The "Ar tonelico hymmnos musical" was and is probably the biggest letdown of the year for me. I knew it was going to have drama tracks on it, based on the credits posted before the album's release. But...it basically is a drama album.
When you go see a musical, there are generally two things in play. First, there are people acting. Second, there are people singing full-length songs. Well, the fine people that produced this album decided that "full-length" may as well be a minute, or even fifteen seconds. Little "mini-chants" break in here and there, and there are a few songs that reach the minute mark, and even one song that takes up an entire track! But really, it's just a drama album.
For the audio samples, I hunted down every bit of vocal music I could find. It was a stretch, but I think I did it, barring the last track which is a full length song. There are also some parts where the characters themselves will sing a little five-second ditty, likely to summon some sort of catastrophe.
The vocal numbers, scattered throughout the tracks, feature all the same vocalists that were on the Hymmnos concerts. All of the credits for these songs go to Takashige Inagaki, who seems to come from the Banpresto side of the Gust/Banpresto tag-team that created this interesting game.
I really do enjoy the vocal numbers that show up on the album, almost as much as I enjoyed the vocals from the Hymmnos concert albums. However, their random placement in the mix of a fairly mundane drama album (with full sections of musical absence) make for a hard listen, even if you do know Japanese. Color me disappointed.
If you're still interested in the album, shops like VGM World carry it for retail price. Even to fellow Gust fans, I can't necessarily say that I recommend the purchase.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann