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Atelier Marie -Alchemist in Salburg- Arrange Album :: Review by Charles

Atelier Marie -Alchemist in Salburg- Arrange Album Album Title: Atelier Marie -Alchemist in Salburg- Arrange Album
Record Label: Pony Canyon
Catalog No.: PCCB-00280
Release Date: September 19, 1997
Purchase: Buy at eBay


For me at least, the Atelier Marie soundtrack is the weakest of the main series, even if it provided a nice foundation for future development. After enjoying the Atelier Elie arranged album, it pleased me when I realized that Atelier Marie also had an arranged album. It seemed a great way to refine the once barren compositions and achieve a more consistent track selection. However, did it fulfil my expectations?


Back when I checked out the Atelier Marie soundtrack, I noted that there was a lot of random and repetitive silly tunes across the album. Once track I noted was "I'm Busy Now!!", a repetitive and low fidelity bluegrass jingle. It is totally transformed in the second arrangement of this disc into an authentic performance. This time a real violin takes the lead and brings a whole new lyrical edge to the theme. The banjo remains to give a distinctive sound, but remains firmly in the background, while some extravagant piano work is also featured. It shows that any track is quite malleable with the right arranger.

There are a few other remarkable transformations here. Though hardly offensive, "Magic of the Chrysalis" was a fairly plain Celtic theme in the original. Amazingly, it is transformed into a romantic piano solo, which is much more convincingly written than the majority of Atelier piano work. Meanwhile "Circles in the Water" places the focus on a warm and jazzy soprano saxophone, but doesn't become so smooth that it becomes offensive. The bossa-nova backing is actually very refreshing. Although not one of my favourite additions to the disc, "The Adventurer's Song" works well in its very personal arrangement here too.

Fortunately, a few of my favourites also made it in. "Snow and Memories" was a solid choice and it retains much of the laidback organic flavour of the original. "The Bar Owner's Theme" always had potential with its 'Take Five' rhythms and trumpet work. However, the new take feels more like a true jazz improvisation and the performers really put their heart and soul into the performance. Finally "Just Smiling is Fine" provides an emotional closer to the soundtrack, featuring the pretty piano focus of the original but with much more elaborations and nuances. The live instruments just bring so much to already accomplished originals.


Arranger Tatsuchika Murayama crafted a great arranged album here, despite the somewhat weak original material. It certainly captures the personal and organic flavour of the series' music, but also brings a whole new level of intricacy and refinement to them. It's ideal for those who prefer classical, authentic jazz, bluegrass, new age, and orchestral pieces to the usual slightly superficial sound of the series. I highly recommend this for fans of the game or warm music in general.

Overall Score: 8/10