Tuesday, November 13, 2012

My Boy Friend

Included in the forth volume VHS of the Hoshineku Full House series is this little single.  Published by the Walkers Company Inc.  Vocals again from the talent group known as LISP, which have not appeared again till recently only on another soundtrack done by Nagaoka.  I'm not sure if they are the same people though.  A chorus joins in this time, name MILK, but no details on what the name comprises of.

01My Boy Friend4:28
Disc length 9:05

My Boy Friend takes the lead as being the fun song with its amazing opener.  Certainly a huge touch of jazz is inserted for this one.  LISP stand out more and each singer can be heard even when singing together.  Despite the girly title, I don't feel it as being singled out for the female audience.  Second song is composed by Hitomi Kuroishi, so it feels a little more conservative in terms of music and pace.  Drums, vocals, and bass guitar are pretty laid back, which give off a romantic love feeling without pushing it too far as such. Both songs are pretty similar to each other, and definitely have a different tone then the singles from vol. 3.   Nagaoka's own composition and arrangement for the first song is certainly stronger then his last in vol. 3, Dancin' Twilight. 

Remember, this is the artists first real gig, at least as a solo artist.  Before this it was a few image albums that seemed to be like he was shadowing or interning as for experience.  I did not expect much difference in song making here, but behold there are some marked improvements.  Specifically in Nagoaka's control of the vocals.  Same vocalists but they feel more matured here and while the three vocalists of LISP sing over each other for most of the songs, each singer has a chance to take a few verses individually.  There is no fear of high notes being struck bad or at all, and no problem with the cute sounds of the synth board overlapping the vocals.  So I'm intrigued by how well Mr. Nagaoka has leveled his instrumentation and vocalists.  I still place Honeymoon as the best song of the four.  There is fortunately enough consistency between all of them.  Both single discs are worth the place in anyone's collection large or small.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Critically Velocity Original Soundtrack

Another quietly released album, with still no knowledge of its existence on the market, like most other albums anyway. Fortunately, there is no need to seek this soundtrack out, as it is available to the public to both Japan and America.  However, the game itself was never released in the states.  It's a shame, because judging by its cover to the left, it looks just as good as the F-Zero series.
        It was first announced as Rune Chase, changed when it didn't meet its release date and was given extra time to complete.  Though, let me talk about the game itself, as it does bare some features that do differ from Namco's main drive, Ridge Racer.  Although, instead of just being a bare racer, the player is allowed to roam freely on the roads.  There is the adventurous story mode, but they give the ability to explore the world. 

