Friday, November 4, 2011

Trust / A confession of TOKIO

Since only the TV version of Trust was available on the original soundtrack of He is My Master, I had to get the full version.  Not only was there just the one song, but another original and the karaoke.  Though I don't think the other song was based off of the TV series.  

02A confession of TOKIO4:34
03Trust (instrumental)4:18
04A confession of TOKIO (instrumental)4:32
Disc length 17:42

The new song is arranged by Hideyuki "Daichi" Suzuki and composed by Hiroshi Uesugi, though its probably not that important.  Daichi himself, has done a huge number of arrangement on many anime and game titles.  This song was done near the beginning of his massive career and it shows his skill.  A confession of TOKIO,  is probably the more attractive of the two, simply because of the opener.  Rocking base and electric guitars fill the airs, smoothly corresponding with Masami's voice.  Drums are strong and none of the other instruments clutter over each other. 
A tribute to the gals of He is My Master.  
I'm not stereotyping, but TOKIO follows typically in the J-pop genre.  Trust, however, is a bit more difficult to categorize.  Being an opener for anime, the chorus is too childish for popular music.  Pop music itself has been tending to children lately anyway.  Masami composes this piece, and Mr. Nagaoka completes it for her, making it an overall great piece.  Instrumentally, I do like it just as good as the other, and better.  Masami's lyrics works great and effectively with the backing guitars performed by Nagaoka.  

Seikou Nagaoka may not be the best song writer, but what gives him an edge over other J-Pop artists is his improvisations.  After the second verse in the song, when the electric guitar takes the lead, is what makes his arrangement worth listening to.  The drawback is, like I said before, the chorus that is slightly overdone.  Vocals were done just right for TOKIO.  I also think Masami's vocals were more mature in TOKIO, although in Trust, her solo was spectacular.  Thankfully, she doesn't bother hitting such a high note.  

Album:A+                     Package:6   
Both songs are a great asset to anyone's collection.  Masami Okui doesn't have the high-pitched voice that is standard of the anime industry.  That alone should be enough reason to own this.  I'm glad that the karaoke versions were included, as they were both great instrumentally.  Nagaoka especially gets kudos for his performances.  The only thing is that the background chorus' were left in there, though it shouldn't be much in the way of enjoying a vocal-less song.  In terms of package, I don't know why they would waste an entire CD, for it could have fit on a CDS.  

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Original Soundtrack

Does this look like a Japanese import or an American product?

I am a huge fan of Namco's Soul series, specifically Soul Calibur II. Naturally, playing those games will open you up the audio.  Junichi Nakatsuru did a epic score on that game.  So recently, I decided to test his metal in his other works.   Although, here he is just a guest composer.  Offering only a few tracks per cd. 

There is certainly a ton of material in this 4-disc set.  I don't know where to start, so I'll go by composers.  Our Music Producer is Keiki Koboyashi, whom has his takes on the Soul series.  Tetsukazu Nakanishi serves as Sound Producer.  Joining our lead composers is Hiroshi Okubo and of course, the reason why this review is possible, Junichi Nakatsuru.  Takanori Goto performs the electric guitar on numerous pieces.  Most of which are for Nakatsuru's tracks.

Starting with the top, Keiki Koboyashi, is the main cook in question.  He offers us with some enjoyable appetizers, Briefing I and Hangar I.  The precedent leads with some funky bass and anthemic brass.  It can give the feeling of taking flight, before entering the actual game.  Hangar is also just hip, in that it welcomes the player with warm feelings, just before they get shot down.  Shorebirds takes charge with its cinematic opening.  Open War is the more darker than the previous.  Both feel like tutorial music, and thus accurately placed on the CD.

The real food is now served to us with Naval Blockade.  Mature strings and brass fill the ears with delight.  Amazing crash of the symbols and tense beats of the drums, make war seem like a good thing.  First Flight is taken from Ace Combat 4 and rearranged here.  Strings whistle at a high pitch, but I don't know if it does better than its electronic counterpart.  Still, it does not hurt Koboyashi's lineup.  Rendevous opens up with some tensity, gains even more with speed, and the additions of a somewhat electronic beat, for about a minute, until it loops again with more emotional string and brass.  Lit Fuse comes in crashing with the symbols and snare drums.  More strings are added and a nice touch of the triangle.  After a minute of preparing orchestrations, Koboyashi takes flight with high pitched sweeping of the strings.  He finishes his work on the first disc with Game Over.  

On the 2nd disc, Koboyashi offers some emotional pieces, but not without the help of synthesizers in Ice Cage and White Noise.  Both are beautiful and touching renditions of each other.  The precedent is painfully sad(in a good way) with its electronic beats and riffs.  While, the ladder is more mature in terms of instruments and orchestrations.  White Noise is more reminiscent of some Hollywood movie scores.  As this entire soundtrack is made with that in mind.  

Light harps open up in Free Flight.  Snare drums and violins follow in.  Heavier drums, symbols, and brass take charge for this patriotic theme.  Supercircus just satisfies my taste buds.  Action orientated with Takanori's rocking guitar.  Koboyashi's brass builds the intensity of the piece, making for a perfect combination.  Into the Dusk falls more in line with Free Flight, but is a Waltz-esque approach.  It slowly starts with brass and then piano.  Key by key, note by note, Koboyashi touches the soul with this piano arrangement of the main theme.  And then ending this disc with Final Options.  

Coming back onto Disc 3, Keiki follows up with his first Briefing and Hangar themes.  Though in the second Hanger begins more quietly, both are pure symphonic entree's.  Hangar arrangements us familiar to Jurassic Parks theme.  Wings of Unity has an interesting beat, excellent violins, string, and brass compilation.  Its not very different from the rest of his work, yet he manages to make each piece unique and independent.  If Supercircus were stripped of its guitar and fused with Lit Fuse and his hip Briefing I theme, Dead Ahead would be the result.  

The Unsung War is the main dish.  If all of the above was not good enough, well this one accumulates all that Mr. Koboyashi has done thus far into one grand course.  Powerful vocals seer through the ear, into the brain, and touches the soul.  This track alone made Mr. Keiki Kobayashi the star that he is.  The Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra performs both The Journey Home and Razgriz.  Both feel like movie experiences.  They are sweet and melodic.  For me though, being true classical music, is not my favorite meal.  Razgriz is like the 7 minute wonder, but without the lyrics.  

Koboyashi only cooks a few short pieces for the Arcade version.  Both Clear and Victory Road are pumping, but it's at the end of the day feel to it, that won't get it stuck in the head.  This complete soundtrack has an amazing main theme, Razgriz, which should be listened to, from the get go.  

