I'll be honest...As someone that is about 5 discs shy of owning every Falcom album prior to Zwei, I had given up on their newer work. It wasn't doing anything for me. They mixed genres of music for the sake of mixing genres. The orchestra parts meshed with the electronic parts, while meshing with the rock parts, equaling something horribly less than the sum of its parts. The output blew up immensely over the past couple 7-8 years, with the Kiseki albums and quite a few Ys albums. And yet, without fail, every remade track I came across (with the exception of some Ys Origin stuff...Overdrive is full on neoclassical shred that is hard for me NOT to enjoy) just ended up bathed in mediocrity and I'd flip through about 3-5 Kiseki tracks (from whatever was out that year) on Youtube before moving on to something else.
But then something very odd started happening. I went scrounging for stuff the other day and started giving Ys VIII music some serious hands on time. And it just...clicked. The different "new" style was clicking. While stuff like Felghana and Celceta (a soundtrack I still consider to be a hellish spectacle of how NOT to remake classic tracks) were still fresh in my mind, I spent probably a good 2 hours going back and forth on the first 10 tracks of Ys VIII alone. It was bringing in thoughts of Grandia I's soundtrack and it's poppy blend of orchestra and rock that gelled so smoothly together. So okay, that's a relief.
But then I hit upon the recent "Sen No Kiseki III" soundtrack and while not every track was a winner, it was producing SOME winners that I kept going back to. Enough to warrant a purchase slot, alongside Ys VIII. It IS a four disc soundtrack, afterall. So I go flip some more tracks and sure enough, the other two Sen no Kiseki albums are generally solid all around. And then I find out they REMADE the first three Sora no Kiseki soundtracks (the first OST is generally solid RPG fare, but Falcom was going through some growing pains with their synth at the time, making it, Ys VI and the very first Zwei album tough to get through...the "Evolution" soundtrack renders it completely obsolete).
To be honest, I'm only scratching the surface and I have mixed feelings about the giant machine of output that Falcom has become*, but hearing what Ys VIII was doing finally made it easier to accept the new Falcom on its own merits. I wish it was clearer who was doing what, but VGMDB has other names popping up around Jindo and I'm hoping that is what is making everything seem so much better. Baby steps for me right now, but there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
Thoughts on new Falcom stuff? (from 2001-ish and on)
*Yes, I understand the irony of this statement and their late 80's/early 90's output.