At first glance, I was saddened that the music is mostly urban jazz.  There could have been the choice to go smooth jazz fusion like in Ridge Racer, but I guess they really wanted to steer away from that idea.  I was going to review the soundtrack per usual, by composer, but it seems each track continues right off from the last.  So, by the order of the track list, I have to take the straight road. 
01Sunset Runaway-Ryuichi Takada1:59
03Toward a Difficulty-Junichi Nakatsuru4:30
04Break Time-JN3:08
05Memory of Passed Day-RT2:10
06Priyo City Part 1-Yuuichirou Noro 3:25
07Priyo City Part 2-YN2:56
08Priyo City Part 3-YN3:21
09Priyo City Part 4-YN3:31
10Priyo City Part 5-YN3:44
11Crush ’em All-Jouji Nishigomi(George)4:45
12Racing the Storm-GN4:01
13Escape from Crisis-GN4:25
14Urban Striker-GN3:42
15Time Bomb-JN7:02
16Smooth Drivin’-RT3:10
17Through the Alley-Kakumi Nishigomi 3:47
18It’s an Easy Work!-KN4:13
19Street Courser-GN3:40
20Blazing Vortex-GN3:32
22Funny Fat Guy-RT3:19
23Most Dangerous Game-JN4:00
24Master of Speed-GN3:57
25The Fixer-RT4:00
26Purple Highway of Daybreak-YN5:03
27Mission Complete-YN0:03
28Mission Failed-RT0:02
29Reward & Honor-RT1:00
Disc length 100:04
Symbols fiddle and soothing keys start off in Sunset Runway, followed by jazzy strings.  Ryuichi Takada does arrangement with the strings, added by brass, synth keyboards and explosive percussion.  The brass sometimes gets too brassy and jazzy, but only for a few moments.  This track is the opening cinematic theme.  It works well for a chase scene.  Still, jazz is not the right fit for a situation like that.  Invitation, I assume, is the menu theme, and what a welcome Takada presents.  Attractive are his keys, and the drums playing in the background, all representing a slow entry for a game about speed.
Nakatsuru gets the first in-game track, using the some strings as Takada's, only less abrasive. The brass covers over while the strings continue to repeat.  Toward a Difficulty, gets better when the drums start in.  A flute takes the lead somewhere in the piece, and rather adds to the situation of whats happening.  Back into the loop, Junichi takes his time and fleshes out his strings and brass, improvising the flute and horns the second time around.  At the abrupt end, we go into Break Time, to take a load off.  The pace is truly changed from his previous track.  Lounging around with cello strings and keys, while the sax sings on top.  This is not the Nakatsuru we normally hear, as he really lets the listener sit back for the first time. 
Takada picks back up in the same note.  Memory of Passed Day is similar to the menu theme, but he has more work for the percussion in the background.  I'm not too found of his use of brass.  The next five Piryo City tracks are done by a new composer to me, Yuuichiro Noro.  He takes a more subtle approach then the other two before him.  While the jazz style is there, the rhythm and blues are what he excels at.  The strings, sax, and drums work hand and hand, to deliver something new. Part 2 has some rock influence as well as some electronic sounds that hurt the piece.  When those sounds don't ring the ears, the electric guitar solo does make it worthy listen.  Part 3 picks up in the first parts attempt to go flamenco.  Again, the sax really makes me wonder if this is a racer.  At least, the strings and piano keys make me want to dance.  Part 4 continues the second parts rock style, opening up with electric guitar.  The drums make it feel sound like its heavy metal.  The driving guitar manages to keep me tuned in.  Getting back into another slow Spanish mood, Part 5 lowers the pace again, which makes this soundtrack wholly feel like elevator music.
Another new composer to discover is Jouji Nishigomi or George.  He is the first really offer an attractive piece right from the opening of Crush'em All.  It is a rockin' track, with hints of jazz.  The drums spell out the name of the track well.  George does have the same techno sounds as Noro, but implements them in listenable manner.  Racing the Storm doesn't have the flare as the previous, though I'm not being negative about this track.  The rock instruments maybe minimal, but the feeling of racing is there.  Percussion give the beat alongside the brass and keyboard solos.  Escape From Crisis combines the other two's style, resulting in a rather unique experience.  I won't go further into detail.  Urban Striker does some fancy conga and brass work, with some funky soul keys and bass.  Some of this music reminds me of the silly Mario Kart themes, in which a lot of this soundtrack resembles. 
