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Steambot Chronicles Vocal Tracks :: Review by Chris

Steambot Chronicles Vocal Tracks Album Title: Steambot Chronicles Vocal Tracks
Record Label: Team Entertainment
Catalog No.: KDSD-00076
Release Date: July 20, 2005
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Irem decided to go all-out with the vocal themes for Steambot Chronicles, offering multiple themes rather than just one like most RPGs. Five of these songs were written and performed by Nadia Gifford, a half-Japanese, half-American jazz-pop singer. While the inspirations for her songs are clear, they don't achieve the heights they aspire to.


"In Your Voice" instantly reflects the cheesy songs to expect from the album. It's written essentially in a ballad style, though the vocals are more influenced by lounge jazz tradition than mainstream pop. Nadia Gifford's overly emphatic performance reflects the hideous writing of the lyrics. Ranging from patronising ("When you're down and low, try looking at sun [...] and everything is alright") to downright nonsensical ("Look into the blue sky and your blueness might be soaked into the sky"), they're certainly an odd fit for the game and embarrassing for stand-alone purposes. She is clearly a technically accomplished singer, but is unable to convey emotions in a sincere way here.

The songs also considerably lack from a compositional perspective too. "Impossible" is incredibly sickly with its contrived shifts from the melancholy verse towards the uplifting chorus. The sleazy soprano saxophone solos and dreary piano licks don't improve matters. Away from the balladic performances, more upbeat tracks such as "I Cry" and "Just Shout It Out" are little better. Gifford isn't a good fit for the rocking guitar riffs on the latter, while the latter is even more repetitive and ridiculous than the opener in its vocal content (comprising the song title being repeated for four minutes ab nauseum). The stylistic inspirations are clear in both cases, but the lyrics and performances just don't cut it.

The second half of the release features the so-called instrumental versions of the tracks. Following the karaoke format of vocal singles, these tracks actually simply remove the lead vocals leaving their backing instrumentals and vocals. The final tracks have quite a hollow sound as a result and surely were only added for pedantic reasons. Please never do karaoke with these abominations.


In short, the Steambot Chronicles' vocal tracks are manufactured pop music without the quality control. There are plenty of mainstream albums out there in Japan, Europe, and America featuring similar songs and performers. However, they are far more polished and convincing compared to Steambot Chronicles', which are among the most cheesy and obnoxious ever featured in a video game.

Overall Score: 3/10