Remix albums can be a hit-or-miss. Some soundtracks seem like they would lend themselves well to club DJ style remixing, but miss the mark. The World Ends With You has a soundtrack that thoroughly embraces that modern remix feel, but I feel that the Subarashiki Kono Sekai Crossover ~Tribute album is complete overkill. Persona 3 and 4 also have soundtracks that heartily embrace that modern remix sound and tone colors, so I went into AT1st ~Persona3 & Persona4~ Club Arrange hoping for a listening experience closer to Persona 2: Batsu Punitive Dance or Persona 3 Portable Voice Mix Arrange than the subpar Subarashiki Kono Sekai Crossover ~Tribute. After listening to Club Arrange, my feelings are lukewarm. A couple of tracks are solid, a couple of tracks are terrible, but most are simply okay.
Novoiski is a familiar name to me, as he crafted one of the few tracks I like on Subarashiki Kono Sekai Crossover ~Tribute. I love the first beautiful minute of his Burn My Dread rendition. Unfortunately, that minute evolves into a cavalcade of unpleasant dissonance until the two minute mark. Cycling back to a once again short-lived beautiful interlude, a choppy pause reintroduces upbeat dissonance till the end. Novoiski is associated with Moonbug, who reinterprets Reach Out to the Truth. Surprisingly fun and upbeat, it weaves happier melodies and harmonies from other Persona 4 tracks around the core components of the source material. Though I would personally reinterpret the song differently, it is enjoyable.
Besides Burn My Dread, the other opening and ending themes from the games are represented as well. Pursuing My True Self by kors k has moments where it evolves from sounding like an extended mix of a radio pop song to something deeper and more complex, while incorporating many popular dubstep sounds that are appropriately dissonant without unpleasant harshness. I particularly enjoy the last 40 seconds of the song and would like to hear more of that style in the mix. Never More by DJ Yummy has that old school 1990s EDM (electronic dance music) sound I like that takes me back to my days going to clubs and raves when I was in college. Sadly, after 5 minutes, the song suddenly ends and leaves me wanting more. Memories of You by Hiroshi Watanabe also shares that 1990s vibe, reminding me of chill out or dream trance style dance music by artists such as Robert Miles for 8 enjoyable minutes.
The two tracks I genuinely dislike are Poem for Everyone’s Souls by t.komine and Mass Destruction by Sekitova. Poem for Everyone’s Souls features overdone dubstep noise that quickly gets boring and grating. Only after over 3 minutes of electronic garbage do the last 30 seconds sound quite appealing and I wish the entire piece had gone in that direction. Mass Destruction is monotonous, repetitive, and wholly unmemorable for its 7:35 duration. I don’t remember anything except that it went absolutely nowhere and put me to sleep. As a battle theme, Mass Destruction should get the blood pumping but this rendition is embarrassingly soporific.
Aside from the aforementioned vocal and battle themes are the dungeon theme Deep Breath Deep Breath from Persona 3 and the location theme Your Affection from Persona 4. Fu_mou’s rendition of Your Affection could best be described as inoffensive. It’s not a standout track, but not unpleasant to listen to either. The few, all-too-brief moments where the percussion takes center stage are a cool contrast — the sole takeaway considering that Your Affection is not a song anyone would immediately describe as percussive. RONDENION’s remix of Deep Breath Deep Breath initially interested me because it de-emphasizes the dissonant sounds any dubstep artist would immediately latch onto, but is ultimately a monotonous and repetitive piece. Though not as bad as Mass Destruction, it is far from good.
At the end of the day, this soundtrack follows the classic bell curve pattern. A few good tracks, a few bad tracks, and the majority somewhere in between. I would not recommend this as a whole, but potential consumers would be best served to simply cherry pick the few tracks they like. The tracks I gravitate to speak more to my old-school EDM tastes, whereas some of the others that I do not like as much may speak to younger cats with more modern EDM tastes. In my mind, however, no album of this nature tops Persona 2: Batsu Punitive Dance or Persona 3 Portable Voice Mix Arrange, for they are my two favorite Persona remix albums.