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Memories Off Theme Song Complete Works

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KDCA-0031
Released On: January 23, 2005
Composed By: Chiyomaru Shikura, Ulala Takai
Arranged By: Chiyomaru Shikura, Toshimichi Isoe, Various
Published By: Scitron Discs
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - Wings of Courage (Memories Off OVA Opening Theme Song)
02 - Gentle Constellation (Memories Off OVA Ending Theme Song)
03 - In Tomorrow's Weather... (Memories Off 2nd Opening Theme Song)
04 - Music Box and Piano (Memories Off 2nd Ending Theme Song)
05 - Nocturne (OVA Memories Off 2nd Opening Theme Song)
06 - Usual Place (OVA Memories Off 2nd Ending Theme Song)
07 - Replay Machine (Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi ~Memories Off~ Opening Theme Song)
08 - Born on This Star (Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi ~Memories Off~ Ending Theme Song)
09 - Dry words, Dry maker (OVA Memories Off 3.5 Opening Theme Song)
10 - Shining Star (OVA Memories Off 3.5 Ending Theme Song)
11 - Even So, I Still Remember You (Memories Off ~Sore Kara~ Opening Theme Song)
12 - Drops of Love (Memories Off ~Sore Kara~ Ending Theme Song)
13 - A Fever of LOVE!? (Memories Off ~Sore Kara~ Ending Theme Song)
14 - A Prayer to the Rain... (Memories Off ~Sore Kara~ Ending Theme Song)
15 - MEMORIE I.N.G (Memories Off Image Song)
Total Time:
75'58"

Disc Two
01 - Wings of Courage (Karaoke)
02 - Gentle Constellation (Karaoke)
03 - In Tomorrow's Weather... (Karaoke)
04 - Music Box and Piano (Karaoke)
05 - Nocturne (Karaoke)
06 - Usual Place (Karaoke)
07 - Replay Machine (Karaoke)
08 - Born on This Star (Karaoke)
09 - Dry words, Dry maker (Karaoke)
10 - Shining Star (Karaoke)
11 - Even So, I Still Remember You (Karaoke)
12 - Drops of Love (Karaoke)
13 - A Fever of LOVE!? (Karaoke)
14 - A Prayer to the Rain... (Karaoke)
15 - MEMORIE I.N.G (Karaoke)
Total Time:
75'58"

I cannot be the only one who remembers those old commercials for Polly-O string cheese with the tagline "it's the best part of the pizza without the pizza." The same tagline could be applied to the Memories Off: Theme Song Complete Works soundtrack. In this CD are the vocal opening and/or ending theme songs from the games Memories Off: 2nd, Memories Off: Sore Kara, and Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi: Memories Off, as well as those from the Memories Off, Memories Off: 2nd, and Memories Off: 3.5 anime OVAs. Anyone who wants a collection of vocal themes from a handful of Memories Off games and the Memories Off OVAs without the Takeshi Abo soundtracks would be well served with this soundtrack.

I had heard most of the in-game vocal themes from playing the games or listening to the soundtracks, but the OVA vocal themes were new to me. Even though the OVAs were generally considered to be below average, as many OVAs based on love adventures are, the OVA theme songs were all very good. The first song on the soundtrack, "Wings of Courage" from the first Memories Off OVA, had a great instrumental and pleasant vocal. "Gentle Constellation," the ending theme for the first Memories Off OVA, was quite nice as well. The original Memories Off game did not have vocal themes, so these songs more than made up for it. The Memories Off 2nd OVA songs, "Nocturne" and "Usual Place," were both above average songs, especially "Nocturne." "Dry Words, Dry Maker," the opening for the Memories Off 3.5 OVA, was surprisingly punchy and darker than I would expect Memories Off music to be. The Memories Off 3.5 OVA ending theme, "Shining Star" often abruptly switched gears between delicious darkness and safe, bouncy pop territory. I liked the song but it was not my favorite of the OVA themes. One reason I liked the OVA themes as much as I did was because none of them had grating, hyper-saccharine, helium-voices vocals. All the vocalists had pleasant voices.

The OVA themes were consistently good, but the themes from the games were a mixed bag. Memories Off: 2nd has one of my all-time favorite love adventure opening theme and the ending theme was quite good as well. On the other hand, I found the opening and ending themes from Omoide ni Kawaru Kimi: Memories Off below average. Both were very monotonous tracks, and the vocalist on the ending theme sounded half asleep. Memories Off: Sore Kara had an opening theme and three ending themes. The opening theme was solid. The first ending theme had a cool jazzy instrumental but was too long and got boring. The vocalist's voice was too saccharine for my tastes, but at least she didn't have a helium voice. The second song was an unremarkable pop piece and the vocalist teetered on the brink of a helium voice. The third ending theme had a sweet vocal, but I found the instrumental overwrought at times.

The most surprising aspect of this soundtrack is that there was only one soundtrack with a full-on helium vocal. That track was "MEMORIE.I.N.G." The helium vocal plus an instrumental that did nothing for me made this my least favorite song on the soundtrack. I was almost fooled into believing that a soundtrack such as this one could actually be devoid of grating helium vocals.

Disc 2 is merely the instrumental (karaoke) versions of all the songs. It is a given that some songs did sound better without vocals, but others sounded incomplete without them.

If you are a Memories Off fan who just wants a collection of vocal themes in one convenient package, then this soundtrack comes recommended. The inclusion of the OVA themes was terrific as they were all above average songs. Even though some songs were worse than others, this soundtrack is a worthwhile one for the Memories Off collector.

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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