For fans of the Suikoden series’ music, it seems as if Konami either loves you or hates you. They bring out soundtrack after soundtrack, each time doing something radically different, forcing you to buy yet another take on some of the best game music out there. This gets quite expensive, but for the addict, there is no choice; you buy or you continue your yearnings.
And this is not to say that every released album is a gem. Those of you who have read my reviews know that I found the two Suikoden Vocal Collections to be pretty bad, mediocre at best. Sometimes it makes me want to just tell Konami where to go.
Then they have to bring out Celtic Collection 2 and, in the words of Michael Corleone, “I keep trying to get out but they pull me back IN!”
Genso Suikoden Celtic Collection 2 is once again arranged by Yoko Ueno along with Yuji Yoshino and others. THE RAIN BOOK once again gives a wonderful performance in Celtic stylings. Simply put, all the tracks are beautiful, especially track 12, Eternal Empire, from Suikoden I. All tracks are composed in a “Celtic” now often termed “New Age” or “World Music” style. There is heavy use of tin whistles, flute, drum, choir, harp, tambourine, and sounds of running water, rustling leaves, blowing wind, and other related nature sounds. It all lends the album a very earthy, mystic feel, contrasting sharply with Suikoden’s original, obviously Asiatic influence.
Yet, at the same time, the Celtic theme doesn’t clash and fits surprisingly well with almost every track on the album, with maybe the exception of Under the Moonlight, which just sounds silly to begin with. Fortress By the Water is quite faithful to the original, but the performance by harp and the acoustic qualities of the track give it a sense of being played in a bath, much like the one you would find in your castle in the first two games. Mysterious Forest has a haunting choral section that conveys mystery and slight sadness. The rest of the tracks are admirably performed, and the high quality of both the compositions and the arrangement really shows through.
I would recommend this CD to any fan of Celtic music or Suikoden Music. This is not a CD to be missed.