Monday, September 10, 2018

Piano Collections Final Fantasy VII

This reviewer somewhat feels that doing a piano collection for the seventh Final Fantasy game would be difficult, given its soundtrack’s techno feel and the more contemporary setting, although there are luckily plenty of tracks within the game that lend themselves well to piano renditions, the first being Tifa’s theme, proceeding to the peaceful overworld theme that doubles as the main music for the game. Afterward is the seventh game’s version of the chocobo theme, “Cinco de Chocobo,” which, despite its name, doesn’t really sound Spanish or Mexican-influenced, but is still good.

“Ahead on Our Way” is the first town theme once the party leaves Midgar early in the game, and definitely has a peaceful feel. The main battle theme, “Those Who Fight,” is well-replicated on the piano, and definitely feels more intense than prior tracks in the collection. “Valley of the Fallen Star” is the theme that plays in Cosmo Cannon, Red XIII’s hometown, which in the game has two iterations, one for the town itself and the other during a revealing cutscene, and has a somewhat ethnic Native American feel to it.

The Gold Saucer theme appropriately has a carnivalistic touch to it, with some original flourishes that make it sound upbeat and does the original justice. “Farm Boy” is the music first encountered when visiting the chocobo farm early on in the game, and has a rustic agrarian feel to it, although the flourishes indicating the Final Fantasy franchise’s main music for the avian mode of transportation are far more muted. The theme for the Shinra Corporation follows, having an upbeat while militaristic style, sounding like the kind of music one would hear during a parade.

Next comes a piano rendition to the boss theme that plays during battles in the game with various incarnations of Jenova, and sounds beautiful and enigmatic. Aeris/Aerith’s theme is very soft and beautiful, definitely difficult to listen to without shedding a tear. The album quickly returns to battle music with “One-Winged Angel,” the final boss theme, which has soft and intense portions, and an operatic feel, and fortunately does the original version justice. Concluding the album is “Descendant of Shinobi,” Yuffie’s theme, which has a happy upbeat feel to it, definitely reflecting the character.

Overall, this is another enjoyable Final Fantasy piano collection that defied this reviewer’s expectations, with the selection of tracks being nice and sounding good on the piano, even those whose original versions didn’t really seem like they would come out well on the instrument. Being a videogame music aficionado, this writer definitely believes that the works of many Japanese composers are on par with those of musicians overseas, perhaps even classical musicians, and he would very easily recommend this album to those who liked the game and maybe even those with affinities for piano music.

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