Chihiro Harada – a man whom after this outting making the music for the wonderful game “Gitarooman” deserves to be mooted as a rival to Massaya Matsuura for most bizzare fun rhythm soundtrack. With the help of J-Rock band Coil (his alter ego) he has made a soundtrack of barmy perfection.
The Gitaroo soundtrack opens the way how in intends to go on, with anthemic J-rock hooks courtesy of Coil’s “Soft Machine” before Harada begins to flex his fingers with “Boogie For An Afternoon” a quick little number thats the weakest song on the album as it just flexes itself through a chilled out number.
“Twisted Reality” then gets the energy flowing with stomping drums, chugging heavy electric guitars and a simple riff that is overlayed with erupting guitar solos and someone going mad on a keyboard! Add it up with vocal snippets like “I’m a cute demon vampiress” and you’re onto a winner!
From one type of guitar to another we jump to hyper pop “Flyin To Your Heart” which has a superb showdown in the middle as the guitar and keyboard try to outdo and match eachothers solo – it really is something that takes the Simon-Say approach to a new level. The song’s then capped off with a sublime ending – and the vocals are good here too! Phew!
“‘Bee’ Jam Blues” reminds me very much of afro’s, flairs and hip hop cheese! This time the funk guitar takes the lead in a fun and unusual song structure in which you get a very short verse, then an end line for a chorus – with some great action from all player and singers all round.
“VOID” steps up the pace for a quick power drum n bass freak out really – a synth guitar is in place here but this songs all about power, pace and the bass!
“Nuff Respect Featuring NAHKI” takes us to a completely new reggae genre in this ever changing soundtrack. While this song isn’t my favourite by a long way – replacing guitars with some random b-movie alien ray zappings instead – it’s far from bad! It just takes a bit of getting used to. Also its a tad too long for my liking.
Following on we go laid back for “The Legendary Theme (Acoustic Version)” a song any newly rebadged ex boy band solo artist would be proud of. Sweet, cute and catchy – it’s a surprise at just how diverse Chihiro Harada’s music is. This is backed up with the mad samba fest that is “Bad To Be Bone” possibly my favourite track from the soundtrack – a complete throw in the kitchen sink latino guitar solo freak out! It has a superb climax to the song as well, as do most tracks as the final section of the song collaborates both sides of the Simon Says rhythm formula to great results.
“Tainted Lovers” is stadium rock gone gothic at its best. It reminds me a bit of when Metalica performed with an orchestra and rocked out, its a very similar style of sound only with a very snyth sounding choir instead and some ultra cheesey goth reed organs!
“Overpass” continues the heavy riff rock influence but doesnt really develop as a song as it cuts out once it’s done a full loop of the song (due to the games story) which is a shame as they could have finished off the song especially for the soundtrack! However “The Legendary Theme (Album Version)” makes up for the loss with a lighter waving version of the fantastic tune. It transposes itself from acoustic to electric very nicely indeed. Then comes the best of the rock songs from my view “Resurrection” which has a dark and crisp feel to it and the riffs and solo’s are absolutely top notch!
The album effectively closes with “21st Century Boy” the closing song performed by Coil, another great bouncy light hearted tradional J-Rock number which is easy on the ears.
When I mean it effectively closes, there are 4 “remixed” tracks afterwards but I honestly do not know what the differences are – they sound absolutely identical! Wasted time there I’m afraid.
All the material of Gitarooman is of a very high standard and of course it will be an advantage if you like your gutiars. On the otherhand it does tackle many genres of music in the one album so its far from a strickly rock and freak out soundtrack. This is a well balanced soundtrack that all should find at least something they like on and I think in a few years time, this should still be remembered on very fondly indeed.