Not to everyone's tastes, to be sure. However, this CD has taken up almost permanent residency in my car stereo. Fusion is the newest addition to my "listening repertoire". Born unto jazz and rock, fusion is seldom heard in the world of game music. Because of its smoother, milder feel, fusion can be an immediate turn-off to fans seeking powered-up arrangements of their favorite game music. If you give it a chance though, like I did, you may find it cooler than you thought. And what better example to test the appeal of fusion than with Konami's power-rock masterpiece, Salamander?
Many familiar Salamander melodies are well-represented here, coming mostly from Salamander 2. The arrangements are right on. In almost every song, the artists were able to strike a successful balance between maintaining the original melody and still adding their own character. The result is a hybrid soundtrack that could pass either as next generation game music or as professional fusion.
The performances are terrific as well. I've been told by an accomplished drummer that the percussion by Tappy on "Silvery Wings Again" is about as cool as it gets. Mami Asano demonstrates her skill on the keyboards with creative arrangements and deft improvisations. Motoaki Furukawa helps put the "Pro" in "Pro-Fusion" with his outstanding guitar performances, and he composes one "inspired by" song himself, "Salamander". Many may recognize "Power Of Anger" as the first stage music from Life Force on the NES.
I encourage Salamander players and open-minded game music fans to check Pro-Fusion out. You may find it an enjoyable and refreshing change of pace from typical game music. It was certainly well worth my money.