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Nobuo Uematsu – “Final Fantasy Mix” Review

F.F. Mix is a bizarre CD, full of unreleased material and some remixes of the classic FF songs. Great debate lies in the integrity of the remixes as the opinion is very divided. I will warn in advance you will either grow to love them or hate them and never play them again! However those of you not put off with that task may find solace in the unreleased material here.

Opening the CD is “Tina” which has been remixed by Snow Productions. Now it’s a house remix, and you would have no idea it was actually Tina for the first 2 minutes, before you actually hear the tune. To be honest, the song sounds a little dated and too repetitive and the Tina parts sound tacked on, but its still worth a listen to hear what they’ve done.

“Friends Beats” is a Dear Friends remix, in a hip-hop way. This song is much better and actually incorporates the song a little more, but although its merry enough to plod along, it just doesn’t cut it as a great song. It’s a shame as now Square Dance is around; we can get better dance songs! “Main Theme From Final Fantasy IV” is another remix and sounds very dated and very wrong. A Reggae beat splattered over the top of the OSV version does not make a good song. No ifs or buts. These remixes are all inferior to the excellent works we can get at OverClocked Remix – they simply have not aged well at all. Still, now we have those out of they, along comes sound synth arranged versions of the older songs.

“Prologue” is a fully arranged version of Final Fantasy, which is nice, but compared to say FFVI it just doesn’t cut it as well at would have done 8 or 9 years ago. The tunes still great, but it’s not as impressive. “Theme Of Love” suffers the same problem, but as it’s a one off song it cannot be overlooked as much. It’s a much clearer and better version than the OSV and congratulations must go to Uematsu for breathing new life into a well-used song. Maybe this was the ground workings for the ensemble release on the piano collections!

“The Origin” is an unreleased track and although it really does nothing new the tune meanders decently enough but it  will only appeal to die-hard fans. I am one of those, and I was not immediately impressed with this song. “Restless Moments” on the other hand is a true synth song and is welcome entry here. Full of panic, it struts its stuff well. “Sea of Silence” is a sombre song but really does nothing new again. It’s nice, but not enough to stand out for you to buy the CD.

“Matoya” on the other hand is a remix version done well. Using new drum technology and new synths it brings the original into a new world and depth and shows that this album could have been so very much more if others were done like this… “Mount Of The Sky” is a quirky track and one that gives a great character and I have no idea why it wasn’t released or used before.

“Opening Idea Version 2” is a nice little track and its nice to see what other music could have been put to certain pieces of games. The same can be said for “Flying Ship Version 2”. Both are good songs and are worthy of being released.

“Mambo de Chocobo” gives us one of the best arrangements of the Chocobo theme, complete with real instrumentation. You’ll want tequila when the songs finished. It’s a classy number indeed.

“The Prelude Crystal Remix” sounds like a redundant early 1990’s Madonna song, and although it’s not dreadful by any means, it’s definitely an acquired taste just like the final track – “Final Fantasy Megamix” which is a fun way to finish off the album, if not entirely successful. It is very interesting to see what they’ve done, and how it could have been better, but that doesn’t constitute making it either a good CD, or one worth paying out for.

F.F. Mix is one of those for hardcore fans. Essentially, this is a bungled mix of wannabe tracks. Some are great, but those are tarnished by the lacklustre pieces surrounding them. This is not a worthy buy unless you see it in a bargain sale. Sorry Nobuo! (HPM loves almost everything else you’ve done!)

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