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Atelier Elie -Alchemist in Salburg 2- Original Soundtrack :: Review by Charles

Atelier Elie -Alchemist in Salburg 2- Original Soundtrack Album Title: Atelier Elie -Alchemist in Salburg 2- Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Sony Records
Catalog No.: SRCL-4457/8
Release Date: January 30, 1999
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Atelier Elie -Alchemist in Salburg 2- Original Soundtrack is the complete original score for the second game of the alchemy based Atelier series. The score evolved the style of the Atelier Marie soundtrack towards a more consistent and elaborate approach, this time with Akira Tsuchiya in the lead. While the two disc soundtrack is good, it is not the only offering from the score available as the one disc arranged album Atelier Elie Unknown Origin is also available, offering of those "quality over quantity" albums. Nevertheless, the original score is still a worthy consideration...


The whole album is whimsical, light and easy to chew, but that doesn't mean it's lacking depth. The music reminds me much of Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure stripped of its lyrics and its cinematic orchestrations. There's more electric music thrown in with more fantasy-styled music and it never feels out of place either way. The first few tracks on the soundtrack, "The Trail of Fallen Leaves", "A Big Production", and "A Sea Urchin's Situation", exemplify the typical sound to expect from the album. They are light, smooth, and fantastical with their rich bells and flutes. "The Story of the Seagull Who Couldn't Fly" is another one of my favorite tracks that shows a worldly, organic and upbeat take of the game.

There is nevertheless considerable diversity in the soundtrack. There's a surprisingly hardcore industrial track towards the middle of the soundtrack, "Welcome to the Room of Distortion!" It works really well in context and is also enjoyable on its own thanks to the its catchy beats. The intro even reminded me of music from the Advance Wars series. In total contrast, "White Reading Olcott" is a cntrasting acoustic guitar pieces. It's very raw and gives some extra humanity to the game along with the likes of "Like the Wind, Like a Bird".

The original main composer, Toshiharu Yamanishi, is a great composer, but just didn't nail this series as well in my opinion. He produces some fun themes here, such as the funky action theme "Calling on the Bully's Alliance" or the original versions of the so-called 'orchestra' pieces. However, a few others disappoint and he resorts to yet more J.S. Bach and Pachelbel arrangements too. He also contributes the lesser of the two vocal themes, "Whirling Rondo" with its superficial instrumentation and out-of-tune childish vocals. Fortunately Akira Tsuchiya's more soothing ending theme makes up for it, even if it is still not on par with later contributions to the series.


Evidently Atelier Elie is an improvement over Atelier Marie. It retains the Atelier sound, but uses such varied instrumentation and features such varied moods. Akira Tsuchiya clearly did a good job as the new lead composer for the series and the resultant soundtrack stands up well in the series. Nevertheless, those looking for technologically enhanced and musically elaborated tracks may prefer the arranged album Atelier Elie Unknown Marie, which features absolutely no filler unlike the main soundtrack. Either way, the Atelier Elie musical experience should delight those fans of other soundtracks in the series.

Overall Score: 8/10