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. 

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