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Radiata Stories Arrange Album :: Review by Weabblewill

Radiata Stories Arrange Album Album Title: Radiata Stories Arrange Album
Record Label: Team Entertainment
Catalog No.: KDSD-00063
Release Date: March 24, 2005
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


This is the rearranged version of Radiata Stories Original Soundtrack composed by Noriyuki Iwadare. The Original Soundtrack had several deficiencies in itself which I felt didn't uphold to the standards of Radiata Stories Online. I was feeling disgusted after listening to the low level of creativity on the original album. Then someone asked me if I had heard the arranged album. I'm generally skeptical of most arranged albums because they never seem to hold up to the original. Adding to the dissatisfaction of the Original Soundtrack, I had a predisposition that this one wouldn't get any better. I consider that a couple of tracks on the album are a slight improvement over the malnourished and hideous tracks from the original album. Previous listeners of Radiata Stories will remember how most of the tracks on the original album never lasted even more than a minute. The jazz tracks on this album stand alone individually and also reinforce Radiata Stories Online's jazz motif from his original album. However, the vocals are a mixed bag, as I felt with the exception "Diffuse World", none of the 6 to 7 tracks really stood out or sparked my attention. Not to say the rest of the tracks are drop dead awful like the original album, but it just doesn't impress you. With the exception of a few tracks, most of the other tracks are just par at best.


"Hopping Sun" returns with the piano bringing a laid back and tranquil setting. The cymbals in the background gently vibrate to give a shore sound. This track retains the same construction of the original theme but provide also a different adjustment from the bouncy feeling of the original. Then banjo section enters, which just elevates the sunny feeling or mood. The jazz motif continues with the "Song of Freedom," as the piano swings together for the heroic theme. This track reminded me more of a Charlie Chaplin theme or a Loony Tune played at a bar or saloon in the Wild West. For me, it was not necessarily the style of the track that turned me off, but the suitability of the tune with respect theme for a group of heroes which left me indifferent to it. On the optimistic side, the piano is played with extraordinary skill and providing a sense of comicalness in nature. "Scarlet Wind," "Gantz Theme," and "Men's Dirge" reminded me so much of the Spanish flair of the original. However, this time those tracks have been extended and revamped so that it lasts long enough (3-4 minutes each) for you to appreciate it. These tracks are done exceptionally well while avoiding the pitfall of trying to be overbearing or pompous by keeping intact the original beat and rhythm. The banjo in "Scarlet Wind" never loses your interest, and includes a new section that you've never heard from the original album. Simplicity is the best word to describe these two tracks.

There are some weak tracks on this album that doesn't seem to place any new material. "Airy Feathers" tries to mimic the cuteness of "Perpetual Unsteadiness", but isn't as effective as the latter with its lame 3 chord structure. Radiata Stories Online's "Genuine Girl" melody has a faint resemblance to "Enigmatic Scheme" in Unlimited SaGa, but not as well-crafted as the piano and violin section of the latter. At 0:40, the cue just loses focus or drifts off without a consistent or particular rhyme. "Legendary Sword" was inherently a jazzy piece, only this time it's replaced by the piano that runs undeveloped for about a minute long and later for 2 minutes. Both versions on this album are apparently weak with the piano driving the melody instead of the brass section, enough to make you yawn. The second track in this category is probably "Powerful Enemy" which is nowhere as energetic as the original version. I feel it relies too heavily on the piano instead of trying to vary the musical accompaniment. I personally find piano tracks for battle themes can quickly turn notoriously uninspiring.

The vocal tracks are more abundant on this album, but I can safely say they're not as grotesque as the ones you've heard in the Original Soundtrack (like the horrible MIDI tracks of "Paya Paya"). Although the vocals were an improvement in my opinion, none of them seem to win me over. "Diffuse World" is a vocal theme which I felt was more melodic than what the listener got in "Tekuteko Aruku" of the Original Soundtrack. The piano, drums, and sax' work together to layer in the mood for swinging music. The singer also sets a mellow voice that is just at the right level without making it cheesy or overly dramatic. "Flower Rabbit" is more of a lullaby sung by a small child when you judge it as a whole. The few bells and piano brings a touch of innocence, but nothing particularly groundbreaking. "Perpetual Unsteadiness" pays tribute to the old theme, but now with a vocal to induce the whimsical feeling. It is a little slower than the previous theme, and only gingerly pushes the melody with the chimes and triangles. Both vocals are definitely much more acceptable than "Paya Paya," but they are just as easily forgettable. The rearranged version of "Calm Melody" is essentially the same as the original sound version, only extended. I am a little perplexed why it is included on this album, because other than a female synth voice and a guitar, it's as if she's trying to make us have attention deficit disorder rather than listen. It's just an extremely bland track with a lack of sophistication of rhythm.


This album bridges the little gaps left behind in the Original Soundtrack for the jazz motif. I felt the arranged jazz tracks on the album provided a small redemption from his previous album. However, it was hard to get rid of the negative vibe I initially got from the Original Soundtrack. Iwadare still continues to be an oddity for me, because the type of albums he currently produces seems inconsistent and they deviate from his orchestral style. I feel the vocals probably won't do much for you here, but the jazz tracks will definitely be a hit if you give it a chance. The question remains, "Do you would want to shell out dough for 5-6 tracks out of the 16 tracks on the album?" Probably not, so I recommend you to get it from a garage sale if the price is right. If you had to choose between listening to the arranged and Original Soundtrack of Radiata Stories, you should try the arranged album first. I feel the themes on this album are a slight improvement over the ones you've heard in the soundtrack.

Overall Score: 7/10