Anata o Yurusanai OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: DERP-10001
Released On: December 19, 2007
Composed By: Nobuo Uematsu, L. Gallardo, Keith Freeman, Kimio Itoyama, Whogon, F.N.R.
Arranged By: Kimio Itoyama, Keith Freeman
Published By: Dog Ear Records
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Buy this CD from Play-Asia

01 - Toneless
02 - Memories of Fescue
03 - You From a Distance ~ Opening
04 - Life is Like Fried Eggs
05 - Attention!
06 - Legwork
07 - Deep inside me
08 - Collision
09 - Decision of a Reasoned Child
10 - The End
11 - Time to Know the Truth
12 - Brand New Today
13 - The Office is a Kindergarten
15 - Bossa de Drive
16 - Shadow Scat
17 - Waltz to the Labyrinth
18 - Between Lie and Truth
19 - And Then...
20 - Jean and his Family
21 - You From a Distance ~ Reprise
22 - Short Night
23 - Madness
24 - Only One Step from Danger
25 - Unallowed Person
26 - Hunting
27 - Promise
28 - You From a Distance
Total Time:

This small project slipped under many Uematsu fans' radars. The first album to be printed under the Dog Ear Record label is the soundtrack for "Anata o Yurusanai," a graphic adventure developed by AQ and Cavia (the same teams working on "Cry On"). To understand Uematsu's score for this game, it's important to know the game's context. This little PSP game, which can be roughly translated to "You Are Unforgiven" or "All Is Not Forgiven," has you play the part of a female detective who is hired by people to investigate the client's spouse, who is presumably in an affair. The soundtrack, as a result, uses jazz as the staple, with some enjoyable lighthearted tunes, as well as some darker, melancholic pieces filling this disc.

To clarify, Anata o Yurusanai isn't an Uematsu solo effort. Uematsu himself composed about half of the tracks, and the rest is split up among a variety of composers. Fortunately, the soundscape stays the same thanks to similar instruments: lots of jazzy keyboard usage (rhodes, wurlitzer, etc), upright bass, piano, sax, vibraphone, and a lovely female vocalist. There's even some jazz flute (Ron Burgundy would be proud!). Great, great recordings are found on this album.

What really impresses me about this soundtrack is that it's so atypical of Uematsu. Final Fantasy fanatics may deride this atmospheric, Weather-Channel-esque jazz album, but in my mind, this album speaks volumes about Uematsu's ability and desire to diversify. The quality of the performances and the compositions also say a lot: more than I can say about the album, anyway. But let me attempt, since I am the reviewer.

The album's opening track is a vocal track, performed by "Yvonne." I love this song; it sets the "tone" for the album, despite the track name "Toneless." Whenever Yvonne sings the word "Yurusanai," it gives me chills. Her voice is at times strong, at times soft and breathy. Her ending performance, "You From a Distance," is equally impressive, though I prefer "Toneless" because it stays in minor keys and brings a much more memorable mood with it.

Nearly every song on this album is beautiful, but few are memorable. The re-use of the ending melody "You From a Distance" helps to reinforce this one theme, but other, equally well-crafted themes only get a minute or two of solid playtime, which is a shame. Some potentially memorable tracks include "Memories of Fescue," "Legwork," and "Jean and his Family." But again, these tracks don't get the spotlight that "You from a Distance" gets.

I highly recommend this album. It's a strange side project for Uematsu, much like Mitsuda's "Hako no Niwa" ... the difference being that this is a much stronger album than Mitsuda's child-oriented project. I'm happy to have had the chance to listen to this album, and I hope Uematsu treats both himself and his listeners with more of these laid-back jazz albums.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann