Developer aiueoKompany released the soundtrack CD for “Sound of Drop -fall into poison-” at Comiket 89 in Japan, right at the end of 2015. However, because Sekai Project came alongside aiueo to release this title in the west, we had a rare occurrence where the North American digital release was released a few weeks prior to the limited edition physical release. Because the content of both releases is identical, this review covers both releases.
The music for this indie Visual Novel was composed exclusively by Shota Matsumoto, who goes by the moniker “Low.” How is it? What’s it like? That’s what you want to know, right?
With this album, I cannot help but pull some references into place. The three individuals who come to mind are Shinji Hosoe (Zero Escape franchise), Takeshi Abo (tons of VNs, including Ever17), and Mao Hamamoto (Corpse Party franchise). For the puzzle/intrigue music, I tend to hear the Hosoe sound from 999 (see Ternary Puzzle) in Low’s work (compare with Low’s “Investigation”). For the straight-up gory horror moments, I am easily reminded of Mao Hamamoto’s work (compare Corpse Party’s “Sound of a Bell” with “Discomfort” or “Full.ogg” — and yes, that .ogg is apparently intentional). As for the chill, fun, happier moments, I cannot help but notice similarities to Takeshi Abo.
Even so, Low is not an amalgamation of other composers. For example, he has this interesting slow, non-dubstep piece that still works the bass hard in “Girls.” This is one of the catchiest pieces on the OST. It gets sufficient play throughout the game as well, which makes me happy. Then there’s that silly, effect-laden character theme for “Hiyoshi,” which sounds like something you’d expect if TWEWY and Jet Set Radio had a very silly baby.
However, for all the great BGM Low wrote, nothing can really touch “Shizuku no Oto,” the vocal track whose name translates to … wait for it … “Sound of Drop.” Vocalist Kuyuri (real name unknown) knocks this opening/ending vocal theme right out of the park. Place this song with a pretty trailer, and the game instantly becomes one of the most interesting items on the Steam Store. As far as gritty pop-rock pieces go, this is one I will not forget any time soon. There is an additional song written for the bonus NG+ ending called “C*U” which had potential, but some of the vocal harmonies are either poorly arranged or poorly executed. I can’t tell which. I recommend just putting “Shizuku no Oto” on loop and enjoying it.
Now, there is a caveat if you want to purchase the digital soundtrack. As with all soundtracks released via Steam, the soundtrack is considered Downloadable Content (DLC). That means you actually need to own the game before the platform will allow you to purchase/access the soundtrack. Unfortunately, the soundtrack was not released elsewhere (Bandcamp, iTunes, etc.). So, unless you want to hunt down the incredibly rare Comiket CD version, fans interested in Low’s music and Kuyuri’s vocals may as well commit to the game+soundtrack bundle. That’s why I did, and I do not regret it one bit.