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Falcom J.D.K. Band 2008 :: Review by Charles

Falcom J.D.K. Band 2008 Album Title: Falcom J.D.K. Band 2008
Record Label: Nihon Falcom
Catalog No.: NW10102770
Release Date: May 15, 2008
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


Falcom J.D.K. Band 2008 is the cumulation of Yukihiro Jindo's work with the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. Back in the earlier 90s, the J.D.K. Band was popular for their interpretations of Falcom's catchy yet modest original compositions, but they then faded into obscurity. In 2007, Yukihiro Jindo decided to recreate the band with new performers, including even some solo violinists. While a lot of Falcom music is respectable, this album is just something else.


Perhaps most notably, there is an amazing mesh of classical strings incorporated into what is predominantly a rock album. Ys favourite "Tower of the Shadow of Death" pops out easily with an amazing and crisp cello intro and it shows how simply Falcom's energy can be portrayed. The strings kind of get lost as the track goes further along, which is surprising because they are so prominent in the beginning and most would expect they'd show up later. The rest is still worth listening to, thanks to Yuzo Koshiro's great melody and the clean guitar work, though it doesn't stand out as much.

Another enjoyable tune with classical strings is "And So, On to a New Road" from the brand new Vantage Master Portable. It has a great violin line that emerges throughout the piece as a countermelody to an electric guitar. The two instruments sound great together and are the perfect choices when bringing this music into a real live band. It's by far my personal favorite on this album. "Silver Will" and "The Dawn of Ys" also have beautiful flowing violin lines and the vibrato helps emphasize that this is the real deal. The latter is especially so crisp and refreshing in comparison to the original material.

It's great to hear some of the slower pieces on this album also. "The Cat Relaxes in the Sun" is a simple, smooth, and relaxing piano and guitar piece that most will enjoy. "Sora no Kiseki" has a bit more dreamy arrangement style, which is also enjoyable and fits the game well. I have nothing against these pieces, but I think that Falcom is better when dealing with more energetic situations like the previously mentioned "And So...". "Kraken" is also a nice energetic piece but it has a bit too much of a generic boss feel to it. A more successful piece in this style is "Blue Dragon", though I would have liked to have heard more organ here.

Finally, there is a vocal track sung by Miki Sumiya called "Faint Glittering Light". I have no objections to the voice, but the composition in general has a slightly different feel than the rest of the album. I still enjoyed the performance and instrumentation, though, so I can't complain too much. However, many will have already overdosed on this track through the Sora no Kiseki trilogy.


I would recommend this album to even people that are generally hesitant about Falcom music. This album shows that, no matter how limited the technology was in the original games, the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. really made some deceivingly strong compositions and the band made some great transitions from that. It might not "wow" anyone, but there is some novelty such as the violin focus and it's better produced that the original J.D.K. Band albums. Ultimately, this is pleasure to listen to more than once.

Overall Score: 9/10