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Vantage Master Portable OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: NW10102760
Released On: April 24, 2008
Composed By: Sound Team JDK
Arranged By: Yukihiro Jindo
Published By: Falcom
Recorded At: PRESSTONE
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
Vantage Master Portable Original Soundtrack
01 - And Down a New Road (Opening Ver.)
02 - The Dawn of Creation
03 - An Invitation
04 - The Pure Ones
05 - A Folk Dance of Shadows and Shimmers
06 - Dreaming of the Top
07 - Looking Toward the Twinkling Stars
08 - The Return of the Champion
09 - The Labyrinth of Time
10 - A Quiet Purity
11 - A Battle with Solitude
12 - Visual
13 - The Ancient City of the Gods
14 - Premonition of Danger
15 - The Faint Light of Hope
16 - In the Rift Between Dimensions
17 - A March Beneath the Earth
18 - Vantage Master
19 - The Pulse of Remembrance
20 - And Down a New Road V2
21 - And Down a New Road
Total Time:
64'37"

Disc Two
Vantage Master Original Soundtrack
01 - A Quiet Purity
02 - Looking Toward the Twinkling Stars
03 - A Folk Dance of Shadows and Shimmers
04 - A Battle with Solitude
05 - Dreaming of the Top
06 - The Pure Ones
07 - The Return of the Champion
08 - The Faint Light of Hope
09 - The Labyrinth of Time
10 - The Ancient City of the Gods
11 - In the Rift Between Dimensions
12 - Premonition of Danger
13 - A March Beneath the Earth
14 - The Dawn of Creation
15 - Vantage Master
16 - Visual
17 - An Invitation
18 - The Pulse of Remembrance
19 - And Down a New Road
20 - And Down a New Road V2
Total Time:
59'17"

Vantage Master was released in the latter half of the 1990s by Falcom. The closing thing it had to an OST was a promotional/preorder item that came with the game, and track 1 was a "data track," holding other bonuses on it. Now, for the first time, the Vantage Master OST appears in full. And here's the funny part: it only exists as a bonus to the main attraction!

That's because the game itself was remade and ported to the PSP over a decade later, and a totally upgraded soundtrack was arranged by Falcom's new sound guy, Yukihiro Jindo. So disc one is the OST to VM Portable, and disc two is the oldschool OST for the original PC "Vantage Master." All told, it's a lovely two disc package.

The star attraction to the VM sound collection is its opening theme, "And Down a New Road." I listened to the new JDK Band arrangement first, and I thought "wow, they really did something special with this one." But the truth is that they didn't have a lot of work to do. If you check out disc 2 track 19, even the decade-old version was incredible. It would have suited as a power-packed opening theme to any number of Ys games. I was shocked by what a great piece of music I'd found (after years of studying Falcom and never noticing this one...it's really shameful on my part).

But, in comparing original versions (disc 2) to their arranged counterparts (disc 1), it is uncommon that the original can hold a candle to the arranged. "And Down a New Road" is one example, but almost all the other tracks benefit greatly from Jindo-san's arrangements. One of the biggest improvements is found right at the beginning of the disc. "The Dawn of Creation" in its arranged form sounds like a cross between Star Trek and The Neverending Story. Its original counterpart just sounds like a poorly-executed melodic idea. "Dreaming of the Top," when arranged, sounds like the greatest Disco song you've never heard. The original version, while making good use of the melody, doesn't have a lot going for it.

In general, I find that disc one is good for actual listening, and disc two is good for comparisons and historical studies of Falcom's compositions. I really could've done without the second disc, but it is nice to finally have the original soundtrack for an old Falcom game published and added to ye olde collection.

If you like Jindo's work in, say, the Sora no Kiseki trilogy, you will probably like this album as well. Yukihiro Jindo is really making a name for himself, and here he shows that he can arrange others' melodies as well as he composes his own.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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