With Macross Plus Original Soundtrack we have something that is not entirely common in anime soundtracks - a fully orchestrated score akin to those put out by the film industry. "Fully orchestrated" just in that several tracks contain music performed by a full-scale orchestra; there are other tracks which diverge into different styles of performance. What all the tracks have in common is composition by the highly regarded Yoko Kanno.
The orchestral tracks are indeed the primary focus of the soundtrack. Things start off right with "National Anthem of MACROSS", which begins with a trumpet solo, then is joined by fuller but still subdued orchestral play and some nice, fluttering highlights via flute. Peacefully patriotic and quite beautiful, the track establishes the orchestral sound nicely.
Remaining orchestral tracks include the playful and energetic "Bees and Honey" and "Fly up in the air" (the latter of which again makes nice use of flutes). "Break out ~ Cantibile", by contrast, is rife with danger and action - and a bit similar to the John Williams sound - before becoming progressively more subdued up to its perfectly quiet finish. The orchestral sections aren't all picture perfect though. "Tension" is a bit atonal at the beginning and awkward-sounding even in the context of the video, so many will probably find it dissatisfying until it builds up for the climax. "In captivity" is another track which creates tension but loses its capacity for musical enjoyment in the process.
Macross Plus's soundscape is very diverse, and the first OST gives some indication of this with its non-orchestral tracks. The highlight of these is "VOICES", which is the main theme of the series. The solo female vocalist is beautifully gentle in her singing, and although her performance is not quite perfect, for better or worse that actually fits better into the story anyway. The reprise of the theme in "MYUNG theme" begins with a gorgeous piano solo which later shifts into an almost equally beautiful full orchestral performance. "After in the dark" is the J-pop song from the OAV credits and is decent, but is worth listening through for the quiet, very poignant "Torch song" end segment. Finally we have "SANTI-U", which features the more progressive sounding vocals of the Sharon Apple character, and ends with a throbbing beat and a myriad of unconventional sounds (indicative of some of the content found in OST2).
I would definitely recommend Macross Plus OST more to listeners who are comfortable with orchestral scores, as you won't find the bubblegum pop songs and synth instrumentals of many anime. As a fan of the videos I adore this CD, and highly recommend it to fellow fans. For those poor saps who haven't seen the videos, my recommendation is still in place, with the caveat that for purely orchestral music there are more captivating soundtracks around.