01 - MEMORIE I · N · G (Memories Off Image Song)
02 - Wings of Courage (OVA Memories Off Opening Theme Song)
03 - Simple Constellation (OVA Memories Off Ending Theme Song)
04 - The Weather Tomorrow... (Memories Off 2nd Opening Theme Song)
05 - Music Box and Piano (Memories Off 2nd Ending Theme Song)
06 - Memories After the Rain (Memories Off Image Song)
07 - Replay Machine (Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi ~Memories Off~ Opening Theme Song)
08 - Born on this Star (Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi ~Memories Off~ Ending Theme Song)
09 - Immoral Impulse (Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi ~Memories Off~ Insert Song)
10 - Nocturne (OVA Memories Off 2nd Opening Theme Song)
11 - Usual Place (OVA Memories Off 2nd Ending Theme Song)
12 - Choukuu Academy School Song (from Minna de Tsukuru Memories Off CD!!)
13 - Hamasaki Academy School Song (from Minna de Tsukuru Memories Off CD!!)
Memories Off Piano Collection Volume 2 is a different flavor than that of the first Memories Off Piano Collection, which is one of my favorite video game soundtracks. The first Piano Collection CD featured complex, dynamic, and soulful piano arrangements of various Memories Off songs. This volume, on the other hand, features straightforward, less dynamic, by-the-numbers arrangements of various Memories Off songs from a few of the games the games, the OVAs, and the Minna de Tsukuru: Memories Off CD where the seiyuu sing each other's character themes.
What makes this CD noteworthy among the glut of Memories Off soundtracks is the fact that piano playing is a theme seen throughout the series, particularly in Memories Off: 2nd's storyline. So it is only natural that there be multiple Memories Off Piano Collections. One complaint I had about the Memories Off: 2nd game's soundtrack was that the ending theme entitled "With Orgel and Piano" did not feature either instrument and was rather lackluster. However, this solo piano arrangment for it is very good and the absence of high pitched Japanese female vocals is wonderful. The piano arrangment for "For Tomorrow's Weather" is also notable for me. This opening theme to Memories Off: 2nd is an excellent song and one of my favorite video game opening songs. It translated well to a piano arrangement and fast became a favorite song on the CD.
Although the CD offers wonderful piano-arranged nostalgia for Memories Off fans, I was not as fond of this CD as the first one. I thought the compositions in the first Memories Off Piano Collection were more original and dynamic. The compositions, originally done by Takeshi Abo for the games, are not bad and they all sound quite pretty, but they seem a bit lackluster to me. Although I am a fan of Takeshi Abo's compositions, his work in the early Memories Off games is far from his best. In addition, the majority of the songs selected were mostly in the same relaxed tempo. There was a notable lack of uptempo pieces, such as the opener "MEMORIE I-N-G." This was another song that I disliked in its original form (particularly due to the squeaky vocals), but liked much more as an instrumental arrangement. The piano playing on the soundtrack was good, but it felt like soulless, by the numbers playing. It just did not have that intangible "mojo" that makes me go "wow!"
In terms of recommending this CD, I would say this one is for Memories Off fans only. If you think the music in the Memories Off games is generally lackluster, this CD will not change your mind. Although some of the songs on this CD were quite good, the majority were mostly of the pretty but unremarkable variety. I highly recommend the first Memories Off Piano Collection CD, though, regardless of whether or not you are a Memories Off fan because the music on that CD simply appeals to anyone who likes good music.
Reviewed by: Neal Chandran