Do you work a dull 9-to-5 job? Need something to pick you up while you struggle to stay awake at your desk? Game Music Collection ~Sony Computer Entertainment Japan BEST~ might just be your cure. Another cup of coffee can’t compare to the catchy variety this album has to offer.
The album starts, appropriately, with a grand opening theme. In this case, it’s the instrumental opening theme for Arc of Lad, one of the PlayStation’s first RPGs. The full orchestral instrumental sets the upbeat pace for the following four tracks. If you’re not tapping your foot to this grand opening, you will be by track two, Alundra 2’s “Carry on Everyday” (performed by Saeko Chiba). Just resist the urge to get more coffee; hold out for the sax solo. I can guarantee you’ll be bopping your head. Hopefully your cubicle is in a hidden area, because the fun and funk continue into tracks 3 and 4.
Though upbeat, I didn’t find myself connecting with the middle of this album. “Rap La Muumuu” from Jumping Flash 2 may not have struck a cord with my taste, but I give it props for being eclectic and original. The album then slows down for tracks 6 and 7, vocal tracks that offer pretty voices but rather dull melodies. Nothing stood out.
Alas, track 8, Hana from Ore no Shikabane wo Koete Yuke, a delicate but strong vocal piece, renewed my interest in this album. The intrigue continues through an earthy track, “Ghost Dance” (performed by Yu-Kalie), and then onto the relaxing and harmonious Kiss the Book from The Book Of Watermarks (featuring arrangement from Máire Brennan!). Now that you have relaxed, it’s time to rock again with the theme of Gran Turismo, Moon Over The Castle. Then get ready for a fresh, wild track, “Crash til there’s nothing left” (from Crash Bandicoot).
“Theory” from I.Q FINAL and “Master Onion’s Kung-Fu Rap” are an odd pair to put next to one another. “Theory” is a sweeping orchestral piece, and then it’s immediately followed by a song that I’m sure needs no introduction. “Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind” and all that.
Then… wow… “If You Still Believe” from Legend of Dragoon… Beautiful. Emotionally provocative. This lovely song has won me over and I think it will win you too. The album concludes with two more light pop tunes leaving you re-energized, ready to get some work done! And if not, you can always listen to the album again. Or finally go and get your coffee. So, if you’re due for a fun, fresh variety, check out this mostly-vocal “Game Music Collection” from Sony. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.