What Did I Do To Deserve This? 1 & 2 Giant Recital
What Did I Do To Deserve This? 1 & 2 Giant Recital
November 26, 2008
Buy at CDJapan
Released in 2008, Takeshi Hama’s Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaikida 1 & 2 Giant Recital is the soundtrack for the first two Yuusha no Kuse ni Namaikida titles for the PSP. The score is both lighthearted and cutesy, representing the two titles tones’ quite well, and performed by members of the noisycroak studio. But how does the album stack up on its own merits?
The first of the two titles features far less music than its sequel. “The Beginning of Everything” is a nice little introduction to the album, playing a short little simple theme on the recorder that is really quite the definition of a good main theme, being brief and adapatable, and portraying the rest of the album quite nicely. “Dungeon in the Fresh Morning” is the first proper, lengthy track on the album, and it opens it rather nicely, albeit briefly. Glockenspiels and snare drums are heard accompanying a recorder playing a short little opening melody that charms the listener, being playful yet not abrasive. “Theme of Protecting the Demon Lord,” by contrast, while still playful, is more sinister melodically. The Hammond organ opens the track with a brief, atonal movement as the recorders soon pick up the main melody.
“Training” is an upbeat march initially that soon turns a bit more dramatic in its second half. It’s somewhat contradictory, but it works quite well. “Dungeon in the Quiet Night” is a rather enjoyable dungeon track. It too is a march, but it’s rather subdued, reflecting the title. “Dungeon in a Unusual Mood” is the most dramatic of the dungeon tracks. It starts with some interesting percussion, and then it enters the dramatic melody, played as a duo between Hammond organ and recorder.
“The Legendary Hero Invades” I take to be the final boss track and it is suitably epic, while retaining the more laidback feeling that the album’s simple orchestration provides. The Hammond organ again takes center stage here playing a fast paced, slightly atonal melody while it works wonders as frantic accompaniment when the recorders temporarily take control. While not particularly noteworthy, it is an entirely satisfying conclusion. “Ending ~A Wonderful Emperor of the Underworld~” starts rather menacing, but it quickly branches into an enjoyable ending theme that won’t turn heads, but will bring a smile to the face. Most of the track is an extended arrangement of the first piece on the album.
The second game makes up more than half of the album, and it’s far more enjoyable than its predecessor. The themes and sound of the soundtrack have already been established, and the sequel takes these ideas and runs with them. “The Beginning of Everything or2” sounds like a welcome return to the franchise, taking the original theme and embellishing it slightly with great care and precision, making it slightly more subdued and adding some percussion. “Mawoo! Map,” despite its silly name, is a strong track that quickly portends with its more dramatic melody and orchestration that this outing will be more mature and developed than its predecessor.
The familiar melody is back in “Protecting the Demon Lord or2,” and it definitely sounds better here. The melody and percussion are well balanced with each other, and the orchestration as a whole has increased in quality. “I Won’t Leave Lilith” is a rather touching little piece. The piano provides accompaniment that sounds like rain falling, as the recorder and organ play a sentimental melody. Meanwhile, the rising motion of the organ’s accompaniment in “My Demon Lord-User” gives the piece an air of enjoyable frivolity. The ice in “Ice Element of One Day” is provided by the brief forays of the triangle and castanet, as the recorder plays a delightful yet poignant melody.
“YUUNAMA EARTH” is a bit of an atmospheric track, sounding somewhat wintry thanks to the glockenspiel. The melody is simple yet oddly evocative. The percussion is multilayered and quite enchanting. The following track, “Endless Yuunama,” is more driven, though the melody is quite strong and poignant, moreso when the organ is heard in the bass as accompaniment. The recorder ensemble does a spectacular job developing a complex melody in the second half. The glockenspiel introduces “The Lizardmen Scream” with a series of nice arpeggios, and this rhythm is maintained throughout the entire track, which although is developed quite nicely is unfortunately short.
“BUG CRASH” offers a far more interesting final battle piece than was featured in the previous title, being more creative and less derivative, although more interesting does not necessarily mean better. The track is nearly entirely atonal and is nice to listen to once, but likely won’t be returned to terribly often. It doesn’t really captivate the listener and repeated listening may be quite abrasive. In contrast, the ending theme “Lord Demon Lord is Happy” is both creative and quite enjoyable. It opens with a rather fast paced virtuoso movement on the accordion and soon delves into the opening theme once more. It really is the constantly returning accordion movement that makes the track memorable, however. Unlike the ending theme from the first title, this one feels more like a unique track culling from the theme of opening title rather than a mere extension of it.
There is nothing wrong with this soundtrack, but neither is there anything particularly noteworthy. Due to its small ensemble, the album is most easily compared to the remarkably similar sounding Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Original Soundtrack, but the latter is surely the superior and more memorable of the two. Despite this, it is a pleasing album and is certainly recommended for fans of the game’s music or of the aforementioned, provided the latter camp realize that the album isn’t quite as strong melodically.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Marc Friedman. Last modified on January 19, 2016.