You know that? I could weasel out of writing this review by simply telling you to read Krzysztof’s review, because, honestly, what else can be said about this soundtrack? Chrono Trigger Symphony Volume 2 is up to par with the previous part, which came out just a month ago, and all of the album’s more serious drawbacks only stem from the composer’s sticking to the central premise of “translating” the music in a 1:1 fashion, rather than from his mistakes or lack of talent. That being said, one simply can’t help but notice that Robinson’s Volume 2 feels slightly less energetic than Volume 1, just as it is the case with the original soundtrack.
That, of course, doesn’t mean that Robinson didn’t pour some energy into his music. Robo Theme, a game music equivalent of Rickroll, lost all of its kitschiness and now gained a new, quite handsome face. And so did Bike Chase, although the “concert-like” character of this symphonic rock arrangement (even if such an experiment makes perfect sense when considered in the context of the original) doesn’t match the rest of the material too well. Also, the composer does deserve a wag of finger for Fanfare 2 and Fanfare 3, which remained merely jingles, as opposed to Goodnight from the first album, which evolved into a full-fledged track. True, it’s nitpicking, but a composer of that magnitude should pay attention even to such tiny details.
However, the album’s leading motif is Mystery, and the Synthetic Orchestra aptly captured that kind of atmosphere. Even the opening track, A Desolate World, which in original is an ambient piece, gained much on its choral metamorphosis, without losing the menacing aura. Derelict and Dome 16’s Ruin, which in Matsuda’s version were somewhere between rock and jazz, have now become worthy of Boecker’s concerts. As far as other pieces go (which mostly simulate the sounds of an orchestra and are, as such, much more straightforward transcriptions), they definitely deserve all the superlatives you can think of. The pieces manage to capture and enhance the mood without being disrespectful toward the original: nothing that wasn’t already said about the first album.
Let’s face it, an official symphonic version of Matsuda’s greatest masterpiece which would do the original justice is an impossible dream. And anyway, there’s no use deliberating on the composer’s promises for we have Blake Robinson. So let us rejoice and enjoy the first two magnificent albums, and wait patiently for the third one.