Square-Enix Piano Collections pt.3: Ten to Ten-Two

May 27, 2012 at 1:45 pm (Editorials, Soundtracks) (, , , , , , , , , )

Although I had heaped much praise on the first six Piano Collections albums, all was not quite that well in the Final Fantasy world. While there was a clear progression with each album, keeping an arranger for three albums straight was bound to cause some stylistic repetition as resources became exhausted. For one unfamiliar with the source material, many of the songs between the albums could easily be mixed up on early listens.

Even more of a concern was the root of the music, Nobuo Uematsu, who had seemed to be running out of ideas. The music was always good on its own, but it was clear that many songs were drawing on others, even capturing entire phrases of previous songs and simply reworking them (a prime example of this would be Aerith’s and Celes’s themes). This seemed to reach its peak with the score for Final Fantasy IX, which contained elements of all of the Final Fantasy scores that preceded it. Sure, it may have been intended to be a throwback (there are many other elements of the game that also drew from predecessors), but there was no denying that these grounds were well tread, and growing stale. Surely, the series with the name “FINAL Fantasy” needed to come to an end.

But it was not so. Final Fantasy X was the first in the series to be released on the PlayStation 2, with critical reception on par with the previous entries. The music was noted as being fresh and well varied, but this was not due to Uematsu’s hand alone. For this project, they had decided to hire on two more composers to assist: Junya Nakano and Masashi Hamauzu. Where Uematsu was known for writing pop-like melodies for his compositions, Nakano specialized in ambience and atmosphere, while Hamauzu handled some of the more foreboding, dramatic tracks. A few months later, a “Piano Collections Final Fantasy X” album was released, solely arranged by Masashi Hamauzu.

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Onitsuka Chihiro – Ii Hi Tabidachi – Nishi e

May 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm (Onitsuka Chihiro) (, )

1. Ii Hi Tabidachi – Nishi e
2. Gekkou (from ULTIMATE CRASH ’02)
3. Ii Hi Tabidachi Nishi e (Instrumental)

Well I suppose I’m sort of cheating, because I didn’t actually buy this single. Why? Well I think at the time it wasn’t available from eBookoff, so I didn’t get my teacher to get it for me. That and I didn’t think it was necessary. After all, it was released as a CCCD. What is that you ask? A stupid move by Universal, that’s what. “Copy Control” CD simply means that you cannot rip the CD onto…well…anything. Play it on your computer or CD player, but not rip it. I would think perhaps it was for legal reasons, since it was a cover of an old famous song, but it was included on SINGLES 2000-2003 with no protection, and its also on iTunes Plus in Japan. So what was the big deal? Seems that the whole thing was against Chihiro’s wishes, and Universal was just jumping the bandwagon.

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