Persona 3 -Burn My Dread: Reincarnation-
Persona 3 -Burn My Dread: Reincarnation-
April 18, 2007
Buy at CDJapan
So after releasing the highly commercially successful Persona 3 Original Soundtrack, Atlus decided to produce an arranged album. The thought occurred to me “What more could they possibly do to the music?” as it was not obvious what they planned to do. The original score stood on its own two feet pretty well, so many wondered whether Shoji Meguro would ruin or improve the tracks selected. After much deliberation, let me tell you the result…
The original “Burn My Dread” was a barely passable song when I first heard it. The first minute and a half is the exact same song but then, where the original ended, this version continues with the groovy instrumentation. The problem with the original track was the vocalist tried way to hard to rock out at the refrain. This version is much better than the original and a very good change overall. Another welcome transformation, “Want To Be Close” has been slowed down and some Hendrix like guitar work echoes in the background. The vocals are completely changed from the original and, when the refrain comes, a sad inflection comes from the vocals and the song then switches back into ultra groovy mode.
All industrial electronica elements have been ousted from “Deep Breath” in favor of a big band flavor. Trumpets blare out and some electric organ makes its way into the tune. The female vocals from the original return, but are not longer distorted and nicely offset the male rapping. This song is very chilled in mood and inspires a lot of retro sentiments. “Living With Determination” has been changed a fair amount too. The piece no longer feels sad in any way and constitutes an extremely jazzy inflection of the original instead. Most of the track seems to be constructed by piano solo and groovy guitar melodies. It’s a nice change in pace and really brings out the potential of the original.
Some pieces are less transformative. For example, “Changing Seasons” has changed little from the last album. It gets some synthesized organ thrown into the mix that further emphasises the clear retro feeling of the original. The beats have become thicker and the trumpets are a tad bit more prominent. That said, there are a lot more boring section in this song too and it seems like the arrangement was made longer simply because it could be. Most of the original charm of “When The Moon Reaches For The Stars” remains intact. There is big band feel coursing through the entire song, although this is thrown off a bit by the immense distortion given to the vocals. Three quarters of the way through, a small drum and bass section starts up, but it sounds extremely awkward. It then delves back to its intro and stays there.
The battle themes are completely revitalised on this album. “Mass Destruction” has a large chunk of J-Rap imbedded within. The trumpets have disappeared completely but the guitar remains to crank up the adrenaline a bit. The rapping is still just as bad as before, but the female singers are a whole lot more bearable thankfully. “Unavoidable Battle” is really deceptive at first. The song first sounds like the original, but then a breakbeat comes in and quickens the pace. There is a lot more synthesized material this time around too. Towards the end, keyboards begin chirping away and add a really neat electronica flavor.
“Aria of the Soul” receives a brand new arrangement courtesy of Hiroyuki Nakayama. The soprano voice sounds even more radiant than ever, but the main highlight is the romantic piano work. As the piece goes on, the piano speeds up and gains in volume, and then slows back down into its original tempo. The subtle nuances considerably enhance the piece. “Battle Hymn of the Soul” meanwhile is pretty close to the previous version. The same high-octane guitar runs throughout and reimagines “Aria of the Soul” in a metal style. It is delivered with the same fast pace and epic tone of the original but there is one big difference. The piano stays hidden in the background for most of the time except to accent some parts of the piece. The singer takes care of most the melody, but occasionally the guitar jumps in on the fun and steals it from her. This is a very cool reinterpretation of the song.
I reviled the original version of “Burn My Dread -Last Battle-” almost all the way through. This, however, is a bit different. The song starts out similar to the original except with a different drum beat and more subdued vocals. The guitar disappears completely after a small amount of time and the rapper comes back to taunt me once more. Fortunately, he is met with really groovy drum work and electronica beats that eventually give way to a calmer part featuring piano. The song is undeniably savvier than the original and even got my head bobbing. Finally, “Your Memories” has a very epic feel due to the inclusion of the orchestra. Most elements of the original have been completely removed leaving a J-Pop song featuring only an orchestra and female vocals. It’s not a bad song by any means, but a lot of the arrangement feels somewhat lazy. The J-Pop vocals are good but don’t lend itself very well to an orchestral setting.
The outcome was very surprising here. Atlus managed to put songs I originally both loved and hated into the track listings. Some of the songs that weren’t enjoyable the first time around were very much improved here, but some stayed pretty much the same. Songs that I previously enjoyed were not improved so much and represent alternate versions, not necessarily superior, versions of the same material. So will someone who loved the original score like this one? The answer is of course a resounding yes. The original soundtrack isn’t even necessary to own as this album contains many of the highlights albeit with improvements. This album is a must for all fans of Meguro and all fans of Persona 3.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Daniel Jackman. Last modified on August 1, 2012.