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Sailing to the World :: Review by Moses Rose

Sailing to the World Album Title: Sailing to the World
Record Label: Sleigh Bells
Catalog No.: SBPS-0003
Release Date: December 25, 2002
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


This album is comprised of the 10 tracks that Yasunori Mitsuda composed for the little known Taiwanese title, The Seventh Seal. As stated by Mitsuda himself, the music within is not typical of his style — many of the tracks do not seem to sound like Mitsuda at all. Change has the capacity to be positive, however, and in this case Mitsuda managed to compose something distinct from his style yet pleasing nonetheless.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) The Door

This first track is a mysterious and ominous introductory piece. "The Door" features a creeping opening of strings that evolve into a haunting background of choral music. The chorus is followed by the organ and then near the end the strings and voices are reintroduced to perform a quiet finale. Composed rather well, this track has a real strained and oppressed feel to it. Largely in part because of the instruments and the subdued way in which they are played, the sound comes off as mysterious and foreboding — a good opening for the album.

2) Sailing to the World

The title track, "Sailing to the World," is an upbeat lyrical piece that, frankly, sounds nothing like any of Mitsuda's work I am aware of. The main melody is held predominantly by a single violin and the voice of Koko Komine, with a guitar in the background. Sung in an artificial language, Koko Komine sings with much enthusiasm and spirit. Though the language sounds authentic and the piece sounds full, the track strikes me as over-romantic and sappy. Its rising and falling melody, combined with the gumption with which Ms. Komine sings, renders the piece a bit exaggerated and hysterical.

3) Melody of Aqua

"Melody of Aqua" is a slow methodical piece that would fit well as a dungeon theme. The melody is held by the violin and flute, played distinctly and in tandem. This track is akin to filler music, I must confess. While not bad, the track does not excel and is rather boring.

4) Rhythm of Red

"Rhythm of Red" is an upbeat, Andean sounding piece. The beginning and background of the track have strong Andean influences and the main melody is composed of strings. After the somewhat meandering intro of upbeat guitar strumming and picking, strings break into a sweeping melody that adds unity and sobriety to the rambling intro. A very easy melody to follow along with, I prefer this track to many others on the album.

5) Path to Enlightment

The fifth track, "Path to Enlightenment," sounds much like background music Harry Gregson-Williams might compose for a cave sneaking environment, believe it or not. This track sounds so like Harry Gregson-Williams in fact that I can not listen to it without recalling moments of gameplay from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Regardless of that however, the track is dull and winding-seeming never to go anywhere.

6) Confrontation

"Confrontation", of all the tracks contained on the album, is most apparently Mitsuda's work and is in the family of most of Mitsuda's crisis music. This track is, however, the best crisis music I have ever heard from Mitsuda. It first maintains a typical, tense, and anxious background of dark sounding strings and what appear to by synthesized trumpets. This archetypal and mediocre fare is soon banished, however, by a strong current of trumpet and eerie voice which then recedes back to the former background. Sweeping and inspiring, this piece is a good example of what Mitsuda is capable of.

7) Melody-Go-Round

The seventh track, "Melody-go-Round," is a dreamy fantasy-setting piece which incorporates basically a piano background with a flute playing the melody of "Sailing to the World." Despite that it has the same melody, unlike "Sailing to the World," "Melody-Go-Round" does not come off as over-romantic or sappy at all. Very faint and dream-like, this piece reminds one of listening to clear music from underwater.

8) Point of No Return

"Point of No Return" is an all out action piece with an intelligent side. Likely boss battle music, the piece is very upbeat and inspiring. It features an organ intro that soon ruptures into a heavy string background with Arabic singing in the front. The Arabic chanting was really quite a grand touch because it adds intelligence to an otherwise unrelenting piece that demands action. A grand track all round.

9) Hope

"Hope" is mildly recognizable as Mitsuda's own. A piano background is complemented with what sound like chimes in the front to create a nice, relaxing melody. The track is really very much like "Melody-Go-Round" in presentation. It is played slowly, in a subdued dreamy manner. The piece's melody I felt however was too weak. It did not ever seem to venture out or go anywhere. The track feels uninspiring and pointless.

10) Reincarnation

The last theme, "Reincarnation," is the melody of "Hope," only with lyrics and an ensemble carrying the melody. The piece is sung to by enthusiastic Koko Komine once again and this time, contrary to the relationship between "Sailing to the World" and "Melody-Go-Round," the near sappy voice combined with a lackluster melody creates a pleasurable listening experience. Much more bearable than "Hope", the piece builds upon itself and even includes a guitar solo midway.


In conclusion, I believe that this album is fair. The pieces within are unique, interesting and enjoyable to listen to. Not an incredibly deep CD however, there is nothing here that will revolutionize the way you consider music. I recommend Sailing to the World to the casual listener with spare money but especially to Mitsuda fans. Fans will enjoy seeing Mitsuda attempt different styles and genres in a unique way. Overall, Sailing to the World is a fair album.

Overall Score: 8/10