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Song for Tales of the Abyss :: Review by Mac_Tear

Song for Tales of the Abyss Album Title: Song for Tales of the Abyss
Record Label: Toy's Factory
Catalog No.: TFCC-86193
Release Date: March 22, 2006
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Song for Tales of the Abyss is the first solo album by Motoo Fujiwara, lead vocalist of the japanese band Bump of Chicken. This compilation contains the opening theme "Karma", several arrangements which were also included on the Tales of the Abyss Original Soundtrack, and some unreleased material.


The albums opens with "Tone Song ~ Quartet", one of three arrangements of the theme song. Like the title suggests, a string quartet performs the melody in an simple, but elegant way. It's a nice track as an introduction. The next three tracks are all different arrangements of the opening theme "Karma". "Meaning of Birth" uses a rich palette of orchestral sounds to make the theme sound as epic and heroic as it would were Sakuraba have arranged the theme himself. In contrast, "Promise" is similar to the first track with use of violins and church organ; it reflects the feelings of calmness, hope, and nostalgia in a once again simple, but perfect way. "In Between 1 and 0" features a duet between harpsichord and woodwind together with light synth and percussion patterns in the background. It's short and not as strong as the other arrangements, but still sweet and enjoyable. Another important theme is featured in the title theme "Abyss" at the end of the album. This time a solo violin performs passages from "Abyss", but there is also one more rendition of "Tone Song". It's a bit simple on its own and weaker than it's counterparts, but satisfying nonetheless.

Close to the grand finale in the game, Motoo Fujiwara contributes a suite of effective arrangements for the game. "A Day in the Sun" features an interesting orchestral introduction, but soon moves into a choir-led section full of heroism and drama. The first final battle theme "Time to Raise the Cross" uses the title theme "Abyss" as introduction, but is thereafter dominated by grand orchestral and percussion sounds. The following track "Mirrors" takes the opening motif again and uses piano, bells, and slow synth in the background to deliver a calm and retrospective atmosphere to prepare for the last fight. "Finish the Promise", the last battle theme, is the most effective arrangement from Fujiwara in my opinion. Introduced with some catchy piano and bell arpeggios, the orchestra is used again for a dramatic and atmospheric build up. Fujiwara appropriately renounced percussion use here with exception of a pulsing bass line together with soft bass drum. One of the most emotional parts of the theme is the recapitulation of the "Abyss" and "Tone Song" themes shortly after the one minute mark.

The ninth track is the short but sweet vocal theme "Tone Song ~ Song by Tear". It's mostly an a capella performance by Yukana Nogami, though a church organ is added at the second half to add a nice solemn atmosphere. Even with the simple performance, her tender voice is nice to listen to. The following track is another string arrangement of "Promise", but this time with live strings. This version clearly sounds better than the original, even with the similar arrangement. An atmosphere of nostalgia and beauty is provided with the performance, which leads perfectly into the next track, the opening theme "Karma". After the absence from the original score, it's here in the full version. Aside from other somewhat cheesy and clichéd lyrics, "Karma" is a memorable and fun tune full of exciting passages; the melody, especially in the chorus, is very catchy and warm. The rock performance by Bump of Chicken is superb and Motoo Fujiwara's vocals are pleasant and fitting. One of my personal favourite opening themes in the series, it's definitely worth listening to.


Song for Tales of the Abyss is an excellent selection of tracks from Motoo Fujiwara. He proves that he cannot only just be the leader of his band; he can produce and arrange memorable and fitting themes for games as well. Most of the tracks are identical as its soundtrack counterparts, but there are some new string arrangements of "Tone Song" as well as "Karma". It's definitely one of the highlights and will stuck in your head for quite a time. I can easily recommend this mini-album to everyone who liked Fujiwara's contributions on Tales of the Abyss.

Overall Score: 8/10