Nakatsuru reappears in the seven minute brass/rock out, Time Bomb.  It is a piece that carries the weight for the entire soundtrack.  Even so, his shorter ones are a little more enjoyable.  Takada is back again for a Smooth Drivin', in which the percussion is what stands out most here.  Ryuichi really could work on his brass, since he managed in Soul Calibur 3. 
The next two tracks by Kakumi Nishigomi(whom I'm guessing is the brother to George, and if so the elder one) does not do so well among the composers here.  The electronic sounds covering entirety of the track can be a turn off while listening to Through the Alley.  Percussion are a plus, and the improvising of them near the end saves him from being a skip.  The drums pick back up in the next track and surround the ears in all directions, making it an easy listen.  Its an Easy Work has reminiscent feel of some song, probably Broadway back in the days.   I can't tell what instrument takes the lead, either guitar or keyboard, sounds electronic but adds flavor, as well as the trumpet solo that comes after it, before keys take back over.  The final solo is an electric guitar for sure, and keeps Kakumi in good standing with the crashing of the drums again before it fades away. 
The other Nishigomi takes the spotlight, opening up like in Crush'em All, and using an electronic sound that reminds me of the Sonic games.  Street Courser seems to take some of the rock elements of Kakumi's and finally taking the soundtrack into a better direction, if Nakatsuru hasn't done that yet.  Blazing Vortex uses the all too repetitive brass linings of Takada's. The techno beat and sound effects like the wind fill the background, while the sax takes lead.  Interesting slew of engine sounds actually make appearance here. 
Pace is kept up in Stormers, in which Nakatsuru uses funky guitars, a somewhat nice saxophone solo, synth keys, and a great drum arrangement.  Nothing truly outstanding, but he does have a certain uniqueness that is hip and fresh.  Takada changes it up a little, as Funny Fat Guy goes comical and silly.  It is more serious than what I just said, and can be stomached for the most part.  Alternating back to Nakatsuru with Most Dangerous Game.  The guitars play out a 007 spy-like tune, only he did not flesh it out as much as I would have liked.  At the halfway mark, a very fun interlude of brass that sounds like screaming women, gets the listener aroused, followed by a bluesy guitar solo. 
George Nishigomi changes around again, in a very different offering of Master of Speed.  This is truly a unique sound from the rest of the tracks so far.  It is mysterious, ambietic, and leveled to enjoy from start to finish.  Even Takada changes his sound and style, gaining him some credibility.  Both of these tracks have nice bass.  The Fixer has some annoying engine that sounds like its being pushed to its limits.  Percussion and strings are done well and brass is minimal this time.  Yuuichiro as well lays back and gets the listener to relax as well with Purple Highway of Daybreak.  Seems to be the games results theme.  Noro-san's best offering yet, and one jazz piece that can really open anyone's ears to the genre.  Ryuichi's Reward & Honor is a short version of Noro's last but not as attractive.  Nakatsuru as well, doesn't surpass himself or anyone else with Depression. 
I got this soundtrack strictly for my fanship of Junichi, but if I were to just download his tracks, then I'd be ripping myself off.  $7.99 for 30 tracks, spanning a total of 100 minutes is a deal really.  Much of the music felt out place, but then again I haven't played the game.  The videos on the net didn't help that feeling either, and the premise of the game certainly is not typical of a racer genre.  This is one of first albums that I find hard to recommend.  Even Nakatsuru, whom did offer his talents, still fell short and quite frankly, disappointed me.  I didn't have hopes for any of the others, especially Takada, but he pulled through in the end.  I am glad to not be afraid of the new players, Noro and the Nishigomi brothers(that is if they are bros).  The price is the real factor in owning the soundtrack, even though my review can argue against it.  No composer had truly failed here, but there really isn't much of absolute must listen to tracks. 
Also, I don't know what had pushed Namco to release this years after the games release, but hopefully this will set a trend for other games in their library that they didn't have official soundtracks for.  Such as, Soul Calibur Legends, Time Crisis, and Urban Reign.  The game may have not made it here for U.S. citizens, but at least we can download it.  


