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Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~ Music from Final Fantasy X-2 :: Review by Dave

Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~ Music from Final Fantasy X-2 Album Title: Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~ Music from Final Fantasy X-2
Record Label: Avex
Catalog Number: AVCD-30444 (Copy Protected)
Release Date: March 31, 2003
Content: 1 CD - 3 Tracks
Purchase: Buy at AnimeNation / Buy at Game Music Online


The Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~ Music from Final Fantasy X-2 album is another mini-arranged album based upon themes from the Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack. One question comes to mind: why didn't they release each of the tracks on one whole album? Well, the answer is simple. The recording company, Avex, took this as a money making opportunity; they split up a total of fifteen tracks and placed them upon four different albums. Needless to say, the Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~ Music from Final Fantasy X-2 album looks like a waste of money.

These short albums give the closest that you can get to a Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack arranged album, and although it is obvious that splitting fifteen tracks four ways was a wrong move to make, the albums have my confidence. The Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~ Music from Final Fantasy X-2 album is what one would describe as a collection of the three most memorable tracks from the Original Soundtrack, so with arrangements of "Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~," "Besaid," and "Yuna's Ballad" on the album, it suddenly becomes one not to miss. Not only this, but these are probably the best arrangements of the themes too, with "Yuna's Ballad" being the only one to fall sheepishly to its Piano Collection arrangement.

As on the Original Soundtrack, both Matsueda and Eguchi show their true forms with what little they have on this album — "Besaid" turns out to be an epic gem that tells the story of the Final Fantasy world better than no other track. It would seem a shame to miss out on this album when it holds three tracks of true perfection; each obviously slaved over by Eguchi and Matsueda in an attempt to make them better. If this doesn't console you, then maybe the fact that it is an entirely instrumental album will provide some hope. Leaving out this album should be on financial grounds than anything else, as rest assured, this is a pretty good album, despite the lack of track variety.


The first track on the album is "Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~," and, upon closer inspection, one can see how it has hardly changed from the Final Fantasy X-2 Original Soundtrack. Nonetheless, the most notable change is how the synth in the original is swapped for some beautiful 'cello and string parts. This new instrumentation really captures the inspiration that the original gives and extends it through its vibrant breaches. "Eternity ~Memory of Lightwaves~" begins with a beautiful piano solo reminiscent of other opening themes in the Final Fantasy series, with the styles offered in "At Zanarkand" perhaps being the most obvious similarity. This arrangement is just as calming and memorable as the original track, as after all, it is built up from a series of sensitive melodies and ever flowing piano passages that seem to glide throughout the arrangement. It is certainly captivating to hear the violin and 'cello part taking the form of the original, often more percussive, synth. Strangely, the track loses out in the sense of a lack of diversity in the timbre, still, regardless of this, the track certainly has a lot more to it melodically. In comparison to the enjoyably artistic 'new age' piano arrangement on the piano collections album, this one is much more accessible and worthy of a listen. It seemingly explores melodies that the piano arrangement never fulfilled. This is a good arrangement, and although not a lot has been changed, it is a total enhancement of the original atmosphere.

"Besaid" is the next track on the album, and with the original being one of the few tracks on the Original Soundtrack that wasn't completely computerised, it needs to be an arrangement with something else to it. The original theme reveals a sense of charm and peacefulness that is later enhanced by a certain degree of nostalgia when other instruments join. So, with a lot to live up to, this arrangement of "Besaid" comes in with seemingly little at first, but so much more towards its end. The recording of the track and an earlier introduction of the percussion is the only obvious thing for the first couple of minutes or so, and although this could possibly damage early opinions of the track, rest assured that it develops nicely. An acoustic guitar plays an amazingly pure melody for a whole two minutes in the track, and it seems like it is an improvised part, too. Truthfully, this guitar part sounds extremely fitting to the track, but unfortunately the harmony around the point that it plays is lacklustre. Nonetheless, it is all too easy to see how good this theme really is and what a successful arrangement it is, too. In comparison to its wonderful piano arrangement, "Epilogue ~Reunion~," one can't help but feel that the two are on a par melodically. Admittedly "Epilogue ~Reunion~" does feature a lot more variation with the main theme, so it does become a lot more enjoyable to listen to. On the other hand, "Besaid" stays true to its original theme, making it even more picturesque.

And so, we reach the final track of the album, the climactic "Yuna's Ballad." The original track was a touching and poignant piano piece that played whenever Yuna had something inspirational to say. It was a simplistic piano arrangement that was effective in every way. This arrangement of the track isn't too different, yet there is a significant change in that a violin part is now added. The violin cleverly moves with the often wistful piano melody, thus making the theme even more melancholic and dramatic. The arrangement is definitely an improvement upon the original track, and especially seeing as though the piano part is now even more passionate, one can't but help favour it. Nonetheless, one can only go so far with this theme, as it is pretty much a straight arrangement of the original with no specific flair added in. This arrangement of "Yuna's Ballad" pales in comparison to the Piano Collections version, in which a subtle integration of jazzy rhythms and heart aching harmonies demands a lot of emotion from the melody. Nonetheless, although the arrangement on the Final Fantasy X-2 Piano Collections album betters this arrangement by far, one can see that the original melody is certainly surpassed on both occasions. With this in mind, one is lead to thinking of how it works as an ending track, and I can tell you that it is pretty good respectively. The track ends the album on a definite high, certainly giving the listener a satisfied feeling.


This album features some excellent arrangements of the best three tracks on the Original Soundtrack. It really doesn't disappoint as every track is of a top arranging quality. Admittedly, two of the arrangements aren't exactly ground breaking, yet there is some certitude in the remaining track, "Besaid." The main feature that these arrangements seem to offer is an enhancement of the original melody rather than a total diversion of the theme. This can be taken in many ways, with some fans seemingly distrustful of a straight arrangement, others gladly greeting adhering arrangements, and others left confused with what to do. The subtlety of Matsueda and Eguchi on this album is the way that they keep the original tracks alive by rarely changing the instrumentation too much.

So, one is left pondering: is this album worth the money or not? The answer is yes and no, depending upon where you stand as a game music fan. This album is a must buy if you consider straight arrangements as something pleasurable, and truly, these tracks are, with each of them leaking with emotional value. For other fans who aren't normally interested in arranged albums, this album probably isn't the best one to begin experiencing such a pleasure; it is short and there are far better ones out there, despite being a good listen. Still, there is no real reason to be unsure about the content of this album as regardless of whether it is a straight arranged album or not, the tracks prove to be much more appealing than they are on the Original Soundtrack. All in all, the fact that there isn't anything amazingly special on the album should assure you don't buy the album, otherwise, it would be a good album to have in your collection.

Percentage Overall Score: 80%

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