From Razgriz and on, I assume, are all BGM's to the cut scenes.  Open the War has some pace to it, but the rest are slow pieces, and they should be taken the time to listen to.  However, other than the aforementioned piece, these short tracks are good to breeze through.  15 Years Ago is an excellent piano arrangement, that could get repeat plays.  Blind Corridor is sleek and creepy.  It stands out as one of my favorites for Keiki's last moments in this 4-disc collection.  It does burst out in the middle and then at the end.  Fugitive Hope also starts out quietly, but gets down and dirty for whole entirity of it.  There is surprisingly just as much tension and percussion in these last tracks as in the in-gameplay music. 

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn adds her voice to The Journey Home, this game's ending theme.  The lyrics are precise, and she hits the notes accordingly, but the song doesn't reach to me.  I'm more attracted to the radio version, vocalised by Elizabeth Ladizinsky.  It is uniquely engineered to start out as if it's coming from the radio back in WWII.  Then gradually evolving into our modern day quality sound.  Interestingly, and oddly, Puddle of Mudd's Blurry has been included.  Never liked the song, but I guess its a nice add.  Nakatsuru finally does a song, well, at least a remix of Blue Skies.  Originally done by Hiroshi Okubo, and appearing on the two preceeding OST releases.  I did not like it at first, for it's jazzy tunes, but after a couple tries, Nakatsuru regains my respect.  Some composers can't do songs as well as instrumentals. 

Speaking of Okubo, he contributes a few main game pieces and most of the arcade themes.  All his arcade themes are hip, funky, rocking, and the antithesis of the main game tracks.  I'm kind of weary of the decision that King Records has made to put these fun tracks in together with Koboyashi's more serious cut scene music.  Although, they probably had no better way to do it.  Okubo's arcade themes, are not grand, but can be catchy and have the audience dancing.  They are all equally addicting, with Elemental Particle 2 giving the most jolt of electricity.  Although, he uses only instruments that a band would use, but that's what appeals to me most anyway.  

Given that only three console tracks were composed by Okubo, I would that is enough.  I keep thinking that it's game over when White Bird I opens up.  I do like the whole track, and the use of more traditional instruments.  Hiroshi certainly stands out from the rest of the crews style, but thats not so much a good thing.  For now, his work can belong with the entirity of the disc.  

Way over on Disc-3, is White Bird II, which has even more electronic sounds filling in with his anthemic score.  He does get a little emotional in the later half of the track, eventually making a solid effort.  It's atmospheric synths are not too far from Metroid Prime's score.  Heartbreak One takes drums kits and more electonic noises that will throw of any stereo system.  Which is normal for anyone who gets this type of music.  

Entirely new to me is Tetsukazu Nakanishi, who owns the first track, Title.  It took some to get used to, but Nakanishi has opened my ears even more.  He commands all of the enemy themes, which give off the more brash and clash then Kobayashi's themes.  In Wardog, its does not stray far from the music director's style.  Being one of the longer tracks on the first disc, it feels right at home as a tutorial theme.  Very welcoming and enjoyable.  I think he does better than Kobayashi.  Though, Tetsukazu lags behind in menu themes, for being less orchestral and more purely sounds.

Ballistic Missile and Demons of Razgriz immediately gets into Ace Combats shady side, as well as the rest he offers.  Scinfaxi picks up the pace with more percussion.  Hrimfaxi is the same but adds Goto's electric guitar skills.  All 4 pieces use sounds that would be found on the vessels used in the game, giving more depth and immersion into the setting.  I criticize those for being a little too similar, although they are still each unique.

Powder Keg and Front Line are more active and dark, really getting into the intense wars.  Nakanishi is not hesitant to use Goto in the latter.  Front Line is very attractive with strong drums and guitar works, for great action music.  Though, Desert Lightning gets even more gritter.  The entire piece is filled with dark chords of brass and the Devils Chord, I believe.  Takanori enhances the darkness with his talent.  

Desert Arrow has that fantasy element and emotional symphony sound that is being drawn from Hollywood.  Some nice percussion leading to a nice peak at 2:30.  Fortress takes a different route, mostly consisting of strings and brass.  The percussion enters around halfway, and things get more interesting.  Ancient Walls is not too different from the previous.  Not too attractive beginning, but after a minute or so, it grew on me.  The extra jingles made the difference.

The one characteristic about Nakanishi's style is his beat, its what sucks me in.  And his menu themes hold true to that, but lack any true reason to come back to them.  Solitaire and Closure are both fun tracks to listen to.  Solitaire has evil brass and a funky jungle beat.  Closure is just as the name suggests, with a strong beat, emotional brass, and intricately written piano arrangement.  Mr. Nakanishi finishes off strong, as I barely got introduced to him.  

I've saved the best for last, Mr. Junichi Nakatsuru.  Not one of his tracks disappoint.  In my opinion, I question the importance of having the other composers.  Junichi shows more love for instruments than anyone else.  Takanori Goto would have been sitting out, what with the one or two tracks that he has been slipped into by Koboyashi and Nakanishi.  

Ghost of Razgriz rips through air with Takanori's guitar.  The same air sounds are used in Grabacr.  Climatic from the begining, and soon adding more drama with a strong female vocal.  Winter Storm really takes the listener into the mountains for a hike.  Mask and 8492 is similar to the previous, but Nakatsuru knows how make it a worth while listen.  Chained Reaction's brass carries through as if truly racing against the clock.  All have some sort of dark piano keys imbedded between all the drama. 

Four Horsemen is one of the more attractive offerings that Nakatsuru-san has, and it's certainly the more brighter ones.  Hints of espionage acoustics, funky bass and electric guitar.  From start to finish, and the middle interlude with the brass, just make the earbuds melt in.  Reprisal is a five minute glory, that encapsulates all of Hollywoods grand themes into one track.  Takanori's guitar skills work symbiotically with Nakatusuru's brass.  The final minute's tearing oboe bring aesthetics back to music.

Blind Spot is surprisingly quiet, that is more heavy on electronic and computer synths.  Mother Goose I is the most relative and effective track in Ace Combats line up.  The entire track is a journey, changes landscapes between each minute.  Opening up with electronic synth the first, getting ready for take off, and then quiets down for landing.  Picking back up for an extreme and hostile situation, with heavy drums, strings, and brass.  Pure brilliance.

Above is a link to the composers commentary.  Nakanishi doesn't have much to say, or rather, want to say.  He's probably mad that he lost the director's position.  They all have some sort of enthusiasm toward the project.  Though, I find it weird to hear of Nakatsuru's cats and dogs.  Junichi points out correctly, that each composer's style had a chance to shine.

Namco always manages to package their discs well.  Completely the opposite of Nintendo.  Just the four disc compilation is enough to dish out $50.  The booklet is just as hard as the case.  Flipping through the pages is a cinch, and no need to bend the book.  Texts, color, and layout are all done just right.  Commentary is the only extra, if that counts as any.  They could have at least had English translations.
Package: 8/10

Yes, I made the right choice to buy this CD and venture out from my little circle of composers.  Each one here has a happy home on my hard drive.  It took me a year to accustomed to their work.  There is not one  composer that I cannot prefer over the other here.  Having not played the game, I don't see any track here that does not work outside the game.   Although there are some tracks that are passable and filler, but there are plenty to keep busy with and most likely repeat over and over.

There is no reason to miss out on this compilations, and at a fair price.  Original prints are still available just about everywhere.  is filled with tons of them.  I am a proud owner of this CD and the successors as well, with reviews coming up eventually.  Though I need to try and get the previous.
Album: A+

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki Ongaku Hen 1

I remember a different version of the cover.  Mihoshi was in place of Washu.  I find that odd, that all characters are shown before the release of the first episode, which comes out a month later.  It's a good way to get a feeling the characters before they go on screen.  Though, I'd rather have them come out as a surprise, then have this come out.  Anyways, there is a lot planned for the future with this CD.
One would expect an OST to mainly consist of, well, ORIGINAL MUSIC!! There are 8 short dramas, couple character songs, few instrumentals, and OP/ED themes in their full glory.  Chisa Yokoyama, Sasami's Seiyuu, sings the ending theme. Composed by Ikuru Fujiwara, the man behind most Pioneer/AIC theme songs.  He does an excellent job of capturing the fun in the anime in this one song.  Chisa's voice is actually not that annoying.  I can listen to this song without any qualms.  Even when compared to the amazing English versions.

Unfortunately, the original OAV theme opener does not lay anywhere on this disc, but we do get the Original Version and the Re-Mix Version.  Oddly, they place the remix first and the original last.  The original, of course, stays true to the opener, only getting into the main arrangement immediately.  Some haunting vocals have been added. Love hearing the bass.  Drums are masterful.  The jingles and japanese acoustic give great flavor.  Just when you think its over at 1:50 it loops, but doesn't give the feeling of repitition.  As Nagaoka, improvises it even further.  The remix version, is not necessary, and kind of can be a turn-off.  The drums are more ethereal here, as well as other instruments.  I was expecting more use of synthesizers, but all instruments sound authentic on this one.  The piece does feel a little slower.  I actually I am happy with the turnout. 

I've avoided the character songs for to long.  If not for this review, I wouldn't have embraced how well done these songs are.  Ryoko's seiyuu, Ai Orikasa, takes the mic in Daiichi Hakkensha Blues.  The smooth rythym posed in this song goes along with the cover.  As in, it gives off the whole jazz club feeling.  Nagaoka and Oriakasa should go together more often.  She does express her seduction as the character would in this song. 

Away from the R&B section, Yumi Takada, poses as Aeka, and sings us a ballad.  Seikou puts the Juraian themes in this song.  Piano, harps, oboe and snare drums occupy the entire track.  Takada is accompanied by some male vocals at the end.  All leading to a triumphant finish. 

Both Takada and Orikasa follow Masami Kikuchi in a duet, only with three people.  Ueno No Koi No Monogatari continues the rythym and blues theme.  I guess jazz and R&B is not so bad when in the hands of Nagaoka.  Ryoko and Aeka bicker with each other, trying to out sing one another.  The song almost falls apart hilariously at the end. 
Now for the radio dramas, constructed by none other, lady Nahoko Hasegawa.  It's worth actually getting into these voiced adventures.  Out of the Tenchi dramas, these are my favorites, because she truly expresses the characters in a unique way.  Hayashi Hiroki even sketches out the scenario for each drama.  Giving an extra method to understanding the dialog for non-Japanese speakers.
Mini-Drama 1 sounds like they are at bar.  Again, accurately depicted in the sketch above.  Ryoko is daydreaming or something and Aeka breaks the fantasy.  Then Aeka gets drunk as well, and she gets into her monologue.  Things get wild with some rapid footwork.  Aeka gives some shock therapy that tickles Ryoko. 

Ryoko's Theme follows.  A great representation of the character.  In one of the many Tenchi books, Seikou states that Ryoko is his favorite character.  It certainly shows here.  The track is filled with a strong beat, synthesizers depict Ryoko's fiestiness, and at the same time her lonliness. 

Second mini-drama, is a short Ryoko monologue.  Tenchi and Sasami are spying on her.  Trying to keep quiet and laugh at Ryoko's thoughts.  Ayeka gets the third mini-drama, for the full 30 seconds.  Then in the fourth, it's both of the girls, discussing something.  Aeka looks for Tenchi's attention, but does not respond.  She then yells for a response.  Ryoko laughs at the relationship.  Tenchi seems very overpowered here, but at least he says somethings.  Sasami is picked on for some reason. 
The middle of the OST has some long instrumentals.  The first is the Ryo-Ohki Summoning, or Sneaky Tenchi theme.  Bass, violins, and some acoustics quietly fill in for two minutes, before some percussive instruments take charge for another two minutes.  It feels tense as it should, and the synth helps add character.  Aeka's theme follows.  Might take some time to actually like.  Percussion and ethnic Japanese strings set the mood for the piece.  Acoustic rythyms and pace establish the peaceful and proper nature that is Aeka.  The opposite of Ryoko.  Don't skip this theme, becuase then the character can't be fully understood.

The Destruction of the Saito Bridge, begins with synthesizers and a beat, signifying that something is emerging.  The intensity builds, before some snare drums and ticking sounds give it speed.  The oboe moves in for the evolution of the BGM.  Guitars start getting pressed on to show the gravity of the situation.  At two minutes the action begins.  Oboe, clarinet and strings represent the fall of the ships.  An epic track that deserves the repeat treatment.

Mini-drama 5, has Tenchi on the edge.  Sasami and Aeka try to play karaoke.  Sasami comes out of no where laughing in the sixth drama.  Tenchi is running again. 
Another Aeka BGM insert.  This sweet piano/oboe ballad is very welcoming, but is put to shame by the next BGM.  The instrumental gem, Royal Teardrop of Jurai.  I'm not even going to describe how powerful this ensemble is.  A majestic symphony.

