Key 10th Memorial Fes Anniversary CD
Key 10th Memorial Fes Anniversary CD
Key Sounds Label
February 28, 2009
Buy Used Copy
Key commemorated their tenth anniversary in quite a big way, with a special festival. Available at the festival was a special booklet containing a two disc anniversary album. The first disc featured six new arrangements from major names in the visual novel industry, whereas the second compiled together eleven tracks from the previously released Kanon and Air arranged albums.
The brand new arrangements featured on the first disc tend to be excellent. Most notable is the Air tribute, which evolves from a soft piano adaptation of “Reminiscence” into a dazzling upbeat rendition of “Summer Lights”. So much thought and emotion was put into this arrangement, and the timbres created really stimulate the senses. The opener is a little more abstractly related to the Kanon originals with its electronic ambient focus. Nevertheless, it still has some lyrical moments and provides an imaginative introduction to the album. Celebrated visual novel artist MANYO contributes two pieces, a subdued but sensual rendition of “Love Song ~ Memories”. Planetarian also receives a surprising tribute at the end of the disc with a soothing rendition of “Gentle Jena”. It’s good to see that Key haven’t forgotten their shortest soundtrack.
The reprises from the Kanon Arrange Best Album -Recollections- tend to be highlights of the score. “Pure Snows” and “Newborn Wind” emphasise the simple but heartfelt approach that Magome Togoshi adopted when creating these arrangements. He draws out their melodies while creating beautiful timbres using piano, strings, and synthpads. The “A Summer City” has an upbeat jazz focus, but is still bound to provoke memories with its bittersweet melodic progressions. Expanding greatly on the original, “Morning Glow” evolves from its pensive piano opening into a radiant synth-heavy piece that captures the magic of love. It will be too melodramatic for some, but a perfect arrangement for the sentimentalists out there. The equally subdued “Winter Fireworks” and “Little Fragments” also evolve through an emotionally-guided arch. However, they also have an ephemeral and minimalistic quality throughout. Key fans should have no trouble revisiting these adaptations.
The arrangements taken from Air Original Compilation Album -Ornithopter- are a little more radical in approach. Arranger Kazuya Takase transformed the short but sweet “Ladybug” into a consistently entertaining techno remix. He retains the catchy nature of the original, while adding plenty of bouncy beats and oriental touches. An even bigger transformation is “Nocturne”, which segues from its reflective piano-based origins into an anthemic trance remix with some evocative interludes. That said, “Summer Lights” is more conventional than the original, with its sonorous strings focus, but still retains its airy yet intimate sounds. “Twin Stars” stays consistently close to its original — with soft piano melodies and atmospheric synth overlays — but nevertheless expands on it with elaborate developments and richer synth. Another major highlight is “Splashing Water”, an upbeat hyper-catchy, and not too stereotypical pop instrumental. It’s almost impossible to frown to this one!
The new arrangements on this album are generally excellent, while the reprised material is well-selected. But for those that already own the albums featured on the second disc, this compilation may be too lacking in original content to make a purchase. For those that don’t, this album is a fine tribute to Key’s scores that may inspire more extensive tours through the company’s discography.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.