01 - Beneath the Legendary Tree... ~ Softly, Surely, Tokimeki
02 - Courage in the Palm of One's Hand (Game version)
03 - Angel's Smile
04 - The Flowery Language of Iris
05 - The Fortune Teller's Monologue...
06 - Fairy Poem
07 - Love Me ★ Lovely Baby
08 - Southern Wind Fantasista
09 - Loner's Blues (Hidden Face, Hidden Motives)
10 - Cool Beauty Eyes
11 - Antique Blonde
12 - With Usagi-san
13 - Rain Followed By Clear Skies, More Sunny Skies Tomorrow!
14 - Ran Ran, Ru–>irui!!!
15 - Macaroon-Colored Dream
16 - Sparkling Hymn
17 - To You, My Dear...
18 - Innermost Thoughts ~ Courage to Confess One's True Feelings
19 - believe me, I believe you (Game version)
20 - A Song Carried From the Sea
01 - Sparkling Private School
02 - A New Beginning ~First Term Theme~
03 - 1st Page of High School Life
04 - Sports Festival!
05 - Enjoy Summer Vacation! ~Summer Vacation Theme~
06 - Happening × Happening
07 - Temple Festival!
08 - Tense Double Date
09 - Harvest Season ~Second Term Theme~
10 - Youth Bursting Forth!
11 - Noisy Threatening Mood
12 - An Oath to Snow ~Christmas Theme~
13 - Mandarin Kotatsu ~Winter Vacation Theme~
14 - Happy New Year ~New Year's Day Theme~
15 - Last Spurt ~Third Term Theme~
16 - Wipe Away Your Tears
17 - Examination!
18 - So Long and Farewell ~Spring Break Theme~
19 - A Moment of Intense Feeling
20 - Graduation
21 - Communication Mode
22 - The Underground Coliseum
23 - Battle 1
24 - Battle 2
25 - Piano Practice
26 - Listen To What I'm Saying
27 - Sports Festival Jingle
28 - Temple Festival Jingle
29 - Victory Jingle
30 - Narrow Defeat Jingle
31 - Defeat Jingle
32 - Orgel of Dreams
Bonus Track ~Tokimeki Memorial 4 mobile Original Soundtrack~
33 - Prologue
34 - Dream Girl
35 - Antique Blonde
36 - Fairy Poem
37 - Sparkling Private School
38 - Morning Haze
39 - Good Morning!
40 - Enjoyable Lesson
41 - Gentle Time
42 - Shopping
43 - Sunset
44 - Graduation
45 - Innermost Thoughts ~ Courage to Confess One's True Feelings
46 - Memories
Ahh, Tokimeki Memorial – the #1 name in dating sim games. More stat driven than a love adventure, dating sims have more in common with RPGs because, as Pat Benetar says, love is a battlefield. Bad '80s references aside, what we have here is the soundtrack to Tokimeki Memorial 4. Though the series has produced a kajillion soundtracks over the years, and not all of them good, this main-installment soundtrack is one of the good ones.
The music heard here was truly beautiful and balanced. It captured the slice-of-life feel required for a game like this, but the music was never boring or washed out; in fact, I found much of it delightfully funky. All the arrangements were nicely layered and complex. The melodies may not be immediately catchy for the most part, but this is the kind of music where multiple listens can reveal something new, especially since each piece builds up to a crescendo, making the best parts of the songs the middle parts. After listening to the music for review purposes, I put it on that night as my bedtime music, and I had nice dreams. In Tokimeki fashion, I wonder if there is a version of this soundtrack where a full orchestra did some of this music. If so, I'd give it a listen.
Disc 1 presents a collection of music layered with various instrumentation, such as piano, woodwinds, electric guitar, bass, and delicate synths. As a bassist, I definitely appreciated some of the funky basslines peppered throughout the music. My personal favorite piece on disc 1 was track 3, but every track was great. It was hard for me to choose samples. Disc 2 had over twice as many tracks as disc 1, and many of these were significantly shorter (particularly the last 15, which were for the Tokimemo 4 cell phone game). The pieces generally did not have the kind of build up as the pieces in disc 1 did, but they were nicely layered and many pieces did become fuller as they progressed. Some pieces had more distinct melodies than others, but they were not conventionally catchy melodies and represented many musical genres. These factors made the music appealing to listen to, and the soundtrack never once felt draggy.
There were also some cool vocal themes in the soundtrack. My personal favorite was track 2 of disc 1. That vocal theme nicely captured that slice-of-life feel of the genre without going overboard. It also sounded like it really fit the context of the game and was not written as an afterthought. The others were also nice to listen to and felt "right," but track 2 of disc 1 was the strongest vocal theme.
Overall, I would say this is a very good soundtrack. The compositions were surprisingly deep and complex with many layers and plenty of hidden surprises for repeat listeners. Given the sheer number of Tokimeki Memorial soundtracks out there, the music can be hit or miss, but this soundtrack is clearly a hit. Two discs worth of music totalling 66 tracks and not a single one I disliked (I honestly liked it all) is definitely worth noting.
Reviewed by: Neal Chandran