Persona: Be Your True Mind Original Soundtracks

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Persona: Be Your True Mind Original Soundtracks
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Composed by Hidehito Aoki / Kenichi Tsuchiya / Misaki Okibe / Shoji Meguro
Published by Atlus
Catalog number KICA-5033~5
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 4 CD - 114 Tracks
Release date July 17, 1999
Duration 03:09:11
Genres
Rate the album!

Overview

When I had the chance to take a look at the albums for the very first Persona game, I was thrilled. I was very interested in seeing the roots of the music I've come to know from the latest instalments of the Shin Megami Tensei series. This game was originally released as Persona: Be True Your Mind in 1996 and has been re-released this year with a re-worked score for the PSP. Across two reviews, I am going to take a look at how the two versions of the album compare, looking at the origins of Meguro's style and how he has since evolved. The original release is a multi-composer work made at the transitory era between the uninspiring scores of the Super Nintendo to the modern scores of the PlayStation 2. Let's see how it fares...

Body

If you've recently come off of hearing the score from Persona 4, Persona: Be True Your Mind will be completely unfamiliar. At least, for a fan of Meguro's work like I am, that was my reaction. The album sounds very foreign in terms of what I've come to expect from the composer, both in content and the development of the main themes. In many ways, this album reminds me a lot of Akira Yamaoka's work in terms of the amount of ambience on the album, as well as the style and presentation of those tracks.

The ambient pieces are murky, dissonant, and very empty — they have no real substance to them. While this works great in Silent Hill, it seems out of place in a Shin Megami Tensei game. Then again, I haven't played the original Persona so I can't say whether it fits the game or not. Still, it's a bit of a shock to hear and there are very few distinct themes, specifically on the first disc of the album. "City 2 Accident" is a good example of what I'm talking about. The entire track is very synth based with some interesting rhythms and chord work, but not that much substance.

However, there are some hints on this album that point towards where the series would go with its musical style. "Deva-Yuga Appears" has a heavy electronic base to it, while "Philemon Movie - Sebec Chapter 3" and "Philemon Movie - Sebec Chapter 4" have more atmospheric synth to build upon. Both of these aspects are similar to what we've heard from Digital Devil Saga and they are probably among Shoji Meguro's contributions. On the second and third disc, more influences for Digital Devil Saga appear through many of the jazzier, upbeat tracks, including "Dungeon - Ice Castle" and "Dungeon - Former Ice Castle".

The biggest surprise is perhaps the inclusion of "Aria of the Soul" in "Sebec Chapter Good Ending" and "Velvet Room". I had no idea that this particular track went back this far, but it's great to see how it has evolved. In essence, it hasn't changed one bit. Sure, the orchestration has gotten better and the voice is much clearer, but even more than ten years ago, this track still holds the same amount of power that it does now when we enter the Velvet Room in the game. The operatic vocal still provides one of the iconic main themes from the SMT series, and it's fantastic to hear it in its original unedited form.

Summary

Although many seem to like it, the Revelations: Persona score isn't really compatible with my view on how the Persona series should sound. It's a definite improvement on the Super Nintendo scores and is an all-round professional effort. However, it lacks the modern feel that later titles in the series feature. The original is much more forgettable compared to the remake score and doesn't have the same spunk or structure. Although series' purists might enjoy the original album better, I would definitely recommend the newer up-to-date version of the album as the one to own.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Andre Marentette

Overview

Though the Persona series is now well-known for its sassy soundtracks by Shoji Meguro, the series' music sounded quite different when the series' first title Revelations: Persona debuted on the PlayStation in 1999. And not in a bad way, at least according to series' aficionados. The score was way ahead of its time, hybridising orchestral, rock, electronic, funk, industrial, and even the occasional operatic influence to portray a dark cyberpunk journey. Majin Tensei mastermind Hidehito Aoki headed up the hundred track score and was assisted by Kenichi Tsuchiya, Misaki Okibe, and Meguro himself. Following the incomplete release of the Megami Ibunroku Persona Original Soundtrack & Arrange Album, the Persona Be Your True Mind Original Soundtrack offers a complete three disc release. Most of the exclusives are short cinematic tracks, though there are a few bonus dungeon, battle, and emotional themes as well as a once exclusive peek into Persona 2 Innocent Sin. Let's have a closer look on what is offered...

