Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack

Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack. Front. Click to zoom.
Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack
Front
Covers release: FPI
Composed by Alan Menken / Danny Elfman / Hikaru Utada / Jimmie Dodd / Richard M. Sherman / Robert B. Sherman / Yoko Shimomura
Arranged by Hikaru Utada / Kaoru Wada / Kei Kawano / Russell McNamara / Takahito Eguchi / Yoko Shimomura
Published by Toshiba-EMI
Catalog number 7243-5-80453-21
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 2 CD - 76 tracks
Release date November 25, 2002
Duration 02:25:44
Genres
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Overview

When it was originally announced that Kingdom Hearts would be a joint venture between Disney and Square Enix, it made a lot of heads turn. Nobody had ever really seen this type of bold move before in the gaming industry, and when Yoko Shimomura was asked to compose an original score to accompany this game, many wondered what kind magical and mystical sounds she would create. Especially considering the game would feature a new type of system, and have many of Disney and Square Enix's favourite characters from past and present appearing along the way to guide our heroes.

Body

Unsurprisingly, the Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack features a selection of new material, as well as old. The first piece heard in the game, "Dearly Beloved," is a very refreshing and new, though a simple piece of music. Its role is to accompany the main menu, and it does this very well. Backed by a subtle selection of vocal synth pads, the simple piano melody is very effective and this combination works together to create strangely one of the more memorable tracks found on the soundtrack. Many might find that to be a weird statement given the amount of quality pieces found on this soundtrack, but "Dearly Beloved" has an endearing quality and is definitely a hidden gem.

As previously stated, there is a mixture of old and new music found on this soundtrack, with the old music being made-up of reprises from past Disney themes, which were originally featured in the various films that this game uses. Although there aren't really that many seen considering the size of the soundtrack; it added a nice nostalgic quality, and is much appreciated to hear these themes amongst the new original content. "Under The Sea" is probably the most prominent of the Disney reprises.

The new music composed for the soundtrack comes with a large amount of variation, though. This is due to the nature of the game, and the many different areas that are featured. Having a consistent structure to the pieces, even though the areas differ, really wouldn't have worked, and I think this was a good move. However, sometimes quite the opposite happens and the pieces end up feeling too similar to one another. This is largely the case in the battle music, but it could be argued that a link should be maintained between all of the battle music, so that some continuity remains intact. The main theme for each area is usually quite distinct though, and I feel that these are all highlights of the soundtrack. "Hollow Bastian" suits the area perfectly, with it having a very ominous feel to it, perfect for one of the final areas of the game, and "Traverse Town" does the same; a busy bustling town that has a warm feel to it.

Along with the pieces of music that accompany each area, there soundtrack also sees the appearance of other prominent themes, in the form of "Kairi" and "Blast Away!"; both of which receive three different versions. In the case of "Blast Away" these different versions are used to reflect the tone of current events when travelling around via the Gummi Ship. The first is a very pro-active piece, which has lots of life and colour and is strikingly similar to that of the second version, which is only different due a slight tempo change and a minor key change. The third version though is much different and actually deserves to be on the soundtrack. "Kairi" also follows much the same structure, with the first and second version sounding almost identical but for the slightest of differences, and the third being a decent arrangement.

On the subject of arranging music though, one piece that goes through some heavy arrangement throughout the soundtrack is the main theme, "Hikari." This piece is very worthy of that title, and is very worthy of accompanying Kingdom Hearts, with Utada Hikaru providing the vocals. The various arrangements found on the soundtrack are a blessing, and they come in many different forms, so there should be something to suit everyone's tastes. The principle version though, isn't actually the original. However, many would probably consider the PLANITb Remix (Short Edit) to be the more recognised version thanks to the brilliant arranging of Russell McNamara. Aside from this and the original, there are also two instrumental versions which appear on the soundtrack.

Summary

In retrospect, the Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack is very good, but there are a few niggling issues that I feel spoil it a bit. For example, I am sure that many Final Fantasy fans would have liked to see a few notable themes being used, especially considering some Disney themes were used. Yes, more of the game was Disney-orientated, but fans of the Final Fantasy series would have probably liked to have heard some familiar music. I also feel that some of the themes sounded too similar, and while there was a lot of diversity on the whole, this detracted from the listening pleasure a bit. However, the addition of many classic pieces, most notably "March Caprice for Piano and Orchestra" and "Hikari," make this a solid experience overall.



Album
8/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Jared Smith

This is the European version of the Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack. It is identical with the japanese release with the exception that the japanese songs are replaced with their english counterparts.

All Music Composed by Yoko Shimomura

Except

"Hikari" [Disc1-02,03/Disc2-23,30]
Written by Utada Hikaru

"Mickey Mouse Club March" [Disc1-07]
Words and Music by Jimmie Dodd

"Winnie the Pooh" [Disc1-35]
Words and Music by Richard M. Sherman And Robert B. Sherman

"Once Upon a Time" [Disc1-38*]
Words and Music by Richard M. Sherman And Robert B. Sherman
*contains musical composition from the song "Winnie the Pooh"

"Under the Sea" [Disc2-07]
Words by Howard Ashman / Music by Alan Menken

"This is Halloween" [Disc2-12]
Words and Music by Danny Elfman


All Music Arranged by Yoko Shimomura
with
Synthesizer Programming: Ryo Yamazaki
Sound Programming: Hitoshi Ohori
Sound Tool Programming: Satoshi Akamatsu

Except

"Hikari -KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version-" [Disc1-02]
"March Caprice for Piano and Orchestra" [Disc2-31]
Orchestra Arrangement: Kaoru Wada
Orchestra: New Japan Philharmonic
Recording Engineer: Takashi Sakurai
Recording Director: Tomoko Noda
Recording Hall: Sumida Triphony Hall

"Hikari - PLANITb Remix (Short Edit)" [Disc1-03]
Produced and Remixed by Russell McNamara for UnderCover Inc.
Remixed at PLANITb Studios London, England

"Hikari" [Disc2-30]
Produced by Miyake Akira, Utada Hikaru and Utada Skingg Teruzane
Arranged by Kawano Kei and Utada Hikaru
Keyboards and Programming: Kawano Kei
Basic Programming: Utada Hikaru
Synthesizer Programming: Tsunemi Kazuhide
Acoustic Guitar: Akiyama Hironori
All Vocals: Utada Hikaru
Recorded by Ugajin Masaaki at Bunkamura Studio, Tokyo
Mixed by Goh Hotoda at Bunkamura Studio, Tokyo

"Hand in Hand -Reprise-" [Disc2-32]
Arrangement: Takahito Eguchi

"Destati" [Disc2-35]
Chorus: Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus
Recording Engineer: Tshiyuki Yoshida
Album was composed by Alan Menken / Danny Elfman / Hikaru Utada / Jimmie Dodd / Richard M. Sherman / Robert B. Sherman / Yoko Shimomura and was released on November 25, 2002. Soundtrack consists of 76 tracks tracks with duration over more than 2 hours. Album was released by Toshiba-EMI.

CD 1

1
Dearly Beloved
01:13
2
HIKARI -KINGDOM Orchestra Instrumental Version-
03:42
3
Simple And Clean -PLANITb Remix- (Short Edit)
02:31
4
Dive Into The Heart -Destati-
04:57
5
Destiny Islands
01:49
6
Bustin' Up On The Beach
02:01
7
Mickey Mouse Club March
01:02
8
Treasured Memories
01:45
9
Strange Whispers
00:55
10
Kairi I
01:19
11
It Began With A Letter
01:32
12
A Walk In Andante
01:18
13
Night Of Fate
02:06
14
Destiny's Force
02:50
15
Where Is This?
01:42
16
Traverse Town
01:21
17
The Heartless Has Come
00:55
18
Shrouding Dark Cloud
02:15
19
Blast Away! -Gummi Ship I-
01:50
20
Tricksy Clock
00:38
21
Welcome To Wonderland
01:53
22
To Our Surprise
02:14
23
Turning The Key
00:16
24
Olympus Coliseum
02:08
25
Road To A Hero
01:30
26
Go For It!
02:05
27
No Time To Think
00:33
28
Deep Jungle
03:00
29
Having A Wild Time
02:25
30
Holy Bananas!
02:16
31
Squirming Evil
01:54
32
Hand In Hand
02:26
33
Kairi II
01:02
34
Merlin's Magical House
01:46
35
Winnie The Pooh
02:28
36
Bounce-O-Rama
01:48
37
Just A Itty Bitty Too Much
00:40
38
Once Upon A Time
00:21
39
Shipmeister's Humoresque
02:11
40
Precious Stars In The Sky
01:08
41
Blast Away! -Gummi Ship II-
01:51

CD 2

1
A Day In Agrabah
02:23
2
Arabian Dream
02:04
3
Villains Of A Sort
01:32
4
A Very Small Wish
02:16
5
Monstrous Monstro
01:56
6
Friends In My Heart
01:30
7
Under The Sea
01:54
8
An Adventure In Atlantica
02:03
9
A Piece Of Peace
01:00
10
An Intense Situation
00:48
11
The Deep End
02:14
12
This Is Halloween
02:22
13
Spooks Of Halloween Town
02:14
14
Oopsy-Daisy
00:21
15
Captain Hook's Pirate Ship
02:06
16
Pirate's Gigue
01:45
17
Never Land Sky
01:26
18
Kairi III
01:35
19
Blast Away! -Gummi Ship III-
01:51
20
Hollow Bastion
02:26
21
Scherzo Di Notte
01:49
22
Forze Del Male
03:38
23
HIKARI -KINGDOM HEARTS Instrumental Version-
01:10
24
Miracle
00:16
25
End Of The World
03:14
26
Fragments Of Sorrow
02:18
27
Guardando Nel Buio
04:25
28
Beyond The Door
01:08
29
Always On My Mind
01:47
30
Simple And Clean
05:03
31
March Caprice For Piano And Orchestra
05:13
32
Hand In Hand -Reprise-
00:55
33
Dearly Beloved -Reprise-
01:20
34
Having A Wild Time -Previous Version-
01:11
35
Destati
02:55
30.04.12
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