February 28, 2007
Buy Used Copy
Released in 2007, Tindharia no Tane is a vocal collaboration album between Noriyuki Iwadare, known for his work on the Grandia series, and Haruka Shimotsuki, who has worked prolifically with the Gust Sound Team. Most of the music is composed and sung by Shimotsuki and arranged by Iwadare. However, Iwadare does compose and arrange two themes on the album following his efforts on Ingmar -for the beginning-. How is the album you might ask? Well, you’ll just have to read on to find out.
The meat of the music is composed by Haruka Shimotsuki and arranged by Noriyuki Iwadare. The opening, “Overture,” is a song very much in the style of Mitsuda’s work with Eri Kawai. Lush orchestration accompanies Shimotsuki’s layered vocal work and the poignant instrumental section helps to add another pang of deep emotion in between the already emotional vocal sections. “Seed of Prayer” is definitely much more upbeat than the first theme, yet still manages to pack plenty of emotion. The instrumental sections, in particular the opening woodwind section, help to solidify a strong melody. It’s an interesting track that offers a bit of a pop feeling, yet at the same time, the various types of instrumentation help offer a variety of nuances that may take a couple listens to fully hear. I really enjoy the accordion solo as well!
“Fragments of a Vast World” is another pretty upbeat song. It’s got some nice vocal accompaniment work, but the thing that catches my interest is the instrumentation. It’s got a Grandia feel to it, especially when it comes to the brass sections in the soundtrack. It’s another pretty strong melody, and although it’s a bit repetitive at times, it’s still a fun little romp. “Revolving Truth” is another slow theme with some lush background orchestra that accompanies some more dramatic vocal work. It’s another beautiful theme on the album — something I’ll continually revisit. It just exudes a gorgeous soundscape full of emotion.
“Until Tonight’s Moon Sleeps” is another ballad style theme. This theme also relies strongly on the melody in Shimotsuki’s voice. The accompanying instrumentation is simplistic acoustic guitar and harp, but it still manages to be full of emotion. As the track progresses, the accompaniment instrumentation evolves to include some emotional violin, cello, and woodwind work. It’s quite a magical theme. “The Sound of Light” is a very whimsical piece that reminds me a bit of Gust’s work in terms of vocal and instrumental accompaniment. The main vocal line at times seems to sound disjointed with the accompaniment and this is the major problem with this time. It’s one of the weakest themes on here and it’s not really worth listening to, for the most part.
“Flames of Truth” is one of my favorites on the album. It’s another fantastic upbeat piece, with acoustic guitar accompaniment and some awesome string work. It’s another one that reminds me of Gust a bit, but there are a lot of complexities in this piece, such as the choral additions and the various types of percussion, some more subtle than others. I also think this is one of Shimotsuki’s strongest vocal performances. “The Road That Leads to the Withered Land” opens with a beautiful acoustic guitar passage accompanied by subtle strings. As the piece progresses, the pace definitely quickens and becomes an interesting brass driven piece with some Western and Spanish (think Wild Arms!) influences. There are some great piano passages as well, even if they don’t really a chance to stand on their own. Regardless, this is another fantastic piece fused with ethnic soundscape influences.
The opening to “Defender of the Forest” reminds me the most of the Ar Tonelico series and really grates my ears. If you can make it past the opening 30 seconds, you’ll be greeted to a more dramatic, epic piece full of chanting, ethereal vocals, and lots of layering. It’s got a slight ethnic vibe going on, and the slower sections do help ease the overall tension that track seems to exude, but they are few and far between. The last Shimotsuki composed song, “Life and Promise,” takes a ballad approach. The opening of the song is comprised of piercing violin lines and beautiful piano lines, but as it progresses, it garners some more orchestral support with woodwind and brass flourishes entering into the mix. It’s a very emotional theme, but the piano and violin lines are definitely the stand outs.
While Iwadare arranged the entire album, he did compose and arrange two themes. The first, “Maiden of the Flower Festival,” has a strong folk feel to it. Throughout the bouncy song, you’ll hear bagpipes, accordion, strings, and woodwind work. It kinda reminds me of an Irish jig, yet less upbeat. The instrumental sections of the piece are also quite upbeat and definitely have a festive soundscape. In direct contrast, his other contribution, “The Whispers Return to the Forest,” is a much more soothing, ethereal composition. It’s very minimalistic in approach, featuring ambient synth alongside subtle piano and woodwind. The strength purely lays in the Eri Kawai style vocals by Shimotsuki.
In the end, there are a ton of beautiful themes. Iwadare did a fantastic job at arranging the music that Shimotsuki composed. If you aren’t a fan of Japanese vocals, you might want to skip this one, but for those who don’t mind them, you’ll find some beautiful music to accompany the vocalist. I really enjoy Shimotsuki’s various works and I think Iwadare and her compliment each other quite well. I hope they work together in the future.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.