Game Music, Reviews

Subarashiki Kono Sekai + The World Ends with You: Remixes and English Tracks (Review)

November 10, 2008 | | 5 Comments Share thison Facebook Subarashiki Kono Sekai + The World Ends with You: Remixes and English Tracks (Review)on Twitter

The World Ends With You is one of those games that you either love or hate. The eclectic music selection is one of its distinguishing features, and we appreciated the creative approach in our review of the game’s soundtrack. Square Enix seems set on championing the game’s music, as they’ve recently posted the Subarashiki Kono Sekai + The World Ends with You album to the Square Enix Store, containing remixes and English-exclusive tracks.

If you don’t recall, Takeharu Ishimoto handled the game’s music, and he also takes care of the majority of the arrangements along with some backup from Mitsuto Suzuki and Hirosato Noda. I have to admit that the arrangements are pretty hit or miss, but the ones that hit are definitely great additions to the Subarashiki Kono Sekai universe.

Read our impressions of the Subarashiki Kono Sekai + The World Ends with You album after the jump.

The first few tracks aren’t really representative of the rest of the album, so try not to be turned off by them. “Twister –Original ver-“ is just that, the original version of the song that was featured on the original soundtrack. I’m not sure what the goal was with “Calling -1960s-,” as the arrangement actually adheres pretty closely to the original, and the wah wah guitar stuff and moog synthesizers sound more like the 1970s than the 1960s. Even so, it doesn’t sound like a time piece at all, which I thought was the point.

From here, things shift into high gear with Hirosato Noda’s arrangement “Long Dream -1980s-,” which is actually arranged properly and sounds great. The computerized vocals and the amazing synthesized take on the memorable theme really hit the spot, making it my favorite track on the album. “Someday –Unplugged-“ is also well done, setting the Japanese vocals against acoustic guitars and a subdued drums to give the piece a much lighter feel.

Another favorite, “Make of Break –Black box-,“ comes again from Hirosato Noda, who seems to have a knack for electronic music. The musical backing is highly reminiscent of artists like BT, and the intro in particular is wonderfully executed. Getting back to the quirky style that we expect based on the game’s original score, “O-parts –Give me a chance-“ takes on a whimsical approach with acoustic guitars and repetitive synth sections that give way to unexpected bursts of house music that are absolutely amazing. The vocals fit perfectly with the energetic music, and I wish the entire song had been arranged in this style instead of the seemingly chaotic back-and-forth that they used instead.

Strangely, I don’t recall disliking “Déjà vu” from the original soundtrack, but the two versions here really get on my nerves. The vocals are whiney and grating, and it’s possible that the arrangements here draw attention to this more than the original soundtrack did. The “Déjà vu –Discoteque-“ track does feature some mean disco music, however, which I found impressive.

From here, the English tracks come in. “Transformation” is mostly an American alternative track without a real hook. “Three Minutes Clapping” actually has some substance with a catchy melody and rap-like vocals that remind me of the Red Hot Chili Peppers at times. I really dug the track along with the “Three Minutes Clapping –Live-“ version at the end of the album. Lastly, “Twister –Gang-Mix” provides a surprise, given how tired I was with the original song. The lyrics are all in English here, and I was actually able to understand what the English portions of the Japanese version were saying. Two rappers alternate with the vocals, and the end result is really cool. The lyric, “need some more candy cane” is interesting for sure.

So yeah, even though I complain about some of the tracks here, I really did enjoy this album. In fact, I think many of the versions of the songs here are better than the original soundtrack versions. Hirosato Noda is definitely amazing, and I’ll be looking out for his name In the future. And not to be outdone by the original soundtrack, Subarashiki Kono Sekai + The World Ends with You also comes housed in a nice sleeve that houses the jewel case, but this time it’s silver instead of black. If you’re interested in checking this album out, you can get it relatively cheap over at the Square Enix Store.

Did you enjoy the tracks featured in the US version of The World Ends With You? Do you have a favorite track from the game?

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