Kirby’s Air Ride Sound Test
Kirby’s Air Ride Sound Test
August 6, 2003
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Although this compilation of Kirby Air Ride melodies is relatively short, it still has much to offer to fans and new listeners alike. The album manages to be unlike any other Kirby soundtrack out there, while still seeming very familiar. It has this unusual mature sound for a Kirby game while still managing to be upbeat and catchy most of the time. The mature sound may very well span from the crisp orchestrated sounding themes (still MIDI), but it’s also possible because of the influence of Shogo Sakai who joins Jun Ishikawa and Hirokazu Ando this time around. At times the “orchestration” gets a bit generic and forgettable. There’s really no “bad” music on the album, just a few more forgettable or generic elements, but there’s plenty to make up for that.
The album starts off with a theme called “Plantes” or, for those who played the game, the Fantasy Meadows stage theme. It starts out somewhat familiar with a fast piping bassoon in the background, but then the theme just starts going all over the place and it doesn’t really come back for a long time. This is the only Kirby album I am aware of that barely has ANY repetitive themes on it. No matter how much “Plantes” skips through different moods in this piece, it still manages to capture the essence of racing through a green field. The same thing goes for every theme on this album and their respective levels; it’s just that some do it more generically than others.
“Colda” for Frozen Hillside is a great example of how tracks really give listeners the feel of an environment or, rather, a feel of racing through that environment. I couldn’t imagine a better theme to describe sledding down a sparkling icy hill in the night. It’s catchy and deep with descriptive detail at the same time. The same thing can really go for “Vallerion”, “Magheat”, and “Sandoola” for Celestial Valley, Magma Flows, and Sky Sands respectively. All of these themes work great for racing in different environments and they are just plain fun on their own. Sure, not every theme will get stuck in your head all day, but that doesn’t mean the pieces are bad at all. It’s just because of the huge variation and different melodies throughout the themes; it’s hard to just get a single repeating catchy melody in your head like a normal Kirby game. The production values for this whole album are just substantial.
There are two big oddballs on this album. “Iron” is a fun track and I welcome it, but it feels like the most out of place theme ever. It’s actually a remake of the Cocoa Cave theme from Kirby Superstar, and a fun one at that. The reason it might feel more out of place is because of the fact that it’s a real Kirby theme from a real Kirby game. It is remixed with such high production values and charm that any Kirby fan would love it. If there were one track I’d have to call bad on the album, it would be “Sky”. It’s uninspired and repetitive — there’s not much to redeem it from that.
Kirby’s Air Ride Business Trip Sound Test really is worth listening to as a stand-alone album. The people who created this album obviously decided to put the best themes from the game rather than put in every single little beep and bloop heard in the game. Albums like the Kirby of the Stars 64 Original Soundtrack are great too, but are bogged down by situational music that isn’t exactly composed to be listened to on it’s own. I do wonder why they didn’t include “Checker Knights” or “Legendary Air Ride Machine”, especially since the album is so short. Those Kirby Air Ride themes alone may have just given this album a higher rating.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Charles Szczygiel. Last modified on August 1, 2012.