LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu
Composed By: Michael Kramer and Jay Vincent
Distributed by: Varese Sarabande Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
In the hit television series, LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, ninjas Kai, Jay, Zane and Cole find themselves embroiled in a heated battle with the son of their arch nemesis Lord Garmadon. Employing snake tribe armies to take on the ninjas, Lloyd Garmadon's plan backfires and the snake tribes rebel, threatening to overrun the entire land. Now Garmadon must join his rival ninjas in a fight to save the world from the prophecy of eternal darkness.
The musical score for the television series was created by the scoring team of Michael Kramer and Jay Vincent. Meeting in the University of Southern California's film scoring program, the two complement one another very well. According to Michael Kramer, "What makes Jay and I work well as a team is our opposite, yet complementary approaches to scoring. Jay is a master at looking at the big picture. Having Jay by my side is like having an expert navigator with a clear sense of trajectory. He has an uncanny ability to connect story points with musical themes and material. I think we’ve taught each other a lot over the years."
Kramer's solo scoring credits include television series like Complete Works, Ball Up and Sons of Tuscon; documentaries like Bite Size, Gold Fever and Forgotten Miracle; films like Thor: The Dark World and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and video games like Need for Speed: The Run, Assassin's Creed: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed: Unity. Vincent's scoring résumé includes the video games Dragon Age 2: Epic Times; trailers for Battlefield 4, Mass Effect 3, Command and Conquer, Dragon Age 2 and Dragon Age: The Inquisition and the full length Spanish feature El Regreso de Elias Urquijo.
The musical score of LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu contains exotic woodwinds and string instruments associated with the Orient, just what one would expect to hear playing in the background of a martial arts film. Action sequences feature heavy percussion and electric guitars. Rattle sounds represent the snake tribes in all of their evilness. I assume that the chanting has much to do with them as well. If anyone has played a LEGO inspired game, they know that there are often funny scenes unlocked within the game. Apparently, this series also has its humor which can be heard in tracks ten and eleven of the album.
All in all, the LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu Soundtrack makes a great stand alone album, inspiring one to imagine what is going on from track to track throughout the album. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy getting their hands on this well-put-together soundtrack, which sounds more like a score created for a full length feature film than that of an animated television series.