Ten Plants 2 -Children Songs-
Ten Plants 2 -Children Songs-
October 27, 1999
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Ten Plants 2 Children Songs, organized by Nobuo Uematsu and Takayuki Nakamura, attracted a number of major game music composers to create a mixture of vocal tracks intended to accompany a conceptual story. It followed the success of the mostly instrumental Ten Plants, but most of the names from that album did not return, Yasunori Mitsuda, Koji Hayama, and Katsuhiro Hayashi among those that take the helm instead.
Nobuo Uematsu opens up with “The Rain Came Falling Down”, a quirky theme featuring tuned percussion, the childish vocalist Chico, and some very echoey bagpipes. Add it all together and it produces a very strange anime-styled piece that is pleasant to listen to if you don’t mind happy Japanese children singing. Yasunori Mitsuda pops in with Chrono Cross‘ vocalist Noriko Mitose for a beautiful ballad “Silver Lightning”, which begins as a piano and vocal piece and envelopes into a terrific power ballad that suits the vocalist’s talent.
Next up is a song by Chinatsu Kuzuu called “Lots and Lots”. It’s a zany J-Pop meets 1990s synth work piece. I’ve taken quite a shine to it and I’m not so sure why. I love the catchy chorus and the way it seems completely out of fashion with anything of today. “Like The Moon, Like The Sun” is much more run of the mill J-Pop, once again like a anime series main theme. Katsumi Tanaka and Sakiko Masano are the culprits for this one, which sounds slightly ABBA-ish in style. Its once again very catchy and, while all the vocals on this album are Japanese, it doesnt stop you humming along.
“Child of the Plains” follows with a song that would be perfect for the Wild Arms series. It’s a perfect western vocal track — you can almost taste the gunsmoke. Possible my favourite track from the soundtrack, Toshiyuki Sasagawa and Yuko Yoshida create a bouncy but sad-tinged song with acoustic guitar, ukeleles, vocalsm, and a soaring erhu. It rips your heart out. Superb! However, “Children Song” by Takiyuiki Nakamura and Hina starts off completely on the wrong foot with a random baby vocal spouting off in Japanese and crying randomly. Suddenly a house-styled song appears out of nowhere, which isn’t too bad but feels slightly out of place and not up to the standard before it.
Aki Hata gets things back on track with “The Demon Tokimori”. It’s a playful tune that makes me think what would happen if the vocal songs from Zone of the Enders were rolled into one and adapted for animation. Well, I know what I mean anyway! It’s another classic track with some quite interesting vocal layering and playful baddie music all going on at the same time. “Seeing You See” is another playful random track by Katsuhiro Hayashi and Saori Suzuki; yes, children’s vocals are back for the cutesy factor to be maxed out. While not the most in-tune, the music itself isn’t too bad so at least this track is stomachable!
Papa’s Pleasure gives us “Bird’s Tear”, the first slow ballad since the second track. The vocals suit the song and the slow tempo enhances the atmosphere. There is water flowing at the beginning, which gives way to soft padded synths, bass guitar, and eventually drums that nicely harmonise the vocals. “boy-hood” by Koji Hayama ends the album with the Big Ben Chimes and gives us the only male vocal track. It’s a sparce and dark ballad which doesn’t quite suit the male vocal too well. Still, the tune itself is a good one.
This is such a random CD. Since both Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda making a contribution, it surely must be high on people’s lists to get. I’d recommend this CD for people who enjoy vocal themes since only one has no vocals in it. Quite bizarre in places, it’s very much an aquired taste but if you like it, you’ll love it.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Simon Smith. Last modified on August 1, 2012.