December 2002
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Listen to some videogame OST's
By Mike L., Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB
(Mike is originally from Korea and writes this article in his second language.)

Nobuo Uematsu, 2000

The music CD that I'm going to introduce to you is the Final Fantasy IX OST PLUS. You should know that music in everything is very important, even in videogames. After reading this review I hope you have a better understanding about videogame OSTs.

This OST album came out shortly after the release of Final Fantasy IX. There are two albums and they are FF IX OST and FF IX OST-PLUS. This album, which is PLUS, is the second album from Final Fantasy IX and it has better contents than the original one. This original soundtrack consists of 42 tracks in one CD. It primarily contains short segments of songs, which they have used in the actual video game. The composer of this album is Nobuo Uematsu who was born in Kouchi City, Japan. When he was young he was an amateur keyboard player and after a while he discovered that he liked composing more than playing. Then the chance came in the year of 1985. One of Nobuo's friends, who was at the time working in a video game making company called SquareSoft, wanted him to compose some music for this upcoming video game which was one of the Final Fantasy series. Nobuo worked hard to compose some nice music and he did a fantastic job. This video game was a big hit and also fans liked the music. Then he was hired by SquareSoft to compose video game sound tracks.

Most of Nobuo's music is instrumental following the nature of video games but he also has some music with lyrics too, as such songs as "Eyes On Me" and "Melodies Of Life." Actually, famous stars like "Faye Wong" and "Emiko Shiratori" sang these songs.

The quality of the CD is great because you get a variety of tracks to listen to and also most of the music is recorded directly from the instruments. The style of the music completely depends on the mood of the video game. Sometimes it can be extremely happy, but sometimes it can be sad too. Nobuo's style is generally something special because his music is graceful and sometimes you don't even realize that you are listening to a soundtrack from a video game. There is only one song in this CD that has lyrics and it is called "Melodies Of Life Silent Mix" and it is very well done in terms of editing the original song. This song is possible the best song in the whole album and the lyrics are very nice too. One of my favorite part is as follows: "a voice from the past joining yours and mine, adding up the layers of harmony, and so it goes on and on, melodies of life to the sky beyond the flying birds forever and beyond." The instruments that the album used were mostly piano, keyboard and basically the whole orchestral band this allows the creating of powerful and enriched sound.

Even though that most of Nobuo's music does not have lyrics it is like that he can express what he wants to say without the lyrics. I think that is a fantastic skill. Personally, I have played this game and when you are listening to it, the CD brings out the memories of when you were playing the game; however, this does not simply restrict other people than video games from buying the CD. Other people can also buy this CD because it is easy to listen to and basically all the tracks on this CD are very nice. Also, I would recommend this CD to people who like instrumental CDs.

I think that this CD is one of the best works done by Nobuo Uematsu and I hope that you have a better understanding about video game OST CD's.


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