Fragile Original Soundtrack Plus

Fragile Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Fragile Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Team Entertainment
Catalog No.:
KDSD-00290/1
Release Date:
May 27, 2009
Purchase:
Buy at CDJapan

Overview

The Wii RPG Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon depicts the lonely journeys of Seto in a ruined and dying earth. tri-Crescendo sound designer Riei Saito replaced Motoi Sakuraba as the composer for the game and created a range of atmospheric music to fit the atmosphere. Japanese pre-orders of the game featured the promotional album Fragile Moonlight Trax. Recently, a full two disc soundtrack for the was released by Team Entertainment. While the promotional album was promising, does the full soundtrack live up to expectations?

Body

Many of the pieces on this album focus solely on the piano. On one hand, I think this is a very wise decision, as the use of a single instrument helps to reflect the reality of the world you explore and the utter bleakness you encounter in it. “The Girl with Silver Hair” serves as a character theme for Ren, a mysterious girl who can be found in ruins throughout the game. Her theme is a very mysterious and melancholy piano piece that is infused with loneliness and desolation. It’s quite fitting from what I gather, but the repetition of the piece does tend to get stagnant after a while. “Friend,” on the other hand, is a piano piece that has a more jovial and uplifting tone to it, yet at the same time, there seems to be this feeling of holding back. It makes me wonder if this friendship in game may be too good to be true. It’s a very beautiful piece though that doesn’t get stale in its short duration, unlike “The Girl with Silver Hair”.

There are also some darker themes on the soundtrack. “Malicious Thoughts” is one such theme. The combination of piano, woodwinds, and violin helps craft a very somber atmosphere. However, I feel that the piano is probably a hindrance to the piece as a whole. While very effective at times, most of the track features a very monotonous piano section that seems to somehow come to the forefront, even though it only serves as accompaniment to the more colorful instrument. A bit clichéd, but it does seem to fit the game’s description rather well. “Rejection” is one of the livelier pieces on the album. It’s an upbeat, yet dark, theme that combines piano and strings to create a chaotic atmosphere, yet also a subdued one. If it’s used as a battle theme, I see it working given the 3rd person exploration of the game as it probably transitions quite well with the area music. It’s not a bad piece by any means, but it does lose a bit on a stand-alone basis. “Extinction” is also quite an interesting piece. It features piano and choir as the prominent element of the composition, but there are also some more brooding string sections that help to accentuate a feeling of desolation. It’s quite a dramatic piece and is definitely one of the highlights of the soundtrack.

My two favorite themes on the entire album have to be “Letter” and “To All People”. The former is a peaceful and beautiful piano piece with some subtle, yet ultimately, atmospheric woodwind and string accompaniments. I wish it was longer, as it’s quite stunning. “To All People” is an extremely exquisite piece of music filled with a variety of emotions. The piano melody is utterly lavish and when combined with the accompaniment of the strings and woodwinds, a variety of moods are conveyed, at times sad, at others, playful. This was the first piece that caught my attention when the game trailer was released.

Summary

I could mention a lot more about this album, but it does tend to sound similar should you listen to it from beginning to end. As with every album, there are some obvious hits and some obvious misses. It’s one of those soundtracks that probably works fantastically in the game, but suffers from a standalone listen. Should you enjoy the music as you play it and don’t think you’ll mind it as a standalone listen, I suggest getting it. However, for most people, I’m sure it’ll be hard to keep your attention throughout the entire album.

Fragile Original Soundtrack Plus Don Kotowski

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


About the Author

Don Kotowski

Currently residing in New York, I spend my days working in antibody therapeutics and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.



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