Monday, 15 February 2010


Details have emerged regarding L'Arc~en~Ciel's upcoming Best Of collection. Quadrinity features 4 discs, one for each member to select their favourites of their own compositions.

The tracklist is as follows:

DISC 1 hyde best
Music all composed by hyde
Mastered by Ian Cooper (Metropolis, LONDON)
1. I’m so happy
3. flower
4. さようなら (Sayonara)
5. Anemone
6. いばらの涙 (Ibara no Namida)
7. In the Air

DISC 2 tetsuya best
Music all composed by tetsuya
Mastered by Tom Coyne (Sterling Sound, NYC)
2. Blame
3. Time goes on
5. 砂時計 (Sunadokei)
6. Link -KISS Mix-
7. あなた (Anata)

DISC 3 ken best
Music all composed by ken
Mastered by Howie Weinberg (Masterdisk, NYC)
1. 花葬 (Kasou)
2. ガラス玉 (Glass Dama)
4. Coming Closer
5. 真実と幻想と (Shinjitsu to Gensou to)
6. the silver shining
7. 虹 (Album Version) (Niji)

DISC 4 yukihiro best
Music all composed by yukihiro
Mastered by Ted Jensen (Sterling Sound, NYC)
1. a swell in the sun
2. cradle
3. drink it down
4. get out from the shell -asian version-
5. new world
6. revelation
7. trick

Comments: I am fairly happy with this selection! I think Hyde and Ken's discs are the strongest, ken's in particular. I knew his selections were going to be awesome and he definitely doesn't disappoint: Kasou, MHDAD, the silver shining! Brilliant choices. Hyde also goes for some great picks: a couple of awesome B-Sides, the beautiful Anemone, and of course Ibara...
Tetsuya should be slapped for picking the dreadful READY STEADY GO but kudos for picking DIVE TO BLUE and I suppose he had to include anata. Yuki's obviously had less songs to pick from but he makes the most of his selctions with the amazing cradle and the recent smash drink it down. It's darker and more industrial than the other discs and a nice alternative to the regular L'Arc sound.

Limited Edition comes with a L'Arquiz. Sounds fun! Roll on March!

Sunday, 14 February 2010


Masashi Hamauzu takes over the reigns from Hitoshi Sakimoto as composer for the much-hyped and long awaited thirteenth installment of Final Fantasy. The soundtrack for Final Fantasy XII was markedly different from the works of previous Final Fantasy stalwart Nobuo Uematsu and as such was judged perhaps too harshly by critics who felt it too far removed from the formula. Still, it was a rich and compelling listen with lush themes and movements. XIII is no different. Hamauzu has crafted a darker score, peppered with electronic tracks that add a pop element not seen since Uematsu's Final Fantasy X score (which Hamauzu contributed to).
At over 4 hours and spanning 4 cds, it is just as epic in length as previous Final Fantasies. It's a lot of music to take in and I mention this because until the game is released (March 9th for us Western folk) I won't be able to judge it in its proper context. That being said, as a standalone album of classic, electronic and pop music it's fantastic. "Snow's Theme" for example is a slow rock track which easily conveys the coolness of the character. Similarly the choral piece "Ragnarok" is almost effortlessly majestic. It sounds like a track from a Halo soundtrack but with much grander overtones.
The main battle theme "Flash" is a wonderfully crafted merging of all the styles on the album capturing the mood of the game completely. It's one of the finest FF battle themes in the whole series. It appears again in piano form during main character "Lightning's Theme" which is perfectly moody yet wistful, showcasing the duality of the character. "Afro Blues" is an unusual track, a swampy harmonica and guitar drawl that makes for a nice break from the orchestrated drama of the overall album.
It's a fantastic score from Hamauzu and hopefully the game is deserving of such grand music.
For the iPod playlist: "Snow's Theme", "Eternal Oath", "Flash", "Lighning's Theme", "Fang's Theme"
Verdict: ***** (5/5)

Thursday, 28 January 2010


I really like this single from L'Arc. It harkens back to the days of True / Heart, with a smile-inducing melody and the orchestrated arrangement of "Anata". It's a really nice start to what is looking like an otherwise L'Arc-less year (the band aren't due to reconvene til late 2010/early 2011).
The obligatory P'UNK~en~Ciel B-Side is quite cool this time too, a revamped, harder-rocking "Route 666" from 2000's Real. There's not really too much to say save that it's a pleasant single and knowing L'Arc~en~Ciel are at least still floating in the ether is comforting. Roll on 2010!
Verdict: **** (4/5)