Monday, December 3, 2001

Key The Metal Idol

Credits: Pony Canyon

Everything Final Fantasy
Original Soundtrack
Track Listing:
  1. In the Night (5:17)
  2. Night Flower (4:39)
  3. Memories of Sand (4:23)
  4. Lullaby (6:35)
  5. Fugitive - Run Away (4:27)
  6. Aria (4:47)
  7. I'll Be Here for You (5:14)
  8. In the Night - short version (1:48)
  9. I'll Be here for You (1:54)

Fine fine instrumentals... >>> by skysenshi
Don't let my title deceive you. This is a vocal collection, not an instrumental or BGM album. It's just that this atmospheric and surreal soundtrack is a compilation of eclectic tastes in accompaniment. Would you imagine, it wasn't Key: The Metal Idol 's opening song that had me purchasing this, but it was actually the instruments that permeated excellence despite the lousy singing skills employed by the English dub voice actress? It's actually quite a surprise to find that I had missed listening to a talented, albeit unpolished, Japanese singer when I chose to watch the English dub instead of the Japanese version. Good thing this OST features the original Japanese songs and not those musically impaired English adaptations.

We start off with In the Night, the opening theme with excellent vocals by Chiyako Shibahara. She croons like the seductress that Miho Utsuse (Key's idol singer) is, as if luring you into her arms and beckoning for you to rest your head on her bossom. Night Flower, on the other hand, is one of the songs that Miho performs in her concerts. This is quite a different cut from the rest of the tracks in the album as this is jrock with a mean snare drum (80's like) and lyrics that is ironically almost the polar opposite of the beat! You almost wouldn't believe it's a love song. Memories of Sand and Aria sound like something you'd listen to while you're on a gondola in Venice. Memories of Sand, especially, is like a serenade that takes you on a dream ride. With Aria, I was actually expecting an oratorio, an opera, or a cantata (since an aria is supposed to be any of the three as long as it's a 2-3 part vocal session). Nothing really much to say here except that it sounds too much like a Christmas jingle despite the wistful romance resonating from the lyrics. Then there's Lullaby, the definitive track that can survive well even without the vocals. That is how powerful the arrangement is. The vocals are pretty raw and husky-a picture of Tokiko (Key) Mima's mother humming this night time hymn to her child. It would have been more pleasantly dramatic if it had been sung in falsetto, though.

With Fugitive - Run Away, try this: Turn on an electric fan, face it directly, and lightly say "aaah" without exerting any effort, just get the vibration off the tip of your throat. How do you sound? That's how Miho is in this song. Quite quite different from how her voice actress sounded in the English dub. As if for emphasis on the lyrics that go, "Sore wa rasen no universe, ochiru yo na speed (That's a spiral universe, a speed that feels like a fall )," the percussions' point of concentration lie mostly in the high hat.

Nine tracks. Nine beautiful tracks empowered by the sweet raw voice of Chiyako Shibahara and accompaniment that speak volumes. This is truly a CD worth adding to one's collection even if one hasn't seen Key: The Metal Idol.

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