The Front Mission OSV is a very good soundtrack featuring my two favorite female composers: Yoko Shimomura and Noriko Matsueda. The music has a clear futuristic-militaristic style to fit the kind of strategy-RPG that Front Mission is.
I think it would be fair to say that the FM OSV is one of my favourite SNES soundtracks from Squaresoft. The best tracks are from Shimomura, like the majestic “Take The Offensive.” I really like the flavor of her more electronic tracks, like “Canyon Crow.” It’s decidedly different from her later electronic output. While Parasite Eve and Legend Of Mana used some dark techno, Front Mission uses more EBM/industrial kind of beats. The aforementioned “Canyon Crow” and other tracks like “Coaxial Town” and “Setting Up” wouldn’t be out of place on a Front Line Assembly album, for example.
Matsueda takes care of the calmer themes. Her “Optical City” is very beautiful. She also made some faster themes like “Rise To Action” and the deliciously dark “Relative Thinking.” But where Matsueda really shines is on the jazzier tracks like “Shop” and “Bar.” In fact, I have a bold statement to make; I think that her “Shop” is one of the best pieces of jazz ever heard in a game! It’s just so incredibly funky I can’t see how anyone can dislike it. Even though Shimomura took the spotlight on this album and delivered the higher percentage of memorable themes, I still feel that Matsueda made some very brilliant and important contributions. The composers complement each other very well, and the OST probably wouldn’t have turned out this well if any of them had been asked to do it single-handedly. I think that this was actually Matsueda’s first game music project, and knowing that just makes the impression greater.
In conclusion I would like to say that this CD is a very cool addition to anyone’s collection. Even though it is hard to find nowadays, it is sure worth looking out for if you enjoy some nice, fast techno or smooth jazz. A great soundtrack! I just hope that Shimomura and Matsueda will team up sometime again with their new matured abilities and experience. It would no doubt be interesting to see what they would come up with.