Inuyasha Wind -Symphonic Theme Collection-
Ah… yet another album from the Inuyasha series. Although there are quite a few CDs available from this series, this one is special.
All of the songs on here were arranged by Kaoru Wada (responsible for composing the soundtracks to the series) and his colleagues and were performed by the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra. Some of you may be thinking “but most of the music from this series is already orchestrated”, and you’re right. But most of the tracks on here are the well-known vocal tracks from the series! Namely, the famous ending songs we’ve come to love (the ones performed by Dream, Do As Infinity, Ayumi Hamasaki, BoA, etc).
I’ve included a handful of samples in my review for your listening pleasure.
∙ Wind -Symphonic Theme Collection-
∙ Composer: Kaoru Wada
∙ Arrangement: Kaoru Wada, Akira Senju, Toshihiko Sahashi, Tomoyuki Asakawa, Kazuki Kuriyama, Michiru Oshima, Takayuki Hattori
∙ Performance: The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra
∙ Catalog No.: AVCA-14753
∙ Release Date: 07/09/2001
∙ Production: Avex Mode
Track List (arranger’s initials are next to each track)
01. Change The World (KW)
02. Every Heart (AS)
03. Owarinai yume (TS)
04. Dearest (TA)
05. Fukai mori (KK)
06. Shinjitsu no uta (KW)
07. I am (MO)
08. Grip! (TH)
09. My Will (KW)
10. Inuyasha genso (KW)
As mentioned before, some people may get the wrong idea about this album because the music from the series is already orchestrated. But if you’re a fan of the vocal tracks, you shouldn’t miss this album. “Change The World” (1st intro song) is the first track. The track quickly builds up the brass section and bursts into the melody. Then it quiets down considerably to the point where you can hear the xylophone in the background, then yields to the brass again. This is MUCH better than the original vocal version. I didn’t like the vocals in that at all. The only weird thing on this track is the ending… which sounds a bit like Star Wars. You have to listen to it to understand, lol. Not bad, but there’s better. The next track is “Every Heart” (the 4th ending song). This one has a very lovely melody and stays soft for the most part. After the 3 minute mark the volume rises and you reach the climax (hehe). It’s like the perfect ending theme to a love story. The song ends quietly with a gentle flute.
Listen to sample of “Every Heart”!
“Owarinai yume” (3rd intro song) has a catchy beat to it. It’s the only track on this album to use percussion this way. That, combined with the relatively low and quiet melody line, makes it quite suitable to act as karaoke music, lol. Seriously, if you enjoyed the original version of this song, you can sing along nicely with this arrangement. This track also reminds me of music styles from the ’80s… which isn’t necessarily a good (or bad) thing. Next in line is “Dearest” (3rd ending song). Layers of strings control this song very nicely. This arrangement could have been soooo much better. Only string instruments are used (including harp). Now don’t get me wrong, I love string pieces, but it lacked depth… perhaps from the absence of some type of percussion.
Listen to sample of “Dearest”!
“Fukai mori” (2nd ending song) is next. Great track! I loved the original version done by DAI and this one does not disappoint. It even has the familiar acoustic guitar starting things off! The brass and woodwinds start the melody line, followed by the strings. If you listen to the song closely, it’s almost as if the brass section and strings are taking turns, and occasionally meld together. I love it! It has great percussion too, sometimes sounding a bit electronic (effectively though), not overpowering and does the job of keeping the piece flowing. You also hear an electric guitar in this piece. Awesome track, probably my favorite one on this album.
Listen to sample of “Fukai mori”!
Next we come to “Shinjitsu no uta”… another wonderful track. It starts off very low and quiet with piano chords and then with strings. It slowly builds up to the main melody, but never reaches a peak as most of these arrangements do. It stays soft throughout the entire piece and has a somber feel to it. It’s pure ecstasy when you start hearing the hypnotic main melody from the piano chords and the harmonic strings swaying back and forth. My only gripe on this track is that is stayed too quiet for too long and then ended too quickly. All in all it was short but sweet and was enough to earn the spot of 2nd favorite.
Listen to sample of “Shinjitsu no uta”!
Next is “I am” (2nd intro song). This one starts off very cheerful and bouncy. It then quiets down a bit when the strings take over. You later hear more prominent brass after that and towards the end of the track. “Grip!” (4th intro song) comes next and is very different from the original. This arrangement is another soft piece. The main melody starts off with woodwinds at the 01:45 mark, rises in volume a bit, then descends just as quickly. The make-up of this song is very similar to “Dearest”, despite being arranged by two different people. As we near the end of the album we get to “My Will” (1st ending song). Woodwinds again start the melody off and are then taken over by low strings and brass, setting a solemn mood. Then an oboe sings the main melody, strings join, along with sleigh bells. Things get soft again when the oboe re-acquires the melody with accompanying woodwinds. The strings and sleigh bells then end the piece with the aid of a timely english horn in the background.
Listen to sample of “My Will”!
The final track on this album is pretty much a long arrangement of Inuyasha’s familiar theme, which is orchestrated on the original soundtracks… meaning it’s really nothing new. It has several variations of the theme- slow and soft, loud and commanding, etc, almost like a medley. It’s the only song that wasn’t an explicit arrangement of an original vocal piece, but does a decent job of wrapping up the album. Overall, this collection of arrangements is a wonderful musical experience. These songs are ideal for fans of the original pieces and especially for those that are fans of orchestral music. Even though they were all orchestrated, they had seven arrangers on the job, and the difference in styles is sometimes quite evident. I would actually recommend this album over the OSTs first, since this is the music that most Inuyasha fans may be more familiar with. Either way, this album will be a great addition to your collection!