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Yasunori Mitsuda & Millennial Fair – “Xenogears Creid” Review

Xenogears Creid is an arranged album from the PS1 game, with a heavy influence on the Celtic and Eastern instrumentation. Yasunori Mitsuda collaborated with Millennial Fair to produce what could well be classed as one of the best-arranged albums ever.

The album opens with the epic “Melkaba” which starts off with hypnotic harps and piano before breaking out into a majestic guitar, fiddle and choral song that lets nothing slip from its grasp. From each chord and build up to the next finale-like set piece, you’ll be hooked and mesmerised. Add to that some fantastic Eastern European (think Bulgarian) vocal ab-libs and you’re in even. 7 and a half minutes later, you’ll be hit with “Two Wings” which is a new vocal version of Joanne Hogg’s outtake song. Although the songs not changed, new lyrics in Japanese make it feel fresh. The song is just as captivating and uplifting.

“Balto” starts off very ethereal before showing its pure beauty and swiftness. This being an instrumental, the instruments take centre stage and really show off. Then half way through, the loving tempo, and the songs origin changes from Eastern to French, as the accordion kicks in and the song up tempos and the chirpy version of the song begins. It’s a great way to finish the song with the end result sounding like a River Dance song!

“Creid” is a beautiful, soft Celtic song, which is very spiritual and warm and wouldn’t be out-of-place in a church. Half way through once again, the song changes and instruments begin to make it into an epic adventure with echoing drum rhythms and sweet singing. “Dajil” is an absolute stonker of a song. It rocks out the electronic Sitar from start to end in a mass crescendo of music that will send your pulse racing. The diversity on the album hits home between the complete opposites of the last two tunes. “Stairs of Light” is pleasant and happy ditty that goes through various cultured stages in the song and still has time to have a lovely grandstand finish. The way in which each song is thought out really shines through on this album.

“June Mermaid”, perhaps one of the most loved songs from Xenogears, is given a very sensitive and heartfelt rendition with harps, fiddles, whistles and wind chimes. The end result is a tear jerking effort that would be perfect for any sad scene for any game. “Spring Lullaby” is possibly the least immediate song on the album, but that still puts it miles above the best of a lot of other albums. The song is a  grower as it does have its own hooks, it just takes a few listens to bed them in.

“Lahan” is a fast paced, light fun song that gives you a buzzing smile that then turns to anthem singing with a fantastic build up to great finish that has you cheering along with the fair at the end of it. “Mebius” is a classic song to finish on. As loving as it is beautiful, this is a Japanese vocal of “Small two of Piece’s”. The song captures all the drama and feeling and ends the album perfectly.

“Xenogears: Creid” is the kind of CD you can’t help but love. It’s a class above the rest with real emotion in the performances and extremely enchanting themes. Put simply…one of the best. Buy it now.

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