Body

The dungeon themes are probably the biggest highlight of the soundtrack. "Dungeon - Sebec Underground Research Lab" demonstrates the intricate approach to electronic atmospheric themes on the soundtrack. It instantly gets gamers moving with its warped bass line and ethnic percussion before introducing a perplexing melody and haunting backing strings. It subsequently enters an introspective section from the 1:07 mark blending trance features with light orchestration. Hidehito Aoki elegantly blends so much together when so many other composers would have struggled. "Dungeon - Kama Palace" is another early highlight blending infectious orch hit melodies with mesmerising electronic soundscapes. Others such as "Dungeon - Abandoned Factory Underground Passage" and "Dungeon - Sebec Above Ground" manage to build so much on a few electronic bass lines, complementing the dynamic and colourful city scenes. Exclusive to this set, "Dungeon - Ruins" is a perplexing minimalistic composition integrating horror sound effects and pizzicato strings. Rounding off the Sebec Chapter, "Dungeon - Deva-Yuga" deserves a nod for the way it complements the cyberpunk feeling with a blend of surreal voice-overs and electronic beats.

The themes for the Snow Queen Chapter have a distinct tone to them. "Snow Queen's Theme - Main" adopts an orchestral rather than electronic focus and mesmerises listeners with its elegant woodwind melodies, gentle harp arpeggiations, and atmospheric percussion. It's clear that not all is right with the character, yet she is intoxicating nonetheless. The 'violent' orchestral arrangement and 'sad' harp solo version of the theme are also very effective in context. "Dungeon - Devil's Mountain" is initially filled with beautiful impressionistic sounds reminiscent of Final Fantasy X's "Wandering Flame". Given it is a dungeon theme, it soon enhances the tension with an espionage-style bass riff and more moody synth sounds similar to Final Fantasy X's "Twilight". "Dungeon - Hypnos Tower" resembles those of the Sebec Chapter with its infiltration grooves and occasional voice-overs whereas "Dungeon - Thanatos Tower" focuses on minimalistic piano elements and synth vocals, leading to a shocking climax. One of the unifying themes of the chapter is "Dungeon - Reverse Dream World", which is introduced by a rasping brass fanfare before taking numerous surreal twists.

The character themes are among the more accessible additions to the soundtrack. "Reiji's Theme" sets the bar high with its catchy blend of funky synth melodies and slapped bass riffs. Other themes such as "Maki's Theme", "Elly's Theme", and "Mark's Theme" take the same approach and are melodic highlights, though lack the intricacy or development of most other themes on the soundtrack. Nevertheless, there are deeper portrayals of some of the characters provided in the slow contemplative themes such as a sad variation of Maki's theme, the Nemurin love theme, or even the unexpectedly integrated "Battle - Hospital Before the Disaster". They adhere quite closely to RPG norms, but are beautiful in and out of context nonetheless. Rounding off the tour, these are other enjoyable and contrasting depictions of Persona's world in the incredibly outgoing funk piece "City 1 Shopping District East Exit", the decent hip-hop emulation "City 1 & 2 Shopping District West Exit", or the murky jazz improvisation "Black Market". Oh, and where would a portrayal of Japan be without the occasional silly vocal theme, such as "Satomi Tadashi Drugstore Song", which is given two bonus remixes on the fourth disc.

Being a Megaten game, there are of course plenty of battle themes in the Persona soundtrack. The normal battle theme present on the second disc is a surprisingly weak effort — more of a mess of dissonant orch hits and the sporadic keyboard improvisations than anything as profound as earlier entries. The mid-boss theme opens with icy percussion and vocals inspired by the Snow Queen Chapter, but soon transitions into a fast-paced motivating theme filled with influences from 80s progressive rock. "Pandora Battle" provides a memorable accompaniment to the battle against Pandora, blending formidable orch hit figures, uplifting trance, and the occasional sinister interlude. While the individual elements are not that remarkable, the mood created when they all come together is fascinating. Going a little deeper into the soundtrack, "Battle - Awakening" is an amazing fusion of bombastic orchestration, industrial beats, and progressive rock solos, while "Battle - Queen of the Night" demonstrates its cinematic inclinations with an epic blend of chorus and orchestra work. Don't expect much intense from "Battle - Thesso" or "Foolish Boss Theme", though, although the latter is simply hilarious.

