Final Fantasy X
Music composed by
"Suteki Da Ne"
music Nobuo Uematsu
lyrics Kazushige Nojima
music Nobuo Uematsu
lyrics Alexander O. Smith
vocals Bill Muir
17 tracks 70 minutes
Once again, Nobuo Uematsu produces a Final Fantasy score of epic
proportions. Hot off his keyboard from FFIX, Mr. Uematsu is again
given the task of composing large amounts of music for the first
FF game to appear on the PSX2. However, this time, the first in
FF history*, Mr. Uematsu has a couple of Square colleagues, Junya
Nakano (Dew Prism) and Masashi Hamauzu (Saga Frontier 2) share composing
duties. Another first for this r.p.g. series is the addition of
voice acting. Mr. Uematsu and company realized that their music
would be needed to support and compliment the story, rather than
pushing or driving the emotional content. The addition of Mr. Nakano
and Mr. Hamauzu introduces new styles that serve to enhance the
Final Fantasy sound experience, rather that to change or corrupt
the atmosphere that Mr. Uematsu has presented over the years.
Mr. Uematsu contributes his usual great work: "Zanarkand"
is a beautiful piano piece elegantly performed by Yoko Mori. "The
Sending" is a solemn piece that incorporates a boy soprano
and a choir (skillfully arranged by Mr. Hamauzu). The "Ending
Theme" is epic and elegant, while "Suteki Da Ne"
is quite nice song with pleasant vocals by Japanese singer Rikki.
Mr Uematsu does shift gears with a pretty decent, heavy hard rock
tune "Over World" (a very different but welcome composition).
There are other tunes where Mr. Uematsu does seem to be a little
bored with the whole thing, and I think its about time Square let
Mr. Uematsu spread his wings and compose for other musical genres
Final Fantasy X's music is really a starring vehicle for both Mr.
Hamauzu, who shines brightest, and Mr. Nakano. These gentlemen help
breathe new life into the music by introducing new musical styles,
sounds and attitudes that enhance the Final Fantasy experience.
Although the seasoned FF music pro may never get used to Mr. Nakano's
funky, disco pop arrangement of the classic "Prelude",
it still sets up the opening of the game quite nicely. Mr. Nakano
does flex his composition skills with a couple of battle themes.
"Enemy Attack" is frantic and "A Contest of Aeons"
is bombastic and ...
Mr. Hamauzu contributes several cues that range from soft, emotive
electronics of "Wandering" to the hip ambient pop sound
of "Besaid" and grand, epic sound "Final Battle"
that reminds of works by Prokofiev and Gershwin. Mr. Hamauzu's work
should please all.
Although this epic work was composed by three different men with
their own styles, their familiarity with each other enables them
to compose music which is both enjoyable and consistent. And while
no collection the size of DIGICUBE's 4 disc set is perfect, most
tunes shine very brightly. TOKYOPOP's single disc release is obviously
not complete, but does offer a nice sampling of the larger release
and contains a lot of the coolest tracks. As the Final Fantasy series
evolves in new direction, I applaud Square for trying something
different with the music of their flagship title. I applaud Mr.
Uematsu for being brave enough to allow others to contribute music,
and I applaud Mr Hamauzu and Mr.Nakano for taking on and living
up to the challenge of creating their imprint in the Final Fantasy
Lastly, this review is based on the TOKYOPOP and DIGICUBE releases.
I used the TOKYOPOP release as a guide of which songs should be
mentioned in this review. I would recommend those new to video game
music to purchase TOKYOPOP domestic single CD release of this soundtrack.
Once you have dipped your toes, I suggest you search for the four
disc DIGICUBE import.
One last note: Final Fantasy XI will again feature music Nobuo
Uematsu and two other composers.
* Although Final Fantasy Tactics uses the Final
Fantasy name and some of its characters, it has nothing in common
with the rest of the games, except excellent music by Hitoshi Sakimoto
and Masaharu Iwata.