In the 8th drama, Ryoko sings her song which wakes up and annoyes Aeka.  Whereas, in 7, Ryoko and Aeka are sneaking in the middle of the night and cross each other.  They do battle. Aeka seems to be doing some damage.  Sasami is awoken, wakes up Tenchi, and he has a fit by the girls destruction.  They simmer down and pout about it. 
Kajishima provides the character illustrations.  Artwork that I cannot find in any other Tenchi media. The Washu uniform is sleek.  Wish it was used in the anime.  Pioneer does not mess around when it comes to extra's, but where is the music.  The booklet is complete with images and descriptions.  In my opinion, over the top design.  Booklet barely fits in the case.  Package: 10/10

What is provided here is beyond complaint.  The cuts between the tracks were off.  It was as if it was all recorded in sit.  A split second of the drama echoes into the BGM song.  The BGM song carries on into the drama.  With only 6 actual BGM's, it's hard to really grade the musical world of Tenchi.  There could have been the Tenchi and Sasami themes at least.  Aeka's themes may bore the listener, but they are quite essential.  The rest of the soundtrack is a party, and Ryoko alone is a fiesta.  Album: A...

Monday, June 6, 2011


 As I delve deeper into the giant music library of Seikou Nagaoka, I come across this lonely single.  Sitting on the hands of someone who clearly has no reason to hold on to it, I grab it off his hands.  As far as I can tell, this is Seikou's first venture as a solo artist.  He is the sound producer here, yet wasn't for his works on the Kabuto soundtrack, which happened a year later.  Judging by the cover, I assumed that these songs would be cutesy.  Being afraid so that I deafened my ears for what was held on this 8cm disc. 

Disc length 8:50
First second playing, was a delightful percussion ringing through my mind.  Soon those annoying high pitched tones join the drum line, though are not that disturbing.  Synthesizers can be easily picked up, yet still the sound quality of the snazzy brass is quite enduring.  Lisp's vocals are actually do not screech, giving a smooth listening overall.  Each of the vocalists get their turn for their solo.  I am extremely satisfied with this song.  I can highly recommend collecting this single just for this one.  He does not perform so well with songs, but does an amazing job keeping the overall tone together.
Noburo Ishiguro has written the lyrics for these lovely songs.  Looking into the name, I see he's the creator of the anime for this series.  Not just holding that title, according to animenewsnetwork, he is basically the entire staff.  From director, writer, animator, design, along with few other members of course. 
Second song does not fare so well.  It's entirely a new beast, in its own regard.  Vocal performances are much more deep and relaxing.  Dancin' Twilight is a sweet ballad, and at times can be even better than the other song.  Although Honeymoon was composed by Kazunori Seki, Mr. Nagaoka can always transform someone else's writing for the better.  However, he seems to fall short for his original music sheets, but short by a spectacle. 
Seikou shows no signs of holding back in starting his career.  I still feel that his style has not changed compared to his recent releases.  That can be good thing, as well as bad. 
There was no bother to include karaoke versions.  It would have been a great addition.  The price of "NOT FOR RESALE" would indicate that this is a bonus.  Be happy just to have the songs. I hope to find out if there is more work that Nagaoka has done for this anime, Hoshi Neko Fullhouse.  Which at animenewsnetwork, credits the series composer to someone else.  So, most likely Nagaoka has done a few songs. 
 Singles don't really deserve a package grade from me.  Their price isn't all that demanding, although compared to the digital releases of full albums today, it is. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan OST

Being picky can be dangerous for oneself.  When I like something, I tend to block out its anything similar.  That thinking is wrong.  Since I am attached to a particular thing, eventually and naturally, I'm going to get bored of it.  I have made a home for something, but there is a need to go out and experience something new.  

The reason for my monologue should be found relative in this paragraph.  Now, having played Sega/Nintendo's F-Zero GX and being exposed to its exhilarating soundtrack, I was glad to be introduced to a new musician.  Even though just about every track can be set on replay, it was time to explore something new.  Like what I had done with Soul Calibur's main composer, Nakatsuru, I will do the same here.  

Hidenori Shoji is the reason for my purchase here.  Only listening to his racing themes, did not prepare me for what was available here.  It was hard for me to skim through.  I was about put this up for sale, but I'm glad to stick it out.  Meanwhile, the supporting composers are Hiroyoshi Kato, Hideki Sakamoto, Keisuke Ito, and Yuri Fukuda.  

Ryua Ga Gotoku: Kenzan 
Released: March 5, 2008
Published by: Wave MasterCatalog: HCV-0381
CD Tracks
01 Roar of Ryu the Elder
02 Mourning
03 Shame
04 Danger
05 Mirroring Oneself
06 Mark That Drifts
07 Water & Melon
08 Non Blade Sword
10 Blood Maker
11 The Leading Role
12 Brand-new Japanesque
13 dive to the mess
14 Dance Music from Ancient Japan
15 100 Execution
16 Immorality
17 Dull Color Fangs
18 For Will
19 Sneakin' Drive
20 baile con la mariposa
21 Swordplay
22 The Melody Played by a Patriot
23 Gion's Bowling
24 Playing in the Tatami Room
25 Thistle Shop
26 Dreaming Shop
27 Masochism
28 TSU-N-DE-Receive You
29 Platonic Love?
30 Demand The M-Shape
31 Ultimate Worldly Desires-feat.Tears Of Father- 

I'll start with the opening track and the smallest contributors.  Shoji's opener is very atmospheric.  Similar to his menu themes for GX.  It is chilling entry,  that soon sets on fire with the following tracks.  Jumping to the last track, composed by Yuri Fukuda and arranged by Hiroyoshi Kato.  Not what I would expect coming from a game set in feudal Japan.  It's a very upbeat, funky, dance, trance, techno,  Kidz Bop kind of tune.  I'm liking just by listening to it for this review.  However, it is more appropriate for a dance competition.  

Tracks 27-31, by Kato-san, are basically similar to each other.   Masochism, though same music as Tears of Father, is infused with the ambience of Shoji's opener.   The last tracks don't stray to from typical club music.   I don't find them particularly important, or belonging.  

Keisuke Ito does well in taking us back in time with ethnic Asian string arrangement in Thistle Shop.  Very laid back and soothing for the first minute, though he falters a little bit after.  Kato also plays with the fiddle in track 24, but Keisuke had more flavor.  Instead of striking the strings, Ito sweeps in with violins in Dreaming Shop.  The titles alone help make it easy to take in the music.  This track does not connect so much, and barely gets the feeling of dreaming across.  Maybe its for the best that he did not get any more tracks in.  

The real and best music lies within the rest of the tracks.  Mourning and Shame are handled by both Sakamoto and Kato.  The sound affects in Mourning can be creepy, and some ethnic sounds thrown in there.  Enough to twist reality, as if watching Serial Experiment Lain.  A minute into the piece is accompanied by a taunting beat and thicker bass.  Shame uses the previous creepy sounds, only with percussion, and the percussion can be frightening as well.  

