Persona 4 Soundtrack Side A
Persona 4 Soundtrack Side A
December 9, 2008
Buy Used Copy
Atlus is often fond of distributing soundtracks with their games. Persona 4 was no exception. These soundtracks are typically high quality samplers that in reality hold a large portion of the music from the game. Sometimes the track selection is sufficient for most not to require an import soundtrack whereas other times the track selection is abysmal. Where does Persona 4 Side A one of the aforementioned?
The album immediately buzzes with “Pursuing My True Self”, a jazzy vocal theme containing Meguro’s distinctive sound. Some catchy J-Pop singing is spiced up by distorted trumpets blaring in the background and some funky piano playing. It is a bit of a short opener, but welcome the entire time. Ah, “Aria of the Soul”. This is the seminal song that is included in every Persona game, but this time it is completely unchanged from Persona 3. Intense strings, gentle piano work, and beautiful operatic singing once again return for a rich five minute contemplation.
“New Days” features that signature breakbeat rhythm that Meguro is known for. The rhythm drives itself through the entire piece while light piano work serenades the listener. The track gains some steam and a rearing guitar transiently takes over before the track settles back into its chill roots. The more industrial side of Meguro rears its head in “Castle”. Composed entirely of synthetic elements, the hard-edged beats and serious strings create a very devious nature. Eventually, however, an electric piano replaces the synth work and adds a very pillowy section into the mix. This is a perfect interlude since the industrial synth comes back and sounds even more urgent than before.
“I’ll Face Myself -Battle-” is a completely rock-inspired track reminiscent of Digital Devil Saga 2. The electric guitar mainly brings the action here and the drums complement each part well. When the guitar bows out, the drums take the beat and produce some truly interesting rhythms. Pure Meguro rock through and through, this one is a keeper. Meguro gradually builds a guitar-driven arena track here in “The Almighty”. The overdriven guitar plays the melody over fairly frisky drums. After a bit of messing around, the piano adds a more serious tone for this encounter. The result is a very dynamic and enpowering composition that entertains throughout its comparatively long 4:39 duration.
Exploring some of the other vocal themes, J-Pop rules the day in Persona land with “Heartbreak, Heartbreak”. A piano provides a backdrop for some pleasant singing, but the real treat is the funky underlying tones strings and percussion. “Reach Out for the Truth” features J-Pop louder than before and drums are beaten harder than ever. Some of the energy from other tracks is channeled through and the vocals provide a very nice overlay to the guitar. The vocalist raps for a little and it’s not unwelcome. She leads into a more intense section featuring guitar infusions and more gusto singing. The song also receives an instrumental version for in-game purposes. It’s interesting hearing the song with the guitar in the lead, although it loses something without the vocalist.
“Who’s There” recounts one of the features Persona is known for — frightening and abstract piano work. The minimalistic piano motifs really give a sense of a lurking evil while the strings swell to create an even more sinister tone. It’s very effective in context and not bad on a stand-alone level either. One of the more meaningful efforts, “Secret Base” is presented by a sad but determined piano line. It is embellished by some modern electronic instrumentation and some ethereal interludes reinforce the gentle nature. Piano also drives the melancholic “Traumeri”. After some contemplation from the solo piano, hip-hop drumming is added and gives some depth to the piece. The track is simple with two parts, but is a much-needed break from some of the clutter of the other tracks.
Courtesy of Atsushi Kitajoh, “Muscle Blues” is a very bluesy, jazzy piece that lives up to its name. It starts out very strong with a very interesting instrument choice; the saxophone takes a stranglehold on the melody and hires the organ to provide some backup. “Junes Theme” meanwhile is a very peppy theme composed by Ryota Kozuka. The techno has a very cheery feel and more instruments are added to reinforce the joyous sound. Woodblock and dog barks are played in the background to add to the cuteness. It’s not an amazing composition, but it all adds to the diversity and charm. “Game” seems to be a tribute to old-school game music. Distorted synth emulates the square and triangle waves of old, though gradually grows more dramatic and fuses the archaic sound with some more modern features. It’s not very good for more than a minute though.
A strange timbre is featured in “Your Affection”. The keyboards have an almost bouncy quality to them whereas the drums have a refreshing tribal quality. Eventually, the J-Pop vocalist once again chimes in, but is tolerable enough. “Heaven” has a bit of a confusing start and the body of the track wavers between sections dedicated to a beautiful voice and those with a poppy mood. Overall, it sometimes sounds like a sexy jazzy love song and other times an upbeat pop song. Finally, “Never More” is a slow J-Pop theme. The track takes its time, but it is completely worth listening to, especially with the trumpets blaring in the background. This piece never seems to get repetitive despite its six minute length since Meguro brings plenty of variety and freshness to the mix.
This selection is a great one indeed. If anything can be said of Side A, it is that it is certainly a very poppy, guitar driven disc. A few vocal themes are inserted in this album to go and assert the new Persona flavor. There are few themes that are awkward here like “Junes Theme” and “Border of Insanity”. Overall, though, this is a great selection. It’s obvious that great care was taken putting this promotion together and the disc succeeds because of it.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Daniel Jackman. Last modified on August 1, 2012.