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tekken 6 for PSP Original Soundtrack - EP

Searching for more of Junichi Nakatsuru's music, it has lead me to this download.  I've never played the game, and I probably won't in any future, but there is no reason to not try the music.  This set of music was composed for the PSP release of Tekken 6.  Six tracks for only two dollars and 99 cents is a real bargain.  Why pay a dollar just for Nakatsuru's contribution when I can own the entire collection?  Here is what good that come out of that. 

01Blue Wall-Akitaka Tohyama3:14
02Broken Ties-Tetsuya Uchida1:46
03Spider- Tetsuya Uchida2:06
04Rebirth- Yoshihito Yano2:30
05Synthetic Pulse Installation-Tetsuya Uchida, Yoshihito Yano3:36
06Side Winder-Yoshihito Yano, Junichi Nakatsuru2:12
Disc length 15:24

Tohyama opens up with a techno beat in Blue Wall, and the flavor of the arrangement doesn't start until about 45 secs with some string-like instruments.  He then takes us back into the loop with the standard beat and electronic flips of sound. The second time around feels more accomplished.  Akitaka doesn't really push for any type of flare.  I don't think he really pushed his personality here.  It is a laid back kind of piece, keeping the same mood and beat throughout the three minutes.  The track is at least passable, but I don't know how techno music can create a fighting environment. 

Broken Ties is a hip rock tune with some nice vocal lyrics added to it.  Even with the rock elements, it doesn't mask the fact that its mostly techno-electronic sounds.  This track may feel repetitive, but it will over before that it grows annoying.  I've never experienced Tetsuya Uchida, but this is a good start.  Spider continues in a rock fashion, though he can't keep from the electronic sounds like Tohyama.  At least Spider does not loop.  The opener feels like menu music, but the rest of the track changes tone. 

Uchida is aided by Yoshihito Yano in Synthetic Pulse Installation, which is not too different from Akitaka's offering.  It is definitely more industrial in style.  The techno beat and sounds can be bothersome.  For two composers working together, one would expect to be lost in style, but I can sense none in this one.  It is the worst of the bunch, as it feels like a collection of sounds, hence the name of the track.  Somehow, they don't manage to completely turn off the listener.

Yano seems to fuse Uchida's rock style with Tohyama's trance in Rebirth.  Some guitar riffs like in Uchida's tracks, fill in the background, along with the bunches of synthetic sounds and hints vocals.  Yano has kept it simple, which should be the case for music that can be entirely synthesized.  However, Nakatsuru aids Yano in Side Winder, the best of the tracks.  The opener is dark and broody, almost devoid of any electronic synth.  Nakatsuru basically took Yano's Rebirth(with some of Uchida's guitar riffs) and gave it a rehaul.  The entire track changes rythym, giving the soundtrack a fresh feel.  Along with the ambietic synth, there is the guitar riffs, some electronic guitar-like rythym flows through, and the track doesn't fade off like the rest of them.

This album is very concise.  While the composers were at different ends of the spectrum, in terms of music style, the overall sound is kept similar.  Either there was electronica, rock, or the fusion of the two.  Uchida stood out to me the most for his attemptive creativity and guitar fusions.  As expected, Nakatsuru really offered a unique take on Tekken's techno-cratic style.

Being a digital download, I would like a better effort in terms of packaging.  Sure the music at a discount price is enticing, but what about a credits picture, or actual credits on the list of music.  Composer comments, bios, how the album came to be, etc.  There should also better album cover artwork.  It's too generic.  And being that it is a digital download, it doesn't get a packaged grade. 

Three bucks for six tracks(decent or indecent), I think is still worth the dip in the wallet.  I am satisfied, greatly in what I've heard.  What's lowering the grade, is the lack of, well... actual music.  The entire album seems to be done by sitting back, with only real assertion by Uchida.  There isn't enough volume pumped into the score.  Only Nakatsuru twists things up for a short period of time.  In my parting words, I would still make the purchase. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

暗黒神伝承 武神:劇中音楽集 Takegami OST

Ah, finally!!  I've been wondering if this soundtrack exists.  I'm glad I found it.  Not rare or expensive.  In fact, I think this CD is highly overlooked.  It exists, and this is my attempt and spreading the knowledge. 
22 tracks?  It should be expected  not to expect everything.  Our composer is the sound producer here, unlike in Kabuto.  So here we go. 

Opening track has Terumi giving her prayer to the Eight-Headed Dragon.  It was not given in the anime.  Nice flute music in the background, then rolls the eerie intro music.  Not a good start, they should have had that separated.  At least offer the BGM in a separate piece.  It was some good wind work.  Other than that, this is the best start.  Fortunately, it only happens for this instance.

