Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack
Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack
AVCD-17254 (Copy Protected)
March 31, 2003
Buy at CDJapan
The absence of Nobuo Uematsu’s work on this soundtrack is apparent almost immediately. The scores (if you want to call them that) are, for lack of a better word, different. For the most part, the tracks are meant to be light-hearted and fun. And for the most part, they are. The soundtrack does still contain the occasional orchestrated exception, but the focus is around synthesized and percussion sounds. This works well with the game, but for the soundtrack in general, there is a rather redundant pattern to all of this.
The soundtrack starts off with Final Fantasy X-2‘s answer to the missing prelude, a sweet and simple piano piece called “Eternity ~Memory of the Lightwaves~.” After this slight deception, you get your first taste of this game’s main style with the first of two vocalizations, “real Emotion.” This techno/J-pop piece, performed quite well by Japanese youth icon Koda Kumi, is a prime example of the bouncy and upbeat “cuteness” found throughout the soundtrack.
The next few tracks, including the battle themes and mission themes, are heard way too often for any Uematsu fan to stay sane. All of these are generic collections of repetitive bass lines and sporadic guitar rifts. As a matter of fact, it is often difficult to recognize the difference between the three battle themes, horrific indeed.
The location themes aren’t exactly masterpieces, but they are well done nonetheless. One thing I noticed was how well each theme “describes” the location that it was composed for. For example, “Guadosalam” has a sort of ancient Middle Eastern feel to it, whereas “The Calm Lands” has a fresh, entertaining melody that portrays the carnival-like atmosphere.
Disc Two of the soundtrack moves a little away from the basic, required tracks, and onto the deeper, event-specific pieces. With everything from the jumpy, dance beat of “Rikku’s Theme” with it’s catchy melody, to the incredibly intense “Under Bevelle” with a resounding percussion ‘alarm’ and climactic bass lines, as well as the lovely, slow, and emotional rendition of “Yuna’s Ballad.”
The middle of Disc Two is home to the main theme of the game, a love song by the name of “1000 Words.” This song is absolutely marvelous; the orchestration is phenomenal, the lyrics are appropriate to the setting (their English counterparts anyhow), and Kumi Koda’s voice is simply angelic. There is also a piano version and a fully orchestrated version of this piece, both of which are equally as beautiful.
At the end of Disc Two is where this soundtrack truly shines. Among the three versions of “1000 Words” are the final battle and ending themes. The final battle themes, especially “Destruction” and “Demise,” present a sense of urgency through the use of random string melodies that can only be described as “bursts”; combine this with the inclusion of several choir parts and you have a truly exceptional battle theme (unlike every other battle theme in the game).
The ending themes (“Ending ~Until the Day We Meet Again~” and “Epilogue ~Reunion~”) are really great, and explaining how so is a little tricky. They just have a “finished” feeling, and hearing them gives you a sense of satisfaction and closure, making them ideal for their purpose. This is due in part to their broad instrumentation that slowly crescendos into a grand orchestration that then comes to a grand close in both cases.
A lot of this soundtrack has to do with personal tastes; a J-pop and electronica fan will probably love this for all its techno stylizing. However, a die-hard Uematsu fan may be turned off by the lack of certain melodies Final Fantasy followers have become so familiar with. Decide whether to but this Soundtrack with all that in mind, and just know what you’re getting into. Truly if you are a collector of the soundtracks, don’t let this one pass you by, but if not definitely give it some thought. The repetitive, bland, and generic tracks can always be skipped, and there are some pieces that you really shouldn’t miss out on. By no means is this anywhere near the best soundtrack in the series, but to say it’s the worst would be stretching it a bit too far.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Neo Locke. Last modified on August 1, 2012.