Kanon Original Arrange Album -Anemoscope-

Kanon Original Arrange Album -Anemoscope- Album Title:
Kanon Original Arrange Album -Anemoscope-
Record Label:
Visual Arts
Catalog No.:
WIV-6435
Release Date:
May 26, 1999
Purchase:
Buy Used Copy

Overview

The soundtrack for the first visual novel of acclaimed developer Key, Kanon, was enjoyable and uplifting despite its superficial tendencies. Years before they released the official soundtrack for the title, Key’s sound team nevertheless drew attention to the game’s music by packaging an arranged album with the limited edition of the game. Kanon Original Arrange Album -Anemoscope- largely stays faithful to the originals, but builds on them with richer stylings and synthesis — the one thing that the originals lacked. The release marks the official debut of arranger Magome Togoshi, originally a doujin arranger that went on to compose a number of Key scores.

Body

The album draws listeners in with an atmospheric arrangement of “Pure Snows”. Togoshi retains a focus on melancholy piano improvisations above new age synth sounds. Yet by drawing out the melody and gently developing the track, he produces much richer images than the original and genuinely touches listener’s hearts. Later in the album, he reimagines another tear jerking piano-infused original “The Day She Waited for the Wind” with a pop-flavoured beat and catchy string overlays. “Frozen Soil Plateau” and “Newborn Wind” also sounds somewhat more polished and expressive in its arrangement here, placing the focus on howling synthesizers and soft strings retrospectively. All these arrangements are extremely simple, which will be a turn-off to some. Yet they’re also so emotionally guided that they will inspire plenty of ‘awws’ from the target audience.

Of course, Kanon is principally an upbeat soundtrack and this arranged album reflects this. “Girl of Snow”, one of the catchiest — if stereotypical — tracks from the soundtracks is even more hummable than before in its 80s pop remix. This formula also works well for “The Fox and the Grapes”, “The Other Side of a Smile”, and “Voice of Trees”, which share the most compelling rhythms on the soundtrack. Such tracks certainly won’t appeal to all given their cheesy stylings and outdated stylings, and indeed they sound even more formulaic in surplus. However, they should still appeal to a wide audience, given they’re quite faithful to the originals and written in the lines of old-school game music by Falcom and co.

While the majority of the album is comprised of two styles — new age emotional arrangements and upbeat pop renditions — there are the full-length versions of the vocal arrangements to inject some variety. Over its six minute playtime, the opener “Last Regrets” undergoes an evolution from its sombre piano-based opening towards a more uplifting vocal-focused conclusion. Later the ending theme “The Place Where the Wind Arrives” closes the album with a peppy beat-heavy anthem featuring jubilant female vocals. Both tracks sound a little imbalanced and artificial in their implementation, and what’s more the vocalist is a little weak. However, they will still draw most listeners in emotionally.

Summary

Overall, Kanon Original Arrange Album -Anemoscope- improves on the originals of Kanon with its extensive emotional arrangements. However, most tracks tend to follow one of two arrangement approaches — both of which will be too shallow for many listeners — and a few favourites like “Morning Glow” are omitted. Key fans should seriously consideration purchasing Kanon Arrange Best Album -Recollections- instead, which features many of these arrangements and diverse exclusives.

Kanon Original Arrange Album -Anemoscope- Chris Greening

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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.


About the Author

Chris Greening

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!



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