“Chrono Trigger: Brink of Time” may well win the award for most edible front cover with its fried breakfast on the front. However the task at hand of arranging what many would agree, is a fantastic soundtrack – would be much harder than scoffing down a yummy breakfast.
Hiroshi Hata & Kalta Ohtsuki give each track on the arranged album a jazz flavour which immediately unsettles me as I’m not a fan of the genre. However I have sat and let this CD flow over me time and time again before I wrote this review so as not to be biased.
“Chrono Trigger” is an interesting jazzed up piece using brass instruments, funky keyboards and bashing basses to up the ante with a lovely string section in the middle. Overall the track met my expectations and went beyond them for a jazz arrangement.
“Secret of Forest” however slows things down for a cool laid back approach and while there’s no denying the guitar work on the piece is sublime it just doesn’t do wonders for me. “Zeal Palace” just confuses however with sparse arrangements and thick bass lines and just never really gets going for me at all.
“Warlock Battle” gives us synthesized electric guitars, computerised basslines but seemingly live drums for the opening bizarre section. Once the main song gets started things improve greatly and it reminds me a bit of a lost Gitarooman track which is fine to me! “Chrono Corridor” is another strange blend of synth and live instrumentation however I enjoyed this track greatly as its jazz fusion and dance elements combine well.
“Undersea Palace” gains extra help from Gizaemon de Furuta for a beautiful electric acoustic guitar solo which is simply beautiful before the keyboard driven background adds excellent tension to a fantastic track. “World Revolution” continues on the same wavelength of pace and desire with a riot of a track which comes across like a jazz/arcade freak out – like something from an arcade shoot-em-up.
“Brink of Time” gets out the double bass for an interesting track which is not entirely successful in its slinky aim but is far from offensive – another track that doesn’t grab me.
“Guardia Millenial Fair” however does grab me with its old style musings and slightly off tone and kilter tunings of the instruments. However towards the end steel drums join in and they just don’t go with the surrounding instruments and it becomes slightly messy. The CD closes with Latin jazz fusion “Outskirts of Time” which is a well accomplished piece that has direction, pace and skill involved.
Despite all this time I’ve owned the CD (several years now) I’m still so very open juried over it. It has skill, class and a feel that’s relatively original and yes, it certainly does arrange the originals! Yet I still have yet to really connect with it in a way that means I look forward to coming back to the CD as soon as possible – and that annoys me because it’s technically well accomplished. A CD very much down to personal taste – a love or hate arrangement.