Hideki Sakamoto goes alone in Danger.  This piece starts with shocking and electrifying percussion, alongside tense strings.  The strike of the thunderous gong and drums is what really attracts me.  Sakamoto's best, I must say.  In the Leading Role, we get some tribal beat and vocals.  Reminiscent of Crash Bandicoot themes.  The flute and woodwork are played out nicely with the tribal chants.  Water & Melon begins with unique funky guitar and gets some acceptable arrangements with electronic guitar.  Just about a minute in, Sakamoto starts rocking out the piece good.  For what little he has offered, he's doing as good as Shoji.

Kato gets solo and serious in Swordplay.  Like Sakamoto's Leading role, but without the tribal chants.  The beat is heavy with the drums, but then stops at about a minute for the emotional side.  For about 20 seconds, it feels like being in a war film,  and soon the percussion picks back up, keeping the melancholic melody.   Marking the Drifts is similar, but only consists of percussion and flute.  I guess I have my blogging efforts to thank for the chance to listen to others voices.
Above is a link to an interview with all the composers involved on this soundtrack compilation.  How they decided not to have the sound restrained to the games setting.  Personally, I would have liked Shoji to have challenged himself and the sound team to be restricted.  Even so, it is good to read while listening to the soundtrack.  

Mirroring Oneself sets itself well in the time era of the game.  Ethnic Japanese strings, flute and drums slowly calm the mind, for what is about to come from Shoji.  He starts building slow with Non Blade Sword.  Moving rhythm and beat, with a touch of jingle bells.  Takumi picks up further, with the heavier percussion of the previous and haunting keys, synthesized sound.  Hints of the tribal Indian chants occur, adding the overall atmosphere of this collection of music.  

Then the majority of Shoji's work consists of pump and drive metal.  Brand-new Japanesque is a funky jazz version of Blood maker, filled with spanish flare and guitar rhythm.  Dull Colored Fang follows in the shame fashion as the previously mentioned.  Electronic bleeps and bloops are just the rage in these tracks.  Baile con la Mariiposa differentiates by use of spanish guitar.  Flamenco is influenced well in this track.   Dance Music from Ancient Japan takes from Hiroyoshi's dance mania tracks, but stays true to the games theme with tribal chants and a more appropriate beat.  With all of the above mentioned, it does not stray to far from the racing genre.  

Diving further into Hidenori's electronic heavy music, we get 100 Execution, a gritty piece that does well for a couple listens.  Immortality has a very interesting beat, opening up with some hindu chants and soon paired with electronic vocals throughout the track.  Freakishly opening with odd guitars fading in, dive to the mess offers some more dark and fast paced music.  Sneakin drive opens with the fiddle, but soon is overloaded with ripping guitars and bass.  Even with guitars, this piece's overall decibels are among the lowest on the cd.  That is not a bad thing at all, as it gives room for the brain to breath.  For the last thirty seconds, the track slows down considerably.  Gion's bowling, is a rather simple track, giving the player the ability to focus on the game at hand.  Not worth getting attached to though.

For Will and the Melody Played by a Patriot are among Hidenori Shoji's best.  His emotions come out high and are well spoken in these two pieces.  The drums work alongside well with the brass and violins, in For Will.  Patriot, however, is the real gem, as percussion rolls in heavily, followed by sweeping strings, and fade in loud brass.  Then back to a solo percussion, followed by more powerful arrangement of the strings and brass.  It is evenly balanced with a beat and a melody.  

This album's presentation is weak.  Cover is accurately designed, but it is very basic.  Does not scream, "Come and listen to me!!!"  The insert is only a pamphlet, as it consists just track names and the front/back covers.  Though the back(scanned below) is very attractive, and who can resist anything dragon related.  No interviews, commentary, staff input, etc to read off of.  It's just strictly music.  If I played the game, maybe that wouldn't matter to me.  

Thankfully, my purchase didn't turn out to be a waste at all.  Only a couple of tracks are not memorable, and at most, a third of the collection is passable for the ears.  Strong and enjoyable efforts from the supporting musicians, that I look forward opening my ears to again.  Sakamoto and Kato's style's helped make me appreciate Shoji's even more.  The entire sound team had created a CD filled with hip moving rhythm.  Sakamoto's classical style was most fitting for the games setting, unlike Kato's trance beats.  They did a nice job together, but it was Shoji's tracks alone that had the most juice.  He had everything the other composers had, but with a soul.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fire Emblem- Path of Radiance Ch. 6&7

Since there is not much left at and I'm too lazy to go through the game, I might as well just finish what is available.  Shall we get through this...

Ch. 6: A Brief Diversion- This chapter begins with the world view and narration.  The first thing pointed out is that the continent of Tellius is blessed by the goddess.  Again, nothing more then just blessings from our omnipotent character.  Also informing us on Gallia, a home to the half-man/beast.  Crimea has been friendly in helping in decreasing the prejudice between the races.  Which makes Elincia's quest more believable. 

Opening scene has our heroes in the humid forest, discussing the ugly beast of Gallia.  Ike is oblivious to the racism.  Soren and Shinon explain the different races.  Soren provides the proper term for the sub-humans, called Laguz. 

Meanwhile, at the enemies group, Petrine is happy to get confirmation of Ena's prediction.  Petrine says that her demotion as a tactician was by a little girl.  I'm confused by that reference. They plan to catch the prey.

In the forest, the mercenaries discuss their best plan of action against their pursuers.  Soren, their tactician, is very keen.  Splitting from the main group, the fighters will hold of the attack, and the rest carry the princess to Gallia.  Gatrie, Shinon, and Greil are the fighters.  After the split, they find Soren's prediction correct, as the enemy was waiting for them.  Elincia wants to lend her sword, but Ike denies her help. 

The gang make it across the borders, but Ike and main force leave Elincia, Mist, and Rolf to head the palace.  Elincia hands Rhys a mend staff.  Soren believes it best to go back east on the bridge again to aid the others. 

Not much information to gather in this chapter.  I completed an actual summary of it's events though.  Disappointing.

Ch. 7:Shades of Evil- Titania leads the group to an abandoned castle where she thought she'd seen a figure.  It turned out to be Daein soldiers.  Mia, a swordfighter hired into the Crimean ranks, looks for and finds Ike.  Greil saved her from going to the Daein prison camps.  Petrine, of the Four Riders, comes in surprised the mercenaries are holding.  Surprised even further to find that the princess has made it past her troops.  Greil comes in to talk smack at Petrine.  Greil takes Petrine out for battle, while her troops block off the mercenaries.