1. 開かれし伝説の扉
2. 淡き想いに…
3. 闇からの胎動
4. 武速文献
5. 翡翠輝く時
6. 朱砂の王と地の龍と…
7. 五坊陣
8. 古しえの記憶
9. 悲しみを抱き止めて…
10. 逃亡
11. 龍目紋の龍
12. あつい想い
13. 天空の巨人
14. 去り行く女性の温もりは…
15. 八百比丘尼
16. 婚姻説話
17. 水蛯子
18. もう一人の巨人
19. 神々の戦い
20. 武神
21. エピローグ
22. 天翔 

I'm going to go even further with the opening sequence track.  Ethnically rich in Asian themes.  I wish the breaking sound in the film was included from the film.  After the tense intro music, a melancholic piece follows.  The piano sounds dated, or out of tune, but is probably was done purposefully.  An oboe accompanies the piano, adding more sadness.  Dark bass chords are struck at the  begining.  Then get darker nearing the end.  I remember feeling the pulse of the bass in the show.  Here it seems like just a sound.  The next two pieces are just as eerie and dark as the first.  Track 3 has evil night jingle.  Superb sound effects that gives you the chills.  Track 4 starts with woodworks and broken keys.  Electric guitar and windworking carry you through this isolated piece.  

The above can be quite disturbing.  Track four can be most irritating, but thats for normal minds.  Their dark and brood themes can be haunting.  Best to be enjoyed when alone.  I'm really happy with the inclusion of track 5.  A rock arrangement, infused with the gothic themed show.  Again, I was not feeling the percussion on this piece.  

Track 6 is the main fight theme.  Starting Koichi's realization, some acoustic flutes, then the percussion hits.  Though it was much more effective on screen.  Woodworking signifies the emergence of the monsters.  Quite a long piece, but needs to be louder.  

I'm guessing the tracks are in order of appearance.  That ends the first episodes tracks, and they've missed many unfortunately.  Second episode opener is here.  I missed it in the show, or I thought it was just sound effects.  Glad to have it.  Heavy drums and odd sounds give new flavor to the show.  Track 8 excellently spinkles with piano keys.  A great arrangement of the keys, that soon follows with a vocal.  Nothing different from the anime, but sounds even better here.  An uplifting yet emotionally low track follows it.  Track 10 is Koichi's escape.  Very enticing.  Its short, but the bass and acoustic guitar and flute changes the tone of the CD.

The first action piece of the second OAV.  Even more ethnic music.  Love the strings and flute here.  Gets one ready to fight a dragon.  The action has yet to start, but gets you ready for it.  Sound production has truly gone up in one episode.  A short intermission from actual soundtrack.  A short drama piece, track 12.  Either it's Koichi's or Juinbo's seiyuu.  I like it, the music used makes it a blessing with what he's saying, yet a burden that it is not a stand alone track.  It opens with harps, and then adds the dark piano keys with the jingles of track 3.  

Episode 2's action piece, in short, is amazing.  I don't recall any music from this episode, but it's all laid out excellently here.  I was really expecting Seichiro's and Sayo's Love and Escape theme.  Though what's offered here is making me forget that.  For track 14 and 15 comes back to the anime's dark theme.  The childrens chant is a welcome in 14.  Track 14 gets you down, but 15 goes even further.  My favorite melancholic ending theme in triumphant mp3 form.  Chinese fiddle strings with powerful acoustics that chorally fill the ears, reaching beyond the soul.  Great addition of the pounding drums.  Whether heard off the show or on this OST, these two tracks are going to make you cry.  And keep on wanting to cry. 

Given how both episodes ended on a bad note, and 2 ended even worse.  Ep. 3 is does not continue in such a manner.  Again, I don't recall any of the music standing out here.  Though, production values seemed to have gotten even better again.  It's opener is odd, but used the alien sounds to accurately depict the strange life form that was the subject of this story.  It is truly an aesthetic piece.  Violins sweep, flute alienates the listener, bass violin takes over, accompanied by chilling vocals all to trumbling close.  

