Let me start out by saying that I’ve never played any of the Tokimeki Memorial games. Let me also state that I’ve born a great antipathy towards the series ever since I realized that the soundtracks are legion and take up most of the shelf at my used-game music store. That means there are fewer albums of any other series (well, aside from Twinbee -_-). So, when I was sent Tokimeki Memorial Piano Collection, I was disdainful, but since I had been sent the soundtrack on condition that I listen to it, I thought I’d humor Chudah. I gotta thank that gal.
Tokimeki Memorial ( Tokimemo as it’s called by its fans) Piano Collections has got to be one of my favorite soundtracks ever. In short, it’s beautiful. The compositions are outstanding and heartwarming. Arranger Taro Iwashiro performs all the tracks on a grand piano, lending the sonorous, melodic power only real instruments can provide. Taro-san has proven to be an excellent pianist in this album, his use of measure, pause, and just his overall style adding greatly to this album.
Among my favorite tracks were “Beneath the Legendary Tree…” which evokes a warm, yet sentimental feeling, and “Visiting Lilac on a Trip to Hokkaido” which can only be described as an attempt to cheer you up. Of course, since Tokimemo is a dating simulation, the compositions are meant to evoke the feelings and emotions of the player character in different situations, and that is exactly what this album accomplishes.
To describe any of these tracks, with the exception of “Temptation in Your Eyes” in technical terms would be a great disservice; all of the tracks are better identified by how they make you feel. Most tracks evoke feelings of sentimentality, nostalgia, introspection, or calm, and with the exception of the aforementioned “Temptation in Your Eyes” which is more up-tempo, none of the tracks will get your pulse racing, making this album perfect for relaxing with a cup of tea on a rainy day. It’s music to wake up to Folger’s crystals by.
A special note must be included about the album’s final track, “Asitairo’s Bench ~Shopping~”. The only vocal track on the album, “Asitairo’s Bench” manages to close the album quite well, making you feel like you’re getting a special surprise with the inclusion of vocals. Though vocalist Sakura Tange is very breathy during her performance, it doesn’t truly detract much from the track, and it gives the album a sense of closure.
If you love piano collections, there is absolutely no reason not to pick this album up, unless you truly can’t find it anywhere. It’s a short album, only slightly more than an half hour in total, but you’ll enjoy every second of the wonderful compositions.