I was not expecting much at all from Mr. Bones. Before listening I knew it was based on a not-too-successful American game, with American music, which I feared would be rife with eighties-style wuss rock. Fortunately I was very surprised upon popping this disc into my CD player. The first track begins with some spooky synths reminiscent of Vampire Hunter D. The synths are eventually accompanied by a persistent bass line, some pounding drums, and then a wailing guitar. Rather than the generic cheese I was expecting, it's surprisingly soulful.
Many of the same instruments can be found in the rest of the soundtrack, especially the trademark guitar. However, while a couple tracks stick to the spooky spirit of the first, the rest cover a wide variety of moods and styles. These pieces range from "down home" rock, to blues, to Steppenwolf-style classic rock, to world music, ambient, and more. Some are slower paced, others are mellow yet still upbeat, and others just rock. "Icy Lake" defies explanation, but I'll say that I've never been more pleasurably amused with a game music song than with it.
Oddly enough, some of this CD seems frighteningly familiar to the eighties rock I feared, yet it's enjoyable. The reason is that most of this music has personality - enough to make me want to experience the game itself. My only complaints are that some of the tracks drag on a bit, and a few are somewhat uninvolving. Nevertheless, overall Mr. Bones is good stuff and is so unique compared to other game soundtracks that I'm glad to own it. It's a nice change of pace and a pleasing dose of Americana.