Atelier Elie Unknown Origin

[back cover]
Catalog Number: 0100901/2 (reprint KDSD-10005/6)
Released On: November 14, 2003 (reprint September 23, 2004)
Composed By: Akira Tsuchiya
Arranged By: Akira Tsuchiya
Published By: Gust (reprint Team Entertainment)
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Buy this CD from VGM World

Disc One
01 - A Big Production
02 - The Trail of Fallen Leaves
03 - A Sea Urchin's Situation
04 - No. 20 "The Way of Beauty"
05 - Firing 1000 People
06 - What's There at the Edge
07 - Welcome to the Room of Distortion!
08 - While Reading Alcott
09 - The Corner Alchemist
10 - Dance at the Magic Castle
11 - Ring of the Fruit of Selfishness
12 - The Fairy's Gift (Unknown)
13 - A Day Off for Napping (Unknown)
14 - My Paradise ★
15 - Modest Hopes
16 - Fairy Drops
17 - Fanticaminal Eternia (Unknown)
18 - The Story of the Seagull Who Couldn't Fly
19 - The Dragon's Treasure Box
20 - Like the Wind, Like a Bird
21 - Summer of Cutting Watermelons
22 - A Lunch at Papau Beach
23 - To Catch Hold of Tomorrow's Wind...
24 - Promenade Concerto
25 - At the Flying Restaurant
26 - In Love with Campanella
27 - Lover's ★ Correspondence
28 - Yukiori's Poem
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - If Only It Were Tomorrow -Jazz piano v.-
02 - If Only It Were Tomorrow -Twilight v.-
03 - If Only It Were Tomorrow -Piano/Forte-
Total Time:

When Gust announced Atelier Elie Unknown Origin, it was spoken of as a gift to the fans of the series. And what a gift! Are you unaware of what makes this collection of music so special?! Allow me to inform you.

Years upon years ago, Sony Records released a two disc set that was the Atelier Elie OST. And while the compositions were great, the sound quality was mediocre. The keen and observant listener likely noticed Elie's unreached potential in this lower form.

And so it came to pass that the people over at Gust recognized the need for Atelier Elie's score to receive an extra stroke of genius: Akira Tsuchiya walked back into the studio and "boosted" the quality of pretty much the top twenty-some tracks from the OST: some have changed enough to be called "arranged", others have simply undergone an aural facelift.

The result is, in both cases, spectacular.

Though I hesitated in selecting tracks to sample (as I wanted to give you an adequate selection to feast upon), there was no need to hesitate. I could have picked any five tracks, and you would likely be satisfied either way. This album is consistently above the average run-of-the-mill soundtrack on all counts. That is wonderful news.

Those new to the series ought to know that Akira Tsuchiya has a particular writing style that is difficult to describe, but easy to recognize. If you've heard Tsuchiya (read: music from the Atelier series), then you'll recognize it any time you hear it again for the rest of your life. It oozes charm, and it permeates you senses with a refreshing spray of pure, liquid creativity. Don't believe me? Take a listen to the samples: from the bouncy "Story of the Seagull..." to the quirky "...Room of Distortion!", everything is marvelous.

Tracks 24 to 28 of the first disc seem to be fully arranged tracks. Especially significant among these is track 25, which contains drama tracks and incredible impromptu jazz sessions (featuring melodies from the soundtrack, now performed with remarkable accuracy from live instruments!). The track runs at a lengthy eight minutes, and the minute sampled showcases only some of this fine fine track.

Disc two features three versions of the game's vocal theme, now gone soft and jazzy. Each version of the song runs at seven minutes and thirty seconds. That's a lot to take in at once, especially since only the first of the three tracks features vocals (though all three feature piano from Mami Horie, who is also the vocalist). This song is absolutely beautiful, and these three different versions run together to make a twenty minute soft-jazz experience that is difficult to find on other VGM albums. Make no mistake: this second disc is as much a gift as the first.

If you purchase just one Atelier soundtrack in your entire life as a VGM collector, this is the one to get. Though I have my own favorite complete OSTs, as far as these types of albums go, featuring a "best of" with higher-produced sounds, this is one of the best ones I've ever seen. Gust, Tsuchiya, and Horie all need to pat themselves on the back: job well done.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann