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Never7 -the end of infinity- Sound Collection

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SCDC-00281
Released On: July 16, 2003
Composed By: Takeshi Abo
Arranged By: Takeshi Abo
Published By: Scitron Discs
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Beginning of Infinity -Cure-
02 - Beginning of Infinity
03 - Once more
04 - Once more -Piano-
05 - YUKA
06 - HARUKA
07 - SAKI
08 - KURUMI
09 - IZUMI
10 - Phantasmagoria
11 - De-Ja-view
12 - In the sunny spot
13 - Like real in mist
14 - Irritation
15 - Darkside
16 - Magic of true
17 - Confession mind
18 - Uneasiness
19 - Despair
20 - Warmth
21 - Achievement
22 - Languor
23 - Ouch!
24 - The end of dimension
25 - TREASURE DREAM
Total Time:
58'50"

Never7 was a unique gaming experience for me. It was my first experience with the love-adventure genre of video game; a genre that is quite prolific in Japan. Most RPGs, graphic adventures, and digital comics I've played featured more bombastic plots with heroes, villains, conspiracies, saving something/someone and other trappings like that. Never7 was different. The storyline was about a bunch of students sharing a beach resort over the summer and the romance that develops between your character and one of the five main females. There's no world-ending conspiracies, no deranged serial killers, no bombast, etc.; just a character-driven narrative harbored by relationships and human drama. Sure there is another guy who's a rival for the girls' affections, but he's no villain. The plot also smoothly integrates elements of psychic premonition and theories thereof making for a surprisingly unique and refreshing narrative.

But enough about that, how is the music? Does it fit in with the overall vibe of the game? Is it any good? When I played the game, I liked the music, but was so drawn into the other aspects of the game that I didn't pay as much attention to it. However, when I sat down to listen to the soundtrack and take the music more on its own merits, I found it more enjoyable than I expected.

The composer, Takeshi Abo, is fond of soft smooth piano sounds and airy synths. I find it very fitting with the whole "summer vacation on the beach" vibe of the game. Heavy rock, scorching guitars, and the like are nowhere to be found in this soundtrack. It is light, airy synth-pop music that is pleasant to listen to, never annoying or "in-your-face," but not mindblowing in any way. Then again, music doesn't necessarily need to be mindblowing to be good. A couple of examples of the "beachy" sound I described would be Yuka's theme and "In the Sunny Spot."

Some pieces such as "Once More" and "De-Ja-View" have a heavier feel to them befitting their intended scenes where human drama sometimes casts a shadow on a lovely beachfront summer vacation. Phantasmagoria and Darkside are quite sinister sounding compared to the rest of the soundtrack, especially Darkside with the heavy breathing throughout the song. There is an air of death in some of the darker pieces, which is appropriate given that death is a key element in the game's narrative along with the psychic premonitions.

The five main females in the game each have their own themes that fit well with their respective archetypes. For example, Izumi's theme has a very sophisticated feel to it, being that she's one of the older characters while Kurumi's theme exudes the playfulness and youthful exuberance of the youngest cast member. My personal favorite character theme is Haruka's theme with its semi-melancholy melody. Go figure that Haruka was my favorite character with her air of mystique and dark, smoky beauty.

My two personal favorite tracks on the disk were the final two. "The End of Dimension" plays during the end credits when you get a bad ending while "Treasure Dream" plays during the end credits of the good ending. Both are very good, so even if you get the bad ending you will still be treated to some good music as a consolation prize. "Treasure Dream" is the only piece in the soundtrack with a vocal, and like the rest of the soundtrack the vocalist is quite pleasant to listen to, but not a mindblowing singer. Her soft voice mixes well with the music and never overpowers it. Nice.

Never7's is not a soundtrack that will blow minds or make Takeshi Abo a household name like Nobuo Uematsu or Yasunori Mitsuda, but it is a solid soundtrack full of nice music and I enjoyed every single track. The soundtrack itself may not appeal to everyone, but it certainly appealed to me.

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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