Blue Dragon: Watashi no Mizu to Sora – Ayako Kawasumi
Blue Dragon: Watashi no Mizu to Sora – Ayako Kawasumi
November 22, 2006
Buy at CDJapan
I still remember how odd I found that Final Fantasy VIII had a theme song (“Eyes on Me”). In a way, it was pretty cool. I had never seen anything like that. Following installments of the series each got its own song as well, with Final Fantasy X-2 getting two. Well, if they’re somewhat good and match the game, I have no problem.
But then Blue Dragon came along. I heard the first single, “Eternity,” as was blown away, as you can see in my other review. However, nothing prepared me for this album, “Watashi no Mizu to Sora.” In total, there are FOUR songs in the game’s score. FOUR. That’s a lot of singing for such a brief soundtrack (only two discs). Ian Gillan rocks in his song, but how do the other three fare? “Watashi no Mizu to Sora” is significantly different from “Eternity.” Join me and see why! I promise this will be an exciting journey.
Man, I shouldn’t have promised that.
The album has three tracks: the first one, that shares its title with the album, “Watashi no Mizu to Sora,” “Happy Birthday” and “BAD BUT BAT.” One of these needs a name change. Try to guess, you have until the end of the review to find out.
“Watashi no Mizu to Sora,” or “My Tears and the Sky,” freaked me out a bit the first time I heard it. After a nice, warm introduction on acoustic guitars, this girl starts whispering and I don’t like that, thanks to video games (Fatal Frame II) and TV (The Ring). Thankfully, I grew a pair of stones and was able to listen to the entire song. It’s pretty sweet. Ayako Kawasumi is accompanied by just that acoustic guitar, very light percussion and, after a certain point, strings. There’s even a pretty cool harmonica interlude that fits in wonderfully with the bittersweet atmosphere of the song. It’s very long — almost six minutes long — and there isn’t that much variation, save the aforementioned interlude and a brief passage which is a bit more aggressive (for the lack of a better word). 90% of the song is Ayako + guitar + percussion. However, it flows really well, to a point I’m even grateful it’s that long.
“Happy Birthday” is a tad shorter (almost four and a half minutes), but it’s definitely happier (it is called “Happy Birthday” after all; what, were you expecting brooding strings?), with a bouncing ostinato that could even make the manliest man smile. It’s a sort of “feel good” song or something. Ayako Kawasumi reprises her singing role, with no whispering this time around. One thing that didn’t change, though, was the structure of the song; it’s exactly like its already reviewed brother up above. Same singer, same instrumentation (acoustic guitar and light percussion), same structure, but different interlude: this song features a female choir singing “Nah nah nah” to the rhythm of the melody for like two minutes. It’s not even an interlude anymore; it’s a full fledged section. I could live without it, personally. It doesn’t add a whole lot, just changes Ayako’s voice for that of a choir’s. Big whoop.
Look up at the first paragraph of the Body of the review. I said one of the songs in this album needed a name change, right? Well, if you’re any good at Maths, you must have realized we’re down to the last track, so that’s got to be it. You’re indeed right, it’s “BAD BUT BAT.” But why a name change? Because it’s not BAD, it’s just plain AWFUL. It tries to be all fun and happy and bouncy, but it’s just annoying. I hope this song is played at an island of some sort, because the instrumentation sure gives us that impression, with the acoustic guitar, a drum set, and a xylophone, with hints of electric guitar here and there. At times, it feels like it could be a theme for Kingdom Hearts‘ Destiny Islands before, you know, it was swallowed by darkness. Man, I wish I could talk about that game instead of this song. Ms. Kawasumi is no more. Instead, we are treated to children singing. Yay, children. Nope. It’s pretty much their fault this song is borderline unbearable. Oh, and because the instrumentation must have around 5 original measures repeating over and over all the again through 3 minutes and 21 seconds. No. Just no.
Whatever happened to quality over quantity? Minstrel Song has one theme song, one which I herald easily as one of the best I’ve heard — “Minuet.” And that’s all it needed. Out of the four vocal themes, I’d say two are keepers, and one of them isn’t even on this single: “Eternity” and “Watashi no Mizu to Sora”; no wonder those two got to name the single album they come in. Something tells me an album named “BAD BUT BAT” wouldn’t sell very well. The market is complicated, and I don’t feel like explaining why right now.
I can only recommend this for completists. Not even the most hardcore Uematsu fan has to have this in his or her collection. The arranging isn’t top notch either, so no cookie for Satoshi Henmi, who really excelled in “Eternity.” The bottom line: it had potential (great composer, great arranger, good singer), but it was thrown away. Shame. Still, there’s still some variety here, which isn’t something we can say for a lot of singles, so that kicks the score up a bit. Nonetheless, not very recommended.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Eduardo Friedman. Last modified on January 23, 2016.