Bayside Shakedown Final
International Title
 Bayside Shakedown 4: The Final
Music By: Yugo Kanno
Record Label: Universal
Running Time: 76:59 Discs: 1
Release: September 2012 CD Number: UMCK-1428
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

This soundtrack is Yugo Kanno's second and, which feels like a pun saying it considering how overused it was in the film's marketing, "final" score for the Bayside Shakedown series. While uneven composer Akihiko Matsumoto first made his mark with the blockbuster franchise, Yugo Kanno took the reigns starting with Bayside Shakedown 3: Set the Guys Loose (2010). Despite Matsumoto's absence from scoring, however, his presence is still very much felt as almost half of the score is comprised of new remixes of his original work, done under the name "F.F.S.S.". Sadly, these are some of the weaker remixes of his work available, which is saying something, and while Kanno's work does elevate the material a little it still makes this a hard soundtrack to recommend.

The first nine tracks, so literally half of the CD, is composed of music under the name "F.F.S.S.". Akihiko Matsumoto is given credit as the author under "music series", but very hard to see if Matsumoto actually had a hand in creating these. For his sake, we will assume no, as most of these themes have been remixed again and again through the series, feeling very tired and uninspired at this stage. While a series closer should have familiar tunes, one would hope that at least one of these themes would stand out. However, even the best of them, "C. X. (Orchestra Version)", sounds more or less the same as it did in Bayside Shakedown (1998) except with a distracting background tempo added that drowns out a little the more sweeping orchestration. Meanwhile stuff like "Otoboke" is bad enough that the listener will go reaching up for the skip button. ...and then there is "Rhythm and Police", to which what Bayside Shakedown score would be complete without its famous theme? To those scant souls out there that have never heard it, regardless of the remix, it's always a crowd pleaser. The disc has the least appealing variant I have heard, I'm partial to the version from Bayside Shakedown 2 (2003), but even it can't weigh down the theme from being an enjoyable number.

After this are nine tracks by Yugo Kanno, which couldn't be more different right off the bat with the soothing piano theme "Introduction". Kanno feels, at times, out of place against the more techno styling heard in the early films. However, one can't deny that it makes for a much more enjoyable listen when juxtaposed against the first half of the CD. While some of his themes are a little long, the better two are probably the painfully long titled "Bayside Fortress ~ Bayside Shakedown: The Final, a New Hope Ver." (which sounds a little too close to Gustav Holst's "Mars, Bringer of War" at times) and the more menacing "Tragedy". He does show a little range, though, with the video game sounding "Job", a track that does feel like a better fit for the series than the other themes. While Kanno does a good job of elevating the content versus the train wreck first half, all the same the second half is forgettable in its own right and the score is sorely lacking some highlight themes to make it stand out.

Overall, the soundtrack gets the job done of harking back to the franchise regulars for themes, but never manages to carve a name for itself or standout. As mixed as Akihiko Matsumoto's work was, he still produced some gems like a few themes from Negotiator: Mashita Masayoshi (2005) that this sixth film in the franchise is devoid of.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. C.X.
    By: F.F.S.S.
  2. G-Groove
    By: F.F.S.S.
  3. Ding Dong
    By: F.F.S.S.
  4. Moon Light
    By: F.F.S.S.
  5. Otoboke
    By: F.F.S.S.
  6. Close Call
    By: F.F.S.S.
  7. The Mission of Conga
    By: F.F.S.S.
  8. C. X. (Orchestra Version)
    By: F.F.S.S.
  9. Rhythm and Police
    By: F.F.S.S.
  10. Introduction
  11. Chase After
  12. Tragedy
  13. Job
  14. Mad
  15. Bayside Fortress ~ Bayside Shakedown: The Final, a New Hope Ver.
  16. Fellow ~ Final Ver.
  17. Life ~ Bayside Shakedown: The Final, a New Hope Ver.
  18. Bayside Station Song