Square Enix’s Re:Birth series pays tribute to Kenji Ito’s classic scores, with the first Re:Birth album paying homage to Seiken Densetsu. The second, Re:Birth II, took on the SaGa franchise and went in a different direction, bringing serious synth rock in a fashion not seen since the glory days of the JDK Band, and was very well received.
The album was so well received that it’s getting a follow-up album with ten new arrangements, finally visiting the core SaGa series and SaGa Frontier. But does it live up to the success of the first Re:Birth II CD?
In one word, yes! And I have to admit, it’s probably because I have the most familiarity with the original SaGa and SaGa Frontier.
The first track will take you back to the original SaGa II (Final Fantasy Legend II), opening with wailing guitars and rock organ before blazing synthesizers bring down the house. And this is what you’re going to get throughout your entire listening experience.
That’s immediately followed by the sexy strings-infused “Battle 2” from the original Romancing SaGa, another favorite of mine. The combination of heavy metal and the elegant strings is really something of beauty. This blending of sounds appears again towards the end of the album with “Melody of Evil and Divinity” from Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song-, which is nothing short of epic. I was again blown away by the incredible “Battle #1” from SaGa Frontier which relies heavily on a synth leads and pads.
Even the tracks I was less familiar with generally had something to admire, whether it be impressive guitar solos, or crazy synth runs.
The artwork is also quite beautiful, and there’s a download code to check out the original soundtrack versions of each of the arrangements, which is a nice touch if you’re trying to remember what the original version of a particular track sounded like.
While the album’s ten tracks clock in at around 47 minutes, you’ll be left wanting even more. A third volume, perhaps? Who knows, but this series is fantastic, and I appreciate Sen even more than its predecessor.
Available at: CD Japan