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Genso Suikoden ~La Passione Commuove La Storia~ :: Review by Simon

Genso Suikoden Vocal Collection ~La Passione Commuove La Storia~ Album Title: Genso Suikoden Vocal Collection ~La Passione Commuove La Storia~
Record Label: Konami Music Entertainment
Catalog No.: KMCA-163
Release Date: July 3, 2002
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Genso Suikoden has a vast vault of arranged albums. Genso Suikoden ~La Passione Commuove La Storia~ was the first of the two to date vocal arranged albums we have been given.


"The Beautiful Golden Capital" finely opens the CD, but is actually instrumental. Its soaring saxaphones and violins really make this arrangement complex and eventful, giving a real carnival-like atmosphere. I for one am not a fan of the saxophone so with it as the primary instrument here, the arrangement has to be good to get me going. Admittedly, I'm a fan of the original anyway, but the arrangement is great in its own right.

"Theme of A Moonlit Night" starts off the vocal tracks. Yuko Imai sings beautifully in this ballad but, just like the other vocal album, suffers heavily with elocution problems. It's a shame because its a classic ballad with a big ending and beautiful instrumentation. If you can look past that niggle, you'll enjoy the piece. "Reminiscence" is a much more upbeat jazzy number with some nice drum machine extras. The song is extremely catchy and very strong; the elocution doesn't have such a prominence here. "Her Sigh" ends Yuko Imai's English trio of songs. It's my personal favourite, a bittersweet noble piece with a distinct Japanese essence running through it and epic scale. Not even the elocution can ruin it for me.

Lisa Ooki then takes over for "La Mia Tristezza". This really spices things up with an urgent tempo that hasn't really been shown until now. Even though the chorus is slowed down, the bridges are magical. Lisa's vocals are strong here too. Yoko Ueno then brings us the sublime acoustic "Orrizonte". Minimal percussion and nice wind instruments just add to the magic. She then sings "Due Fiumi", which comes across to me much like an anime theme song. The cross between acoustic and electric instrumentation meets here in another strong tune. Yoko Imai returns for the light dance track "Rain Grass" with her confused English. Once again the song is strong enough to withstand some of the weird pronunciations.

A huge shout out goes to Lisa Ooki with "La Passione Commuove La Storia". Regal, emotive, soft, strong, and epic all at once, this is a stunning track. The CD ends with "The Wind Blows Gently". It is almost like a happy encore. It always makes me giggle with the poor vocalist having to sing so fast with her accent heavily influencing the song. It's still a lovely a piece though.


Leaps and bounds better than the follow up vocal arrangements, I often come back to this CD for some fun music, a good laugh at Japanese elocution, and actually for a good journey. There's a bit of everything on here leaning towards a jazz style overall. Not being a fan of jazz, it does surprise me I rate this album so highly but, well, we all have guilty pleasures don't we?

Overall Score: 8/10