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Atelier Lise -Alchemist of O'ldor- Original Soundtrack :: Review by Charles

Atelier Lise -Alchemist of O'ldor- Original Soundtrack Album Title: Atelier Lise -Alchemist of O'ldor- Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Team Entertainment
Catalog No.: KDSD-10020
Release Date: March 21, 2007
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Atelier Lise -Alchemist of O'ldor- was the first main game in the Atelier franchise to be made for a portable system, namely the DS. Given previous games were made for the technologically liberated consoles of the PlayStation line, it was no longer possible to offer the high quality organic music that the series is known for. Instead two lesser known composers, Eri Arakawa and Miyoko Takahashi, created a series of compositions that would maintain the essence of the series but still fit on the console. The resultant soundtrack was released separately in the Atelier Lise -Alchemist of O'ldor- Original Soundtrack, though major chiptune fans may also enjoy the three disc compilation of portable music featured in the Atelier Lise -Alchemist of O'ldor- Original Soundtrack Premium Pack instead. Let's take a closer look at what is offered in the former soundtrack.


While most of the album uses the DS' sound source, an exception is the opener "Takaramono", which surprisingly streams vocals. It's a full-length effort featuring a youthful and upbeat performance from Rekka Katakiri, best known for her work on Kinema in the Hall. The instrumentals meanwhile are synthesized, but still give off the organic flavour and fantasy feel that has been inherent to the series. There is also a slight romantic waltz tact to the theme. Overall, it's a charming and catchy effort, albeit a little superficial.

The instrumental tracks really compensate for the sound quality by being super upbeat in comparison to other albums. I get this feeling right off the bat with "OK! Let's Begin" and "Sparkling Workshop" that almost sound like they belong in a dating simulation soundtrack. There's nevertheless some diversity in styles. For example, the flute-based music of "Gaze Up at the Great Waterfall" is reminiscent of some of the soft spiritual pieces found in the console games, while "The Beach That Feels Like a Resort" brings some tropical instruments and bossa-nova rhythms to the mix. There are also some rocking action themes, such as "Window Cutter" and "Knife Edge" that are solid if hardly numerous.

While the themes are catchy and easy to listen to like most of the series, they certainly lack the depth of previous works. A lot of the organic instrumentation was sacrificed along with it. Also, the sound quality really isn't perfect for the DS, but it's not like I was expecting full orchestration or Soma Bringer. Instruments like the violin get really obscured in pieces like the ending theme "Fragments of Memories" and it becomes distracting even. It's just a bit sad to hear a game compensating for itself. While I like the older sound music, I just don't think it works well for this series.


The Atelier Lise -Alchemist of O'ldor- soundtrack maintains the spirit of the Atelier series despite the change of console. The release has its fair share of upbeat ditties, soft setting themes, rocking action themes, and more sentimental moments, not to mention even a vocal theme. Nevertheless, the DS synth really limits the compositions given they're not presented in such a clean and emotional way. Furthermore, it often sounds like the composers intentionally adapted to the limitations of the console, leaving many themes sounding superficial and unambitious. If light-hearted low-fidelity music is your thing, then this is still recommended, but steer away if you prefer the higher quality compositions of the series.

Overall Score: 7/10