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Okami Goju no Onchou

[back cover]
Catalog Number: CPCA-10275
Released On: October 31, 2012
Composed By: Masami Ueda, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Rei Kondoh, JUN
Arranged By: Tomomichi Takeoka
Published By: Suleputer
Recorded At:
Format: 1 CD
Buy this album from CDJapan
Tracklist:

Disc One

01 - Sakuya's Theme
02 - Shinshu Plains
03 - Exorcising Evil
04 - Crimson Helm Begone!
05 - Hana Valley
06 - Lake Harami
07 - Sei-an (Commoners' Quarter)
08 - Susano's Real Power
09 - Waka Appears
10 - Yami (The Emperor of Eternal Darkness)
11 - Reset
12 - Rising Sun
Total Time:
45'00"

Okami Goju no Onchou (Five Tones of Okami) is a pleasant return to the musical themes of Okami. Unlike other arrangements, it holds true to the original soundtrack's instrumentation, replacing synths with a quintet of live performers. The performers play on a variety of instruments, from traditional Japanese woodwinds to strings from both eastern and western traditional music. The melodies are themes and variations of selections from the original Okami soundtrack. Together, the result is a true arrangement of the OST, elevating the melodies beyond the limits of their roots.

The music is lively and manages to recreate the lighthearted energy of the game through a style that feels like a live performance with slight improvisations. The contribution of each performer stands out, and the harmony of the group makes for exquisite tonal effects. It also has the advantage of having no filler or weaknesses in composition, far surpassing the source material, which, while long, was filled with themes and melodies that rarely stood well on their own. Here, their essence remains, distilled and perfected. This is the soundtrack that Okami always deserved.

If you are a fan of Okami's contemporization of traditional Japanese music, or, for that matter, a fan of any contemporary versions of traditional Japanese music, you will probably enjoy this album. If you, like me, thought the Okami soundtrack was full of great ideas but somehow lacking, this album may fill a wolf-shaped void in your heart while dragging you through memory lane. If you don't like either of these things, this album may be a miss for you, as it is terribly niche in genre and target audience. As for me, it isn't my favorite purchase of the year. But, I am writing this review while making a transcontinental flight, and this album has brought a grin to my face for hours. 10/10, would buy again.

Reviewed by: Ronald Buie



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