If you want an American CD, here it is. Of all the video game CDs released domestically, this one is the best. That doesn't count Final Fantasy III or Secret of Mana, of course. Here's my take. The music in this CD is pretty good, in my opinion. It's by Spencer Nilsen, who is generally regarded with contempt in the video game music industry. Why? Well, because he mutilated the music of Sonic CD. Don't get me wrong, his Sonic CD music was nice. It's just that it already *had* music from Japan! They ditched it and Spencer wrote a new sound track. Too bad... But Ecco was his own, from start to finish. I like it. It's not really thinking man's music like Symphony Ys or Final Fantasy. It's sort of easy listening. Not like Phantasmagoria, though. I really can't describe it. Why am I writing a review then? Well, the music is new age. It doesn't have much of a melody most of the time. It sounds rather like movie music. It sort of repeats bars for a while, then gets you familiar with a theme, returns to repeating again, then returns to the theme. Not too bad. I think movie composers could learn from this guy.
One of the songs, "St. Gabriel's Mask", I found to be very, very good. They really like this guy in Europe. He got sound track of the year from a few mags. I guess they didn't have Final Fantasy or something. San Diego Reader (not European) says, "Spencer is blessed with ingenuity to match his skills as a melodist." I don't disagree. "St. Gabriel's Mask" is very ingenious and melodic. I just don't feel that every song on the CD was done at full potential, meaning not all of them are melodic. GameFan Magazine, one of my favorites, said, at one point, according to the CD case, "Spencer... [is] redefining game music as we know it." Perhaps they were referring to the mutilation of Sonic, because this is no redefinition in my eyes. It is, however, quite good. I wouldn't get excited about it like the Suikoden sound track or anything. Buy it to support Sega Music Group. Then maybe we can convince them to bring over more Japanese music and publish it instead.