Friday, February 15, 2002

Perfect Blue Original Soundtrack

Credits: 1998 Pony Canyon, iNOKs Records, Masahiro Ikumi Office 193, Pipeline Project

Everything Perfect Blue
Track Listing:
  1. Ai no Tenshi (4:21)
    (Angel of Love)
  2. Hitori Demo Heiki (4:39)
    (Alone, but At Ease)
  3. Mima no Teema (5:48)
    (Mima's Theme)
  4. Akumu (5:22)
  5. Virtua Mima (4:53)
  6. Uchida no Teema (4:20)
    (Uchida's Theme)
  7. Omoide ni Dakarete Ima Wa (5:10)
    (Now Cherish These Memories)
  8. Akumu (Kaminari) (5:56)
  9. Ba-cha Mima (Voice) (4:42)
  10. Season (3:40)

Dark, creepy... and beautiful >>> by skysenshi
Get ready to be thrown back into the 90s because Perfect Blue the OST will certainly make you relive those days. The vocal tracks are fascinating, seeing as all four of them have different flavors and bring out various mental images and settings as you listen to them. The opening cut, Ai no Tenshi (Angel of Love), is definitely 90s J-Pop-one that you'd sing to while jumping and twirling around with matching hand-turning movements. This is also the track that showed Mima, central character of Perfect Blue, at the height of her popularity as part of a bubblegum group. As expected, you have three women singing one single tune-just think V6-and voicing is only split during the refrain, but even then it's not too evident that voicing is in three parts. Hitori Demo Heiki (Alone, but At Ease) is another upbeat dance music, not as jump inducing as Ai No Tenshi, but it basically has the same 90s J-Pop formula that the former has.

Omoide Ni Dakare Te Ima Wa (Cherish These Memories), in my opinion, is the best vocal track, with characterized soft, smooth and husky singing. Yes, it's a ballad. My only gripe with this is that the refrain would have sounded better if it were sung in falsetto, because the huskiness gets lost and replaced by ear-piercing...well you know J-Pop. What struck me first was actually the piano intro, and later I found myself falling in love with the acoustic guitar. Good for easy listening.

Season is just like a feel-good ending, where you want to scream your heart out in joy after going through so much horror. For some reason, it makes me think of "Uptown Girl". You'd also love the sax solo-very very nice.

The background themes are quite something to hear as well, especially Virtua Mima and Virtua Mima Voice Version. Virtua Mima makes use of the sounds of chimes, bells, and metal clinking together...the percussions almost resembling the sound of one's heartbeat. I remember hearing something similar in the soundtrack of Xenogears and even Parasite Eve. It must be because of the several whispery thin voices singing soulfully, not necessarily in chorus as the play of notes travel erratically from high to low (soprano to bass). They just blend effectively with the BGM, like another form of non-vocal instrument. I believe this is one of the most beautiful BGMs in this album. Virtua Mima Voice Version, on the other hand, is still a BGM despite the fact that there are no other instruments for this version, just pure a capella duel of voices. You'll hear lots of those buzzing voices and gloriously beautiful angelic singing. The vocals are more defined this time-louder and clearer. It's almost like Irish folk music. Again, think Xenogears.

Mima No Theme (Mima's Theme) makes one appreciate how a keyboard can raise the little hairs at the back of your neck, while Uchida No Theme (Uchida's Theme) is a "chase" BGM that starts slow and then upbeat. The sort of music you will hear from car chase scenes or from those creepy video games where you find your character being pursued by countless zombies.

Akumu means Nightmare. Yes, from the sound of it, it's something that would play in a bad dream over and over again. You know those types of dreams where you just run forever and find yourself never having left the original position you were in? Perhaps this is because Akumu plays with the same notes over and over, the sound making use of distorted effects emphasized by what I can only make of as series of ghostly laughter. Akumu Kaminari , on the other hand, is just a repeat of your nightmare experience, except now it sounds like something that Daft Punk would come up with.

Synthesizers and electronic effects from the vocal tracks down to the background music define perfect Blue soundtrack. But remember, this was the official sound support of an anime that was created at a time when acoustics and tribal music weren't too popular. The setting is modern-day and the atmosphere is dark, so this OST is just right for the theme.

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