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Sakura Note: Tearsdrops Just Being With You - AKANE :: Review by Chris

Sakura Note: Tearsdrops Just Being With You - AKANE Album Title: Sakura Note: Tearsdrops Just Being With You - AKANE
Record Label: Dog Ear Records
Catalog No.: DERI-0014
Release Date: December 15, 2009
Purchase: Buy at iTunes


Nobuo Uematsu's score for the DS' Sakura Note: A Future Connected to the Present was a refreshing return to the light-hearted style of his early Final Fantasy works. However, its vocal theme "Teardrops Just Being With You" is considerably different from the instrumental compositions since it takes a more mature and experimental approach. This time Uematsu collaborated with music group AKANE, comprising vocalist Yumiko Takahashi, arranger Saori Kobayashi, and percussionist Masaki Suzuki, to create a relaxing ethnic-flavoured theme.


"Teardrops Just Being With You" opens in a soft and ethereal manner. Yumiko Takahashi opens the song with a warm ethnic vocal performance against subdued synthpads and minimalistic percussion. She repeats the same four bar passage several times to relaxing effect, while the instrumentals grow considerably thicker. The effect sounds very much like 'new age' music, but in this instance, thankfully not in a bad way.

At 0:55, she gradually liberates herself from the opening motif to introduce the altogether richer chorus. It's with this melody that Nobuo Uematsu's influence really begins to show — it's simple yet so emotional and heartfelt. The exceptionally lyrical passage from the 2:35 mark is also filled with Uematsu's fingerprints and thankfully Takahashi manages to capture the feeling of every word.

A major highlight of the composition are the fiddle solos at the 2:00 and 4:03 marks. They sound almost like something Yasunori Mitsuda would offer and are clearly among Saori Kobayashi's contributions to the theme. Other highlights include the use of backing singers and woodwind instruments during the chorus that really help to complement the colourful visuals of the game. Finally, it's worth mentioning that Masaki Suzuki's percussion performance brings out the ethnic vibe and adds a subtle direction to the song.


"Tearsdrops Just Being With You" reflects the beautiful results of the collaboration between AKANE and Nobuo Uematsu. It appeals on a number of levels, including with its warm melodies, fascinating ethnic stylings, beautiful performances, and emotional in-game connections. The single was digitally released by Dog Ear Records and can be downloaded worldwide for a tiny price. Fans of Uematsu's vocal themes, especially those looking for something a little different, shouldn't hesitate to sample it and download it.

Overall Score: 8/10