As with many of my CD purchases, I didn't know quite what I was getting with 10th Anniversary Konami Label Theme Song Collection. I only recognized a few tunes, but I took a dive in and picked it up anyway. I mean, it's Konami, right? As it turns out, this CD is a collection of various vocal pieces from different Konami games in the past few years.
A majority of the tracks on this CD are Japanese pop tunes, many from games I haven't even heard of. My favorite is the first track, "Believe", which I think is from the game Dancing Blade. After starting with a dance beat, it explodes with a guitar and powerful lyrics. I'd say it ranks up right there with the best of anime theme songs, on par with The Slayers songs... it's really *that* good.
Two other noteworthy songs are from the Goemon series of games. The first, from the original N64 Mystical Ninja title, is the Goemon Impact tune, only with real instruments replacing the crappy synth. Goofy yet fun, the booming main vocal is accompanied by a chorus of little children chiming in at key moments, giving it a Gamera-esque feel. The other Goemon song, yanked from the English version of Goemon's Great Adventure, is sung by Hironobu Kageyama (he of Dragon Ball Z song fame), accompanied by a fast paced, catchy guitar. Other decent songs include the bouncy theme song from Twinbee RPG and the saccharine sweet Tokimeki Memorial theme.
The remaining third of the CD is a change of pace. Undoubtedly these are the songs that most of the American audience will recognize: the beautiful Celtic piece "The Best Is Yet To Come" from Metal Gear Solid, the creepy Spanish tango "Esperadonte" from Silent Hill, the ending song from Vandal Hearts (sung in a language I'm not even sure of), and the crappy, laid-back "I Am the Wind" from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It's nice to have these songs on a single CD, but they seem a tad bit out of place after all of the upbeat Japanese tracks on the rest of the CD.
Even if most of the games sound unfamiliar, anyone who likes anime theme songs and doesn't mind the Japanese lyrics will love this CD.