The "Opening" theme is featured in the third disc of the release is one of several cinematic highlights on the disc. It merely features minimalistic piano explorations against some eerie backing effects, but it is so effective due to how sensitively the force is treated. The "Aria of the Soul" theme makes its first appearance on this title as the expansive ending theme to the Sebec Chapter. Actually Shoji Meguro's first work to date, it channels his early classical influences with gorgeous soprano vocals and intricate piano harmonies. It is very similar to the versions heard in the Persona 3 and Persona 4, except there is rich supporting orchestration and less clear sound quality. On the third disc of the soundtrack, it is also given a faster simpler remix for the "Velvet Room" theme. "Sebec Chapter Bad Ending 2" is a melancholic piano solo tinged with jazz influences. It suddenly builds up from the 1:38 mark into an angsty passage driven by heavy bass chords. The ending theme for the Snow Queen chapter is quite a hit too, building from an explorative orchestral section into an upbeat rock anthem. It really gets the emotions rushing at the end of the game. There are a range of other cinematic themes in the three disc release, though most are short despite their effectiveness in context.

Summary

What an achievement! The Revelations: Persona score really transformed the Megami Tensei series from its often miserable Super Nintendo years into a musically pioneering franchise. The atmospheric depictions and stylistic fusions featured here weren't really paralleled by any scores at the time, particularly RPG scores, and are ahead of even the Parasite Eve and Silent Hill series in my opinion. It's no wonder that Japanese fans were so critical of the more superficial approach in Shoji Meguro's PSP remake score. The Persona Be Your Mind Original Soundtrack is a well-presented complete score for the title, so is the one many soundtrack collectors will wish to go for. However, the Megami Ibunroku Persona Original Soundtrack & Arrange Album is more suited for those who want the main tracks and a few arrangements too. Either way, one of these scores is a must-have.



Album
9/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

Album was composed by Hidehito Aoki / Kenichi Tsuchiya / Misaki Okibe / Shoji Meguro and was released on July 17, 1999. Soundtrack consists of tracks with duration over more than 3 hours. Album was released by Atlus.

CD 1

1
Theme of Kandori ~ Silence
02:05
2
Philemon Movie ~ Sebek Chapter
00:53
3
Maki's Theme ~ Bright
00:53
4
Dungeon ~ Police Station
02:52
5
Mark's Theme
01:03
6
Dungeon ~ Abandoned Factory Underground Passage
02:20
7
Dungeon ~ Sebek Above Ground
02:51
8
Dungeon ~ Sebek Underground Research Lab
03:36
9
Theme of Kandori ~ Ambition
01:30
10
Dimension Road
00:18
11
Aki's Theme
01:10
12
City 2 Accident
01:56
13
Dungeon ~ Ruins
02:34
14
Philemon Movie ~ Sebek Chapter 2
01:10
15
City 2
01:47
16
Dungeon ~ Karma Palace
02:04
17
Bar Attacked by Harlem Queen
01:39
18
Dungeon ~ Karma Palace
03:54
19
Shadow ~ Sirius
02:18
20
Mai's Theme
01:36
21
Dungeon ~ House
00:52
22
Deva-Yuga Appears
00:28
23
Kandori's Theme ~ Pathos
02:11
24
Beyond Dimension Road ~ View of Deva-Yuga
00:13
25
Dungeon ~ Deva-Yuga
02:51
26
Lapse of Distaizer
00:27
27
Reiji's Theme
01:46
28
Philemon Movei ~ Sebek Chapter 3
00:57
29
Shabon King of Consciousness
00:15
30
Maki's Theme ~ Sad
02:25
31
Dungeon ~ Pandora's Den (Deepmost Area)
02:14
32
Encounter with Pandora
01:23
33
Pandora's Entry
00:22
34
Pandora's Battle
03:11
35
Philemon Movie ~ Sebek Chapter 4
01:26
36
Sebek Chapter Good Ending
06:10
37
Sebek Chapter Bad Ending 2
03:08

