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Title
 Lorelei - Original Soundtrack
International Title
 Lorelei
Music By: Naoki Sato
Record Label: Universal
 
Running Time: 63:09 Discs: 1
Release: February 2005 CD Number: UCCS-1070
Comments
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

I'm generally a huge fan of Naoki Sato. His work on Always: Sunset on Third Street 2 (2007) and Space Battleship Yamato (2010) is nothing short of amazing. Sadly, this release is more of a miss for Sato. Its not bad, in fact mediocre is the best description for it, but this makes it all the more disappointing given the composer's other work.

In terms of the cues that work here, leading the way is the more rousing "Unbreakable Spirit" that gives a nice march-like motif that carries the piece and makes it quite energetic to hear. Having proven himself in 2010's space opera, Sato also delivers another great "warfare" piece in "Oceanic Warzone". Its a longer cue, at just over seven minutes, but is a great action piece that holds its own during the long theme and never overstays its welcome. "The Door to Freedom" is also a soothing piece, before building up to a brief, but great, flute sequence that steals the show.

On the downside, and this is really something that impacts the entire score, the music on this CD just sounds a little too simplistic. This is in part because of Sato's composition style and also due to the fact that it sounds like he has a very small orchestra to utilize. Space Battleship Yamato (2010) sounded rich, majestic and very powerful in its orchestrations. There was an added feeling of an event that the score was able to translate to its themes. This soundtrack has a lot of the same style of motifs, but lacks that sense of grandeur. This is summed up quite well in the theme "The Menace Above". The cue is actually not all that bad, but is simple and uses such sparse orchestration that makes it sound almost more at home in a video game than a theatrical production. "Crime and Punishment" is another cue that suffers this same fate, of lacking that deep orchestra feel and seeming like it would have been more at home in a smaller production like an OVA.

Score aside, the soundtrack also features one song in the form of "Wiegenlied", or "Mozart's Lullaby" , which is a German song sung by a New Zealand singer (and in a Japanese film no less, if you want to get a little bit more of a global mix there). Its done by Hayley Westenra, who at this stage in her career was only 17, and demonstrates her great vocal skills as a soprano. It starts a little heavy handed in its approach, but becomes quite enjoyable later in the theme to make an overall enjoyable listen.

Bottom line, this is a decent score that I'm probably being too hard on because I expected more from a Naoki Sato soundtrack. It has a different flavor from his other work, for better or worse, and is sure to have some fans. All the same, though, it doesn't match up to well with some of the great scores the composer has done throughout his career.
Rating:
Tracks
  1. Conduit: A Witch of Steel
  2. Unbreakable Spirit
  3. Toward Daybreak
  4. Crime and Punishment
  5. The Heart of the Witch
  6. Oceanic Warzone
  7. The Door to Freedom
  8. The Menace Above
  9. Nagasaki, August 9th ~ The Second Blast
  10. Abyss of Despair
  11. A Beacon of Hope
  12. Frantic Recovery
  13. 1945: The Last Hope
  14. Threat ~ The Third Nuclear Device
  15. A Journey's Recompense
  16. Fighting to Protect the Future
  17. Wiegenlied(Mozart's Lullaby)
    By: Hayley Westenra