Awesome, this soundtrack is very much like Dear Friends. This means exact replicas of the original melodies with high-powered synthesizers.
"Following The Wind" has the best selection of songs. It starts off with "My Home Town", a soft, benign melody, perfectly suitable for a town theme. Unlike the newer town themes, evident in FF4 and FF5, this one sounds very good. Next comes "Eternal Wind", one of the best songs on the soundtrack and evidently the title track. Uplifting and refreshing, this is one to listen to on a breezy day (hence the name). After Eternal Wind, things heat up with the "Battle Theme". Listening to an arranged version of this song, I have to admit that this is one of the best battle themes, even surpassing the almighty FFVI version and the newest FFVII one! The song finishes off with a small excerpt of the "Fanfare".
"Their Spiritual Leader" starts with a newly written piece I like to call 'Chant of The Wind'. It sounds very tribal, and the choir is a nice touch. "Let Me Know The Truth" is next, which is a song not unlike FFIV's "Theme of Love". The song finishes off with the awe inspiring "Breeze", yet another newly-written. The same vocalist who performed Roaming Sheep also does this song, and she is magnificent. The lyrics are necely sung and her voice is charmingly radiant. A strong song, and one that definitely deserves to be in the FF Songs Hall of Fame.
"Ebb And Flow" starts off with the "Invincible", a song that resembles FFV's "Ahead On Our Way", with its lively rhythm. Surprisingly, it ends with a small excerpt of FF1's "Matoya"! What must be the best dungeon theme in any FF (at least in my opinion) is "Castle of Hain". It's got a great beat, and great composition. Uematsu is just known to make every one of his songs perfect, even for a 'lowly' dungeon theme.
"Rebirth" is the entire "Everlasting World". This is basically the entire ending theme. It really is incredible how they did this. It makes you wish that the entire OSV sounded this way. The song variations are "My Home Town" and "The Invincible". Finally comes the moment I savor most. No FF soundtrack is complete without the beautiful Final Fantasy theme. This was actually added on to the very short excerpt from the original. Throw in a great finale, and you have on of the better arranged FF soundtracks available.
My main gripe of this CD is the infamous narrator in the beginning of each track (with the exception of track 6). Everyone seems to hate this guy! He totally deters from the music, and you have to spend some time fowarding the CD to get to the music. I mean OK, its interesting the first time you hear it, but after that... My other complaint is the evident mixing of songs on each track. Although I don't mind it too much, as the songs do blend in quite nicely, I would have preferred it if each song had its own separate track. That way, boom!, "The Breeze", I'm there.
There really aren't too many arranged FFs that sound as good as this, with the exception of Dear Friends and Symphonic Suite. I sincerely hope that more arranged soundtracks will be like this in the future.