Let me say this up front – Grandia, in my opinion, has the one of best soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a video game. I had high hopes for its arrangement as well, but it’s not exactly what I expected. Now, this isn’t to say that is a bad CD. Quite the opposite – it’s an excellent CD. However, the arrangements on the CD just don’t seem to have that same masterful quality that the originals had. The arrangements on the CD range from merely a bit different instrumentation to total overhaul.
The first track, ‘Parm’, keeps the background industrial sound of the original, but has a much more soft and sweet accompaniment. ‘For the Love of You’ is an arrangement of the ‘Sandy Beaches of Ganbo’, and pretty much replaces the piano and violin with harp and trumpet, respectively. It’s arranged a bit but not much. It’s not bad, but the original had more emotion. ‘Lily’ is probably the most similar to the original (‘Seagull Restaurant Lily’). Here it’s taken slower and of course placed by real instruments with a slight change in instrumentation. It also keeps the happy spirit of the original quite nicely. This is one of my absolute favorite game tunes ever, and I’m happy it came out so well. I’d almost say the CD is worth it for this track alone.
Farewell to Sue is a strings only arrangement, and it’s quite nice. It’s very passive and sweet. New Parm Church is an arrangement of the New Parm Church music, complete with wedding music and everything. (I heard they took the New Parm Church music out of the US version, so it may have been this also, however it’s labeled New Parm Church on the OST). It’s very nice with real instruments instead of a synth organ.
‘Ruku’ is a beautiful arrangment. It’s got a lovely guitar in the background and a very pretty violin melody. ‘Gadwin Pathos’ is arrangement of ‘Duel With Gadwin’, but it’s presented in, as the title implies, a slow and somber fashion. It works okay, but the original had much more impact. ‘From Inside The Darkness’ is a string only arrangement of ‘Dungeon 2’ (which also acts as a boss theme). It’s very 20th century, but it’s an interesting take on the music.
‘Alent -Requiem-‘ is the only vocal track. It starts off slow and then turns into a fast pace samba-like thing. It’s very good, and singer fits the part nicely. ‘Remembrance…’ is a very nice harp piece. It’s slow and beautiful, and fits the instrument well. However, in reality it’s an arrangement of ‘The Three Young Women’, which was a very fast and bouncy piece. It’s very well done.
Theme of Grandia’s arrangement is just plain odd. The original had the orchestral glamour that this one doesn’t have; however, it’s not without it’s charm. The final track is a piano arraignment of the theme, played by the composer himself (as all of the piano parts on the CD are) and it’s incredibly great. It’s almost worth the CD just for this, however this piece is unfortunately too short.
Overall, this is a nice CD, but certainly not the be all and end all of arranged CDs. If you’re a big Grandia fan, it’s a must have, but only after you have both OSTs, especially the first one.