I love Suikoden music. I love Celtic music. I love Suikoden Celtic music. This album is a must have for any fans of either genre. There are no bad tracks in Celtic Collection, from the beautiful A Chill Wind to my favorite, To the Sealed Land. I was very surprised to find so many tracks from GS I on this soundtrack, especially Distant Mountain, which is an excellent melody that never quite got the recognition it deserved in other Suikoden albums.
This album is arranged by Yoko Ueno, and if that name sounds familiar, you’re the person who read my Suikoden Vocal Collection review. Ms. Ueno apparently took a break from her blasé vocal performance in that album to arrange a beautiful tribute to some of the most entertaining and lovely melodies from the Suikoden series.
For the most part, Ueno made sure to alter the original melodies as little as possible, preferring to simply replace the synthesized instruments with real, Celtic instruments… and a bouzouki. Why a bouzouki? Because it’s that cool, that’s why. Game music has never been known to stick to any pre-established “genre instruments”, and I for one enjoy the experimental and non-traditional flavor.
The entire album sounds smooth, and none of the tracks disappoint. Sometimes Celtic instruments can be grating *cough* Ronan Browne *cough*, but Celtic Collection manages to avoid any irritation from tin whistles, accordion, and Irish flute, three of the usual suspects (along with the bagpipes) that can really annoy me in Celtic music if done wrong.
Get this album if you’re a fan of either Celtic music or Suikoden music. It will not disappoint, I guarantee it.
Reviewed by: Damian Thomas