Shoumetsu Toshi Original Soundtrack 2

  Album Title:
Shoumetsu Toshi Original Soundtrack 2
Record Label:
noisycroak Records
Catalog No.:
NCRS-0019
Release Date:
November 15, 2017
Purchase:
Buy at Amazon Japan

Overview

The Shoumetsu Toshi Original Soundtrack 2 features additional music of the mobile game of the same name, composed by Hiroyoshi Kato and Yasuhiro Kawagoe. While some of the music was already released in digital format in Shoumetsu Toshi Original Soundtrack Vol. 3, the physical release of the soundtrack contains new music as well. How does the new music featured on the soundtrack turn out compared to the other music already priorly released?

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The album opens up with “Recoil,” an odd electronic/strings arrangement of “Eternity,” that distorts the melody. The end result is nothing that particularly stands out and, while trying to be creative, ruins the appeal of the original melody. There is also a “Recoil (Strings Version)” that is more accessible, giving the piece a somber touch, and is reminiscent of the echochrome series stylistically. Fortunately, “Green Light” rebounds with an excellent EDM vocal with a fantastic presence and an engaging melody. The vocalist works quite well with the style of music and there are some wonderful synth harmonies. “Reloaded” opens with ominous organ and choir before incorporating quirky synths and techno beats alongside operatic vocals. The tense and desperate atmosphere certainly works well with the melody but at times, it does sound a bit cliche.

“Lunar” opens up with atmospheric and ethereal synth before moving into a drum n’ bass sound, however, as the tune progresses, it becomes clear that the end result doesn’t really amplify and just progresses without much sense of excitement, despite teasing it might do just that. However, as a counter, there are some beautiful melodies throughout. “Phases,” Yasuhiro Kawagoe’s sole contribution to this volume, opens up with a beautiful piano melody before moving into an EDM tune with a big room sound. This sound is complemented by jazzy piano in the accompaniment. As the piece progresses, it delves a bit more into the jazz side of things, providing light percussion, bright strings, and jazzy piano before moving into a more synth driven piano melody that opened the tune before finally closing out with the EDM sound. Overall, it’s a successful tune that manages to stand out. “Our Lost Future” is a jazzy tune with some light club music elements. The vocals certainly help shape the tone of the piece while the strings bring a dramatic touch. In addition, the piece incorporates the main theme of the series before ending with glitchy drum n’ bass that feels out of place with the rest of the tune.

There are also some arrangements of previous tunes featured on the album. “Now I Feel U (Arrange Version)” combines sultry vocals with synths and acoustic elements to create something that works well with the R&B/pop influenced accompaniment. “Stay with Me (Arrange Version)”  is more of an ambient, atmospheric arrangement with a synth and piano lead. The vocals themselves have a bit of a jazzy touch to them and the end result is quite beautiful. “The End of the World and the Last Word (Strings Version) blends Emi Evans’ original vocals with an exquisite strings quartet to give a sense of romance to the original.

The other half of the soundtrack is, largely acoustic in nature. “Sign” is a melancholic piano tune with vocals by rionos. As there are no actual lyrics, the vocal portion of the tune tends to get a bit stale; however, the strings components of the piece are a nice musical texture and the overall soundscape of the piece is quite beautiful. In addition, there is also a piano version of this tune that excludes vocals and strings while keeping the melancholic feel. It is, for me, the preferred version. There are additional vocal tunes on the soundtrack as well. Emi Evans contributes her voice to two additional songs solo and another in a duet with SAK. The former two, “Start New Things” and “Song of Joy,” both have a pop sound with the former being more jazz oriented and the latter having more of a light rock influence. “Start New Things “also features an invigorating melody with the vocals matching the feel of the song. “Song of Joy” features more airy vocals that go well with the atmosphere and a beautiful violin melody and engaging piano.

The duet tune, “Love Is the Way,” is another jazz oriented tune with piano and strings. The end result is quite exhilarating and the soft, wispier vocals of Emi Evans complement the more powerful SAK. vocals, resulting in a wonderful combination. SAK. also lends herself to two new songs, “Keep Moving On” and “You and Me (Once Again).” The former is a combination of pop, light rock, and jazz and, while the performance is quite good, the melody falls a bit short. The other is the album closer and features jazzy piano tones alongside electronic tones. The end result is a mysterious one that incorporates the original “You and Me” quite nicely and comes off as a nice marriage of the electronic elements and more organic qualities of the game’s overall soundscape.

The other instrumental tunes tend towards jazz or small instrument ensemble in approach. “Closer” is a lounge jazz type tune with a sultry melody and a smooth sound thanks to the bass and drum work. “Defector” continues with the jazz sound, incorporating piano and strings. The atmosphere itself is great, although the tune tends to get a bit repetitve, but the end result is a tune that reminds me of Persona 5 in spirit. “Serenity is an engaging jazz tune with piano, bass, and violin, sporting a catchy melody that really manages to stand out. “Enigma” blends tension with jazz to create a battle-esque feel and an engaging sound while “Helix” is frenetic and beautiful with its violin work, accompanying strings, and jazzy piano. However, at times, it does sound a bit muddy. “Ignite” is more of an ensemble piece with its piano and strings approach. There is a bit of synth work as well, resulting in a tune that has both a determined sound and one that is a bit mystical as well. Lastly, “Frontier” is another strings/piano tune with some additional bass work with a more whimsical sound and a fantastic atmosphere, but falls short due to a melody that fails to reach the heights of others on the album.

Summary

The Shoumetsu Toshi Original Soundtrack 2 is. While those who favor noisycroak’s more acoustic entries may not enjoy all of the soundtrack, the blend of more electronic oriented pieces alongside the more acoustic pieces is a nice marriage of both sides of the company’s musical repertoire. While the music doesn’t always ascend to the level of the previous music, it is still a solid purchase for fans who have enjoyed the music of the series so far.

Shoumetsu Toshi Original Soundtrack 2 Don Kotowski

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!

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Posted on April 24, 2018 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on April 29, 2018.

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About the Author

Currently residing in Philadelphia. I spend my days working in vaccine characterization and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.



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