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Ys The Oath in Felghana Super Arrange Version :: Review by Charles

Ys The Oath in Felghana Super Arrange Version Album Title: Ys The Oath in Felghana Super Arrange Version
Record Label: Nihon Falcom
Catalog No.: NW10102670
Release Date: September 23, 2005
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


Shortly after releasing the excellent remake score for Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Yukihiro Jindo adapted the game's music into an arranged album. In collaboration with Masashi Okagaki, he selected ten classics from the score and adapted them in a range of ways, including epic orchestrations, blistering rock tracks, and even vocal performances. Unfortunately, there are many weaknesses in the resulting collection, leaving me contemplate whether the album is worthwhile at all.


The opening orchestral arrangement is a slightly weak one. Though Yukihiro Jindo's orchestration is colourful and competent, it focuses far too heavily some very sparse material taken from "Prelude" during its first 90 seconds. The subsequent section of the arrangement presents the melody from "Trading Village of Redmont" in a charming way against march-like accompaniment. However, by the conclusion, listeners are likely to be underwhelming since there is no overriding dramatic arch or deviations from the simple melody. There are other disappointments on the album. "The Boy Who Had Wings" is a pleasant reference to new Falcom's rocked-up violin sound, yet ends at the 1:22 mark, while the gothic arrangement of "Valestine Castle" is only a promising 'demo version'. It's also bizarre that an ambient rendition of the opening theme features at the centre of the album and this really limits the direction of the collective experience.

There are nevertheless highlights among the rest of the arrangements here. Fan-turned-official arranger Masashi Okagaki makes a welcome guest contribution with his version of "A Searing Struggle". It's one of those slow yet epic rock arrangements that are spread across the doujin scene, but fortunately the guitar work is good enough for it to still shine. "Prayer for Love" is another gothic arrangement and this time benefits from much more intricacy, including radiant violin solos, eerie harpsichord continuo, ringing bell tolls, and an orchestral climax. "Dear My Brother" meanwhile will be a highlight for those who enjoy intimate string and piano interplay, though others may find it melodramatic. The album comes to a climax with the action-packed orchestration of "Sealed Time" and, unlike the opener, this one doesn't disappoint since it blends high production values with an appropriate level of melodic variation.

Finally, there are two vocal performances. At the opening, the other rendition of "A Premonition" surprising evolves into a sorrowful rock anthem, sung by Youchi Shigami. Though the lyrics and tone are cheesy, it has more depth than most Falcom vocals and Shigami proves a surprisingly charismatic vocalist. While the rock backing is good, the piano solos leave much to be desired compared to the soundtrack version. Finally, "Believe in My Heart" is interpreted in a relieving item at the end of the album. Sadly, this track isn't as appealing due to its rhythmical sterility, though the vocalist and guitarist do their best to improvise and makes things a little more liberating. It's almost there, but just lacks that 'rock spirit' most ending themes would have.


This arranged album does have its strengths, including its high production values, highlight centrepieces, and occasionally daring experiments. However, the five or so flawed arrangements really bring down the quality of the album and will leave most listeners feeling unsatisfied with the collective album. After all, there are only ten pieces here, so items such as two demo arrangements and the controversial vocal adaptations are going to have a major effect. The resultant album doesn't really bring much to the experience of Ys: The Oath in Felghana overall and all but the most hardcore collectors can get by skipping it. To sum up, a mediocre arranged album based on an exceptional arranged score.

Overall Score: 5/10