Spectral Souls Soundtrack The Best

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KDSD-00086
Released On: February 8, 2006
Composed By: Kenji Kaneko, Kenichi Kikkawa
Arranged By: Kenji Kaneko, Kenichi Kikkawa
Published By: Team Entertainment
Recorded At: Memory Tech
Format: 1 CD

Blazing Souls
01 - Blazing Souls Suite
02 - Out Of The Run
03 - Ancient Time
04 - End Of Century
05 - A Beatiful Life
06 - In The Wind
07 - Upside Down
08 - Burn The Ground
09 - Moments Notice
10 - Give Me A Reason
11 - Last Escape
12 - Sunset
13 - Dark Gates
14 - Kiss You Good-bye
15 - Like The Wind
16 - Ecstasy Hall
17 - A Man Of The World
18 - Abrupt Command...
19 - Envy Life
20 - Conditional Green
21 - The Traitor
22 - Blue Emotion
23 - Valor Behavior
24 - Through The Dark
25 - Global
26 - Medieval Crystal
27 - Dreaming
28 - Why Was It Ruined?
29 - The Honest Of Village
Spectral Souls II & Shin Gensou ~SSII Unlimited Side~
30 - Spectral Souls 2 Suite
31 - Strong Horse
32 - Death Road
33 - Break The Ice
34 - Gates On The Alert
35 - Don't Leave Me This Way
36 - Stone Henge
37 - Silent Anger
38 - Negative Collapse
39 - Done Our Duty By Shrine
40 - Why Isn't They Frustration?
41 - Plain Crash
42 - Save Our Memories
43 - Deadline
44 - Last Decision
Spectral Souls I
45 - Spectral Souls 1 suite
46 - Impatience Knight
47 - Power Of Anger
Total Time:

Note: the packaging itself lists track 5 with the mispelled "beatiful." It is most likely that it should read "beautiful," but we don't have the nerve to make the correction.

Team Entertainment has released a good handful of "The Best" soundtracks. They've done three for Idea Factory, this being the third. The first was for Generation of Chaos, and I did not care for that album at all. The second was Spectral Force, which I have not heard much of yet, but plan on getting now that I've listened to the third one: Spectral Souls.

Though Spectral Souls and Generation of Chaos share composers, there is something remarkably different (dare I bluntly say "better") about this collection. The compositions are more refined, more enjoyable, more memorable: all good things.

More than half the soundtrack contains music from "Blazing Souls," and I'd have to say this was a good choice. The music for Blazing Souls is definitely the most superior of the four games represented here. I was able to find plenty of diversity within these songs. There were influences of jazz as well as classical, and all sorts of modern rock subgenres are mixed in. I heard some "blues," some "bebop," and even some "techno-rock."

Though there's plenty of genre-bending to be found, some of the best songs are strictly orchestral in nature. Track 6 "In The Wind" is one such example.

If you want to hear some amazing rock battle themes, I recommend track 18, "Abrupt Command...". This song deserves its own lengthy arrangement. I loved it. If you're looking for a more world/ethnic sound with a touch of Yasunori Mitsuda's style, it's only two tracks away, "Conditional Green." This, too, could use a healthy arrangement to lengthen it from 2 minutes to, say, 7 minutes.

SSII and SSII "Unlimited Side" take up most of the latter half, and while the music is interesting, it's not as refined as Blazing Souls. However, I must comment upon the Engrish track names here. "Why Isn't They Frustration" and "Done Our Duty By Shrine" give me a good laugh every time I read them. However, the songs behind the titles here are both impressive (some of the best for the SSII section).

Tacked on at the end, almost as a bonus section, are three songs from Spectral Souls I. These songs were mediocre: they reminded me of Generation of Chaos. "Impatience Knight" was fairly enjoyable, but the other two songs simply bored me.

I suspect there were plenty of subpar songs from the Spectral Souls series. Luckily, Team Entertainment really found "The Best" music to share with us. They also included some beautiful character artwork in the packaging. That should be enough to sway you toward at least considering a purchase of this album. If you know anything about or are a fan of Idea Factory, then you really should give this album a try.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann