Atelier Judie OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: 0102301/2
Released On: June 13, 2002
Composed By: Akira Tsuchiya, Miyoko Kobayashi, Masayuki Kobayashi
Arranged By: Akira Tsuchiya, Miyoko Kobayashi, Masayuki Kobayashi
Published By: Gust
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs

Disc One
01 - A Visitor in Scarlet Clothes
02 - Country of Bonfires
03 - Let's Work Hard!
04 - Fortone of the Wind
05 - City of Time
06 - Sue the Broom, Wielder of the Wind
07 - Lisa's Story
08 - Karack Credit Company
09 - Grasslands and the Sky at Sunset
10 - The 10,000 Year Old Sea Urchin
11 - Ocean's Cocktail
12 - Lisa's Strange Adventure
13 - Quiet Tunnel
14 - The Ancient Age
15 - The Wonderful Land
16 - Go! Go! My Baum!
17 - Twilight Blue
18 - Level Up
19 - Carnival
20 - Fight to the Death
21 - Beguiled by the Wind
22 - Summer Beach
23 - Decisive Battle
24 - Rhythm Nation
25 - Speed Star
26 - Royal Blue
27 - Final Battle
28 - The Day of Fate's Return
29 - Epos "How Heaven and Earth Came To Be"
30 - Epos "Tunnel Poem"
31 - Epos "And?"
32 - Epos "A Clear Morning"
33 - Epos "Of Love Snatched Away"
34 - Elle Gramnad
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - The Loanshark
02 - The Winds of Adventure Are Blowing
03 - Surrounded by Darkness
04 - Gate Watcher of the Mine
05 - Tomorrow's Weather Will Surely Be Clear
06 - Insatiable Curiosity
07 - Searching For Good Fortune
08 - The Gentle Giant Tree
09 - The Ghost Girl
10 - Saint of Lisa
11 - A Girl's Dream
12 - The Town's Talented Man
13 - Manager of Shaved Ice
14 - Oh Ms. Fairy
15 - And Then, She Became Like This
16 - A Quack Doctor
17 - My Prince
18 - That Thing I Borrowed...
19 - Adventure is Romantic
20 - Oh No!!
21 - Hey Friend
22 - Alchemy and Me
23 - What Happened
24 - Lonely Heart
25 - A, Ahaha...
26 - Ominous Shadow
27 - Requiem
28 - It's a Monster!
29 - Wasted Effort
30 - Memories in my Heart
31 - Help Me
32 - Ancient Civilization
33 - Let's Head Out
34 - Here I Come!
35 - D O T A B A T A
36 - Oh, I'm So Busy
37 - My Truth
38 - Painfulness
39 - The Mystery of Alchemy
40 - My Last Run
41 - Sayonara
42 - Farewell
43 - Please, Come Home
44 - A Vow
45 - At a Distant Time in Some Distant Place
46 - Make Your Memories Precious
Total Time:

Atelier Judie (pronounced "You - Dee", with a soft Germanic "J") is the fourth game in Gust's Atelier series, the first in the two-part "Gramnad" sub-series. Featuring music from series veteran Akira Tsuchiya (primarily on disc one) and two Kobayashis for the rest, Judie has a lot to offer.

This two disc set of music opens with a beautiful piece, reminiscent of other Atelier opening songs (similar chord progressions, similar female non-lyrical vocals). This particular opening song has a Mediterranean flavor to it, as does the next track, "Country of Bonfires." We're already beginning to learn what, exactly, the world of Atelier Judie looks (or really, sounds) like.

From here, we are treated to plenty of songs that use the traditional instruments you ought to be used to hearing in any Atelier soundtrack: lots of mallet percussion, auxiliary percussion (wood blocks, castanets, that sort of thing), high-pitched woodwinds, accordians, and "ooh/ahh" vocal synths. Many songs are in a medium-to-fast-paced 6/8, creating the feeling that you are either dancing or floating.

There are many songs, especially on the first disc (composed primarily by Tsuchiya), that I would love for you to hear. I was only able to choose five, but if I could choose more, one honorable mention would be "Karack Credit Company." The bouncy rhythms are back on this one, with an acid-clavinova/piano sound carrying various solos, as well as a catchy rhythm guitar part and lots of light percussion to go around. "Ocean's Cocktail" uses standard jazz chords to carry a non-traditional jazz melody on a non-traditional jazz instrument to create an energetic whirl of music that you would be hard-pressed to find on most VGM soundtracks.

"Twilight Blue", the standard battle theme, does not measure up to battle themes of later Atelier games (such as Atelier Iris), but it stands firm on its own against competitors from Elie and Lilie. The melody, and the harmony that follows it, is what I see to be this particular battle theme's strong point.

The "Epos" tracks are 20 second tracks sung by Miki Takahashi that tell some short tale or lesson about nature: they have a particular context for the game, but they are neat to have on the OST. After these songs are done, we end disc one with Takahashi's "Elle Gramnad", a flowing vocal track with a familiar melody in the chorus.

Disc two is composed almost entirely by the Kobayashis, and the difference is notable. Some songs are still quite good (I believe all those that are sampled are fine tunes). You can notice that, in general, different sounds are chosen for these songs; they have a more moody feel, much more like a videogame and less like a cartoon. "The Loanshark" is another "honorable mention" in my book, though the sampled tracks are all higher quality. "Insatiable Curiosity" is likely a dungeon theme, and it has all the components required to make for an "interesting" but not "scary" dungeon. It is unfortunate that many of the tracks on disc two amount to "filler songs", as I would have appreciated having more of them.

The disc ends with two songs that are sung by Saeko Chiba: they are actually both the same song musically, with the only difference being the lyrics sung. I suppose that there is some significance to this choice; otherwise, the sound staff must have just gotten lazy. "We have lyrics for two songs, but only one song composed, what do we do?" I'm sure that's not what really happened, but it gave me a good laugh to imagine that scenario.

There are enough outstanding tracks on this OST to warrant a good 15-track arranged album, but considering that will never happen, I would ask that you just go ahead and pick up this OST. It has quickly become one of my favorite Atelier soundtracks (my favorite non-Iris Atelier soundtrack, actually!). It is available for purchase directly from Gust's site for 3000 yen, and hopefully someday Team Entertainment will make a reprint that increases the soundtrack's availability.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann