This CD was given a mark of death by many Falcom fans, calling it Falcom's worst CD ever. Things have changed a bit, but the negative light continues to shine on Provincialism Ys. I am writing this review to rather put a spotlight on it and show it for what it really is: A quality Falcom CD working well in fusing genres.
Provincialism takes music from Ys and Ys II and gives them techno samples and other such dance-beats and styles. Because the CD is only six tracks, I feel forced to do a track-by-track review.
The Morning Grow is much more mellow than other versions (vocal, Special Arrange, Symphonic), but it still features a guitar solo near the end of the song. This one's hard to describe; the melody is being played by some sort of reed instrument (though I think it's all synth)...the song lasts for almost five minutes, with a little something extra added each time through, making it less repetitive than most dance songs.
Palace of Destruction is almost funny with a rhythm that sounds like someone making the beat with noises (*mmm-tick mmm-tick*)...then guitars and trumpets (again synth) to play melodies. In the background you hear some funky 70s guitarin' goin' on. Near the end this person start's breathing, and it's kind of scary. Otherwise, the track is still fun.
The Last Moment of the Dark is indeed my favorite track. The synth violins aren't good, and the song really isn't good on its own...the good thing is the VOICE SAMPLING! They took voice acting from American versions of the game and added them in. The best of the two parts (which I have sampled) is in a VERY dark voice and the most distinct line I can get out of it is "there is no way you could defeat me now". It just sounds REALLY good with the music, so I LOVE this track.
Beat of the Terror starts out sounding AWESOME (this is a favorite of even the most critical Falcom music fans). The first 15 seconds feature an angelic choral solo, and suddenly they hit this high note and the drum samples come in. The sample is ALMOST all that's different from the special arrangement. That is, until they get to this one part of the song (starts at 1:17 on this CD)...I can't describe it, but the part it is in comparison with all other versions of this song...this is the best version. It's like this crazy guitar-echo sound. Then another voice sample is thrown in, fun guitars and piano throughout, and you have yourself a good song.
Any Falcom fan gets tired of Feena real quick. You have to have REALLY impressive versions of the song after hearing it so many times for it to still be good. It is for this reason that I name Feena not only the worst song on the CD, but the worst version of Feena EVER! They have the most annoying percussion, this annoying female voice sample that makes the song sound atonal...the song is pretty repetitive and I just can't stand it by the end. If anyone makes fun of Provincialism Ys, here is the song they should focus on while criticizing it.
Finally we come to Provincialism Ys, a 15 minute mix of all the previous songs, along with some of the final battle, and many early-90s American dance songs (Flava Flav "Yeeeeah booooyyyy!", C&C Music Factory), and some other crazy stuff. There really isn't much a point to this track and I don't normally listen to it...but it's funny hearing what voices they added (but there is this girl breathing heavy over the "yeeeaah booooyyyy!" that sounds like it's coming out of a porno if you know what I mean...not too happy about that).
So, what do I think of the CD? I think it's one of Falcom's most creative CDs, after hearing every single hard-rock, vocal, or symphonic track I can stand, this CD was very refreshing. It's great to listen to while driving short distances, and I like it a lot more than MANY other Falcom arrange CDs (such as JDK Specials). While the CD is mocked by many, those who want it still pay reasonably for it. Don't expect it on eBay...just ask around on message boards and you'll probably be able to get it for $30-$40.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann