MENUMENU

Game Music, Reviews

To Far Away Times: Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross Arrangement Album (Review)

To Far Away Times: Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross Arrangement Album (Review)

October 17, 2015 | | 5 Comments Share thison Facebook To Far Away Times: Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross Arrangement Album (Review)on Twitter

On October 14, 2015, Square Enix Music released the long awaited To Far Away Times: Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross Arrangement Album and after listening to it I’m sharing with you my thoughts on the album.  All of the album details have now been added to the Video Game Music Database including the English tracks names and details for each track.  The album has been a long time coming for fans of Yasunori Mitsuda and the Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross series.

Read on for my track by track review of the album, and if the links are still up – listen to the tracks and make your own decision on whether you want to add this album to your collection. 

The album contains a total of 10 tracks and features 5 arranged tracks from Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger.  Yasunori Mitsuda streamed the album from his website Procyon Studio on October 13, 2015, and if you missed it like I did you can listen to the album on YouTube.  Another YouTube user ccross10shuunen also captured the live performance of three tracks by Yasunori Mitsuda & Millennial Fair which you can find here.

TIME’S SCAR

“Time’s Scar” is the first track on the album and is a different take on the song as vocal s have been added and performed by Koko Komine.  The track opens with a slight variation on the classic melody and a focus on woodwinds and acoustic guitar. The Japanese vocals are performed in a softer reminiscent tone lead to a more of a rock out sound with the use of a drum set and a rock guitar. It’s a different take, but an interesting one. It’s not what I expected but I still enjoyed it and I have a feeling it will grow on me.

RADICAL DREAMERS

“Radical Dreamers” completely shifts the tone to one of awe and beauty. The most notable change in this arrangement is the addition of English language vocals by Sarah Alainn. Absent in this version is the acoustic guitar and Japanese vocals we are used to hearing. This new version is very emotional, and uses cello to continue the melody when the vocals take a break. It is a stand out track on the album, if it was in the budget for the USA release of the Playstation release in 1999 I’m sure this song would have been performed by Faye Wong as it at times reminded me of the Final Fantasy VIII classic “Eyes on Me”.

WIND SCENE

Buckle up Chrono Trigger fans, “Wind Scene” will literally take your breath away. All I can say is that everything about this track is perfect. The original melody of the game track is retained and with a wonderful soft piano and strings. The simplicity of this arrangement brings out all the things you’ve loved about the original 16 bit melody.

SCHALA’S THEME

“Schala’s Theme” adds strings, acoustic guitar and Japanese vocals by Laura Shigihara but it still manages to retain the echoing crystalline sounds in the background. Later in the arrangement you’ll notice that the song shifts to flute and a melody from Chrono Cross which is a musical nod to the links between the two games. It’s lovely.

FROZEN FLAME

“Frozen Flame” is the first instrumental Chrono Cross piece on the album and it doesn’t disappoint. It begins with a stringed ensemble playing through the classic melody, with slight variations all throughout the track.

MARBULE

“Marbule” is by far one of the stand out instrumental tracks on the album. If you were ever a fan of the show Firefly, you’ll know what I mean when I say that as I listened to this track I imagined the crew of the Serenity dancing and playing around on their ship as it is so similar to the sound of Greg Edmonson’s work on parts of the series. It begins with a nostalgic accordion playing the melody and explodes into a colorful sound of percussion, guitar, flute and strings. I’m still tapping my foot.

THE BEND OF TIME
We’ve heard this track before when Yasunori Mitsuda previously released it, however this version has been either rerecorded or mastered to sound flawless. This is another instrumental track from Chrono Cross that is very warm and comforting. After listening I feel like I could snuggle up in front of a fireplace and enjoy a solid cup of tea.

CORRIDORS OF TIME

“Corridors of Time” was one of my favorite melodies from Chrono Trigger, and this new version featuring the vocals of Laura Shigihara very good. I feel that the way the song has been arranged it has always been this way. The vocal break has a more Celtic song which I do at times feel fits Chrono Trigger especially Frog’s character. The songs ends with some wonderful piano and strings.

ON THE OTHER SIDE/EPILOGUE~To Good Friends

This track begins with some soft high piano and some oohing vocals. It’s the last track where Laura Shigihara sings on the album and adds new English vocals to the track. It’s a great performance and the vocals compliment the song well.

To Far Away Times

Sarah Alainn returns adding English vocals asking us to come sail away. The vocal work is exceptional and the song is presented in a new way that didn’t quite sell me yet. I think I will need a few more listens.

Overall, I think the album is a wonderful arrangement of the music from both games, but I feel that it could have been longer.  I previously wrote about the arrangement album and how I thought that it was lost in time and something that we’d never get our hands on.  I also speculated that some of the content on the album would be some of the arrangements that Yasunori Mitsuda has released in the past.  I can understand that since that music has already been released in some form, that by not having it on this album it preserves those releases.  If this is Yasunori Mitsuda’s final effort on the arrangement album front for these series, it truly an admirable one.

The Chrono Trigger Symphony produced by the Blake Robinson Synthetic Orchestra a couple years ago really spoiled Chrono Trigger fans as it was a complete arrangement of the entire music from the game.  I sincerely hope that Yasunori Mitsuda sees this album fly off the shelves proving to him that the demand for more is there.  I also hope that if there isn’t more that Blake Robinson will graciously pick up this torch for us. The album is now available for purchase from various Japanese retailers and they are all listed on the Video Game Music Database’s album page. Also, VGMDB has added that the album will be released on LP on December 16, 2015 for vinyl lovers.

Have you order this album? What do you think of the new arrangements?

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments

We like it when you talk to us

Add your comment below and subscribe to this conversation here. Spam will be moderated.

:

:

Make it fancy?

« Next Post

Previous Post »

More like this Post