The original Persona 3 soundtrack was pretty awesome. Check out my review of it for the full explanation. It was a mixture of hip-hop and techno done in a very Meguro style. It was pretty hip and dance-y. So how do you build on that for an arrange album? The answer is you make it MORE hip and MORE dance-y.
Burn My Dread –Reincarnation Persona 3- takes some of the best tracks from Persona 3’s OST and remixes them to make various extended versions. The album starts with an extended version of the game’s theme song Burn My Dread, which includes extra lyrics that are still pretty indecipherable. Yay poor English enunciation! Still, the melody is great, and more of it doesn’t hurt. Moving on, we have a extended dance remix of Changing Seasons, which I must say I wouldn’t mind hearing in a club anytime.
Want to Be Close is a nice smooth, jazzy remix of the original, with extended vocals, and some cute guitar work here and there. Then there’s When the Moon is Reaching Out Stars, the map/mall theme, which features… you guessed it; extended vocals and some remixing of voice samples with an underlying drum machine beat. The heavy-techno restructured Unavoidable Battle keeps building more layers of fast beat to really get the blood pumping. Meguro also seems to enjoy playing around with the guitar parts, moving them in and out of the foreground to good effect. It’d hardcore techno, though, so it works.
Smack dab in the middle of the album is the longest track, which is just Poem of Everyone’s Souls with some piano flourish here and there. Overall, it stands as the weakest track of the album, due to its lack of significant remixing, but hey, it’s still a classic. It’s especially funny as the next track completely jumps gears to rapper Lotus Juice’s more, ahem, epic lyrical stylings in what could probably be considered a hip-hop industrial remix of the final battle theme, Burn My Dread –Last Battle-. It’s fun, honestly, as is the next track, also featuring the rap lyrics of Lotus Juice. Deep Breath, Deep Breath would fit right in to a top 10 radio countdown, as it’s a sort of lite-rap love song.
Getting back to the gritty, Battle for Everyone’s Souls is more of a hard rock/metal extended remix, and damn does it do a great job. The original was excellent, mixing the vocal part of Poem of Everyone’s Souls with a rocking techno background, and this track seems to take all that was good from it and improve by making it more intense. Also, you cannot mistake Meguro’s style in this one; you’ll be wiping the grit of hardcore out of your ears for days.
Cute and quirky is the name of the game for the next track, Living With Determination, which fans of the game will recognize as Striped Shirt’s theme, only this time it’s done in a lounge-y style, complete with electric organ synths and slap bass. It certain wouldn’t fit in game, but it’s one of the more creative remixes on the soundtrack, if not necessarily one of the best.
But Meguro can only stomach so much non-techno nonsense and pulls us back into the feel of the game with Mass Destruction, which is the main battle theme of Persona 3. Complete with remixed, darker opening and extra lyrics from Lotus Juice, it’s pulse pounding and makes me feel less guilty about listening to rap.
Next up the album does another 180 and gives us an Orchestra version of the ending song, Your Memories, which was originally a catchy J-Pop theme. I won’t say that it lends the song an air of credibility, but like Living With Determination, it’s creative, and I respect that.
Overall I find this album to be one of the best I’ve heard in a long time. It manages to improve on darn near every track it features, and in just the right way, too. If more remix albums were like this, I might be more comfortable getting them. Good job Meguro-san, and for all your Persona 3 fans out there, pick up this album ASAP.