Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Seiken Densetsu: Legend of Mana arrangement album Promise

This arrange album opens with a jazzy piano-centric rendition of the Domina theme that generally sounds pleasant, with many soft and energetic portions, and which definitely made this reviewer snap his fingers and whistle along. The second piece is the tropical-sounding “To the Sea,” which is equally toe-tapping, full of percussion and woodwinds, and definitely gives the impression of being out on the seas. “Polpota Harbor,” in contrast, is a much softer piece played on piano, starting out subdued but ultimately picking up steam with a nice rhythm that also enthralled this author.

Afterward comes a jazzy version of “Legend of MANA” that is vastly different in tone from its original version, given its upbeat disposition instead of sad like the initial piece, but it’s still a nice take on the track. “Picturesque Landscape” is somewhat more subdued, a version of the field track with piano, violin, and accordion flourishes, having a jazzy feel as well and being enjoyable. “Traveler’s Road” is even more subtle than its precursor on the album, with some violin overtones that really enhance its cheery demeanor and account for a peaceful guitar number.

Next is “Singing Wind, Journey’s Path,” another guitar piece that’s just as serene, having piano flourishes and twinkles that enhance the tune a way in, with percussion and flute making it livelier as it goes on. “Tango Appassionata-As the Heart Wills” is a jazzier piece played with piano, harmonica, and violin that definitely fits the genre its title implies, with guitar later, not to mention softening of the beat, although the pace picks back up afterward. “Such Cruel Fate” is true to its name a far more somber but still lively piece opening with melancholy guitar strings followed by violin highlights.

The following piece, “Seven Shades of Life-Bejeweled City in Ruins,” has a somber start on piano, with some harmonica and surprisingly, English vocals, a welcome change from preceding tracks, sounding like a song one would hear at a nightclub. “Nostalgic Song Reprise-Finale,” a remix of the title screen theme of the game, is another melancholy piece that starts out on piano, with some guitar thrown into the mix, and ultimately like its precursor sounds like a nighttime club beat. Concluding the arrangement is “Song of MANA,” which opens softly with violins and ultimately has vocals, although this reviewer couldn’t tell if they were Swedish like the original version or Japanese.

Overall, an enjoyable album for fans of the game, series music, and jazz enthusiasts in general.

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