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Ar tonelico Hymmnos Musical ~Spica - Heart-Crafted Gift~ :: Review by Charles

Ar tonelico Hymmnos Musical ~Spica - Heart-Crafted Gift~ Album Title: Ar tonelico Hymmnos Musical ~Spica - Heart-Crafted Gift~
Record Label: Team Entertainment
Catalog No.: KDSD-10019
Release Date: February 28, 2007
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


The music was one of the most successful aspects of Gust and Bandai's Ar tonelico. It offered both instrumental and vocal compositions, blends of organic and inorganic elements, and, of course, plenty of memorable melodies. Among the numerous albums dedicated to the game were Ar tonelico Hymmnos Musical ~Spica - Heart-Crafted Gift~, which offered a blend of vocal and dramatic performances. While an interesting concept, it is one of the most worthless albums of the series for English consumers.


The majority of the album is dedicated to drama performances, rather than vocal performances. Each track takes listeners through a chapter of the game's story — first setting a dreamy tone, then portraying numerous events and battles, and ultimately concluding in a luscious manner. The drama itself appears to be well-produced both from the standpoint of the writing and acting, thanks to the performances of the series' seiyuus. However, I'm far from an authoratitive judge given my lack of Japanese understanding. Indeed, most English listeners will feel lost and bored by the Japanese dialogue, just as I often did.

Unfortunately, this album offers little other value for those who cannot understand Japanese. Several tracks feature beautiful performances from vocalists such as Haruka Shimotsuki and Noriko Mitose, but many are brief. Whereas most musicals contain an even mixture of dialogue and songs, this one features a great lack of vocal moments. In fact, most listeners will be stretched to find much music at all in the central half hour of the album. However, the music to drama ratio is at least slightly higher than its predecessor Ar tonelico Hymmnos Musical ~Claire - Zephyr's Promise~.

There are still a few vocal highlights on the album. The opener "Someone's Dream", for instance, exudes a tropical vibe with its exotic instruments and dainty performance. "EXEC_HYMME_MEGAREALICS/." meanwhile stands out for its complex rhythmic structures and extensive electronic manipulation. The final track "Queen of the Back Alleys" is probably the most substantial entry. It's a lounge jazz number, featuring sassy vocals from Yuko Ishibashi and authentic-sounding instrumentals. It's actually more reminiscent of the songs from the Disgaea rather than Ar tonelico.


To conclude, Ar tonelico Hymmnos Musical ~Spica - Heart-Crafted Gift~ is an improvement on its predecessor in terms of vocal content. There are more substantial performances and some particularly interesting compositions, most notably the closer. However, it's still more of a drama album than a dynamic musical performance. For those who do not speak Japanese, I'd recommend listening to the exquisite Hymmnos Concert albums instead.

Overall Score: 6/10