CD 2

1
Sanitation Department (Former Dungeon ~ Saeko-Sensei)
01:52
2
Yukino's Theme
02:02
3
Frozen School
00:30
4
Snow Queen's Theme ~ Main
01:31
5
Philemon Movie ~ Ice Queen Chapter 1
00:58
6
Ice Castle
00:20
7
Dungeon ~ Ice Castle
02:12
8
Door, Frozen Shut
01:15
9
Dungeon ~ Former Ice Castle
02:22
10
Conversation ~ Generic 1
00:42
11
Toro Confesses to Ayase
01:08
12
Snow Queen's Theme ~ Violent
01:59
13
Consciousness
01:29
14
Infiltrating Hypnos Tower
00:16
15
Dungeon ~ Hypnos Tower
03:00
16
Common Battle
01:12
17
Spring of Restoration
00:38
18
Philemon Movie ~ Snow Queen Chapter 2
00:58
19
Dungeon ~ Reverse Dream World
02:04
20
Theme of Nemurin's Love
01:55
21
Infiltrating Nemesis Tower
00:18
22
Dungeon ~ Nemesis Tower
02:41
23
Snow Queen's Theme ~ Sad
01:42
24
Conversation ~ Generic 2
00:47
25
Infiltrating Devil's Mountain
00:16
26
Dungeon ~ Devil's Mountain
02:43
27
Time Count Event (Unused)
01:39
28
Mystery
01:19
29
Infiltrating Thanatos Tower
00:15
30
Thanatos Tower
03:08
31
Saeko-Sensei's Theme
02:30
32
Queen Asura Enters
00:22
33
Battle ~ Queen of the Night
03:42
34
Snow Queen Chapter Bad Ending 1
00:28
35
Restored School
00:29
36
Last Event
02:10
37
Snow Queen Chapter Good Ending
05:09
38
Snow Queen Chapter Bad Ending 2
03:21

CD 3

1
Opening
02:21
2
Daydream 1
00:36
3
Daydream 2
00:36
4
Name Entry
00:53
5
Elly's Theme
01:36
6
Dungeon ~ School (After School)
01:25
7
Nanjou's Theme
00:58
8
City 1 Tranquility
00:50
9
Dungeon ~ City 1 Shopping District (East Exit)
02:12
10
Casino
01:12
11
Convenience Store
01:01
12
City 1 & 2 Shopping District (West Exit)
02:11
13
Boutique
01:09
14
Satomi Tadashi Drugstore Song
00:59
15
Fast Food
01:12
16
Sennen-Mannen Hall
00:41
17
Doctor
01:04
18
Battle ~ Hospital (Before the Disaster)
02:22
19
Generic BGM-B
01:19
20
Battle ~ Awakening
01:25
21
Dungeon ~ Hospital (After Disaster)
02:04
22
City 1 Post-Disaster
01:49
23
Shrine (Philemon's Voice)
02:53
24
Augustia's Wood
01:29
25
Dungeon ~ City 1 School Revisited
02:39
26
Battle ~ Mid-Boss
02:18
27
The Cave Behind the Gym
00:48
28
Brown's Theme
01:31
29
Battle ~ Thesso
01:56
30
Ayase's Theme
00:57
31
Velvet Room
02:06
32
Velvet Room ~ Coalescence
00:41
33
Sebek Chapter Bad Ending 1
00:42
34
Maki's Theme ~ Loneliness
01:20

CD 4

1
Maika's Theme
02:24
2
Dungeon - No. 1
02:28
3
Foolish Boss' Theme
01:31
4
Satomi Tadashi Pharmacy Song - Ore Version
01:25
5
Satomi Tadashi Pharmacy Song - Jazz Version
01:58
30.04.12
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  • Album achieved 1486 place in our Hall of Fame
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