Final Fantasy VII Advent Children
The Inside Pulse:
Not to be confused with the stellar violin-solo act from Toronto, Final Fantasy, this is the official soundtrack to the newest movie by Squaresoft. The levels on which this product work in terms of consumerism is insanse, but that’s what happens when something becomes uber-popular in Japan. It becomes like bicycles.
The movie itself hasn’t shipped over here yet, and to be frank, neither has this soundtrack. But when you know people who like Final Fantasy to the level that I know people who like Final Fantasy, it’s easy to find stuff that legally shouldn’t have left Japan.
Basically, this soundtrack is a two-disc collection of remixed songs from Final Fantasy VII, updated into full orchestral surround. The music no longer sounds like it’s coming from a tin can piano, for instance. There are a few newish-sounding tracks, and one vocal track by Himuro Kyousuke at the very end, but these are completely forgettable once you hear what they’ve done with Sephiroth’s “One Winged Angel.”
The first disc is softer, full of more subtle tracks like Tifa and Aeris’ themes, as well as the introductory Comet theme. None of these are changed in any noticeable way except the production value, and for that I’m extremely pleased. The second disc, full of the more intense compositions, contains remixed versions of all the fighting and actions scenes from the movie (and thus, game). Unlike the beautiful piano tracks for the individual characters, the action music felt like ten second repeats of a crap MIDI file, and here they’re fully realized. “Those who fight further”, the mid-boss music, is a guitar-solo-from-80’s-America-immitated-by-Japanese-Guitar Revolution-freaks’ wet dream.
The jewel of both discs, however, is “One Winged Angel”, which still stands as the most intense piece of music to come out of this game. On this soundtrack it’s beefed up in every direction. There are more violins, more latin chanting targeted directly at the little good left in your soul, more 80’s-style guitars chrunching up the stratosphere. It’s the most played track on my itunes right now, and if you know me at all then you know that I hate listening to the same thing over and over. This I can stand.
Well, one could easily take the route of “They changed it all! I hate remixes!” If you really liked the original score of Final Fantasy VII, then yeah, you might be slighted by the re-scoring. A more grounded complaint is the near overuse of guitars that really belong in 1986. On the second disc, they’re apparent on every single track, except the ballad by Himuro Kyousuke, which probably shouldn’t be listened to by human ears at any point in time.
Like I said before, it’s somewhat an amalgamation of the original FFVII soundtrack with 80’s guitars. It’s more than that, really, but there aren’t any bands that sound like this. It’s too rock to compare it to any symphony and too symphonic to compare it to any rock band from the 80’s that should have retired years ago.
Reason To Buy:
Amazon has it listed for $42, so I don’t think you’ll be buying it anytime soon. But you might. If you do, then it’ll be because you’re a FFVII-obsessed freak curious to see what they’ve done with the original score or simply needing to own every major affiliate to the franchise. It’s a hard disc to actually recommend for its musical values, even though there is some good music in here. Though I can’t even say it’s not for the average reader of this site, because our columns are full of diehard coverage for diehard fans, right? This right here? This is for diehard fans.