NieR Orchestral Arrangement Album – Addendum Special Disc

 

Album Title:
NieR Orchestral Arrangement Album – Addendum Special Disc
Record Label:
Square Enix Music
Catalog No.:
SQEX-10768
Release Date:
March 25, 2020
Purchase:
Buy at CDJapan

Overview

NieR Orchestral Arrangement Album – Addendum Special Disc is a first-press bonus for the physical version of NieR Orchestral Arrangement Album – Addendum. The disc contains three exclusive orchestral arrangements of tracks from NieR: Automata, handled again by Sachiko Miyano and Kosuke Yamashita. Unlike for the main disc, these arrangements were not intended for the NieR Theatrical Orchestra 12020 concerts. But as an extension of the main disc, the arrangements here also seek to be more faithful to the originals, though there is some extra liberty allowed here, so that this disc is the more interesting of the two.

Body

The first track is “Alien Manifestation” arranged by Miyano, and featuring J’Nique Nicole who did not originally sing for the track, but who performed a version of it for a previous concert. Her vocal here is much more strong and assured this time around, bringing a power and exoticism that is excellent for the track. The orchestral arrangement supporting her feels more punchy and deliberate, while the added choir and piano brings some new emotions to the mix. Whereas the first orchestral version was more cinematic and atmospheric, this one very much retains the sound and pace of the original while also expanding upon it, reaching a sizeable sound with all of its layers. It’s probably my favourite arrangement of the Addendum project. 

Following is “Peaceful Sleep” arranged by Yamashita. Although the arrangement is harmonically and very straightforward like the original, Yamashita ventures out more than he did on the main Addendum disc by allowing improvisation from solo instruments and adding some new layers of music throughout. The result is a very pleasant arrangement that is more varied than the original, yet still retains the original’s soothing gentleness. The warmth of the full orchestra is also very notable here. The original in its simplicity was one of my favourites from the original soundtrack, and this dreamlike version makes for a wonderful companion to it.

The final track is Miyano’s take on “Vague Hope”, with Emi Evans returning for the vocal. The strings arrangement here is sweeping and very romantic, dancing around the contrastingly steady vocal, while the other instruments augment the arrangement and give it more motion, especially the piano. The atmosphere feels more theatrical than the originals’, but it is no less emotional. The arrangement is more classical in style than the other arrangements of Addendum, but it is ultimately still anchored to the original by Evans’ beautiful vocal singing the wonderful melody, so it should not alienate any fans of the original.

Summary

NieR Orchestral Arrangement Album – Addendum Special Disc is a wonderful bonus to have, and for some it may justify the higher cost of the physical package. The arrangements here are considerably less ambitious and daring than the bonus arrangements from the first orchestral arrangement project, but they better balance faithfulness to the originals with creative additions and modifications that make the tracks feel fresh. It would have been great if the main album was more like these. The release is a bit frustrating, given that these tracks are saved as a physical bonus when they could have easily fit on the main album. But in itself, the disc is a welcome addition to the canon of NieR music, and I would happy to hear more like it in the future.

NieR Orchestral Arrangement Album – Addendum Special Disc Tien Hoang

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

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Posted on March 27, 2020 by Tien Hoang. Last modified on March 27, 2020.

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