After the battle, the Greil Mercenaries find Greil to be tiring Petrine.  Then more reinforcements come to Petrine's aid.  As she orders her soldiers to attack, Gallian beasts quickly dispatches the Daein forces.  Petrine refuses to back down, for fear of the king.  The Black Knight comes in to relieve her.  Then there is stare down, specifically at Greil, and the knight walks out.  Elincia came along with the Gallians, as she requested them to aid Ike.  Ike uses the racist term and Ranulf fights back.  Ike apologizes for the wrong term and Ranulf pauses in shock from Ike's manners.  Ranulf tells the group that Daein has conquered Crimea.  They quickly get along and exchange pleasantries.  They plan to take the princess to see the king of Galia, but the mercenaries head to an old fortress there for Ranulf can't take in too many foreigners.

That night, Ike catches his father leaving.  They have a long chat about the mercenary life, Ike's mother, yada-yada.  Then Greil orders Ike to go back to the castle and we get our first Fire Emblem cinematics.  Greil vs. the Black Knight.  Duh-da-da-da-duh-dum...!!!!
So, General Gawain, former Four Rider, is Greil, and he wielded swords.  A lot of development in a few sentences.  Greil, in his dying words, says he won't say no more than he threw "it" away.  Gotta love these terrible plot devices.  The movie itself killed me with those cheap lines.  At least, the cel shaded graphics were rendered quite beautifully.  Voice work is rather nice, of course, nothing fascinating is offered.  The Black Knight sounds like a robot, a gay robot at that.  "Ssssssooo... You ttthhhhhhhinkk you can fffffight.?"

The king of beasts shows to stop the knights threats against Greils children.  I don't know if the Black Knight is faking his fear of him.  The knight retreats, and Ike carries him in the rain back to the castle.  Greil mumbles to Ike to forget about revenge and to go with the king, and dies.  Sniff....

Okay, so there are some good details in that last chapter.  Sorry I couldn't get any pictures in.  You'll be seeing the game text, but at least you wouldn't be just seeing my text.  At least there is a cheesy movie included for the last part.  Next chapter is going to be a long one. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fire Emblem- Path of Radiance Prologue-Ch.5

This will be fun.  I will be reviewing the script to the game.  The game has been reviewed already, but now I want to talk about the story.  Thanks to I can read the script without actually going through the hassle of uploading the disc into my wii.  Which would have me getting a vaccum cleaner in order to remove all the dust.  Serenes forest has uploaded up till Chp. 9, but I do have a file for Ch. 10.  Though it won't be a while before I review it. Anyway, don't read this post for there are SPOILERS!!!!!! 

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance PicturePrologue:Mercenaries- is just your typical story setter.  Characters are introduced.  Not much information to gain.  There are no lines for me to grab, but after the training sequence, we see the story begin.  Moving on.

Ch. 1:The Battle Begins- I actually like the opening scene.  Characters are firm, such as, Greil and Titania, while Ike and others are getting into shape.  A bunch more yak-yak, but important thing said here is by Titania.  She was cut off from giving us info on Ike's father.  Next chapter.
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Picture
Ch. 2: Rescue- More typical plots.  Kids get stolen and the bandits run amuck.  This is the first time the Goddess has been mentioned.  Although, nothing else is relative at this point. 

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance PictureCh. 3: Pirates Aground- More useless text.  Nasir first appears here, watching.  Didn't catch that through the game.  Marcia comes in looking for her troublesome brother.  Titinia mentions Greil out in other matters, sounds like he's a politician.  The mayor of the town our mercenaries save, says that they belong in higher affairs, like the Crimean army.  The gang agrees in more or less rebellious thoughts, especially Shinon and Gatrie.  Things are starting to pick up.

Ch. 4 Roadside Battle- A note about Soren, he has been with another mercenary group.  It might be important later.  Crimea and Daein have begun warring.  Soren just got in and already giving most of the story details.  The two countries above have never been friendly.  Daein's king is treacherous.  Crimea's kings brother sent out the army to defend.  Soren leaves them, to come tell the tale.  The Greil Mercenaries may be for hire, but this affects them.  Since they are mainly hired by the Royal Crimeans, it is in their best interest to aid them. 
Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance PictureSoren lays it down harsh, but he's right.  No pay, no play.  He already expects Crimea to have lost.  Titania gives us the linneage of Crimea.  King Ramon and his brother Duke Renning.  Soren gives us Daein's King, Ashnard.  Saying that Daein is just superior. 
Greil puts Ike in charge for the scouting of Crimea's capital, Melior.  Shinon is in rebellion about it, but is silenced.  Before they leave, Mist gives Ike the Regal Blade, from their father.  Then he has leadership issues, and a talk with Rhys. 
On the trail to Melior, they spot fallen Daien soldiers, possibly from one of the Imperial Guards.  Soren brings it down from not King Ramon nor his brother.  For Renning needs to lead the last standing soldier.  Someone else in the court, could have run over the Daiens.  The investigation is interrupted with Daien soldiers surrounding them.  When Titinia faces the boss, she mentions she left the Crimean army years before.  After the skirmish, they find a women, named Elincia.  Soren wanted to leave her their. 

Ch. 5 Flight-Elincia wakes up.  Yay!  Yada yada, yada... They go through introductions.  Somehow they get done with greetings and on with the plot.  Greil asks her if she has any ties with the royal family, since she was found on the site of the battle, but no reply.  She then blurts out, her name and lineage as the daughter of King Ramon, Elincia Ridell Crimea.  The only shocker to Greil is that he didn't know Ramon had children.  Though it is true that she has been kept secret, to keep from a blood feud.  She then tells us that her parents are dead, and her uncle is still fighting Daien.  Her parents were slain by Ashnard.  She fled, or was heading to Gallia on his orders.  Galia's king Caineghis would provide safety.  Each house was told of her existence for such a circumstance.  Elincia lays out her request to be escorted to Galia.  Titinia is reminiscing, and Ike asks if its from the days as a Crimean knight.  She asks him how he knew that. She remembers Elincia baring resemblance to the king and queen.  What confirms that she is the princess, is Daein troops outside demanding her.  So the group chooses to take her, for the heightening of their name.  Greil sends Titania, Gatrie, and Shinon to survey the road for advances of the enemy, while he and Rhys clean the library of important documents.  The rest burns.  Elincia helps pack and opens up even more.  She has learned all forms of manner in hiding, such as, cleaning, cooking, swordplay.  Interesting details.  Mist shows her the medallion.  It used to be her mother's.  There is a light emanating from it.  Mist tells that it only starting glowing a while back.  Possibly, before Daein's invasion. 
Meanwhile, the enemy is predicting Elincia's movement.  Petrine, the fiery general, and Ena, an advisor of some sort, pinpoint her heading to Gallia.  Petrine plans to capture Elincia herself. 

Ok, I think that is enough for today.  I'm sorry I don't have any scans available.  I wasn't even playing.  This script was provided by  It's not complete.  Next week I will finish what they got.  I didn't think that soon in the chapters would I be getting plot to write about.  Hope this was organized for you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

City Hunter Original Special CD- #2 Bay City Wars, #3 Plot of $1,000,000

Since I liked the songs from the Dramatic Hunter cd that I reviewed last month, I went and bought me this.  This was the only cheapest one available with an obi.  As soon as it arrived, I just popped it in.  I actually listened to it all the way through, while working out.  Opening song was engineered rather nicely.  Then the following instrumentals carried me through the work out.  Anyway, I was only turned away by the jazzy/blues theme of the music.  I did like the rock orientation with it, but was used in a romantic way that I didn't like.  Still, this CD is worth a look.

While the cover does say its from the motion picture, I don't see how that is so.  This album seems more like an arranged or cover production.  Even seems more like music videos.  Instrumentals are done by Tatsumi Yano, and he arranged Take Me Back.  The other two songs were done by various artist.  I'm jealous that this production gets live instruments and there are composers who should be utilizing them. 

01-Rock My Love4:31
02-Night Moves4:40
04-Kanojo no Omoi4:03
05-Woman in the Dark4:35
06-Easy-Going Guy4:14
07-Take Me Back4:10
08-BayCity Battle4:29
09-More More Shiawase4:58
10-Never Say Goodbye4:45

I'll start with the songs.  Rock My Love has hip synthesizers and jazzy rock influence.  Yoki Oginome does a nice job as the vocalist.  Fitting for typical 80's and 90's themes.  I like the middle of the song where she raps.  Take Me Back is odd indeed.  It starts out more like a poem, with some bluesy strings.  Then the actually chorus and song take place with some soulful english lyrics.  I really love the arrangement of this song.  Both of the songs mentioned are very different.  They were really smart in songs styles.  Definetly not your normal beats.  Oginome also sings More More Shiawase.  Nothing attractive about the begining.  This song is more traditional in terms of songs style.  I didn't like the addition of kids singing in the chorus.  Still this does some justice to the ears.  Take Me Back definetly stands out though.

Yoko Oginome, ready to dance! This picture really has that 80's era feel.

It's time to test the series composer, the instrumentals are up.  Night Moves is hip, starting with some bass drums, and the jungle beats.  Snazzy strings and hornets carry you throughout this piece.  It stops with some nice romantic vocals.  The synthesizers and keyboards make it feel atmospheric.  An excellent piece, all the way through, as it fades out.  Death Trap begins with loud drum beats and moves in with some rocking gutiar, a great start, but the French horn rips in.  That is what scares me about jazz.  It always reminds me of someone ripping a big one.  It's a long track, kind of too long.  Yano plays around alot in this one.  Exactly at the middle of track, it sounds like its skipping, but not.  That was well put, and then starts back up again. 

Forth track isn't all that special.  This is really couples music here.  Even with a date, I wouldn't put on, but it may put that "falling in love" mood for the women.  Too much jazz club themes.  Violins are added for extra sweetness.  I like the drums, but doesn't help me like it much.  Easy Going Guy is also for dance clubs.  Takes you back to old west, and yet it its as modern the those jazz clubs still available today.  Not my cup of tea, though.  Woman in the Dark is a sweet rock melody.  Very entrancing.  Yano doesn't go far at all with trumpets and horns.  Keyboards are well used for a nice ring in your head.  It calls for repition like Night Moves.  The dog-like guitar arrangement was wierd but good.

 Baycity Battle gets into it right away.  Again, with those annoying horns ripping it out loud, but damn if this track isn't so rocking.  Guitars in the backround can be in the way.  This is like battle in a casino.  Nicely done anthemic ambience. Never Say Goodbye literally sounds like your turning on your Playstation.  Piano's and violins rule this moody track.  Vocal chorus and drums are a plus.  An excellent finish. 

I'm really happy with this purchase.  There were alot of things that I'm against in music, but Tatsumi Yano does a nice job in attracting me to his style.  He might make it to my favorite composer list.  I just need more of his cds and he doesn't have much outside City Hunter.

This CD deserves an A for outstanding music, orchestra, and songs.  Quality of tracks of are very high, but not a whole lot of variety.  Quantity is about fair.  In terms of the packaging, a 6/10 is fair.  Jewel case is basically empty without cd and booklet.  There is no back cover.  The booklet is the reason for the high package rating.  Booklet cover is nice, but doesn't stand out.  Credits are laid out well and we get director and producer comments.  Each song gets fleshed out on the pages.  The score above is enough warrant for you to obtain this cd.  It's not rare at all. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

This will be one of those blog through the movie exercises.  My cousin and I were strolling through the library and picked up couple movies to watch.  I picked up Crank 1&2, he picked up this feature.  I was surprised to find that this film made it out last year.  I'm not a fan of the Street Fighter series, nor any of Capcom's titles, but it is interesting to see a translation.

The beginning isn't slow, but it isn't fast.  There is plenty of dialogue, and at least there is action here and there.  The casting is pretty fitting, but I can't say if they accurately portray the original characters.  Kristen Kreuk looks even younger in this film than in the Smallville series, that I've watched often in the past.  Most of the cast is oddly half Asian.  Acting is a little less than standard fare and dialogue is just too typical.

Some of the action is actually new and refreshing.  It's always hard to do something different in martial arts.  Jackie Chan pretty much set the bar and covered all that ground in his countless films.  I don't like the camera angles used during those sequences.  We do see some contacts between the fighters, but most of it is weak and can be seen as a facade.  

Music is quite out there.  Mostly Chinese melodies, and the use of woodworks, for the tension.  Although like most American films.  I won't be commenting on music. 

This movie is satisfying, regardless of the immense amount of material left out.  I liked the fight against Bison most.  It was quite professional.  Some story elements left my head scratched and scared.  Such as, the energy balls, those were never explained, but they're not a big deal.  Anyone can just accept it.  The detectives on case are what I would call the biggest side story ever.  I just see no reason from them to be included. 

The movie is about Bison getting his daughter, but just how he lost her and why the big deal was for him to obtain her was not explained.  That's where the movie failed in terms of plot.  We're dealing with a mafiatic maniac and we are not given much details as his motives, business(what the main characters father was doing?), and goals.  You can be leaving the movie enjoying the action, but then the actual story will be never realised.  It is worth the watch, just don't worry about deep plot because it will leave you hanging.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I'm also a busy body!!!!

