Uematsu Creates More Magic in “Blue Dragon”
Nobou Uematsu takes on his first video game music project since becoming a free lance musician. After claiming fame with the “Final Fantasy” series, Uematsu returns with “Blue Dragon” soundtrack.
As you would expect, while listening to the “Blue Dragon” soundtrack, you can’t help but hear some similarities tied to his previous work with “Final Fantasy”, which by all accounts, is a very good thing. Uematsu’s biggest asset is getting you to feel the emotion that the song is looking to create. The first 2 tracks of the album, “Waterside” & “Bell of Grief”, show his artistic prowess right off the bat.
While he is good at delivering an atmosphere of uncertainty with songs such as “Mysterious Village”, “Mystery of the Ancient Machine”, “Omen” & “Ruins”, his biggest jump as a musician was his ability to start incorporating electric guitars. Uematsu finally got to show off his rock & roll roots in his band “The Black Mages”, which did rock covers of his “Final Fantasy” songs. It appears as if that band only tickled his fancy, as he has added some great electric guitar riffs on this soundtrack with songs such as “Dragon Fight!”, “In Search of the Ruins” & “Knock It Down.”
Since “Final Fantasy VIII”, Uematsu has been incorporating vocals in some of his work, and that doesn’t stop with “Blue Dragon”. The mellow & somber track “My Tears and the Sky” features the vocals of prolific Japanese Pop singer Ayako Kawasumi while the fast pace & riveting rock track “Eternity” features rock star & legend Ian Gillian, from the band “Deep Purple”. While “My Tears and the Sky” fits well with the rest of the songs, “Eternity” feels a bit out of place. It could very well be one of those songs that go well while playing the game, but as far as the flow of the soundtrack is concerned, it felt displaced.
The only other flaw is that it’s missing a masterpiece song, or in other words, a song that becomes a staple of the game. “Final Fantasy VII” had it with “One Winged Angel”, “Final Fantasy VIII” had it with “Liberi Fatali” & “Final Fantasy X” had it with “At Zanarkand”, but “Blue Dragon” seems to be missing it. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great tracks such as “Giant Mechat”, “Peaceful Waterside” & “Release the Seal”, but nothing that jumps out like the songs I listed above. Of course, this could very well be because I haven’t had a chance to play through the game yet.
Nevertheless, Uematsu delivers another wonderful soundtrack. The added element of the rock genre shows his creativity to expand his palette as well. While the soundtrack may not be as good as his previous work, he still brings you into his world, makes you feel the passion from the notes he transcribes & leaves you looking for more. And that my friends, is what music is all about.
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