01 - Ruin and Creation
02 - Brilliant Rose
03 - Tears in the Sun Make a Rainbow
04 - Cosmic Voyagers (rhodes version)
05 - Night of the Chase
06 - Maelstrom's Clutches
07 - Seeker
08 - Yin and Yang
09 - Hour of Judgement
10 - Blood on the Keys
11 - Worlds Yet Unexplored
12 - The Incarnation of Devil
13 - Cosmic Voyagers (piano version)
For the last few years, having an "arrange" album for anything other than a handheld game seems strange, if not redundant. The highest quality, live-recorded performances can now be streamed in the game itself. In the past, arranged albums existed to bring a full-life musical experience to a game with MIDI/sequenced music. So, what purpose does it serve now?
Rather than merely "enhancing" the music, arrange soundtracks can serve to change the music. In the case of jazz and jam-band arrangements, one can insert ad lib solos to make for an impressive arrangement. Or one can add limitations to the score, by choosing small groups of chamber music (such as a brass quintet, or a "piano and strings" group).
In this particular case, Motoi Sakuraba's arrange album for Star Ocean 4 takes the music, occasionally elongates it, adds solos when appropriate, and sometimes uses the "limitation" arrangement (the "Rhodes" and "Piano" arrangements of Cosmic Voyagers being key examples).
Unfortunately for fans hopeful of the quality of this album, it seems that this album doesn't do much to stray far from the OST. It is, in many ways, a "best of" album. The arrangements are certainly different from the OST tracks, but rarely is it better. Not worse, either, just different. Had they been put in place of the OST version tracks for in-game usage, many people wouldn't have noticed. So the question remains: why not just stick with the OST?
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann