Little Busters! Arrange Album -Rockstar Busters!-

Little Busters! Arrange Album -Rockstar Busters!- Album Title:
Little Busters! Arrange Album -Rockstar Busters!-
Record Label:
Key Sounds Label
Catalog No.:
KSLA-0037
Release Date:
December 29, 2007
Purchase:
Buy Used Copy

Overview

In 2004, Japanese rock band MintJam made a spectacular transition from popular doujin group to officially endorsed arrangers with the help of Key’s Clannad. Three years later, they were given the opportunity to create an entire arranged album dedicated to the company’s subsequent hit, Little Busters! Blending six instrumental performances with a number of vocal arrangements, MintJam showcased a surprising amount of versatility on Little Busters! Arrange Album -Rockstar Busters!- But in doing so, they still reflected their core sound and retained the spirit of the originals.

Body

One of the best displays of MintJam’s core sound on the release is “Heroic Battle”. The original was an uplifting synth-heavy anthem reminiscent of old-school RPG battle themes, and while excellent, setzer improves on it in numerous ways. Notably, he shifts from the old-school sounds of the original in favour of a rawer, denser rock sound. a2c’s electric guitar performance is the driving force, capturing all the charisma of the original melody and offering plenty of flashy guitar solos, notably at the 1:55 mark. Simply put, it puts a modern mainstream spin on the original, while still retaining its melodic potency and nostalgic feel. Anyone who enjoys The Black Mages will love this. The similarly styled “Mission Possible ~but difficult~” adheres closer to the original, with its moodier guitar solo and driving bass riff; nevertheless, the original was so effective that this is no bad thing, and the combination of solid performances and subtle elaborations ensures it is still a marked improvement.

MintJam nevertheless demonstrate their versatility on a number of additions. Arguably misplaced at the start of the album, “My Brave Smile” and “Day Game” are short but sweet deviations from the hard rock emphasis; both are filled with peppy melodies and the combination of acoustic and electric guitar performances is especially in the effective in the former. “Incommunicable Message” reflects the softer side of the band and, just as he brought out all the energy in the action themes, arranger and guitarist captures all the sorrow of the original melody; the doubled performance at the 1:50 mark is especially heartfelt, while the solo that follows is understated but glorious. “Just One Magic Word” and “Gather the Light” offer the best of both worlds, both opening with intimate acoustic guitar sections — the former reminiscent of Albeniz in places — before culminating in electric guitar solos at their most flashy and shameless. Both tracks are so emotionally raw that the dramatic transitions nevertheless sound quite natural.

The release also features four adaptations of three vocal themes from the game. This takes the focus away from MintJam’s strength in creating instrumental arrangements, but ensures that the most recognisable and popular tracks from Little Busters! get a nod. They adhere particularly closely to the opening theme “Little Busters!”, lifting up rita’s unforgettable vocal melody with a robust accompaniment and some occasional flourishes; while conservative, it is still exactly what most Key fans were looking for and the rendition certainly retains the charm of the original. Those looking for a more individualistic — and therefore harder — rendition can enjoy the MJ Cover at the end of the album, featuring more exuberant instrumentation and a powerful performance by male vocalist TERRA. Of the other vocal themes, “Faraway” provides a soft interlude at the centre of the album with its tear jerking vocals and despairing guitar-focused climax. “Alicemagic” won’t appeal to all with its girly vocals and trashy instrumentation, but many will find it a highly enjoyable closer; the vocal melody is highly memorable and the dense rock instrumentation is compelling and energetic throughout.

Summary

Overall, Little Busters! Arrange Album -Rockstar Busters!- is an incredible display of MintJam’s talent. The band retain the melodic potency and magical feel of the originals throughout the album, while offering mainstream appeal with their hard and expressive arrangements and performances. Not all will appreciate the balance of instrumental to vocal tracks here and a couple more hard rock instrumentals could have gone a long way. Nevertheless, this is an excellent release and the best in Little Busters! discography.

Little Busters! Arrange Album -Rockstar Busters!- Chris Greening

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

4.5


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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