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Final Fantasy V Dear Friends

[back cover]
Catalog Number: PSCN-5018 (first print N30D-017, reprint NTCP-5018)
Released On: November 26, 1994 (first print March 25, 1993; reprint October 1, 2004)
Composed By: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranged By: Nobuo Uematsu
Published By: NTT Publishing (first print Square Brand/NTT)
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Ahead On Our Way
02 - Lenna's Theme
03 - Pirates Ahoy!
04 - Cripper Tripper Fritter!?
05 - Intention of the Earth
06 - My Home, Sweet Home
07 - The Land Unknown
08 - Tenderness in the Air
09 - Waltz Suomi
10 - Fate in Haze
11 - I Feel as You Feel
12 - Musica Machina
13 - Music Box
14 - Dear Friends
Total Time:
55'57"


[back cover]
The first print used this packaging, but it is often more recognized/associated with the SonMay (bootleg) version.

This is the arranged version soundtrack to Final Fantasy V.

This soundtrack is a little different than most arranged soundtracks for Final Fantasy. Instead of having all the parts arranged with live instruments, this only has a few real instruments playing along with synth. They used high-quality synthesized sounds for the other parts. This CD blurs the line between what is real and what is artificial. Sometimes, this blend of artificial and real works, but sometimes it doesn't.

But for the most part, the synth'd sounds are high enough quality to make most people scratch their heads if asked if it was real or not. This was accomplished with a good amount of reverb and polyphony-something original soundtracks for games are severely lacking. My biggest complaint about the synth'd sounds is that they used a synthesized drum kit. It is too artificial and throws you off if you listen to it. Real drums would have sold it better. I would have liked to have heard more real instruments, but sometimes the synth'd sounds were so good, it was hard to tell. The real instruments were played cleanly and well and the vocals were flowing and relaxing. For the most part, the music remains true to the original.

Ahead On Our Way is the opening theme to Final Fantasy V, and this version is pretty good. However, the strings are too fake and I liked the Orchestral Game Concert version much better. Lenna's Theme was one of the best tracks on the CD, matching the character well. Cripper Tripper Fritter!? remains true to the original, but they're both pretty questionable tracks. My Home Sweet Home is a great rendition of the original song, adding lyrics in English and Finnish. The only other questionable track on this CD is I Feel as You Feel. It is too repetitive and the strange vocals throw it off. Dear Friends is a guitar track. For the most part, it is played cleanly, but I felt that it was lacking in feeling and dynamic contrast. I still like the FFV Piano Collections version better.

Some people feel that using a lot of synth in an arranged soundtrack as fake and cheap. Another thing this CD has going against it is that fact that many people simply did not like the music from Final Fantasy V. They feel that it was one of Uematsu's low-points in composition, adding that the music was devoid of feeling and emotion. They also feel that this particular soundtrack is deviant of Uematsu's usual style. I couldn't disagree more - Final Fantasy V was my favorite Final Fantasy game, along with the best music (in my opinion). As for this CD, I can only truly recommend it to you if you loved Final Fantasy V. It is a mixed bag of moods, emotions, and ideas that would only appeal to those who loved Final Fantasy V.

Reviewed by: Freddie W



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