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Atelier Meruru ~Alchemist of Arland 3~ OST
Catalog Number: KDSD-10059~61
Released On: June 22, 2011
Composed By: Kazuki Yanagawa, Daisuke Achiwa, Ken Nakagawa, Miyoko Kobayashi
Arranged By: Kazuki Yanagawa, Daisuke Achiwa
Published By: Team Entertainment
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: 3 CDs
Buy this CD from Play-Asia
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Cadena
02 - Cloudy
03 - Little Crown
04 - Alchemist Girl Meruru's Song
05 - Metro
06 - Cadena (OP Edit)
07 - Cadena (Off Vocal)
08 - Cadena (Instrumental)
09 - Cloudy (Game Edit)
10 - Cloudy (Off Vocal)
11 - Cloudy (Instrumental)
12 - Little Crown (Game Edit)
13 - Little Crown (Off Vocal)
14 - Little Crown (Instrumental)
15 - Alchemist Girl Meruru's Song (Off Vocal)
16 - Metro (Off Vocal)
17 - Metro (Instrumental)
Total Time:
70'24"

Disc Two
01 - Atelier Meruru
02 - Royal Court Dance
03 - A Small Kingdom's Castle Town
04 - Errands After Age Ten
05 - Drinks After Age Twenty
06 - Smithing After Mid-Thirties
07 - Oh My Siesta!
08 - Forest Dance
09 - Will You Dance With Me?
10 - Will You Plow With Me?
11 - Will You Harvest With Me?
12 - Towards a Future Fortress
13 - Fort Fanfare ~ I
14 - Fort Fanfare ~ II
15 - Abandoned Mine!
16 - Mountain of Wind in Bloom
17 - Fountainhead Foliage
18 - Desolate Inn
19 - In the Living Forest
20 - To the Glowing Red Earth
21 - Swimmer in the Book of Darkness
22 - My Usual Self
23 - Placing the White Clover Bookmark
24 - A Tilt of the Head ~ I
25 - A Tilt of the Head ~ II
26 - Pence Pants Rubbish
27 - Two Spoonfuls of Honey
28 - The Usual Workshop
29 - I Love Danger!
30 - Mischievous Girl
31 - Oh No...
32 - Arls March
33 - Atelier Meruru ~ Bad END
34 - Atelier Meruru ~ Normal END
35 - Atelier Meruru ~ True END
36 - Cadena ~ on orgel
37 - Please Teach Me!
38 - Let's Learn
39 - Little Toybox
40 - Cuckoo III
41 - Let's Get Along!
42 - I'll Take That Treasure!
43 - We Did It!
44 - Leveled Up!
45 - Construction Complete!
46 - The Vast World
47 - Great Tree in Movement
48 - We've Won!
Total Time:
69'20"

Disc Three
01 - What My Sight Can See ~ I
02 - What My Sight Can See ~ II
03 - What My Sight Can See ~ III
04 - What My Sight Can See ~ Forest
05 - What My Sight Can See ~ Waterside
06 - What My Sight Can See ~ Cave
07 - What My Sight Can See ~ Prairie
08 - Princess March
09 - Flower in the Shade
10 - Father is a Worrywart
11 - Beleaguered Butler
12 - Reliable Butler
13 - Alivio of Wind and Sand
14 - Mokomoko Monmon
15 - Hinatabokko for meruru
16 - Oh! Nap Time! for meruru
17 - Alchemic Boy and Girl for meruru
18 - Unfriendly-Looking Knight for meruru
19 - The King of Arland for meruru
20 - When You're Troubled, Talk It Out for meruru
21 - Weapon Shop Man for meruru
22 - Hair-Rooted Cape for meruru
23 - Ghost Girl for meruru
24 - Sea Breeze for meruru
25 - Ms. Clumsy's Sincere Feelings for meruru
26 - Let's Play Around for meruru
27 - Still Can't Get It for meruru
28 - A Slice of Heaven for meruru
29 - Estrella
30 - Luna
31 - Alchemist Girl Meruru's Song (Recorder Ver.)
32 - Alcyone
33 - Double Riddles
34 - Astral Blader
35 - Tree Spirit
36 - Gigantic Crimson
37 - Astarte
38 - Kaena FJ: Pride Sister
39 - Lias FJ: Flame Ranker
40 - Rorona FJ: Special #3
41 - Totori FJ: Chim Call Finale
42 - Sterk FJ: Gaia Break
43 - Gio FJ: Extreme Einzel
44 - Estiy FJ: Lovely Shadow
45 - Mimi FJ: Angel Horn
46 - Jeeno FJ: Cross Blaze
Total Time:
73'55"

The last game in the Arland trilogy, and the 13th main title in the series, Atelier Meruru packs in more music than any previous Atelier game. Proof positive: the soundtrack is three discs. The total time for the three discs combined is 3 hours and 30 minutes. That's a lot of music. The soundtrack is broken into two distinct sections. The first disc is all vocals, and then the other two discs are the instrumental BGM.

So here's disc one: five vocal tracks, and then as many edited versions as possible. Because I know you're wondering to yourself, "what's the difference between Off Vocal and Instrumental?" The difference is this: "off vocal" takes out the main vocal track and replaces it with nothing. It's karaoke. It's your time to shine. "Instrumental," on the other hand, replaces the lead vocal line with a comparable instrument playing the melody. Cue GI Joe "knowing is half the battle" sound clip. Now to the vocal tracks themselves...

The opening theme, "Cadena," follows the tradition of Atelier opening themes with the upbeat 6/8 theme, but they go less provincial and more epic with this one. It's a really over-the-top kind of opener. I'm not a huge fan, but I can respect it for what it is. "Cloudy" is a great 4/4 mid-tempo pop-rock anthem with the female vocalist reaching into the upper octaves in the chorus, but dipping low during the verses. I really enjoy this song; it's got a great, simple chord progression.

"Little Crown" is like Cloudy, but slower, and with some strange mixing effect placed over the vocalist. I like the piano part and some of the mixing effects used on the instruments, but the vocals sort of ruin it for me. Lucky me, I have the Off Vocal AND Instrumental versions to listen to in place of the vocals! After that, imagine Tenpei Sato getting a shot at writing one of his cheesy super-hero theme songs for an Atelier game instead of a Disgaea game. The result is "Alchemist Girl Meruru's Song." Just trust me, it's fantastic! And then, finally, there's "Metro." The best part of the song is in the middle, when the sugary vocals are cut completely and this crazy violin solo grabs our attention. For such a fun, upbeat rock track, I would never have expected such a kickin' violin solo to work. And yet, here we are.

Alright, and now!! ... To the BGM...

The first 10 tracks are actually just two different series themes (technically, Arland series themes) used in different fashions. Among them, the best by far (in my absurd opinion) is "Smithing After Mid-Thirties." This is our Hagel track, with the crazy male vocal synth doing random phonemes. So totally awesome, it hurts.

One track that really stood out to me early in the second disc, "Desolate Inn" (track 18). The chord progression, and to some extent the melody, mimic FFX's famous opener "To Zanarkand." I really dig what the Gust Sound Team did on this track. It's really beautiful and deserves much more than the mere 2 minutes we get on the OST.

There's a lot of great music on disc 2. It comes to a close with the 3 end credits variations, followed by all the game's jingles. Then, on to disc 3, where we find a huge pile of re-used music for the series (that goes outside just "Arland" and into all Atelier sound source).

Zooming out to a 30,000 foot view, I have to say, what makes this soundtrack so good is that I cannot for the life of me say for certain what is recorded live and what is sequenced. The quality of the plucked string instruments in particular (guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, etc) is higher here than in any previous Gust title. The winds and bowed strings sound decent too, and the synth horns, while far from life-like, sound pretty decent too. All of this increased sound quality comes with the usual Gust Sound Team compositional style. Which is to say, it's quite good.

Finally, if you're looking for one man's ranking of this soundtrack among the rest of the series, I'd put it below Totori, Viorate, Iris 1 and 2. It ties with Judie and the Mana-Khemia soundtracks, and is above Rorona and the many others I didn't mention.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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