Katamari Forever (Katamari Damacy Tribute) OST
Columbia Music Entertainment
Naturally, much of what fills up Forever's audio space are simply recontextualized versions of the old songs we know and love. The swinging jazz becomes an orchestra. The electro rock becomes acoustic folk. The big band mayhem becomes funky hip-hop or whatever. Pretty standard stuff. Newcomers won't know the difference and long time fans will find the reworking to be a welcome refresher. But none of them are earth-shattering, and in the worst cases they actually sap the original songs of their unique spirit. Let's not dwell on the missteps.
There are a few bright candles in the dark. Buaffalo Daughter's "Galactic S-O-U-L" is the most refreshing thing to hit the soundtrack since the original. Sounding like nothing yet included, it is a very dark, funky and bare-bones track, like James Brown stumbled into a hip British dance club full of spies. It sound like nothing Katamari has ever seen.
I was skeptical of a revision to "Cherry Blossom Color Season," since even my black heart was filled with blood by those frickin' adorable singing kids. I was immediately pleased to hear Beautiful Hummingbird's light and natsukashii folk version.
YMCK bring their usual obsessive attention to detail and 8-bit swing to "A Crimson Rose and a Gin Tonic." It's a prefect example of the "oh yeah, here they are being amazing, as usual *yawn*" problem that hangs over much of the soundtrack. The "Everlasting Love" and Your Are Smart" mash-up, retitled "Everlasting Love + You" and sing by Leah Dizon is definitely one for the hardcore fans. The two songs work perfectly together, but unfortunately Dizon's dead-pan, lifeless delivery nearly ruins the entire affair, despite its pumping dance beat and hard-hitting synths. This is made up for with the proper "Everlasting Love" remix from Atom. It's a twisted-up drum 'n' bass take on the pop-rock song, full of odd time signatures and some pretty heavy bass hits.
The end of the collection contains most of the techno and dance mixes. "The Moon and The Prince (and LEOPALDON MIX)" is an excellent early '90s techno/rap throwback, complete with the requisite drum loops, hockey arena synths and silly angry-guy rapping. SEXY-SYNTHESIZER does a passable job of applying an retro-arcade/chip-tune filter over "Katamari on the Swing," with heavy use of Pac-Man and Galaga samples. Finally, Hardfloor delivers some deep prog house/techno with its two remixes of "Nana-Nan Damacy." Neither has much to do with the original song, aside from a brief sample, but they are sure to keep your ball rolling.
Perhaps it's no surprise that much of the Katamari music seems to exist in its own universe. Each song is a galaxy swirling through a sparkling void, picking up bits here and leaving other bits over there. If you are unfamiliar with its physics, this universe may seem like a strange and wonderful new cosmos to explore. After you've spent a considerable amount of time there, however, the wanderlust starts to kick in again and what was previously dazzling to the ears seems a but dull and overdone. But only a bit. I mean, it's still an entire universe we're talking about here.
In a way, it's all a little like the age-old dilemma. Once something unique and special to you and your small circle of friends becomes something much bigger, shared with the world at large and inevitably misunderstood by everyone but you, that initial glamor is quick to fade. Katamari's shark may have jumped the royal rainbow soon after its original's closing credits, but for those of us who were wadded up into its irresistible heart, we continue to chase the nanaa, na na na na naa, naa, naa, naa dream.
Reblog (or) Blog Reply
Follow Blog + disclosure
This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.
Setup email comments
Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.