Busy and getting little to none done.  I will have a post for everyday, which means I'm cheating.  How is that?  Well, under post options, we bloggers are allowed to choose the time of post.  Meaning, there could be no updates from me in month, then the next day, you see it all filled up.  That's because I have school in the morning and work at night.  This blog is the new and few moments of "me-time" which is also for someone other than me. 

I started to write on a lot of stuff.  At this point there is, Tenchi, Agga Ruter, Escaflowne, various cds, Fall of Eagles, the syrian comedies, Kajishima doujin, and games.   But, there is still more I have to put out there.  Besides just giving you my personal feelings about the various products, what else can I do that you would like to see?  I've started Escaflowne, I'm liking, but I'm still not putting it in my collection.  Give me a new title that you think I might like, for me to view and review.  I'm open to suggestions, so there isn't something on this blog about what I like. 

Regardless, I've already picked a new category.  Every month I will post thorough biography about a person and why he/she inspires me.  I call it "Person of the Month"!  Now this is not a program to brag about my idols, but merely extracting people from their work.  Japanese persons will mostly be the ones I'll be extracting information on, because they are very private people.  Whereas, Americans are, "here I am, look at me, nothing would have been done without me, blah, blah..."  So there won't be much work/search on them, and there is not many to choose from.  These specific persons is not my way of picking favorites.  I don't favortize people.  PotM is an editorial to bring out my views on the persons history, bad and good.
Looking forward to reactions and feedback.  I know at this point, what with 30 views, it's a deadzone here.  Though thats more than a click from somebody a day.  I'm looking to get 1000 view by the end of the year.  Meanwhile, enjoy some rare tenchi images below and above.
This and the one straight above are from one of many doujins.  I like the artist on for this one.  Very OAV like, especially since we don't see Kiyone with a tie.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

F-Zero Arranged Album

 Having played F-Zero GX for the Gamecube and loving it and the music.  I went after the soundtracks.  I found this gem, after reading the few reviews.  Most gave it a 10/10.  I am not a big fan of jazz, but I like collecting the few and expensive extra's that Nintendo puts out there.  Seikou Nagaoka does a lot of jazz outside his soundtrack career, but I've grown to like his style.  So it was worth giving it a try. 

I was really turned off and away running through this cd the first time.  It was mostly the jazz orientation that scared me.  I was think of GX and I was wanting rock or even heavy metal.  Actually, I was skipping through the first time.  The alto sax sounded like a big one was being ripped, lol.  Which is I am not into jazz.  Especially since most music incorporated with it.  But I was drawn to the drums, guitar, and the use of a band-like musicians. 

This album production has banded together a bunch of American musicians, under lock and key of Nintendo composers of course.  All tracks composed by Yumiko Kanki, except 2 and 12, which are by Naoto Ishida.  Of the Americano's, Marc Russo(Sax's) and Robben Ford(Guitar) are the star of the show.  We get a picture of them, along with a comment by Marc.  Of course, they couldn't have an American translation.

01 Opening Theme 4:21
02 Big Blue 4:03
03 Red Canyon 4:11
04 Fire Field 4:16
05 Silence 4:34
06 White Land 4:22
07 Port Town 4:40
08 Select Time Theme 3:42
09 Mute City 4:25
10 Sand Ocean 4:39
11 Death Wind 3:31
12 Ending Theme 5:05
Realizing that I may eventually like, and I do, which is why I'm making this review.  Number 1 is great for a introductory jazz peice.  Makes you feel like a TV program is running through the list of racers and tracks.  Just before the 2 min. mark is where Marc works his lungs.  I like the sax player's lead from that point on.

I'll skip number 2 for now, but 3 Red Canyon, begins with the bass and carries you throughout with drums and sax.  It feels like those old movies, or like on broadway.  Think in the Mask, as he's going into the club.  That scene where Jim Carrey, livening up, I think I can remember the music to be of the like.  The way this track ends, perfectly fits that scene. 

Fire Field is where it gets good.  This actually fits into the racing genre that this cd should be doing.  Drums and electric guitar gets you into that racing mood.  Then the second guitar rocks out the show, leading to a great finish.  5 Silence has left me silent.  I have no comments good or bad for it, but I will say this,  I can listen to it but not worth repeating.  It has its uses for the F0-verse.  I remember the Ford commercials in the 90's sounding like this.

White Land is a perfect bland of mellow jazz and rock.  It's more of an atmospheric track.  It's very addictive, I repeat often.  Port Town sounds like your in Mexico, Spain, or Hawaii.  It doesn't seem like it in the begining, but definetly after the first minute and on.  If you're having a party at the luao, this music should be played doing the limbo or the Moroccan dance.  Select Time Theme definetly takes its time.  It is a slow piece, as if the jazz didn't slow the overall pace of the album.  I like the use of the bass in the middle of the track.  Has a fun fading finish. 

Mute City and Sand Ocean don't grab me so.  Especially Mute City, what with all its many arrangements out there.  I am kind of sick of it.  It is still one of the better arranged ones.  Sand Ocean starts out with the beachy feel, but kind of gets crazy with the strings, it sounds like techno.

Ah, Death Wind, it literally blows you away(I am not apologizing for the corny puns).  This is what Jazz-Rock Fusion is made for.  It's fast pace from the start, but it's too short.  Its the best one on the cd.  I can't sit down on this one.  Sadly, it's too short, as it's fading out it gets even better.  You must hear it.

Finally, I saved Naoto's tracks for last, because they are the odd ones.  Thankfully, he/she did two, but I think there was no need for him/her to be involved in this project.  Big blue is also like Mute City with tons of other arrangements, but like Mute City it captures the funky urban city life that this series is placed in.  Ending Theme is fitting, for an ending though.  It's these two that is hardest to listen to.

The package of the album is nothing at all, 4/10.  Why, well Nintendo is not known for it's CD's physical contents.  That score is too high of a score.  We get a picture of two of the musicians, and a small comment by Marc, but thats it.  There should have been more from the musicians, interviews, comments, how they(the Americans) got into this production.  Nintendo often doesn't know how to show their love.  They need help.  Cover art is not even noticeable, F-Zero as the title, how am I supposed to know if it's an arranged or an OST.  I can barely see that there is an engine on the cover and back.  The inside of the panphlet, has Falcon looking into the desert.  I won't scan it becuase it's not that fascinating. 

This CD gets in A for composition and arrangement.  A perfect, live arrangement of the games original soundtrack by Hirokazu Ando.  So well done, Nintendo doesn't give us his original compostions.  We don't need them though.  This cd is not terribly rare, but definetly not cheap.  The contents on this cd are all you need to go and find this rarity.