Palais de Reine Perfect Audio Tracks :: Review by Don
Palais de Reine is one of Kogado Studio's more recent efforts, blending features of the strategy and otome genre. Appropriate for the French title and period setting of the game, the music is of a classically-oriented nature. Five Records published a soundtrack featuring all his contributions and the opening theme for the game.
The album opens with "Rosa di Vittoria," a vocal theme composed by Urara Takai, arranged by Michiko Abe, and performed by Hiroshi Okamoto. Establishing the classically-oriented sound of the album, I really enjoy the piano and strings writing here. The chorus of the song, though, is a bit counter to main sound of the vocal theme as there is a clear rock focus as well. It"s a nice fusion, but does detract from the overall sound. There is also an instrumental version of these theme featured at the end of the soundtrack. Moving to Hiroto Saitoh's instrumental offerings, "The Maiden's Adventure" is a playful orchestral theme with a focus on strings and woodwind. In a way, it reminds me of some of the more lighthearted Dragon Quest tunes, albeit less-refined. It's still quite enjoyable and has a nice adventurous sense to it that meshes well with the playfulness observed as well.
"Those Full of Pride" is a militaristic theme with a stunningly adventurous melody. The orchestral work isn't as complex as some of the other orchestral composers out there, but it does manage to entertain. "Royal Palace Spectacle" is a regal theme with another strong melody and the harmonies are much more impressive here. It sets the period setting of the game perfectly. Among warmer additions to the soundtrack are "Various Circumstances" and "A Moment of Peace". Both demonstrate Saitoh's abilities as a woodwind composer and are complemented by some silky strings work.
One of the more intense tracks on the album, "Hold That Spear on High" combines ominous and heroic orchestral work with an electronic bass line that hints at a bit of funk, through the guitar work. I really enjoy the tense atmosphere that the majority of theme provides, clearly defining this theme as one used for battle, but the woodwind bridge does bring a bit of lighthearted fare into the mix. An ominous orchestral theme is offered with "Governor of the Old World." Ominous strings work, bell tolls, choral work, and piano are incorporated to create a very suspenseful theme. There is definitely an intrinsic beauty to the theme, nonetheless, showing that not all evil-oriented themes need to stray from creating a compelling, beautiful melody.
Unlike the orchestral offerings heard on the soundtrack, "Going to Town" has a very rustic sound going for it. Exotic percussion and woodwinds are used to create a very playful theme that boasts a strong melody. Of particular interest to me is the B section, where some strings and harp are employed to add to the overall atmosphere, but also provide a bit of a lounge jazz sound, despite using instruments not typically associated with it. The album ends with the ending theme entitled "The Weaving of History." It's a very warm piano and strings composition that evolves into something a bit more modern. Although the majority of the theme is still orchestral in nature, the addition of a drum pad gives it a bit of a pop flavor. It's a theme that gives off a nice sense of closure and manages to impress for its orchestration.
In the end, the Palais de Reine Perfect Audio Tracks is a decent soundtrack that focuses primarily on orchestral offerings. For fans of orchestral music, it's not as complex as some of the other composers, so you might not be impressed. However, I think Saitoh does manage to put forth an effort in creating memorable melodies while complementing the setting of the game. Cautiously recommended.
Overall Score: 7/10