The Music of Mugen Souls, as performed by the G-Castle Shampuru Philharmonic is a cute title, but a little misleading. I originally thought it was an arrange album, so I was mildly disappointed to hear it was just a selection of 20 tracks from the full two-disc, 51-track soundtrack. I loved Mugen Souls’ music and this “best of” soundtrack boasted excellent sound quality, but an arranged album of Mugen Souls would have been absolutely killer.
Kenji Kaneko and Tenpei Sato joined forces to compose music for this game. The Kenji Kaneko pieces selected showcase his versatility as a composer. Some tracks have more complex instrument arrangements, such as “Down to the Street.” That song starts out simply enough, but goes through a lot of appealing variations throughout its duration. Other tracks, such as “In Sequence,” rely on a primary main hook throughout their duration. It’s nice to have the juxtaposition of complex songs with lots of changes and hooky songs that you can comfortably bob your head to. The compositions also showcase a wide variety of genres including pop, rock, and electronica. The only issue I have is that the guitars on the more rock oriented tracks sound too thin and twangy. A track like “Attack of Delusion” (not on this soundtrack) redone with a Les Paul run through a Mesa/Boogie tube stack would give it the kind of oomph and punch I want from a rock piece.
The Tenpei Sato tracks are wonderfully cuckoo. Songs like “Happy Chappy Street” and “Clown of Pandora” really live up to their names and showcase the unadulterated sense of colorful fun in the Mugen Souls universe. Tenpei Sato’s music has been hit or miss for me over the years, but it feels like he really went for broke here and allowed his zaniness to bounce around without restraint. I think some of his best work is in the Mugen Souls soundtrack.
Beside the fact that the title slightly misled me to believe this was an arranged soundtrack, I would have liked the main vocal theme included to open this soundtrack. There are also some tracks that I really enjoyed from the full OST that I would have liked to see here, but in cherry-picked compilations like this, not everyone’s favorites are going to make it. As it stands, this soundtrack offers a decent enough taste of Mugen Souls’ music, which is easily the game’s strongest aspect.