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Atelier Viorate OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: 0102501/2
Released On: June 27, 2003
Composed By: Ken Nakagawa, Daisuke Achiwa, Akira Tsuchiya
Arranged By: Ken Nakagawa, Daisuke Achiwa, Akira Tsuchiya
Published By: Gust
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One: All Day Long
01 - Looking Out at the Sea
02 - Madder, Far-away
03 - The Manual for Developing a Perfect Village
04 - A Squall
05 - Baum Kuchen
06 - Great Invention!
07 - Number One Daughter of Carrot Village
08 - The Town of Wine
09 - Gothic
10 - Shy Village
11 - Sue the Magic Broom
12 - Cicadas
13 - 7-Call Danish
14 - Mšrchen Culotte Village
15 - A Town With Nothing But Cupola
16 - Great Discovery!
17 - The Earth, Far-away
18 - Fortone of the Wind, for Viorate
19 - Travel the Violet Sky
20 - Towards the Hill of Ash Trees
21 - Culotte Village Ruins
22 - Tree Spirits of the Forest
23 - Wassermelone
24 - Phantom Corridor
25 - Trotting Through the Darkness
26 - Harbor of the Great God King
27 - Dance of the Sunset Fairy Firo
28 - Kumu Honua
29 - Secret Passage
30 - Izareya
31 - Footsteps
32 - The Milky Way
33 - A Gale
34 - Great Victory!
Total Time:
64'20"

Disc Two: The Power of Voice
01 - Older Brother
02 - Knight of Carrot Village
03 - Thatís Why Youíre a Country Bumpkin
04 - The Daughter Who Was Wagered for the Prize
05 - The Alchemist From Foreign Lands
06 - Master
07 - Sake Girl
08 - The Cheerful Blacksmith
09 - With Pride, and Honor
10 - The Female Knight from Foreign Lands
11 - Ghost Girl, for Viorate
12 - A Small Hero
13 - Goodnight!
14 - The Rainbow Snake
15 - The Strolling Sailboat
16 - Water Spirit
17 - Itís Your Turn, Teacher
18 - The Afternoon of the Supersonic Hydro Catfish
19 - Welcome!
20 - March "Brilliance"
21 - Start!
22 - Knock Down the Price!
23 - Complete!
24 - Unexpected Fanfare
25 - Secret Recipe
26 - The Situation of Things
27 - Thud!
28 - Shock!
29 - Vio and Her Merry Companions
30 - Memory
31 - A Monster!
32 - Panic!
33 - Depression
34 - The Mudship Sinks at Culotte Village
35 - Madder, Far-away (Orgel)
36 - Each Personís Road
37 - Gentle Times
38 - An Alchemist Is...
39 - Beneath This Blue Sky
Total Time:
63'51"

I heralded Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana as my favorite soundtrack of last year, and for good reason. If you don't know why, then you need to go pick it up. Recently, I returned to the series' roots and I found Atelier Viorate, which turned out to be a pleasant surprise. It is more refined than Atelier Judie (which came before it) and Atelier Iris (which came after it). I compared Atelier Viorate very closely with Atelier Iris (likely because they share the same composers), and the more times I listened, the more I grew to love Atelier Viorate because of its compositional superiority. However, it loses to Atelier Iris when it comes to consistency, since the second disc of this album is not very good.

There's a diverse selection of wonderful tracks on Atelier Viorate, and every track will leave you guessing what's to come next. It starts with "Looking Out at the Sea", which sounds horrible at first due to some strange sounding notes, but quickly turns around into a very memorable experience, though short. "Gothic" is a waltz that I can't seem to stop listening to. It has a medieval feel, and a bagpipe performing the melody, which is rare. "Cicadas" is the typical Atelier theme you've probably heard over and over in Atelier Iris; it is heavily Chinese, with many traditional instruments. "A Squall" is a song that uses old NES synth. It's actually pretty cool, and I would love to see how it works in context of the game. One of my favorite songs, though, was "7-Call Danish," which is a world-styled song with lots of guitar accompaniment and a violin/harmonica that performs a wonderful melody. There's even a waltz section near the end of the song that works well, too.

The ultimate track on this collection, however, is "Izareya," which is worth the price of admission alone. It starts off with nasally chanting (which isn't unfamiliar here), but it escalates into something that I'll never forget. In a way, the overall feel of the song reminds me of "Battle Theme EX" from the UNLIMITED:SaGa soundtrack. Don't beat me up for saying that, though.

I could gush about Disc 1 for days, and you'll probably notice that all of the songs I listed so far are from that disc. The reason for that is because I found Disc 2 to be rather disappointing. It is by no means bad, but it's just not as memorable as the first. It feels more like an afterthought; even after repeated listens, I still can't remember most of the songs from it. Of course, there are some exceptions: "The Strolling Sailboat", which is a generic march, "Sake Girl," which is an upbeat character theme that has a hip hop feel, and "Madder, Far-away (Orgel)," which is a music box arrangement of the original, which, conveniently, happens to be on the first disc. "Each Person's Road" was pretty good, too. It's a nice piano ballad that you don't hear very often.

The bottom line on Atelier Viorate is that you should find it if you can. It's a great soundtrack, and I consider it to be superior in composition to Atelier Iris and Atelier Judie. If the consistency weren't so bad, it would have gotten a higher score, but, for what it's worth, I'm giving it an 8.1 out 10. The first disc is what you'll be listening to over and over.

Reviewed by: Mike Wilson



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