Track 17 jumps to the female monster chase fight/scene.  This one sounds like techno, but uses mostly traditional instruments.  Track 18 is another superb action piece.  So well done, that I felt the size of the monster that approaches the city.  Truly gets the feeling that something big is coming.  All to a climactic end.

HoLLLLLYYY Helllll!!!!!  Track 19 alone puts all of Nagaoka's music to shame.  It blasts open with crazy drums and tense cello sweeps.  The gong/bell sound is perfect rendition of how epic this battle is.  More violins and strings show the intensity between the warriors.  Amazing drum orchestration makes for a perfect track.  

Next is the full ending to the first and last episode. Don't expect to hear it the same way off the anime.  It's more fleshed out here.  Bass guitar interlude in the minute and a half mark is beautifully composed.  Excellent high point struck, and well crafted ending.  Another drama piece after this, but the BGM is more of a music box deal, so I'm not mad it's not alone.  
The final track is another prized track among the prize that this OST presents.  The tragic song of the Susa/Koichi sacrifice.  Cause how can they make a song and not have it available.  When listening to this, don't expect to know the lyrics because the first verse was not used in the anime.  佐藤 幸世 or Sato Hiroyuki is the vocalist, whom I guess was a popular anime singer of that time.  Nagoaka gets her vocal chords to work in sync with the already emotional composition.  She hits the high pitch note, as is normal with Japanese Seiyuu, but does not even feel like it.  A very mature song, thankfully.  Love the whipping sound as the percussion.  Here is a taste of the previous few tracks.  Put some headphones on and listen carefully.
The packaging here suffers.  Though it is normal for Victor to just have a few pages, or just a panphlet.  The album cover is attractive, but more of that could have been inserted.  The only extra provided here is commentary by the creator/director Osamu Yamasaki.  Whom, I will be giving bio coverage of, eventually.  Though, the man in question, Mr. Nagaoka had no lines to speak.  That's ok, his musical voice is good enough.  Package Grade: 4/10
I really had a difficult time reviewing this OST.  That's because I have no education on what the sounds or instruments really are.  Even so, this soundtrack is so amazing, that I still can't find the right words to describe it.  Absolutely, NO track can be done with out.  Many BGM's are missing.  Though, what is here, cannot be denied.  Koichi's theme was probably left out, becuase it was upbeat and happy compared to the entire soundtrack.  I still think that this soundtrack could have been completed.  While the compositions are without peer, the sound was very weak.  Especially for the first episode.  They must have heard of Bass boost at that time.  It might be the greatest music, but it needs to be heard.  OST Grade: S++

Seek this treasure out!!!!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

JASDF 801st. Tactical Training Squadron: Music-Pod

Released on December 16, 1994 by BMG Victor Inc. and Lipop Record.  Catalog no.: BVCH-615

Ah, yes, another rare gem.  I would like to mention that I do have an extra copy(as of March 2012), for I can't find it on any site.    I couldn't wait to obtain this cd.  Only a few popped up for sale.  One way to tell this soundtrack is worth it, is the second is not.  Nagaoka has done the first three episodes of the OAV, mainly because there was a year before they continued it and another composer was picked up.

The second OST and remaining four episodes were done by Norimasa Yamanaka.  Whom, has done "Legend of Lemnear" and Hayashi's "Explorer Woman Ray", but she's well known for "Appleseed".  Her CD has been sitting there for a mere 300 yen since 2010, until recently.  Either, the seller had given up, or somebody felt sorry and decided to take it off his hands.  Poor Yamanaka.  Though, I will eventually try it.  After seeing it so long for sale, while Nagaoka's CD was fought for, I wasn't in a rush to get her take on the series.

Being impatient to receive this soundtrack, I looked up the show on youtube and wasn't impressed but by a few action pieces.  The opener was and still is one of the most attractive themes I've heard.  Though, the action pieces were making it a more painful wait.

01-01 虹になりたい(オープニング・テーマ|フル・バージョン)
01-02 801TTSのテーマ
01-03 オンボロ隊舎
01-04 科特隊801
01-05 更衣室ラプソディ
01-06 大怪獣ピョゴラ
01-07 夢,ふたたび(羽田のテーマ)
01-08 TAKE OFF!
01-10 めざせ!ブルーインパルス
01-11 スクランブル!
01-12 ウキウキMORNING
01-13 春風に吹かれて
01-15 静寂の午後
01-16 破局へのドッグファイト
01-17 黄昏のランウェイ
01-18 石動のテーマ
01-19 揺れる想い(三鷹のテーマ)
01-20 回想
01-21 傷心の三鷹
01-24 太陽があたためた気持ち(エンディング・テーマ|フル・バージョン)
01-25 虹になりたい(ラジオ・バージョン)
01-26 太陽があたためた気持ち(ビデオ・バージョン)
01-27 太陽があたためた気持ち(オリジナル・カラオケ)
01-28 おまけ#1 T-4/アイドリング
01-29 おまけ#2 T-4/フライパス

Let's start at the end of this disc.  The last two tracks are the sound effects to the aircraft.  It is credited to Nagaoka, surprisingly, but then again he is a sound designer.  It was not necessary, but it's a nice addition.  I don't think they were designed.  They do sound like authentic fighter planes, though listening through the tracks, it seems as though they were arranged.

I feel Victor Entertainment went above and beyond on this soundtrack.  Not only do we get sound effects to the aircraft, but also Nagaoka's first complete CD.  There is not a damn piece missing from the show.  They've even included the full opening and closers along with the ending karaoke, so you can enjoy them in their full glory.  But that's not all, you also get the short aired version of the songs.

Mayaka is the vocalist for the opener.  She does resemble Ai Orikasa's voice, though, but with a groggy voice and a high pitch.  The only problem I had with the opener is the drums.  They were altered on this cd.  I liked it a lot better in the show.  Here the drums sounded... less percussive.  Still, it doesn't take away from this excellent composition.  Seikou normally doesn't make great openers, or openers at all.  Mayaka's voice does hit the high note too high sometimes, which make it irritating, but makes up for it when she holds a note at a low key.  There is a jazzy feel to this rocking piece but you won't catch it right away or at all.  Nagaoka makes an excellent finish with his improv on the guitars.  This is J-pop at its finest.

Most of BGM's are short and rather stale.  The 801 TTS theme(track 2) is just as its titled.  Track 3 has a lazy bass guitar and some percussion, with laid back comical piano.  After that, we have nicely arranged jazz tune with some attitude.  I find it a more appropriate theme for the character Arisa Mitaka.  Number 5, again, your typical jazzy, slice of life, comical tune.

All the above are similar, yet do their job well.  It is the type of music that should play when nothing exciting is happening at an organization such as this.  This is standard fare for Nagaoka.  There just isn't enough time to grasp you and get you addicted to the cd with these short pieces.  None the less, sets the character and tone of the series.  Also, they sound like his work on the Tenchi series, but not to that level.  Actual sounds have been updated, as the beats can be felt and heard this time.

Track 6 is where this OST can enslave the listener.  Opening with militaristic snare drums, with some jazzy brass, followed by some ethnic Japanese woodwork and strings arrangement.  Even with the loop, it does not sound repetitive.  I love the gongs and crashing symbols, all the way to the end, leading to a excellent finish.

Miyuki Haneda's theme comes up and puts the emotional depth of the OAV on ground.  Seikou's piano is ever powerful and unique.  Violins carry the piece through, with the touch of acoustic guitar.  Soon after this track is done putting the feelings out there, we are treated with what I've been waiting for. ...

The stars of the soundtrack, Take Off! and Emergency!  These two pieces made the already boasting scenery that much more enjoyable.  The former is intense with percussion, yet just us uplifting with aerial guitars and brass.  Crashing symbols that touch the soul at the finish.  The later, also begins intensely, as the name suggests.  Wild casting of the drums open up the track, but then quickly recoups with bass guitar.  Then jumps back into the beat, and builds even heavier and more quickly on the dire situation at hand.  These two tracks alone are reason to buy this soundtrack at more than full value.

Following the gravity of the cd, is an anthemic track.  Nothing all that special, but it makes you feel as the danger has been averted and the good guys win.  Scramble brings us back to what makes this CD worthwhile.  Synthesizers bring out that sense of thrill and danger, as if you are actually going on a pilot mission.  Guitars make the serious sound with the addition of a great beat and well used brass.

 Fukifuki Morning is another slice of life theme.  It's more upbeat, with acoustic and bass guitars, along with progressive synthesizers.  Track 13 has some sweet melodic strings and oboe.  Weekend of 801tts, is standard character themes.  The only thing keeping it interesting is the use of percussions.  These are some of Nagaoka's weak points, but they are still more than passable.

15th track is reminiscent of Miyuki's theme, but more quietly adding other instruments to the synth.  Such as, the acoustic guitar again, and attractive keys.  Now back to another action track that begins with a fun beat.  Drums are arranged impressively here as well.  Then brass, guitars, and symbols take cover making for a catastrophic feeling.  The ending is held with an extra note of evilness.  A romantic theme follows the previous.  Though short and great, it is hard to actually get addicted to it.  Another minute long, acoustic theme follows that.  Wind sounds fill the background, giving a feel for the theme of the show.

Arisa's sad theme is just that.  Very similar to Washu's Heartache, but again, not arranged to that level.  Still these are Nagaoka's strength.  Even in failure to do better before, it's still better than everyone's best.  This track just fills the heart up with melancholy and joy.  Right after that, is my favorite sad piece, Memories, if my translation is correct.  Pianos instantly awaken the soul, then soon adding the acoustic guitars and synthesizers, finishing back with the dark keys.  One after another, Seikou Nagaoka pulls out another powerful piano piece.  This one tends to Arisa as well.  For a girl that is bold, sure gets the softest music.

Both Blue Sky Dreams are nicely done and arranged, but with a more bluesy feel to them.  Synthesizers may take away the grandness that the pieces are.  The first is the piano arrangement and it holds its own at two and a half minutes.  The second piece is shorted, increasing the pace of the previous with drums.

Concluding the BGMs section, I don't think its Nagaoka's best work.  It is very well balanced, though.  There is enough action, character interaction, emotion, and comedy to be weighted evenly.  Both his action and melancholic tracks were wonderfully done, which are the best here.  Below his best were the other ones, but I blame them on their briefness mostly.

Ai Orikasa and Aya Hisakawa sing the ending theme, The Sun Warms My Heart.  Although,  not as great as the opener, it is just as catchy.  I get the feeling of being on the beach with the Hawaiian themed rhythm.  Aya's voice similar to Ayeka's seiyuu, Yumi Takada.  Making this cd feel like another(possibly secret) Tenchi product.  i don't think the song was altered from the video like the opener.  If so, it's not affected so. The shortened version is just as good.  Both can listened through with a breeze.  The full versions end just as quickly as the short.  I wish the opening theme karaoke was included, as it is even harder to find the singles.

I didn't have scans this time, because I don't deem it necessary.  There is nothing extra to show, except the staff praising and interviewing the composer.  It is just text heavy too upload, unless somebody requests so.  Excellent cover designs.  Two pages of track titles, four of story coverage, two of character descriptions, one page of song lyrics, and finally credits.  Comes with CD sized sticker of the Airbats logo.  Package gets 8/10.

There is absolutely no reason not to have this soundtrack.  Unfortunately, the reason for that, few composers can get a high percentage of well produced music, such as this one.  Excellent songs, full, short, and karaoke, sound effects, and an actually completed collection of music.  This album gets an B+