Persona 4 -Dancing All Night- Original Soundtrack
Persona 4 -Dancing All Night- Original Soundtrack
June 25, 2015
Buy at Amazon.co.jp
Persona 4 -Dancing All Night- Original Soundtrack is the soundtrack for the Vita rhythm game of the same name, consisting mostly of remixes by various artists of songs from the original Persona4 soundtrack, as well as remixes of songs from the spin-offs Persona 4 the Golden and Persona 4 Arena. Also included are some original cues from Dancing All Night, and cuts from previous arrangements of Persona4 music. This base soundtrack covers two discs, while another one-disc release, the Persona 4 -Dancing All Night- Soundtrack Advanced CD, has extended versions of many of the remixes found here. This album is not old as a standalone product, but rather is only available as part of the collector’s editions of Persona 4 Dancing All Night game, or in the collector’s combo pack together with the Advanced CD.
The soundtrack starts with the new opening track written for the game, “Dance!”, beginning with a short sample from the original Persona 4 opening song before switching things up to a more beat-driven track. Shihoko Hirata returns to sing and Lotus Juice returns to rap in this infectious track which has a great melody along with an energetic arrangement that is a worthy spiritual successor to previous game openings, even retaining elements of “Pursuing My True Self” throughout the track. The only other new vocal theme in the game is the closing “Calystegia”, sung by Minako Kotobuki. It’s a fairly typical bright J-Pop track with a safe band arrangement, so it’s a bit disappointing next to the greater tracks of the series, but it is otherwise fun and enjoyable.
The remaining new compositions are instrumentals, and tend to be quite short. “So Baby Go For It, Feel the Vibe!” is an expansion on a small vocal bit of “Dance!” that is appropriately funky, but doesn’t leave too much impact. “Collection” is another variation on “Dance!”, this time a laid back track that is quite pleasant, though “Step” is the more superior variation with a great groove, trumpet on melody, and strong accompanying strings. Some tracks play off of “Calystegia”, like the bright “Much More than I Feel Like”, or the soft piano solo “Bindweed”. Most of the other new tracks like the smooth lounge “Ochimizu” or the more dramatic “Consensus of Those Who Want Bonds” are serviceable and fit well enough on the soundtrack, but aren’t otherwise very remarkable.
The big draw of the soundtrack is of course the remixes of existing Persona 4 material, which make up most of the first disc. These all tend to be electronic in nature, and never do anything so dramatic as to make the track unrecognizable. The first remix “Pursuing My True Self (ATLUS Kozuka Remix)” is very synth heavy but still retains the original’s funky spirit. It’s not quite as interesting as its original, but it’s a fine track that entertains. “Signs of Love (TK Remix)” interestingly takes a darker turn in its heavier sound, and the “Best Friends (Banvox Remix)” is pretty great with its thumping house beat, but I do wish the drop was a bit harder after the first verse. “Pursuing My True Self (Shinchi Osawa) Remix” has a strong bassline that carries the song through its less conventional sound, while “Heartbeat, Heartbreak (TOWA TEI Remix)” gives the track more quirky electronica backdrop that’s a lot of fun. Most of these don’t surpass the originals, but they do offer a fresh new take that is enjoyable, and certainly makes the songs more suitable for rhythm game use.
One of the standouts for me is the “SNOWFLAKES (NARASAKI Remix)”, which is a great improvement on the original thanks to its more fleshed out sound and faster pace. It’s still bright and positive, but it’s now overall more fun and energetic. “Time to Make History (AKIRA YAMAOKA Remix)” is also a fantastic track, with its heavy breakbeat percussion that is very well suited to the track. Yamaoka makes it much grittier, to great effect, especially as the track progresses. “Heaven (Noriko Hibino Remix)” is also a wonderful take on an already wonderful track, with touches of noir jazz in combination with the a bit of Latin influence. The track begins in a very alluring manner then gets busier as it goes, leading to a wonderful saxophone solo. The “Shadow World (DE DE MOUSE shadow swing Remix)” is remarkable if not just for its sheer peculiarity, having a piano accompaniment that for a while doesn’t seem to fit at all, but once it becomes more consonant at the chorus, everything clicks together in the track and the payoff is wonderful. It’s one of the few very daring remixes on the soundtrack, and I think it absolutely succeeds, but it might not be that way for everyone. The first disc closes with “Dance Hymn of the Soul (Disco in Velvet Room)”, which has a great jazzy variation on the original accompaniment. It’s still a bit strange to hear this beautiful melody in an upbeat dance context, but the arrangement is a lot of fun.
The second disc also reprises a lot of existing Persona 4 material. For example, “Pursuing My True Self” and “Never More” appear in their full versions here, untouched. Several songs from the Never More -Reincarnation:PERSONA 4- also appear, albeit in slightly truncated versions. None of the cuts are very substantial, though neither is the small addition to “Time to Make History”. This will all be redundant and unnecessary for those who already have the other Persona 4 albums, but for anyone who was introduced to the universe with Dancing All Night, these tracks are great inclusion and cover the important ground from the other soundtracks. The Never More tracks are all quite strong, including the much better developed and more dynamic “specialist”, the brassier “Like a dream come true”, and the heavily percussive and jazzy “Signs of Love”. It’s also nice to have the songs from Persona 4 the Golden like “Shadow World”, and even “MAZE OF LIFE” from Persona Q is included.
Outside of the reused material (which accounts for half of the second disc!), there are other instrumental tracks that are based on Persona 4 tracks. Some are very similar and come off as remasters, such as the new versions of “ZONE TIME”, “Who’s There?”, and “Borderline of Madness”. Other tracks have more substantial changes, like “New Days” which is more varied in its instrumentation and has a fuller sound which is really great. “Reasoning” is very chill and even a bit tropical in its new sound, while “I’ll Face Myself” is starts similar to the original but then switches to a laid back version of the track. “SMILE” is very atmospheric now, barely being heard as if far in the distance of a dense fog, while “Never More” gets a new short slow instrumental version that is mainly electric piano and guitar. Then there are “I Want Bonds…” and “Witness”, both variations on the “Who’s There?” motif. The former having thick atmosphere, while the latter more cinematic and tense. Lastly, are nine versions of the victory motif of “Reach Out To The Truth”, one for each of the characters with slightly altered instrumentation in their second half (for example, the brass of “-Tomoe-” vs the the harp of “Himiko”. Unfortunately they’re all a mere twenty seconds long (save for the “-Izanaminookami-“ version, which is a bit longer and combines elements of all the other versions), and they’re inclusion really is there to appease completionists. They otherwise interrupt any flow this disc might have had, but it was a very eclectic mix of tracks to begin with.
Persona 4 -Dancing All Night- Original Soundtrack is a solid soundtrack that will please fans of Persona 4’s universe, and should entertain anyone who enjoys J-Pop. The remixes are all well done, and they are diverse enough to not get tiring on a listen through, and the uniqueness of the music of Persona 4 is still communicated through them. Not many surpass the originals, but they are great companion pieces, and freshen up the experience. The new tracks are all fine as well, particularly the new theme song “Dance!”. Although the -ADVANCED CD- has extended versions of many of the remixes, nothing feels like it is missing here (other than the DLC tracks) since the tracks are presented here as they are in-game. The second disc may not seem as crucial for those who already have other Persona 4 albums, but its material is still strong, and certainly worth it for those who don’t have the recycled tracks. Overall it’s a great as part of the collector’s packages of the game, and should have all that a fan needs from the game in terms of music.
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Posted on October 26, 2015 by Christopher Huynh. Last modified on October 26, 2015.