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See-Saw: Dream Field PDF Print E-mail
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Soundtracks & JMusic
Friday, 28 January 2005 12:22
See-Saw: Dreamfield - Cover ArtHere's a little something for fans of the various .hack series...  See-Saw, which pairs singer Chiaki Ishikawa with composer Yuki Kajiura, first appeared (to me at least) in the OP/ED themes for .hack//SIGN, before going on to do a number of songs for other .hack spin-offs and other shows.  Dream Field takes their .hack songs, adds a few original pieces, and mixes well...

As usual, title translations courtesy of Babelfish.  If your Japanese is halfway decent & you can provide accurate translations, please send them my way...

君がいた物語 ~Dream Field Mix~ (Kimi ga Ita Monogatari - The Story Where you Are)
This is a remix of the OP theme to the third episode of .hack//Liminality (an OVA series that accompanied the .hack Playstation games).  Take the original song, remove most of the accompaniment & add an annoying drum beat & guitar riff, and you have...  something of a mess.  Still catchy, admittedly, but a surfire example that if something isn't broken, you shouldn't fix it.

黄昏の海 (Tasogare no Umi - Sea of Twilight)
Another .hack//Liminality theme, this time the series ED, and it's been left untouched.  You can almost feel the waves in this song - mellow verses give ay to a powerful chorus in an excellent combination.

The first Noir tune on the disc, where an acoustic guitar & violin provide a simple accompaniment to a mellow, veg-out track.

Emerald Green
More .hack music, this time from .hack//Legend of the Twilight (ED theme), and what many seem to consider to be the worst of See-Saw's contributions to the various .hack series.  While it's true that it does lack that certain hook, it's still an enjoyable, mellow tune.  Seems to try  for the same feel as the .hack//SIGN ED, but doesn't quite get there.

あんなに一緒だったのに (Annani Issho Dattanoni - Although they were Always Together)
A change in tone & a change in show - this is the ED theme to Gundam SEED, and is one of my favourite See-Saw tunes.  The various drum rythms in the background of this tune work wonders for me, and the feel of the song overall has been known to give me the shivers.  Very upbeat in tone, and very good...

千夜一夜 (Chiya Ichiya - A Thousand and One Nights)
Back to .hack//Liminality (2nd OP theme), with a quirky tune that's hard to describe - a piano sequence that will stick in your head for hours is the highlight of an already very catchy tune.

月ひとつ (Tsuki Hitotsu - Month One)
Another slow, almost melancholic track, taken from Gundam SEED.  The best of the album's mellow offerings.

夏の手紙 (Natsu no Tegami - Letter of Summer)
Clocking in at over 7 minutes. this is by far the longest track on the album, but doesn't really reward you for the listening time.  Another veg-out track, but without enough of a hook to make it worthwhile...

An extended remix of the .hack//SIGN OP theme, but without the TV versions manic pace - the upeat rythm is replaced with a lifeless beat and long sections of song where nothing really happens.  Not on my list of favourite songs, especially given how good the TV version was.

See-Saw: Dreamfield - CD Insert Image

記憶 (Kioku - Memory)
More .hack//Liminality music (4th OP), and one of the darkest feeling songs on the track - verses with simple accompaniment carry a real sense of foreboding.  Simple but effective.

Jumping Fish
Another simple piano track, although to my ears the vocals sound a bit strained here, which spoils the appeal slightly.  Nice tune, though.

優しい夜明け (Yasashii Yoake - Gentle Dawn)
Finishing off the .hack collection here, with the .hack//SIGN ED theme, and another of my favourite See-Saw songs.  The chorus in particular gets me every time.

The final track on the album, lifted from Noir, has an almost religious, choral feel to it, especially at the beginning.  Picks up about half-way through and develops quite a powerful feel - it's quite long at just short of seven minutes, and needs to listed through completely to really be appreciated.

.hack fans will love this - Yuki Kajiura's soundtrack was one of the highlights of .hack//SIGN, while the OP/ED themes done by See-Saw were all excellent songs in their own right.  The other 'soundtrack' songs, while taken from shows I have seen, hadn't made enough of an impression on me at the time to be memorable (with the exception of Annani Issho Dattanoni, which remains a firm favourite of mine) - they're appealing enough, but lack that 'something' that would make them great.  The weakest track is Jumping Fish, which sadly doesn't show the real potential of the Ishikawa / Kajiura combination.

Overall, though, an album that's well worth checking out.  While most anime fans will have heard most of it before, it's good to have it all presented in one convenient collection.  Recommended.

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