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Stranger Things 2 by Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein (Review)

posted Oct 30, 2017, 9:14 AM by Kaya Savas

Even if you don’t watch Stranger Things, you know about Stranger Things. Th sci-fi series filled with nostalgic stylings returns for a second season, and so do composers Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein. The elitists of the soundtrack community came down hard on this synthwave score, criticizing it harshly. That always threw me off, because the score is one of the many reasons why this series is so great. For Season 2, Dixon and Stein refine the soundscape of Stranger Things for another fantastic journey.

The second season of Stranger Things is right alongside the first when it comes to the score. The music plays with a lot of really great textures, loops and atmospheres to build some really memorable moments. The score feels bright when it needs to like neon sparks igniting, and then can plunge us into uncertain darkness. There are moments of tranquil calmness in-between the action that allow the characters to take the spotlight. The music also seems to have more shape this season than the last one. And that’s a cool thing to see some progression and evolution to the sound. Let’s also remember that Dixon and Stein made their composing debut with Stranger Things. There is definitely an obvious maturity to the music in Season 2, the structure of the whole thing is tighter and more precise. Like with anything, aim gets better with practice. We can see their aim as storytellers a lot more focused here which shows that the score is not wholly reliant on its synth stylings.

Stranger Things: Season 2 is a more focused and more precise narrative with all the same feel and atmosphere of Season 1. Dixon and Stein bring their synthwave sounds to take us on another immersive journey to the upside-down. The music has wonderful moments of reflective tranquility, intense gritty textures and a sense of wonder that is still intact from Season 1. The music to Stranger Things is a giant piece of the puzzle that makes the show work, and it wouldn’t be Stranger Things without Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein.