Fridays in the Key of Geek: Portal 2 Soundtrack Volume 1

Music to fulfill your sophisticated auditory desires.

This is the first edition of our new weekly installment, dedicated to exposing your eardrums to great music from the realm of gaming. Some weeks may see us touch on fan-made originals, remixes of existing songs, a single song, or whole soundtracks. We’ll be keeping things interesting, so expect to see a variety of genres as diverse as the games they come from. Welcome to Fridays in the Key of Geek.

This week finds the spotlight on the first volume of the Portal 2 OST: Songs to Test By. When we were first discussing a weekly music feature the idea sat in limbo for a little while until, like a sign of divine approval, Valve released the Portal 2 Soundtrack on May 25th. The first volume of a fantastic soundtrack of one of the most critically acclaimed games so far this year, and Valve released it for free. For free. I’d say it a third time, but you get the idea.

Volume one is comprised of 22 tracks, ranging in length from a minute-and-a-half to five minutes per composition. There isn’t much in the soundtrack that is of the get-up-and-dance techno variety, instead aiming towards a more contemplative use of electronic music. Some tracks play more heavily on this, flaunting their robotic nature, where others are more subdued, and make liberal use of ‘human’ instruments like the piano.

Even within the nature of the soundtrack there are different offerings: the driving beats of The Friendly Faith Plate and Science is Fun, or tracks that are evocative of desolation and loneliness such as Comedy = Tragedy + Time, The Future Starts with You, Overgrowth, or the aptly titled Haunted Panels. The only song that I felt was missing from the single player selection was the Jonathan Coulton track Want You Gone, but that and many more will be released, as Valve has two more volumes that they will be making available to download.

You can download Songs to Test By here, and take a listen to a few tracks from the soundtrack below. Thanks for tuning in, and enjoy the tunes.

[audio:|titles=Portal 2 - Science is Fun]
[audio:|titles=Portal 2 - The Friendly Faith Plate]
[audio:|titles=Portal 2 - I Made It All Up]

Robert Hill-Williams
Robert Hill-Williams
Robert Hill-Williams

MASH Veteran

The only things Rob has been doing longer than gaming are breathing, sleeping, eating, and reading. RPGs were what made him view games as an experience instead of a distraction, but these days he likes and plays every genre gaming has to offer. Outside of his usual reviews and articles on MTB, you can find Rob on the weekly Mashcast and frequenting Twitter.

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