Super Robot Taisen Alpha Original Score I ~Sky Chapter~

Super Robot Taisen Alpha Original Score I ~Sky Chapter~. Front. Click to zoom.
Super Robot Taisen Alpha Original Score I ~Sky Chapter~
Front
Composed by Aki Hata / Daisuke Fujimoto / Kenichi Sudo / Koji Hayama / Masaaki Iizuka / Michiaki Watanabe / Shinichi Tanaka
Arranged by Aki Hata / Kenichi Sudo / Koji Hayama / Masaaki Iizuka / Ryuichi Katsumata
Published by first smile
Catalog number FSCA-10125
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 20 tracks
Release date March 15, 2000
Genres
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Overview

Super Robot Taisen Alpha is the first game in the second generation of Banpresto's robot saga, originally released for the PlayStation in 2000. As a result of the strong sales and iconic nature of the game, there were multiple albums released featuring music from the game, but none of those were complete on their own. While incomplete on their own, the trilogy of 'Original Score' albums provide the most satisfying stand-alone listens, due to their emphasis on the original instrumental and vocal compositions for the game that far exceed the thankfully omitted mecha theme song arrangements. Let's take a look at the first in the trilogy...

Body

The album opens with Koji Hayama's main contribution to Super Robot Taisen Alpha, "Enraged Spirits!!". A controversial duet between the Cho Aniki veteran and anison king Ichiro Mizuki, it offers two vocal styles that are both very select tastes. The composition itself is very typical of Hayama with its silly melodramatic melodies, firm rock beat, and quirky use of voice samples. Unfortunately, Mizuki seemed less than satisfied with the vocal sampling, leading Hayama to publicly called him an 'old bastard who doesn't deserve respect'. I personally side with Mizuki on this one, as the voice samples are both abrasive and repetitive, completely detracting from the rest of the song.

The original instrumental music on the Sky Chapter album, created by Takuya Hanaoka and Naofumi Tsuruyama, will be much more accessible to most game music listeners. Though short, "Emptied Muzzle" is a particularly mature orchestration that reflects the epic robot saga about to unfold. Deeply influenced by modernist composers, "A Premonition of Slaughter" establishes tension with its low-pitched piano punctuations before overwhelming listeners with an aggessive succession of dissonant chords. The more nationalistic "In the Valley of Victory and Defeat", on the other, is a truly intricate orchestral composition that undergoes so many twists and turns during its playtime.

A range of other styles are featured on the album. "Swaying Stars" is also full of tense brass passages, but interestingly hybridises the orchestral elements with more contemporary elements, enabling it to grow into quite a motivating composition. "Steel Cockpit" is styled as a more conventional anime anthem, with its upbeat whistleable melodies and cheeky brass interjections, and helps to bridge the album together. Finally, "Sorrowful Memory" provides one of the more contemplative moments in the disc, transitioning from a heartfelt oboe solo into a anime-styled orchestral lament. It isn't wildly original, but manages to be effectual nonetheless.

There are also a range of arrangements of popular character themes here, most of them featuring vocals. They capture the personalities of the feature characters well and also make the most of the melodies. Particularly enjoyable is Kazuhiko Inoue's charismatic interpretation of "Flame of Chinese Gym Teacher", while Mio's theme captures her youthful character and Chinese heritage quite well while still fitting the series' style. Of course, Masaki's theme also receives a rocking interpretation at the end of the album, with Ichiro Mizuki and Hironobu Kageyama taking the lead. The album ends with two short drama tracks — one above a dramatic orchestral "Dark Prison" and another previewing the next episode in the trilogy.

Summary

Despite being one part of a trilogy, Super Robot Taisen Alpha Original Score I ~Sky Chapter~ is a surprisingly satisfying whole. The wide range of original instrumental themes and vocal arrangements nicely complement each other to offer an immersive listening experience. Many completists will want more, however, and it's debatable whether it's worth shedding so much money on this out-of-print trilogy when decent alternatives are available.



Album
7/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

M01 - Lyrics, Music, Arrange: Koji Hayama / Vocal: Koji Hayama, Ichirou Mizuki
M06 - Lyrics: You Nakano / Music: Daisuke Fujimoto, Masaaki Iizuka / Arrange: Masaaki Iizuka / Vocal: Narumi Hidaka
M09 - Lyrics: You Nakano / Music: Daisuke Fujimoto, Kenichi Sudo / Arrange: Kenichi Sudo / Vocal: Kazuhiko Inoue
M12 - Lyrics: You Nakano / Music: Daisuke Fujimoto, Aki Hata / Arrange: Aki Hata / Vocal: Kikuko Inoue
M18 - Lyrics: Maiko Tanaka, Masahiro Koizumi / Music: Shinichi Tanaka / Vocal: Ichirou Mizuki, Hironobu Kageyama
M19 - Lyrics: You Nakano,  さかい大 / Music: Michiaki Watanabe / Arrange: Ryuichi Katsumata / Vocal: Ichirou Mizuki
Album was composed by Aki Hata / Daisuke Fujimoto / Kenichi Sudo / Koji Hayama / Masaaki Iizuka / Michiaki Watanabe / Shinichi Tanaka and was released on March 15, 2000. Soundtrack consists of 20 tracks tracks with duration over . Album was released by first smile.

CD 1

1
Enraged Spirits + Alpha
2
Open Gunport
3
For Whom the Dance Bell Rings
4
Swaying Stars
5
Sorrowful Memory
6
White Steel Angel Valcione-R
7
Premonition of Carnage
8
Vanishing Trooper
9
Blast Fight!
10
For This Planet's Tomorrow
11
Waiting Before the Trial
12
Calm Crystal Blue
13
Disaster Approaching
14
The Cockpit of Steel
15
In the Gap Between Victory and Defeat
16
Mio's Brand-New Jongara Bushi - Great
17
Dark Prison (dramatic arrange version)
18
Neppuu! Shippuu! Psybuster (alpha-remix: Zero)
19
Tomo Yo ~ Super Robot Wars Alpha
20
Next Episode Preview
30.04.12
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