P3D & P5D Full Soundtrack
P3D & P5D Full Soundtrack
May 24, 2018
Buy at CDJapan
P3D & P5D Full Soundtrack is the combined soundtrack for the Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight games, released exclusively as part of the collector’s editions that package both games together. No standalone soundtrack for either game has been released. Each game has two discs of material here, containing new tracks headed by composer Ryota Kozuka, old tracks from the original games headed by Shoji Meguro, and remixes of those tracks by a variety of artists. Like with the games, the material here is a little more mixed than that of Persona 4: Dancing All Night, but for the most part the soundtrack is an enjoyable one.
The Persona 3: Dancing portion begins with the first new track, “Our Moment (OP Ver.)”. The track brings back vocalist Yumi Kawamura and rapper Lotus Juice from the original soundtrack, with Kozuka crafting a song for them that is in keeping with the original game’s funk pop styling. The track is catchy and fun, though unfortunately only the short version of the track was included. The omission of the full version is strange, given that it hasn’t been released since and there was plenty of disc space for it here, but this version of the track is sufficient. The other major new track is “Moonlight Serendipity”, another light and infectious pop track with a positive sound, but it’s so well put together that it is perhaps my favourite of the new tracks in the whole soundtrack. The new menu track “Party Over Here!” fulfills its function, but more pleasing are the other new tracks, which are relaxing instrumentals: “Passing Hours”, “Colourful Lights”, and the two “Private Room” tracks aren’t terribly memorable on their own, but they’re lovely little pieces with some references to other melodies and a groove that makes them easy to listen to.
But of course, most of the Persona 3: Dancing section is made up of remixes of Persona 3 tracks. Unfortunately a lot of them are just ok remixes, often with generic styles and nondescript synths that don’t do justice to the unique originals, such as the dubsteppy “Burn My Dread Novoiski REMIX” (which is actually a previously released remix), the repetitive “Deep Breath Deep Breath Yuu Miyake Remix”, or “When The Moon’s Reaching Out Stars Hideki Naganuma Remix” which doesn’t really make significant changes to its base track. Some of the remixes are even rather bad, due to baffling harmonic or instrumental choices. “Mass Destruction Tetsuya Kobayashi Remix” is one of these, with an ill-fitting heavy techno chorus and a static harmony that do not jive with the melody at all; it actually manages to be unpleasant to the ears. “Kimi no Kioku ATLUS Meguro Remix” also has strange harmonic changes that try to make the track more dramatic, but ultimately don’t fit at all. Other ones are nice enough like the J-rock “Brand New Days Yuyoyuppe Remix”, the darker yet still funky “Wiping All Out ATLUS Kozuka Remix”, and the bright and peppy ATLUS Kitajoh remixes of “Time” and “A Way of Life”. Most of the remixes are carried by the strength of their originals, and it is really only these last few that have a new vision for the tracks remixed.
For those disappointed with the remixes, many of the original tracks are actually present on the second disc, and for the most part they are the strongest material of the first two discs. These tracks cover most of the highlights of the original game and its spin-off soundtracks, like the bold and epic “Burn My Dread”, “Mass Destruction” with its brassy attitude, the concert-ready “Light the Fire Up in the Night”, and the lovely ending theme “Brand New Days”. The edits of the tracks that are present mostly do not affect them negatively, and people new to the tracks will hardly know that anything is missing. Those already familiar with these tracks will of course find them redundant, so the value here really depends on one’s existing library of Persona 3 music.
The Persona 5: Dancing portion proceeds in a similar manner, opening with the new track “Groovy (OP. Ver.)”. Again it sounds like a natural progression from the Persona 5 soundtrack, with vocalist Lyn on a funky track with a few actual samples from the original game’s opening theme (used in an interesting manner, out of synchronization with the main track). The ending theme departs from the established sound of the game, being more of a laid-back Brazilian house track, though still sharing a lot of instruments with the original soundtrack. It’s a charming song, and refreshing in that it’s not as heavy-handed as ending tracks tend to be. The other new tracks are instrumentals, but they’re not as good as those for Persona 3: Dancing. “Climb the Stage Together!”, “Let’s Be Honest” and “Hop Step From Light to Dark” sound all too similar to themes from Persona 5, while “Private Room side #1” is off-puttingly sleazy, although “Private Room -side #2” avoids this and is an easy listen.
The remixes for Persona 5: Dancing tend to fare better than those of Persona 3: Dancing, but again the remixers seem to have trouble figuring out how to remix tracks that were so good to begin with. For example, the two “Last Surprise” remixes and the “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There Jazztronik Remix” simply don’t do enough to set them apart from the originals, retaining many elements of the original. But then, this means that they don’t really harm the tracks either. “Life Will Change ATLUS Meguro Remix” almost falls into this, but it is interesting for subtly changing up the structural harmony of the piece to be lighter. The more notable remixes are “Beneath the Mask KAIEN Remix” and “Hoshi To Bokura To tofubeats Remix” which find a way to bring a lot of energy to their original laid back tracks, with instrumentals well adapted for the new tone. The more spacious “The Whims of Fate Yukihiro Fukutomi Remix” and autotune-heavy “Rivers In the Desert mito Remix” aren’t too shabby either. There are also more instrumental remixes here than for the other games. Some of these too hew too close to their originals, like the “Tokyo Daylight ATLUS Kozuka Remix” and “Blooming Villain ATLUS Konishi Remix”, but others mark significant improvements, as in “Will Power Shacho Remix” which leaves behind many of the bland rock elements of the original for an electronic groove, and “When Mother Was There ATLUS Kitajoh Remix” which makes attempts at fixing the repetitiveness of the original while also beefing up the arrangement.
The tracks carried over from the original Persona 5 soundtrack are mostly excellent, though there are some duds. The vocal themes “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There”, “Last Surprise”, “Life Will Change”, “Rivers in the Desert” and “Hoshi To Bokura To” are all still excellent with their infectious melodies, fun and stylish arrangements, and more than enough variation between them. The instrumentals however are among Meguro’s weaker offerings, with “Keeper of Lust”, “Blooming Villain”, and “Jaldabaoth ~ Our Beginning” being uninspired rock tracks that don’t even differ that much from his boss tracks from earlier games. Then there is “Price”, which has good instrumentation for the most part but is too repetitive and doesn’t develop. It might have been better if the game was released after the Persona 5 spinoffs, which would have provided more great material both for the remixes and for this section of previously released tracks.
P3D & P5D Full Soundtrack is a solid album following in the pattern of the Persona 4: Dancing All Night soundtrack, though weaker overall. The remixes span from good to bad, with only a few reaching the heights of the remixes for Persona 4, and a few that are much worse than their original tracks, particularly on the Persona 3 side. The new opening and ending themes for both games are great though, and the other new material, though short, is enjoyable enough. There is again a lot of redundancy of tracks for those who already own the original Persona 3 and Persona 5 soundtracks, but ultimately these make up the best parts of the whole soundtrack, so that in terms of price value it’s much more worth it for people who are new to the soundtracks entirely. Those looking for some alternate takes on the great vocal tracks of Persona 3 and Persona 5 should find enough to like here, but if the soundtrack is too difficult to come across for a decent price due to its exclusivity to the collector’s edition of the games, know that you’re not missing out on too much.
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Posted on February 18, 2020 by Tien Hoang. Last modified on February 18, 2020.