"Ys, meet Housemusic. Housemusic, this is Ys. Now why don't you kids hit the dance floor! Have fun!"
Ys: "What's with this Housemusic girl? All she wants to do is dance to a rapid succession of ever-repeating samples and drumbeats! C'mon, my game deserves a more dignified sound, like maybe a waltz or a tango even. Someone get me out of here!"
Housemusic: "What's with this uptight Ys character? Loosen up dude! It's just music, and besides, it'd do your game some good to take advantage of the nice riffs from the soundtrack. C'mon, just follow my lead!"
So it is with Provincialism Ys, a very strange juxtaposition of dance music flair and the more classical compositions of Ys Book 1 & 2. After the wonderful Symphony Ys CDs, one would think that these songs, dressed up in any particular guise, would still come out sounding great. This is not to suggest that it can't be done, but after hearing Provincialism, one has to wonder if certain music should just stay away from particular musical genres.
The CD does have its moments. The horns of "Palace of Destruction" combine with the new samples and percussion to breathe new life into the song, JDK spices up "The Last Moment of the Dark" with some choice voice samples from the original U.S. soundtrack, and how can anyone dislike any arrangement that drops into the mix classic hip-hop references as Lisa Lisa & the Cult Jam, C&C Music Factory, and Flavor Flav. However, after repeated listenings it all gets kind of stale; I was tempted to just throw the thing out the car window.
I really wish I could recommend this CD. I think it's great that game companies are trying different things with their soundtracks. Sometimes it works pretty well (see Square's Secret of Mana + and Chrono Trigger - Brink of Time), but maybe some games just aren't cut out for a complete makeover, as unfortunately seems to be the case here.
Ys: "Feena, Dark Fact, someone get me outta here!"