The Bouncer Original Soundtrack (US Edition)
The Bouncer Original Soundtrack (US Edition)
March 26, 2001
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The Bouncer‘s soundtrack is one that is full of life and energy. Coming across like something from late Tekken rather than the fighting RPG hybrid the game tried to be, the bulk of this soundtrack is a techno rock fusion. Sadly, it’s these tracks that prove to be the soundtracks downfall. This is a review of the domestic release, which was only one disc, whereas the Japanese release was a complete two disc coverage of the soundtrack.
“Prelude: The Bouncer” is a superb but short opening track capturing the life of the music is a short space of time. It is followed by the guitar hook-filled “Sion Barzarhd” and possibly the best track on the album from the techno side, the bagpipe-infused “Volt Krueger”. Sadly after that, the music begins to drop off. “Kou Leifoh” has no hook so is instantly forgettable, while “Echidna” struggles to get going at all. “Mugestu” has some nice eastern touches to it that brings it out of the gutter while some nice dramatic rising chords also propel “Kaldea Orchid” into the top songs list on the album.
“PD-4” is a panic-driven piece that shows exactly what this album could have been; the theme is dramatic throughout with lots of hard-edged instruments to get your pulse racing. “Dominique Cross” takes a bizarre stance with a lush string background, but is just too quiet and, despite its best efforts to catch your attention, fails to do so because the percussive instruments drown it out. “Mugetsu: Destruction” also suffers from a lack of production polish. A drum roll is present throughout most of the theme and, had it have been made more of, it could have made the piece more dramatic and compelling. As a result, the piece is very muffled as all the instrumentation fights for the same space in the speakers.
Moving on to villainry, “Dauragon C. Mikado” seems tired by the time you get to this point in the album. Once you’ve listened to the same beat with the same guitar churning out half-hearted riffs, each track becomes tedious. Thankfully, “Dauragon C. Mikado: Madness” adds some new material to the mix with some vocal snippets and some exceptionally fast acoustic guitar overlays creating a piece of disarrayed music that holds its own. “Dauragon C. Mikado: Awakening” actually spends the first 25 seconds or so without guitars before giving us a more clear up, riff rock track that stands out because it doesn’t slip into a river of sound and lose its definition and form as a song.
“Prologue” suddenly hits you in the face, as a vocal and orchestra piece full of suspense, fear, adrenaline, and also peace. It is the most mature piece of music on the album. “Disquietude” is another orchestrated piece that is very disjointed and eerie to listen to, especially in the dark and shines through as the most ambitious piece on the album. “The Escape” is a dramatic orchestral piece that doesn’t go wild very often but keeps the suspense to the highest level. “LUKIS Covert. Op” sounds like something from Metal Gear Solid with its funk induced keyboards and its quick fire string bursts that personify sneaking around so well.
Suddenly, The Bouncer has become like the game, a jack-of-all-trades. “Distant Rain: The Cross Children” is a sad piano lead piece that once again has an eerie haunting presence, like most of the non-techno rock orientated music. “The Pursuit” rounds off the orchestrated section with a dramatic discordant piece that is very basic but does its job. The Japanese version of the vocal theme is a real treat for getting to the end of the album, however. A beautiful heartfelt string introduction brings us to strong vocals from Reiko Noda made more impacting by a great ballad beat and soaring strings. “Kou Leifoh” is remixed at the end of the CD in a slightly stripped down version that works just as well as the original.
The Bouncer is a tale and a soundtrack of two halves, and it suffers by having them completely separated. Maybe if the orchestrated pieces were scattered between the techno pieces, maybe they wouldn’t seem so mundane; with many of them sounding so very similar, it ruins the great tracks left. If your not a fan of rock or techno music, I suggest you try before you buy as this is not a traditional soundtrack by any means. Like the game itself, it tries to be a jack of all trades, but fails to master any.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Simon Smith. Last modified on August 1, 2012.