What is “Xanadu Next,” you ask? It’s Falcom’s latest installment in the Xanadu series. A stripped-down version was released for the English-speaking types on the “Nokia N-Gage,” while a fuller and generally better version was released in Japan on the PC. This soundtrack is for the latter of the two versions.
And, if you were wondering: yes, the soundtrack is awesome.
If you’ve had any affection for the “new” Sound Team JDK (led by Yukihiro Jindo), know that this is the best thing I’ve heard from the team since Sora no Kiseki. I can never tell what is real and what is synthesized, though I assume almost all of it is synthesized. The audio quality is simply excellent. The large choir parts are especially pleasing, as heard in a few of the “LA VALSE POUR XANADU” tracks.
There are so many beautiful and haunting songs on here, using piano, orchestra bells, and other instruments that make great for great reverb effects…it’s simply beautiful. I am reminded of the softer tracks from Sakimoto’s “Vagrant Story” soundtrack.
The one blemish on the album, according to many Falcom fans, is the vocal piece “White Lie in Black.” Personally, I think that the song is musically brilliant, and the breathy, whisper-like spoken word sounds excellent. However, you may have a hard time swalloing the atrocious “Engrish” lyrics. Even if you can make out what’s being said (a difficult task indeed), you’ll soon realize that the lyrics themselves are trite. Somehow, this doesn’t bother me anymore, and I’ve quickly grown to love this song.
I enjoy every single track on this album; I really didn’t expect this album to be as consistently good as it is. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to listen to it many times in the last year.