This weeks FFF presents, for your listening pleasure, the Final Fantasy vocal collection trio. A collection of both beautiful and odd tunes, the three albums, Pray, Love Will Grow and Songbook (Mahoroba) have been some of my favorites for the past twenty years. Some of the songs you will instantly love, some you will instantly hate, depending on your personal preference, but all three albums contain some great work.
Final Fantasy: Pray (1994)
Contains songs spanning from the original Final Fantasy up to Final Fantasy VI. This is one of my most favorite albums, opening with a great vocalization of the series staple, Prelude. Back when I first found this album it encouraged me to both write fantasy stories as well as work on my own tabletop RPG. Several languages are present on this album including English, Japanese, French, Portuguese, and the musical style varies greatly from track to track. Within it’s CD liner is this message from composer Nobuo Uematsu:
Praying makes people content.
Praying makes people calm
People pray for what they don’t have
It could be health, love, or even money.
Writing music is praying for me.
I present myself the love, care, and other forgotten feelings which I must give myself.
I am balancing my feelings by doing so
Praying is any harmony directed outwards
When people harmony backwards, praying turns into cursing.
Why should we go backwards?
Don’t be afraid to pray for what you want.
Pray for your own self.
Everything starts in that moment.
Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow (1995)
Contains songs spanning from the original Final Fantasy up to Final Fantasy VI. This album has a distinctly different flavor than its predecessor. Where Pray seems more fantasy driven, Love Will Grow seems to me like it was designed with the roaring 20’s in mind. Its a bit more modern and upbeat, but still has some of the same whispery fantasy elements in its music. Within it’s CD liner is this message from composer Nobuo Uematsu:
Even Tchaikovsky’s musics are just random symbols on a piece of paper, without musicians to play them. Likewise, a violin is just a wooden block without a player. An unused computer is just a box. Things come alive when humans use them, find something out of them, and think about them. In that instant, a “thing” becomes an “instrument” for the first time. This silver colored disc is not complete yet. This disc is complete only if you listen and find something out of it. Yes, you are one of the last staffs involved in the making of this album, too. Thank you for completing this CD with me.
Final Fantasy: Songbook (Mahoroba) (2004)
I admit that this is the album I know the least about as its the one I have had the least longest out of all three. Pretty weird considering its 12 years old! This album contains songs spanning from Final Fantasy III to Final Fantasy IX. Technically it’s the “unofficial” sequel to the other two vocal collections, but is great nonetheless! The album opens with a distinctly Celtic version of the Final Fantasy IX song “The Place Ill Return to Someday” and takes off from there! Supposedly Mahoroba is a Japanese word describing a far off, peaceful land, similar to a Nirvana or Eden. Understandable given the soothing and peaceful pace of the songs on the album.