01 - Opening Theme "Even So, I Still Remember You"
02 - A Place in the Sun
03 - Angrier than a Bird in a Cage
04 - The Power of Space Emerges!
05 - Progress
06 - I Can't Forget These Memories
07 - Heartful Sunday
08 - Ending Theme "Love ★ Fever!?"
09 - Ending Theme "Drops of Love"
10 - Ending Theme "A Prayer to the Rain..."
11 - "Memories Off" (CD Series Radio CM 2004)
12 - "Even So, I Still Remember You" (PS2 Opening Version)
13 - "A Prayer to the Rain..." (PS2 Ending Version)
Anyone who tries to keep up with KID's long-running Memories Off graphic adventure series will stumble and fall along the way. Audiophiles who are into the music will do the same. I'm one of those people.
Now, generally, I'm more a fan of Takeshi Abo's instrumental theme than a character vocal album. But here I am, ready and willing to admit that I'm writing this review for the Sorekara vocal album not because I have to, but because after stumbling into it I found that I liked it.
Why? Who can say. It's not the best vocal album out there. It's not as catchy or intriguing as the Ever17 and Never7 vocal albums, and it doesn't have the super-polished production that Tokimeki Memorial has. There is something raw in the vocals, and the studio musicians generally keep their parts simple.
Without question, the best tracks on the album are the opening and ending tracks. I guess that's why we get them twice. The PS2 opening/ending versions are shorter tracks, but they aren't just that. There are some slight adjustments in mix levels, additional harmonies on the vocals or instrumentals. So they're certainly worth hearing twice. The opening track is fast, minor-key, and incredibly catchy. The end is a sweet sentimental ballad. You know the drill.
Well, actually, there are three ending themes. The "true" (best) ending theme is the last one, A Prayer to the Rain... That's my favorite of the three.
The individual character themes capture the characters' personalities by using certain instruments or musical genres. Whether it's a high-pitched synth pad for a very peppy girl or wind/string sweeps to represent a girl with an "airy" atmosphere about her, the music fits the personality. That's the design. The vocal performances themselves aren't particularly special, but this helps allow the music to blend in to one's settings. Some music is too good to be "background" music during reading, napping, or driving. This is just bland enough, without being boring, to have as background music. Very rarely can I say that about vocals, especially J-pop female vocals.
So yes, I like the album. For very different reasons than I like a lot of other albums, I suppose. As for you? Well, first, acknowledge that this is a fairly difficult album to procure. After that, if you are wanting to collect the full KID music set (an ambitious goal, though easier than Tokimeki, Falcom, or Final Fantasy), this vocal collection is certainly worth keeping on the upper half of the list.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann