To Heart is a great soundtrack in itself. With its fun, bouncy sound, it’s a wonderful pick-me-up for anyone. So, having grown to love the CD, I began longing for something more, something complex and different, something that would show to me the true measure of the melodies within this soundtrack.
One afternoon, as I was searching through my favorite online retailer’s site looking for my next spontaneous purchase, I found it: Heart Session, the arranged album to the much-loved To Heart original soundtrack. My own heart skipped a beat, and I immediately knew I had to have it. After many weeks of anticipation, my waiting paid off and I was able to get my hands on one of the most surprising arranged albums I’ve heard in a while.
Heart Session was a lot different than what I had expected, yet in many ways just what I should have. With an excellent mix of jazz and fusion, Heart Session does what more arranged albums should: gives us heart.
I love jazz fusion; it’s got that coolness to it that’s great to sit back and relax to. There’s nothing more pleasing than listening to a cool sax or guitar noodling away at the melody. And although I’m not too familiar with the band, Cool Weigh, I can tell you that they’re very good at what they do. On the other hand, being very familiar with the original compositions, I was more able to appreciate the liberties Cool Weigh took in arranging them. For the most part, these arrangements stay very true to the originals. However, as the pieces carry on, towards the second rotation they tend to wander into improvisational solos elaborating on the melodies, bringing a freshness to the original piece while preventing things from getting stale and boring by jazzing it up a bit at just the right moments. And if you like the saxophone at all, you will be in heaven. Not only do most tracks feature the instrument, but the musician’s performance is excellent.
One of the best aspects of this album is the track selection. As with most arranged albums, every good song can’t make it in, but here some of the best have been chosen, and it’s great to hear them arranged in a way that truly shows the strengths of the pieces. One of my personal favorites, “Technical Power,” gets an arrangement. You can’t listen to this piece without loving it for it’s total disco-esque flair. “Your Profile,” the main character’s theme, also gets a really nice arrangement. The sweet sounding melody is nicely complimented here by the live instrumentation.
Heart Sesssion is truly an unknown gem. For those who love Konami’s Fusion-style albums, you will be sure to like this. Even if you’re not familiar with jazz-fusion at all, it’s a great listen. However, being out of print, it may be a little difficult to find. Ebay is always a good place to look. Otherwise, Yahoo Japan may be your only choice. It usually retails for around $30.