Elebits -The Smile of You-
Elebits -The Smile of You-
December 6, 2006
Buy at CDJapan
Elebits was an early Konami Wii title featuring cutesy electrical creatures against a loathsome boy. Given its name and low pricetag, most would expect The Smile of You ~Theme from Elebits~ to be a typical three track vocal single. In fact, it also features a selection of the light electronica compositions for the game as well. The majority of the score was created by Jikkyou Powerful Pro Baseball and Coded Arms musician Naoyuki Sato, though there is a guest appearance by Castlevania’s Michiru Yamane as well. Despite its 66 minute playtime, this album features only 14 of the 35 instrumental tracks from the game and there is no complete soundtrack officially available. Nonetheless, what is present is very good…
Headlining the album is the Japanese version of the lovely theme song “The Smile of You”. The vocalist Heidy was an excellent choice given she sounds youthful without being irritating. She presents the verse in an elegant and whimsical way before showing more boldness and punch in the chorus. The instruments complement the vocals well and feature playful features like pizzicato strings and buoyant beats. They also fit the uplifting electronic feeling of the instrumental tracks well and there is even an interlude dedicated to warm minimalist electronica. Overall, an excellent song and one bound to grow on listeners. The English version is shifted up an interval and features the vocalist Jessy whose voice seems more trained for musicals than light popular songs. The lyrics aren’t as refined either with lines such as ‘The twilight is twinkling the town tonight. Streetlamps blink their orange’. It’s enjoyable enough, but the grace and debonair of the original is lost.
“Elebits!” serves as a great way to introduce the creatures during the opening movie. Bold and catchy trumpet melodies are supported by easygoing instrumentals and a silly but endearing vocal motif. The downtempo menu theme “The Night is Coming” is led by the gorgeous interplay between two synth instruments. However, the distinctive three chord sequences of the soft backing synth pads and the driving rhythms of the subdued drum kit are principally responsible for the colour and character. Learning is made fun in “Let’s Practice” by the blend of the soundtrack’s characteristic eccentric electronica with all sorts of jazzy features. “Tiredness”, on the other hand, will inspire daydreams with its slow repeating treble synth pad figures and lush supporting drum kit. Michiru Yamane’s sole contribution to the disc, “Start”, modestly differs from Sato’s material given its orchestral emphasis and dramatic turns. However, the composer nonetheless captures the curious and vulnerable nature of the Elebits nicely.
The mission themes dominate the rest of the release. The big band character returns to offer extravagant melodies and colourful development in “Barn Elebits” and “Search”; the actual use of brassy instruments is limited given the seamless electronic feel of the soundtrack but the assertive character remains. “Living in Quiet” and “The World Without Weight” elaborate upon the distinctive synth set of the menu themes to offer very ethereal and soothing, if somewhat alien, sounds. There are upbeat rhythmically driven themes too such as the unpredictable “Town Where I Live” and rock-tinged “Welcome to the Amusement Park”. They really add to the fun. One of the most charming of these is “Puzzle” where Sato gently elaborates on an ever eccentric synth motif in combination with rich percussion. “Boss Battle” seems much like the other smoothly mixed tracks at first, but the ominous foghorns, intensifying pace, and dabs of dissonance eventually present danger. A final mention is deserved for “My Fate, Elebits, and Street” which is utterly charming with its woodwind melodies and waltzing interludes.
Put simply, the instrumental tracks on Elebits are delightful to listen to. They offer quirky and memorable melodies, beautiful instrumentation and mixing, eccentric and thorough development, and plenty of diversity within an established musical scheme. Everything sounds so fresh, colourful, and novel. The vocal theme is very nice too even if it isn’t the sole highlight. The only limitation is its incompleteness and not even half of the instrumental tracks from the game are here. Were the album presented and priced like a full soundtrack, its incompleteness wouldn’t have been an acceptable. However, this release instead offers over an hour of great music for the price of a single. Though completists may prefer a game rip, The Smile of You ~Theme from Elebits~ is still a fantastic purchase for electronic-loving bargain hunters.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.