Persona 4 Soundtrack Side B
Persona 4 Soundtrack Side B
December 9, 2008
Buy Used Copy
The Persona 4 Soundtrack Side B features the tracks from the Persona 4 Original Soundtrack that weren’t present in Persona 4 Soundtrack Side A. If a person owns both Side A and Side B, they own the whole soundtrack for the game. Given that Side A was so good, can Side B hope to match or have all of the bad tracks filtered over to Side B. Let’s have a closer look.
“Reach Out To The Truth -First Battle-” gets listeners moving right at the start of the album. Meguro offers a peculiar blend of surfing guitar lines and upbeat J-Pop vocals. It sounds a little off for a battle theme, but it is creative and catchy enough to be enjoyable nonetheless. The organ provides excellent backup filling in some melody when the vocalist is absent. Developing the jazz sound, there’s some brass action in “Like A Dream Come True”. The trombone and trumpet work powerfully together here and really slam the high notes. They take a break before a jazz organ takes charge. The return of the brassy focus feels somewhat formulaic, but at least some piano chords colour the texture. It’s very catchy regardless. “Deduction” features a nice blend of acoustic piano work and abstract synth. Although the drumming is of standard coffee shop variety, the trumpet and trombone work are more extravagant. Overall, the track brings a lot of elements together to create a perfect jazz hit.
“It’s a Showtime” is a total switch from everything that has been played so far, created by Atsushi Kitajo rather than Shoji Meguro. It’s a Latino piece with strong samba vibes. The melody isn’t all that interesting but its solid nonetheless. However, the short track length doesn’t really allow for any interesting development. There’s more Latin pieces from him in “Someone Else’s Man”, a lovely guitar-punctuated tango, and “Quelorie Magic”, a very bubbly and bouncy track. “Strength of Heart (P4 ver.)” is an ambient effort from Ryuta Kozuka. The chanting vocals provide a nice intro, but after that the track really falls apart. The drums hit every two seconds with almost zero melody. It’s annoying and repetitive with little variation. Kozuka’s arrangement of “The Path is Open” emanates with brightness. The piano passages are played in a simple and peaceful manner while some underlying bells add a nice body to the piece.
In “Studio Backlot”, Meguro shows his flair for creating contemporary yet novel track by blending J-Pop vocals with march-like accompaniment. The instrumentation is very effective and the vocals create the right mood with even a little rapping featured here and there. Although the timbre is very interesting, there isn’t enough variation during the development. As a result, the track becomes a bit of a bore when it loops. “Signs Of Love” is built upon strong beats with a great disco inflection pool. The foreground is mainly compromised of well-stylized female vocals and some jazzy organ section, though can sound bare when some of the instruments drop out leaving only vocals and drums. The song nevertheless keeps a certain grooviness the entire time, but it does become a bit monotonous after a minute.
One of the most ambient tracks in the soundtrack, “Midnight Channel” features high-pitched string crisis motifs being punctuated by some deep low-pitched strings. The high strings are relentless with their continuous rhythms and increasing dynamic level, giving a sense of being chased. However, it’s rather anti-climactic how the track suddenly just ends. The mainstay of “Omen” are some stray sounds and electrical echoes. It’s creepy, but not nearly long enough. In “Corridor”, gentle minimalistic piano work serandes the ears here. The strings waver in and out to bring an air of creppiness, but later provide a serene support to the increasingly more romantic piano work. This is a beautiful miniature.
“Alone” is an appropriate name for this track because the lead piano has a very depressing sound to it. The intro starts with some happy chords, but after the masking is over, the piano reveals the character’s true feelings and the track descends into some sadness. The piece battles with itself since the character isn’t sure what they are feeling. This gives the track an interesting dichotomy. In “Awakening”, a sad piano strikes down and wavers in volume. The strings provide some backup and the piano begins to speed up. As the piano speeds up, the strings become more nefarious and lead to a metal fest for guitars. Unfortunately, the track doesn’t last for long, so there is not much of an opportunity to hear the metal wail. At first, “SMILE” seems like another pretty piano-led piece, but the track eventually evolves. The piano bows out while a fascinating synth line comes out to provide the melody. I found myself smiling at this one, just enjoying the dynamics between the two instruments.
The trance goes wild in “Zone Time”. The electronic beats are exciting and the drums offer a fast-paced clicking sound in the background. Some strings are added to give some desperation to the already sinister theme. Despite this, the track is a bit stale and there is not enough variation to really write anything home about. The longest track on the album, the secret boss theme “The Genesis” assaults the ears with foreboding and bombastic low brass. Timpani blast out the beat and snares comes in to add a bit of a march inflection. The track is a bit on the repetitive side, but the build up can be interesting to listen to. If you can bring yourself to get to the five minute mark there is a reprisal of “I’ll Face Myself” featuring especially compelling brass work. A great achievement, though perhaps overly long.
The ‘another version’ of “I’ll Face Myself” is kind of neat. There is a simple hip-hop drumming in the background with the trumpet playing the main melody. The piano jumps in to take the melody for a little bit only to give it straight back to trumpet. They don’t seem to want to share parts at the same time; it’s either one or the other. “Electronica of the Soul” is the now trademark re-imagining of “Aria of the Soul”. How does this fare as an electronica song? Not very well I’m afraid. The main operatic section clashes so badly with the instrumentals that the Master of the Velvet room would throw the Belladonna out. The reinterpretation is appreciated but the song fails in so many aspects that I should go listen to the original to forget about this.
Overall, this is not quite as strong as the first side. Its almost as good, but it is left in the dust by a few stinkers. This disc was included in a special Persona 4 package that is very difficult to find these days, so if you must be without a side then Side B should be it. Alternatively you could buy the Persona 4 Original Soundtrack for cheaper.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Daniel Jackman. Last modified on August 1, 2012.