of reaching a destination that seemed unattainable at one time.

The Credits

Songs that are played during the credits in video games usually don't have much purpose. They are there so you don't have to look at a boring screen in silence while the names of a ton of people you don't know scroll by your face. In Journey, however, I find that the song during the credits is the best one on the entire soundtrack. After beating Journey for the first time, I didn't care that I didn't fully comprehend the storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey I experienced, and that was enough. The song during the credits is known as “I Was Born For This”. This song really made me think about everything I experienced until this point. It represented the end of a video game in a way that I can't really describe. It can only be experienced.

The Grammy

 Austin Wintory's score for Journey has some fierce competitors when it comes to winning the award for “Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media”. Hans Zimmer's composition for The Dark Knight Rises and Howard Shore's for Hugo are a couple examples. As the first video game score to ever be nominated for a Grammy, I really hope Journey wins. Music plays such a large role in movies, video games, and most media. It's the extra touch that really impacts an audience. Out of all of the nominations, I feel that Journey does this best. The Dark Knight Rises has an excellent soundtrack, but there aren't any memorable tracks that I recall from the significant points in the movie. On the other hand, I remember the songs that astonished me after playing Journey. I haven't played Journey in about two months, but I can still recall that feeling of excitement every time one of those songs started. That is what makes the music of Journey special, and that is why I think Journey should win this award above all the other nominations. It's not about how great the soundtrack sounds; it's about how it was used to enhance one's experience. Journey is the perfect example for that.

I know this may be viewed as a rambling, but it's hard to describe such music and reasoning without experiencing it in context for yourself. Hopefully, other Journey fans can elaborate in the comments below, because I am sure they are in love with this soundtrack as well. Be sure to check out the Grammy Awards this February to see if Journey makes history.