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Memories Off After Rain OST ~ KID BGM Collection vol.5
Catalog Number: KID-0070/1
Released On: May 13, 2005
Composed By: Takeshi Abo, Chiyomaru Shikura, Toshimichi Isoe
Arranged By: Takeshi Abo
Published By: KID
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - ribbon
02 - Eternity
03 - Each and every heart
04 - Exchange Student
05 - For nowadays
06 - With lonesome and calm mind
07 - Tomboy?
08 - Firefly
09 - Swallow
10 - Eddy
11 - Hawk
12 - Stream
13 - Rare
14 - After Rain
Total Time:
42'57"

Disc Two
01 - Unrequited love
02 - Day after day
03 - Repeating life
04 - Nothing
05 - Busting time
06 - Sadness in confession
07 - Lucky day!
08 - Dreamer
09 - Whisper of breeze
10 - Help!
11 - With memories
12 - Rain then clear
13 - Palpitation
14 - Reminiscence of Raining
15 - Memories Off
16 - Bygone days
17 - School trip
18 - Kagura
19 - To the future
20 - Refrain
21 - ribbon (off vocal)
22 - After Rain (off vocal)
Total Time:
68'40"

Memories Off: After Rain vol. 1-3 is a Memories Off gaiden that offers storylines following the events of Memories Off and Memories Off: 2nd. After Rain vol. 1 succeeds the events of Memories Off and volumes 2-3 succeed the events of Memories Off: 2nd. As such the soundtrack itself features many familiar pieces from both games, albeit with different arrangements, along with a few pieces unique to the game. The new arrangements of the older tunes are generally better than they were originally and the brand new pieces have the classic Takeshi Abo style I know and enjoy.

The soundtrack creates a strong initial impression with "ribbon." The instrumental is punchy with its mix of synths and distorted guitar, the vocals by Ayane are terrific, and the chorus is very catchy with a great hook. The Memories Off series can be hit or miss with its opening themes and this one is a winner. There is also another Ayane vocal piece on disc 1 called "After Rain." This is a catchy pop song that, while good, was nowhere near as awesome as "ribbon." The final two tracks of disc two are instrumental versions of these songs without the vocals.

The first disc then consists of various character themes from Memories Off and event themes from Memories Off 2nd, albeit with slightly different arrangements. These new arrangements add depth and a little more pepper to the original pieces without sounding overdone. It seems as if Abo realized what the original compositions were lacking and this was his second chance. The new arrangement for "Each and Every Heart," for example, was excellent; the slightly slowed down tempo, different meter, and additional instruments (including percussion) gave it some much needed depth and I found myself bobbing my head to it. In fact, the added percussion perked up "For Nowadays" as well. This added percussion addressed one of my complaints about Memories Off's music being too bland. It's amazing how one or two small additions to a piece can really perk it up, almost like how a drop of Tabasco sauce can really perk up a bowl of plain tomato soup. There are some that are better than others, though. The new arrangement for "Eternity" buries the beautiful melody under a constant "brum-brum-brum" of left-hand piano chording. That was one nice simple piano piece that did not need much added to it. And "Tomboy," the one track in Memories Off that had a nice punch to begin with, was given an arrangement with more subdued percussion and synths. Tracks 8-13 are newly arranged themes from Memories Off: 2nd and feature higher quality synth than before. There's also quite a bit of melodic piano work within those tracks, which is something Abo is quite fond of. No complaints here; those tracks were all fine. They gave me a sense of nostalgia with a fresh coat of paint.

Now we come to disc 2, which I felt was the weaker of the two discs. It mostly featured subtly rearranged versions of background music from Memories Off and Memories Off: 2nd. I was happy to hear some of the Memories Off background music since there was none of that on the official Memories Off OST I reviewed for RPGfan. To be honest, I thought the disc was a tad boring until a fresh arrangement of "Bustling Time" (track 5) woke my senses up. This is not to say the music is bad, far from it. It's just that it's music I've heard repeatedly through my experience with the Memories Off games and music. Maybe I've just heard much of these songs so many times that I'm sick of them? I don't know. Disc 2 does have its highlights, though. "Sadness in Confession," is one of my favorite Memories Off tracks and is an example of Takeshi Abo's skill in composing somewhat sparse yet very emotional piano pieces. "Bygone Days" is also another personal favorite. However, all the other newly arranged tracks on disc 2 don't really add or subtract anything from the original compositions. Tracks 17 and 18 are ones I had never heard before, so I definitely enjoyed those. Track 18 "Kagura" was unlike any track I've heard in a Memories Off game with its ancient Japanese feel.

Since Memories Off: After Rain is a gaiden to prior Memories Off games, it was no surprise that most of the music was reused and arranged differently. However, I was disappointed that there were only a scant few new tracks. Although I enjoyed many of the newer arrangements of older songs, I wished there was more new music. The music itself is good and Memories Off fans will like it, but most of disc 2 felt and sounded like a retread of music I've already heard many times before via other soundtracks. For that alone, it's difficult for me to recommend this soundtrack. Well, at least I have "ribbon."

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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