Power Dolls 1 Soundtrack Resonance
Power Dolls 1 Soundtrack Resonance
March 27, 2009
Buy Used Copy
In 1994, the first Power Dolls game was released for a variety of early computers. Composed by Hiroto Saitoh and Kayoko Maeda, it featured a variety of catchy themes. Now, 15 years later, the game was remade for the PC and an arranged album was made to commemorate the release. The album is headlined by Hiroto Saito and featuring guest arrangements by SuperSweep, ESTi, and co. Given Supersweep and Saitoh’s effective arranged albums in the past, how does this one rank amongst them?
Most of the album features arrangements by Hiroto Saito. The album opens with “Power DoLLS,” which is an interesting take on the original. It has a lot going for it, including the DJ scratching mixed with some jazz piano and some deep bass. The hip hop beat also gives it a more modern twist and the brass sections sound like they came right out of “Thriller” by Michael Jackson; I’m willing to forgive that, since it’s a pretty awesome way to start the album! “A Ball Glown” is another funky jazz arrangement with a big focus on that big band brass. In addition, it also features some guitar and trumpet accents. It’s definitely a fun theme, but I find it to be one of Saito’s weakest on the album. Both “Eclipse” and “Daybreak” take a more earthly approach by sticking to a standard jazz arrangement. The former features some spacey synth accents while the latter features a nice dance beat with the occasional synth melody, but for the most part, it’s standard jazz. The piano is particularly striking in “Daybreak”. Lastly, “Gust of Wind” is an arrangement that combines a nice sense of urgency with an engaging spacey, futuristic synth line with a touch of industrial beat. It’s got a nice jazzy flair to it as well, but it’s more subdued. It’s another great arrangement from Saito.
The guest arrangers offer the most diversity in terms of arrangements. “Land Around,” arranged by Ayako Saso, is a nice groovy jazz arrangement with plenty of spacey synth, electric guitar, and a kickass piano solo. It’s a pretty infectious melody and it does wonders for the original. Yousuke Yasui contributes a pretty kickass theme as well, with “Defense Suppression”. It’s a pretty funky arrangement with a big band brass sound, a saxophone melody lead, some spacey synth, and an awesome electric guitar solo. It’s a shame it’s so short, as I’d love to hear an extended version of this one as well. Unfortunately, the original version isn’t found on the other disc so I’m not sure what it sounds like in comparison. ESTi, a Korean composer, also offers an arrangement and to me, it’s the best thing on the album. Entitled “Spank Mission,” it’s a very futuristic and spacey theme that features a multitude of excellent synth lines, some vocoder usage that reminds me a bit of Daft Punk, and some beautiful piano passages. It’s just a bouncy fun melody that is definitely the highlight of the album.
Former Zuntata composer Norihiko Furukawa, going by his alias Nakayama Raiden, contributes an arrangement of “Silky Rose”. It’s another bouncy synth led melody with some nice electric guitar accents and some softer spacey passages with some nice piano accents,. It even throws in some spoken dialogue as one would expect from a base to an aircraft. Shinji Hosoe’s arrangement, “Alternative Walls,” is a nice funky synth based arrangement with some crazy synth effects and some awesome spacey synth lines, all with a jazzy twist. It’s a intoxicating brew and is quite fun! Lastly, Masashi Yano contributes an arrangement of “High Altitude Circle” and it’s one of my favorite synth based arrangements. It’s got a nice futuristic sound with some beautiful beats and some hypnotic cascading synth effects to serve as accompaniment. I’ve loved Yano’s arrangements on the recent SuperSweep albums so this comes to no surprise to me as well.
In addition, the album also comes with a separate disc entitled Power Dolls 1 Early Collection that features FM and MIDI versions of the originals. Though the arranged album Power Dolls Kogado Collection long preceded this one, this is the first time the actual original music has been made available on CD form. Unfortunately, “Defense Supression” is missing from the collection, but it’s also worth checking out. In addition, Saito also contributes a new theme for the remake, entitled “Wild Rose”. It is an awesome theme that sounds like it could be in a shmup. While the start of the theme is quite jazzy, it quickly progresses into an exhilarating synth based theme that harbors a beautiful melody. It rounds off a great accompaniment to the game. This new theme is on the arranged rather than original disc.
When I found out about this album in early March, I was absolutely delighted and ecstatic. Considering I liked Saito’s contributions on the mainly SuperSweep Technictix Remix set of arrange albums, and knowing their involvement, I knew this had to be a great arrange album. Each composer created striking arrangements that really accentuated the originals and it’s quite diverse in its scope as well. If you thought the Technictix Remix albums were inaccessible, take pleasure in knowing that this arrange album is much more casual listener friendly. If you were a fan of the Technictix Remix albums, this is also up your alley. Personally, I enjoy this more than any of these and they were my favorite arrange albums of 2008. Definitely pick this soundtrack up if you get a chance. You’ll definitely fall in love with it if you are a fan of SuperSweep or Hiroto Saito. Plus, it comes with the added bonus of the originals, so you can’t beat that! I hope sales were good enough to warrant albums for the other Power Dolls soundtracks.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.