Arc the Lad OGS

[back cover]
Catalog Number: ARCJ-12 (reprint VATL-4001, re-reprint VRCH-4001)
Released On: July 1, 1995 (reprint September 8, 1999, re-reprint February 7, 2001)
Composed By: Masahiro Andoh
Arranged By: Keiichi Oku & Hirotaka Izumi
Published By: Antinos Records (reprint Tecnico, re-reprint Village Records)
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD

01 - Opening
02 - Arc
03 - Kukuru
04 - Poco
05 - Tosh
06 - gogen
07 - Chongara
08 - Iga
09 - Finale
10 - Departure
11 - Ending
Total Time:

What happens when you combine solid orchestral performances with elevator music? You get the Arc the Lad "Original Game Soundtrack", which is ironically a disc filled with arranged tracks: nothing originally from the game.

Well, except for the "Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" work on the opening and ending tracks, which are beautiful orchestral works used within the game. The most well-done piece, in my opinion, is the ending track, which I have sampled above. These melodies stuck with me, and I am only vaguely familiar with the first Arc the Lad game. It is certainly an enjoyable piece, as are all the orchestral tracks (1, 9-11).

And now for your local forecast!

Tracks 2 through 8 receive an entirely different arrangement. The best way to describe these tracks is "The Weather Channel." Have you ever stopped and paid attention to the music playing on the Weather Channel? The classification for this type of music, I'm told, is "smooth jazz." Melodic guitars; simple, fairly repetitive bass riffs; the wailing saxophone; the bright synthesized keyboard, the "wah wah" guitar. It's all there in these tracks.

Some of my more snobbish musically-inclined friends tend to bash the "smooth jazz" as a false style of music, nothing more than a degradation of real, good jazz (such as bebop). While I am forced to admit that they are probably right, I cannot help but bounce my head along to these simple, jazzy songs. Seriously, listen to the sample on track 4, "Poco", and then spend the next five hours watching the weather channel. I have a feeling that perhaps Masahiro Andoh is actually receiving royalties from America for submitting his work, because I am SURE I've heard this somewhere before. Haven't you? Haven't we all...

Certainly, this soundtrack contains a most awkward combination of musical styles, which in one sense degrades it and in another sense enriches. If you can appreciate both styles, it is definitely worth finding. If you dislike one of the two styles (probably the smooth jazz), it is (as a university professor once told me) like mixing ice cream with dung: this doesn't hurt the dung at all, but it certainly decreases the value of the ice cream.

Even after getting two reprints after its original release, this soundtrack is now fairly hard to locate. If you enjoy the samples, I would truly recommend you find the soundtrack: but I suspect, if you are anything like the majority of people I've spoken to, that you will not at all appreciate the smooth jazz/fusion happening on this disc. Elevator music meets epic symphonic music: I don't think I'll ever get over such a strange mix.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


Twitch Schedule & Status

Sunday, February 25 • 10am PST/1pm EST

Ōkami HD
Mondays • 6pm PST/9pm EST

Tuesdays • 12pm PST/3pm EST

Secret of Mana Remake
Thursdays and Fridays • 3pm PST/6pm EST

Tales of Berseria
Tues-Wed-Thu • 7pm PST/10pm EST
Saturdays • 5pm PST/8pm EST

Featured Content
Random Encounter 139
Random Encounter 139
The Labyrinth of Grisaia
The Labyrinth of Grisaia
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Review
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT
NieR Music Concert Blu-ray «The Memories of Puppets» Review
NieR Music Concert Blu-ray «The Memories of Puppets»
Retro Encounter 122
Retro Encounter 122
Monster Hunter: WorldReview
Monster Hunter: World
Path of Exile: Bestiary Preview
Path of Exile: Bestiary