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Final Fantasy XII: Symphonic Poem "Hope" :: Review by Sitorimon

Final Fantasy XII: Symphonic Poem Album Title: Final Fantasy XII: Symphonic Poem "Hope"
Record Label: Hats
Catalog No.: HUCD-10015
Release Date: March 1, 2006
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


The first real release of Final Fantasy XII music comes courtesy of Taro Hakase whom has apparently not been releasing music for many years and some in the classical world see this as a statement of a comeback. This five track single comes complete with a DVD showing a three minute bonus video of game footage (which is very nice but, again, very short and if you thought the Final Fantasy X-2 DVD's were tiny, this is worse still!). The CD itself only clocks in at just under nine minutes, however, which is decieving so is it a case of quality over quantity?

"Overture" is a rich orchestral arrangement (as they all are) that is very much a scene setter. A nice downbeat melody with some tension and apprehension is left at large. but its hardly show-stopping. However, as these are marked as movements, it's how you'd maybe expect it to be. "March of a Wise Man" is a very traditonal quick march and good enough, but once again is hardly really a heart stopping melody.

However "Road of Hope" really gets the orchestration flowing with all kinds of fun little quirks and an almost American soap opera feel being brought in. The strings and percussion work very well together in harmony and because it takes some three minutes to really give you a piece to get into and saviour — it sounds so much better for it.

"Romance" too is an extremely beautiful piece with just the ebbs of an orchestrated background to a simple guitar melody until a sorrowful yet endearing string section is played out. It's a shame again this piece isnt longer as it deserves to be. Its seemless transition to "Road of Hope ~ Refrain" is a clever and good one, like a lifting of clouds for a passionate climax.

This single is a weird one. It's good, there's no denying that at all, yet you can't help but think the music could have been extended in some way. The need for the single too may well be very limited as, since most of it is on the Final Fantasy XII soundtrack, it's a little redundant unless, like this reviewer, you got the first press and received a nice huge FFXII poster! Difficult review this one — if you're getting the FFXII soundtrack and these tracks are all on there, it'll recieve a 5/10! If not, read the score given!

Overall Score: 7/10