At this point, Square-Enix has practically squeezed every possible note out of the rock that is the Final Fantasy series. With several piano, orchestral, remix, and vocal soundtracks vying for elbow room on collectors’ shelves, Square has found itself relying on the ridiculous for fresh ideas. Sporting two thirteen minute tracks, SQ Lovers ranges from head bouncing to wincingly awkward. Honestly, the two tracks don’t differ much, except in that the first track has more power behind it, whereas the second track is sedate. Each track includes remixed versions of tunes we all love from the two big F’s, oftentimes with a techno-ish, bass-heavy spin. The soundtrack is hard to trust, because once I started to truly dig the beats, the instrumentation and tune change suddenly to something jarringly different with no consideration for tasteful transition.
Some remix albums employ actual game sounds, such as spell casting or level ups, which is fine for this listener, but others find this inappropriate and harmful to easy listening. Near the end of the first track, a vocalist comes in that adds an extraordinarily effeminate, bouncy tone. Now, I love Eyes On Me and Suteki Da Ne – what lover of Final Fantasy doesn’t? – but this is not the place for a sweet, serene vocalist. I get it: the intention to splash notes on a wall and let the audience have fun with the music. However, a line must be drawn, and this album definitely pokes cantankerously at it.
Before I close, I have to mention one last thing: who in the meteo thought it was a good idea to have a random person say, “S. Q,” throughout the soundtrack? For the less structured music lover, this soundtrack may not be bad – maybe even good – but I doubt that most fans of the series will consistently pop this CD in or rip the MP3s onto their music player.