Nier Replicant Mini Album :: Review by Don
In addition to the release of the Nier Gestalt & Nier Replicant Original Soundtrack, the games themselves came packaged with a bonus album. Those purchasing the PlayStation 3 version of the game in Japan received the Nier Replicant Mini Album. Featuring four themes from the original soundtrack and one theme exclusive to this album, would it be worth picking?
The mini album opens up with "Kaine / Salvation." It's an exquisitely crafted theme featuring Emi Evans on vocals. The piano is extremely poignant and the subtle ethereal accompaniment really gives the piece an amazing atmosphere. The vocal melody, as representative of the score as a whole, is easily the strongest aspect of this theme. Another song that features Emi Evans is "Hills of Radiant Winds." It showcases some of the faster tempo themes. This is an action-oriented theme that features a gorgeous vocal performance, in conjuction with ethnic percussion, beautiful piano accompaniment, and some fantastic strings harmony. It's clear that the radiance was supposed to be transferred to the listener because it's such an uplifting composition.
"Song of the Ancients / Devola" features a beautiful rhythm in the form of acoustic guitar and percussion. Overall, it has a very rustic soundscape to it and Emi Evans' vocal work really accentuates the emotion heard in the acoustic guitar. "The Dark Colossus Destroys All" is one of the battle themes and what a theme it is! Driving percussion, sinister strings work, and epic choral work by Nami Nakagawa are relentlessly thrown at you to form an extremely powerful atmosphere. At times, the choir becomes even more ominous, through the combined use of it and some sharp, staccato strings accents. Overall, this is an extremely powerful and dark theme that is truly one of the pinnacles of the soundtrack.
The exclusive track to this mini album is entitled "Voice of Replicant." It's a drama track featuring a sorrowful piano rendition of "Ashes of Dreams," "Song of the Ancients / Fate," "Shadowlord," and a few more themes. For those who aren't fans of drama themes, this is definitely not worth picking up, but I do like the medley of themes selected for this mini-drama track.
In the end, do I enjoy this album? Of course I do, but, at the same time, I feel as though it is a better investment to purchase the original soundtrack because you'll get a lot more quality compositions. What's more, the exclusive track on this album isn't really worth spending a ton of money on, especially if you don't want to play the game or are an importer.
Overall Score: 4/10