01 - For Evidence That You Were Here (Opening Theme Song)
02 - ASUKA -petit idol-
03 - MAHIRO2-challenge-
04 - AKINA -arc-
05 - The always
06 - Memories Off-Piano #5-
07 - Encore
08 - Screen wiz you -after-
09 - The always -Piano-
10 - Christmas -type A-
11 - Christmas -type B-
12 - Memories Off-Christmas-
13 - Romancing Story (Ending Theme Song)
14 - AKINA -arc- Piano
15 - Honky Christmas
Takeshi Abo, series composer for Memories Off, is a master of melody-crafting. As far as I'm concerned, the guy is like the Uematsu of dating sims. And while I'm not as familiar with Abo's work as I am with all things Final Fantasy, I can safely say that the MemOff (and Infinity series) soundtracks I have heard do not fail to impress me.
Memories Off $5 encore is the PS2 remake of the original PC game. This was during the time that developer KID was looking to call it quits, and the future of both the MemOff and Infinity IPs were looking grim. CyberFront stepped in and essentially got the old team back on its feet, under a new name and with a new financial stream. "Encore" was one of the first console products from the CyberFront/KID rescue.
For the game, a couple of new scenarios were added, and with new scenario comes new music. Takeshi Abo wrote some new BGM tracks, and other regulars (outside of Abo's jurisdiction) cobbled together some new vocal tracks, which I think are probably the weakest songs on this promotional OST. Well, the opening definitely is. The ending, "Romancing Story," is a fun little dance-pop piece.
Among my favorite tracks, readers should take note of the titular track "Encore." This is a great example of Takeshi Abo's melody-making skills. Everything about the piece, in terms of harmony and structure is light and fluffy, like so many other graphic adventures (Tokimemo, etc). But the melody is instantly memorable, sing-along-able. Also noteworthy are the piano arrangements. The synth original version of "The Always" is decent, but in its reverb-powered piano form, it's on par with a M. Fujisawa "New Age" Falcom project.
And in case anyone's wondering, "Honky Christmas" isn't Christmas for white folks. I think they wanted to say "honky-tonk," since the piece is done in a ragtime jazz piano style.
This CD is a rare find. It came as a bonus item with the PS2 import title. So unless you bought that at release time, your best bet is to scour places like Yahoo! Japan Auctions for this special CD. To be honest, I do think anyone who knows and enjoys Abo's work should consider trying to hunt it down. But I'd be far happier if they just made a retail release out of the CD.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann