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Star Ocean: Second Evolution OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SQEX-10114~6
Released On: May 2, 2008
Composed By: Motoi Sakuraba, Takeshi Nagai (1-01)
Arranged By: Motoi Sakuraba, Takeshi Nagai (1-01)
Published By: Square Enix
Recorded At: HARION Studio, Kitty Recording Studio (1-01)
Format: 3 CDs (2 CDs, 1 DVD)
Buy this CD from Play-Asia
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - START
02 - At the crack of dawn
03 - Silent the universe
04 - Feel refreshed
05 - A feeling of oppression
06 - The venerable forest
07 - Electrical dance
08 - Stab the sword of justice
09 - Strike your mind
10 - Pure a stream
11 - Mist began to form
12 - Field of Exper
13 - Weathercock
14 - Rescue operation
15 - Cuddle
16 - A crisp morning
17 - Shower of blossoms
18 - Sacred song
19 - The bonds
20 - Walk over
21 - Misty rain
22 - Moderate
23 - Heraldic emblem
24 - Dynamite
25 - In a lightsome mood
26 - Breath of air
27 - Discord
28 - The Colosseum
29 - Pyroxene
30 - Ome of hope
31 - Ceremight
32 - Invasion
33 - Intangible body
34 - Look forward
35 - KA.MI.KA.ZE
36 - Decisive battle
37 - The Climax of the tower
38 - Mysterious dreams
39 - Trumpet 1
40 - Trumpet 2
41 - Electric Piano 1
42 - Electric Piano 2
43 - Harmonics 1
44 - Harmonics 2
45 - Harp 1
46 - Harp 2
47 - Cembalo 1
48 - Cembalo 2
49 - Organ 1
50 - Organ 2
51 - Shamisen 1
52 - Shamisen 2
53 - Violin 1
54 - Violin 2
Total Time:
68'02"

Disc Two
01 - A quirk of fate
02 - The dim light of dusk
03 - Desert island
04 - Lose one's illusions
05 - Hydrangea
06 - Field of Nede
07 - Endlessly
08 - Teary
09 - Breezy afternoon
10 - Deadly hatred
11 - Tender spot
12 - Theme or RENA (music box)
13 - Theme or RENA
14 - White the heart
15 - Let's walk in a parade
16 - Come on bunny
17 - Fortune teller
18 - Cooking master
19 - Mission to the deep space
20 - Shiver
21 - Tangency
22 - Invade
23 - Fight to the last
24 - Beast of prey
25 - Mighty blow
26 - The incarnation of devil
27 - The Ultimate terror
28 - Can you say Yes with eyes open?
29 - Integral body and imperfect soul
30 - The fateful a moment
31 - Resolution
32 - We form in crystals
33 - Live in plenty
34 - STAR OCEAN forever
Total Time:
63'40"

Special DVD
01 - Opening movie
02 - Promotion movie
03 - Character memory
Total Time:
45'44"

While Star Ocean: Second Evolution's soundtrack is not the massive overhaul and improvement that First Departure was, it is still a decent collection in its own right. The set may not be worthwhile to those own the original soundtrack from the PlayStation version.

The new opening song "START" by the schoolgirl J-rock band SCANDAL is enjoyable though hardly an album seller. It grew on me over time, and the full version feels very fitting at the end with its nice blend of dynamics and styles ranging from loud rock to quiet orchestral moments.

Like Sakuraba's other Star Ocean works, Second Evolution's soundtrack is extremely varied. Several genres are well represented, though Sakuraba's best work is found in the electronic and prelude styles. With regard to the former, Second Evolution has some excellent boss music. "Mighty Blow," the theme for the battle with Iselia Queen, is deliciously chaotic, while the Wiseman theme "Shiver" is percussive and intimidating. The standard boss battle song "Dynamite" is also worthy of praise for its wicked melody.

While the standard battle and overworld themes are underwhelming, a few of the dungeon and village themes stand out. "Discord" uses a simple, repetitive descending figure with chords that suit the title. "Mission to the Deep Space" is fabulous as ever. I also loved "Moderate," for its richly evocative structure and instrumentation, and the two town tracks "Shower of Blossoms," and "Walk Over" have pleasant and unique chord structures.

Rena's theme is also glorious. Here, Sakuraba really squeezes all of the emotion he can out of just three notes at the song's theme halfway into it. With its sinking minor five chords, just slow enough tempo, and sad yet proud melody, this song really suits Rena's story, heavy with irony and tragedy as it is. It's so good that Sakuraba reworked it into numerous interlude and cutscene songs, such as "Lose One's Illusions," "Music Box," and "A Quirk of Fate." All of them put a slightly different spin on a fantastic piece of music, thus the song never gets old or annoying.

It's a fine soundtrack overall. It's biggest weakness is its lack of difference from the original game. There is very little that is new here, so the real winners would be those who never enjoyed the Playstation version of the game; they will get to enjoy all of Sakuraba's wonderful musical ideas for the first time.

Reviewed by: James Quentin Clark



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