Little Busters! Original Arrange Album -Semicrystalline-

Little Busters! Original Arrange Album -Semicrystalline- Album Title:
Little Busters! Original Arrange Album -Semicrystalline-
Record Label:
Key Sounds Label
Catalog No.:
KSLA-0032
Release Date:
July 27, 2007
Purchase:
Buy Used Copy

Overview

As with their three previous major visual novels, Key bundled an arranged album in the limited edition of Little Busters! Rintaro Iwashita of the unit PMMK reprised his role to arrange a number of instrumental music and theme songs from the original score. Rather than offer straightforward interpretations, he experimented in the area of electronic ambient music to mixed results.

Body

Rintaro Iwashita establishes the abstract tone of the album with the opener, “tonica”. Blending warm ambient synthpads with disorientating voice samples, it helps to take listeners to a different dimension, but is hardly accessible to most ears. With the first full instrumental arrangement “Bugs (so tiny)”, Iwashita creates an enigmatic soundscape using pensive piano chords and oddball percussion motifs. While the effect is inspiring at first, it loses interest through its repetitive and aseptic development. Indeed, the track shares none of the emotional feel or rich elaborations that made original, “Lamp”, a highlight. More effort was clearly put in to the implementation than the arrangement.

For the most part, the album offers a unique but rarely superior interpretation of the originals. “Brother (so quiet)” and “Tomorrow (so artificial)” have a more attractive focus, through their respective guitar and flute leads; but like most entries here, their repetitive development prevents them from really soothing and inspiring listeners. “Sister (so lonely)” and “Dive (so fast)” are considerably more punchy and energetic, clearly inspired by the more experimental electronic dance music out there. These tracks will be too great a departure from their originals for some people — the former an especially distant relation to the opening theme — though others will appreciate the creativity.

The game’s theme songs are also featured on this release. Rita’s vocals are left unchanged on the opening theme “Little Busters!” — still as peppy and girly as the original. However, the instrumentals are completely redone — the pop-flavoured beats replaced by distorted synthpads and abstruse piano improvisations. But the resultant dichotomy of sounds sounds bizarre rather than inspiring — this isn’t the way to do a cover. The softer nature of “Faraway” suits Iwashita’s approach much more. This time, the deep beats, piano underlays, and backing vocals all complement Rita’s vocals to create an understated but beautiful soundscape. The short closer samples some instrumental parts of this song backwards.

Summary

It’s difficult to recommend Little Busters! Original Arrange Album -Semicrystalline-. While some arrangements have creative value, they tend to detract from the originals and lose the spirit of Key. Fans of minimalistic electronic music may find this one more enjoyable, but there are far better releases available on the wider market.

Little Busters! Original Arrange Album -Semicrystalline- Chris Greening

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

2.5


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


About the Author

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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