Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Kaze No Ne – Yae

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Kaze No Ne - Yae Album Title:
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Kaze No Ne – Yae
Record Label:
Pony Canyon
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
July 30, 2003
Buy at CDJapan


When the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Original Soundtrack came out in 2003, “Kaze No Ne” became a fans favourite as its enchanting harmonies and superb vocalist touched the hearts of its listeners. This single is a follow up to this success, and as vocal singles go, it is one of the best for musical diversity and sophistication. I was quite disappointed to see that “Starry Moonlit Night” and its arranged version didn’t make it onto the album, as this would have made it the definitive vocal album. Nonetheless, if there were a definitive Yae experience accessible to game music fans, this would be it.


The album starts off with “Kaze No Ne,” also featured in the original soundtrack and the game. ROBA HOUSE, who specialise in renaissance string instruments, give the track an enchanting harp and strummed lute introduction. With Ikuo Kakehashi on the percussion, the song develops in an earthy manner that really makes you feel at one with your surroundings. Violins penetrate the melody with their mesmeric tones around the 2:00 mark, and after this, there is a bagpipe section that is surprisingly effective.

From here onwards, Yae’s airy voice just seems to perfectly blend in with the ethnic tone that the instruments provide. Her vocals elevate on top of those forces, climbing to great heights towards the climax of the song. From the 2:42 mark, her voice is samples as she starts to harmonise her own words in an extremely interesting unique touch. As ballads go, this is one of the best and Kumi Tanioka did an excellent job bringing an organic feel to the theme.

Barely comparable to the original “Kaze No Ne,” the second track on the single is an experimental and minimalistic remix that not all will like. Opening with just Yae’s voice against ethereal suspended piano chords and the occasional percussive sound, it soon moves into an electronic remix dominated by industrial drum beats and distorted electronic noises. It provides a new perspective on Yae’s voice, though loses the variety and richness of the original.

“Carol (scat)” really surprised me, as I didn’t expect it to be as fulfilling as it was. It sees the return of the sampling techniques featured in “Kaze No Ne,” but this time, Yae harmonises herself in a series of canonic structures. While the theme revolves around one lusciously shaped phrase, each new motif introduced complements this and provides intricate close harmony, allowing the piece to harmoniously radiate throughout. Musically simple, but immensely refined, the everlasting enchanting effect it offers is impressive given it is a capella scat. Thumbs up to Yae.

The album concludes with another experimental and minimalistic creation. “Flower of Love” provides near-absolute emphasis on Yae’s voice, as she sings a simple but beautifully shaped melody in a gospel-influenced style. Accompanied solely by a fragmented acoustic guitar and some barely audible percussion, only at one point do these instruments come to the foreground just prior to the recapitulation of the melody. The airiness of Yae’s voice is at the heart of the success of the theme and, though some may find it a little plain and underwhelming, there is no doubt that the vocalist sings from the heart and brings the very most out of the melody. Beauty in simplicity.


One of the few singles available that combines the exposure of a familiar but remarkable theme with daring remixes and two whole new dimensions on a vocalist’s voice, this is a potentially excellent addition to anyone’s discography. Though “Kaze No Ne” is its principle feature and people should be aware of the absence of “Starry Moonlit Night,” “Carol” and “Flower of Love” also offer a great deal through so little. Yae amd Kumi Tanioka did an excellent job here by avoiding overly commercialising Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles while emphasising one of its soundtrack’s best features. Seriously consider it if you enjoyed “Kaze No Ne” and love Yae’s precious voice.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Kaze No Ne – Yae Dave Valentine

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Dave Valentine. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

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