Beautiful Katamari Damacy Soundtrack :: Review by Charles
Katamari Suteki Damacy is the soundtrack for the fourth game in the quirky Katamari series. This is the first time that the Katamari series has not been on a Sony system. Instead, this game was shown to a whole new crowd of Xbox 360 owners. It's good they didn't cop out and reuse the old soundtracks like for the PSP predecessor. So maybe it has original music, but can this same style of music really hold up in a fourth bout?
There's some more decent J-pop like always, but again, it doesn't surpass the first two albums. If you liked the J-pop on the previous albums, then you'll at least be satisfied with tracks like "Into the Sky", "Guruguru Gravity", "Colorful Heart", "Boyfriend A Go Go", "Sayonara Rolling Star", "Harvest of Love", or "Katamarity"... wait, the majority of this album is J-pop this time around! I never could really call much of the J-pop horrible, but I wouldn't exactly want it to be the majority of the album. The original Katamari had some great humorous music and experimental electronic-organic hybrid music and, though it did J-pop well, they shined in the other styles too. If J-pop is the genre that we are mainly dealing with here, then you probably know if this album is right for you by know.
Despite the lack of diversity, these tracks fill in the big blank of vocal music that the last album really needed. They aren't exactly as catchy are old tracks like "Baby Universe" or "Lonely Rolling Star", but they definitely are the type that will grow on you. They also use the same sounding female voices as other Katamari soundtracks always have. If you liked them back in the old Katamari days, then you will like them now. "Into the Sky" and its partner "Intro the Sky" are the strongest and catchiest of all of them. They have a nice rock guitar groove going on and they are just classic Katamari J-pop. "GuruGuru Gravity" is great too with the electronic feel to the back up samples and the voices. It also grew a lot on me.
Another nice highlight is "Sayonare Rolling Star" which is kind of a follow up to the original "Lonely Rolling Star". It's a very sweet song and again, there is not too much to complain about when it comes to the J-pop on this album. Like on previous albums, the new version of the theme, "Katamari Dancing", just doesn't beat the original "Katamari on the Rocks". The theme is actually a whole new theme there are no melody similarities like usual. And yes, it does have more of a dance feel to it, along with the track "Bless my Stars". These kinds of tracks are always fun in moderation and since these are the only two then it's okay with me.
There are a couple of tracks that I simply did not like and did not get the point of. "Danketsu" is a good example of one. The children voices ruin the track, and I could barely listen to the whole thing through. The voices are just so high pitched and they never sing, they just talk the whole time and never stop. Maybe they are saying something interesting, but it would be annoying whether I understood what they were saying or not. The instrumental tracks, rather than being neatly integrated with the vocal tracks, are this time clustered towards the end of the album. Nonetheless, there are highlights within such as "Katamari Planet" and "STAR! STAR! STAR!" that keep the quirkiness of the series alive.
By the fourth iteration, the series should have evolved more than it has and the same goes for the music of Beautiful Katamari soundtrack. It's not completely old yet, and there manages to be a lot of original worth on the album, but it certainly does not surpass the original or sequel in any way whatsoever. It's a bit underwhelming and there even starts to be some complete duds ("Danketsu" anyone?). Maybe this is a sign that the developers should be moving on to a new series or doing something to shake this one up before it actually DOES get old. It's still better than the majority of video game music out there and, if you happen to like J-pop, then I highly recommend it.
Overall Score: 7/10