Lunar -Eternal Blue-
Lunar -Eternal Blue-
February 22, 1995
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Noriyuki Iwadare creates a bit of a mixed bag with Lunar Eternal Blue. Some of the pieces stand out as being exceptional, but others can be just hard to listen to. Regardless, when you finish listening to this soundtrack it is likely you will find a piece that affects you emotionally in some way.
The soundtrack opens with “Eternal Blue,” which serves as a pretty nice overview of what to expect on the tracks ahead. It has a number of touching melodies, but doesn’t really stick out among the best tracks of the album. “Adventure Road” definitely sets the album off to a bad start. A cheesy vocal theme complete with a horrid singer, it is extremely hard to get through and impossible to enjoy. The Lunar vocal themes aren’t particularly strong and are often extremely typical and over-the-top.
“Dragonship Destiny” is a fairly enjoyable, if average, track. Nothing is particularly exceptional, but it is well orchestrated and developed. An easy listen for sure, but not one most will find themselves returning to often. Taking a turn for the better, “Zophar’s Arrival” presents a very tense and ominous mood that pulls the listener in. The only problem is, once it pulls the listener it, the piece doesn’t exactly do a whole lot to keep them hooked. It undergoes a long section of very repetitive material, finally ending with some dissonant string accents. “Zophar’s Revival” is similarly ominous, though is much better executed. It manages to be ominous while being exciting at the same time. Though the same motif is used throughout most of the piece, it changes instruments enough to remain interesting. A contrasting section at the end helps the piece build to a logical and well placed climax, which also manages to leave the listener in suspense.
“Town ~ Street” is one of the highlights of the album. This track is actually two pieces in one. The first of those is the theme for small villages. It is very effective, and has an ethnic sound thanks to the instrumentation (mostly the percussion). It has such a playful melody that it is hard not to like, and the accompaniment is just as interesting and captivating. About halfway through, it changes to the town theme. This light, upbeat jazzy tune is very fun and is well suited for a busy town-life atmosphere. It has several different sections, so it doesn’t get overly repetitive and most listeners will enjoy the style contrast to most of the pieces on this album. With “Lucia’s Descent ~ Thoughts of Sorrow,” the album shows a bit of its epic, dramatic side. Perhaps a little too mushy, it is a somber statement of the tragic character Lucia. It well suits her personality and role in the overall plot. A great track, though it takes a while to really pick up and get interesting.
“Promenade” and “Carnival” are both very upbeat and fun tracks, though overly so. “Carnival” is extremely stereotypical, though understandably so. “Promenade” it just a little too bouncy, though it does present a great melody and accompaniment. It also has a few contrasting sections so it doesn’t get too monotonous, unlike “Carnival,” which will likely annoy anything with ears. “The Final Match Approaches” is easily one of the most accomplished pieces on the album. The staccato string rhythms keep a definite, ever-going sense of motion that is integral to the piece. The melodies that lay over the rhythms help out the mood even more by adding an epic, heroic feeling to the piece. Though it repeats fairly often, the instruments vary enough and the source material is interesting, so it doesn’t get annoying in the slightest.
“Field of Reaching for Tomorrow” is similar, but much happier. Instead of staccato bowed strings, pizzicato is used for a light-hearted feel. Otherwise, the instrumentation is very similar but the feels are very different despite being so alike. It is a hard thing to explain, but both “Fields…” and “The Final Match…” provide very interesting and enjoyable contrasting moods and stand out as two of the best pieces on the album. One of the more interesting tracks is “Holy Port Pentagulia”. Complete with a massive pipe organ and harpsichord sound, it is a bold and epic musical statement. The organ gives it a sacrosanct feeling, but the slightly ominous melodies convey a false sense of security. A baroque section in homage to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor” makes an appearance and adds even more interest to the piece.
The best track on the album is undoubtedly “Lucia vs. Zophar ~The Last Battle~,” which is one of the most riveting and epic orchestral battle themes I have ever heard. It is big and bombastic at every corner. It begins with a harp and flute arrangement of the main theme of Lunar, and then soon the entire ensemble bursts out with a huge musical statement, letting everyone know that this is the final confrontation. The orchestration is extremely well done here, and presents several different things to listen to simultaneously. The strings often have quick, building passages that are somewhat hard to hear, but if you can pick them out they add a ton of effect and character to the piece. Overall it is simply an amazing piece that is unlikely to disappoint.
The album closes with “Farewell,” a somber piece, followed by “Thoughts of Eternity,” another rough vocal song. This time the vocalist employs maximum cheese to her voice, and the typical 80’s pop drum loop doesn’t help things along in the slightest. It is a significant improvement over “Adventure Road,” however. Perhaps this style simply isn’t my cup of tea.
Overall though, Iwadare gaves us an emotionally charged score that is just rough around the edges. Some pieces could have been greater with better execution (“Advent of Zophar”) while others were near-perfect (“The Last Battle”, “Holy City Pentagulia”). The small number of tracks is also a disappointment, but the ones chosen do give a good idea of the games score; hit-and-miss. Though weak in some places, it’s very strong in others, so it is likely that most will find at least a few things that they will enjoy, however the poor execution hurts this album considerably.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Jared Miller. Last modified on January 19, 2016.