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Distant Worlds: music from Final Fantasy

March 3, 2008 | Format: MP3

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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: December 4, 2007
  • Release Date: March 3, 2008
  • Label: AWR Records
  • Copyright: 2010 AWR Records
  • Total Length: 1:14:26
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003TXO56K
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,828 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Jason Sander on December 31, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I, like many others, didn't think much of this album when the track listing was announced. Many of these same pieces and arrangements are repeated here that have been performed countless times before, and fans of Final Fantasy would already have one or more of the many recordings of each of these pieces. With only one new piece featured, this album does not boast a particularly strong lineup for longtime fans of the series.

However, once one gets past the specs and actually listens to the product, the intent of the producers becomes instantly clear. Most of the recordings that have been available thus far have been live concert recordings, and as such have suffered from several technical flaws, ranging from muddy sound and musical errors, to crowd noise covering up whole sections of music. In addition, every Final Fantasy album ever released has been Japan-only, leaving us American fans having to import them at often very high costs. Availability has also been problematic, given Japan's limited release schedules.

This is the first Final Fantasy album intended for and released to the American Final Fantasy fans, and this alone gives the CD a great deal of credit. But this album goes far beyond that; it is the first time since the Japanese album "Fifthos Lusec Vicos Vinosec" that an orchestra has been assembled in a controlled studio environment to record Final Fantasy tunes without a crowd in attendance, simply for the purpose to record note-perfect renditions of these fine pieces. A truly world-class orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic has been employed to infuse these works with a raw orchestral power unmatched in previous recordings, all captured with state-of-the-art recording equipment.

The final product?
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L. Zhou on September 24, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This CD is a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, the orchestra arrangement is impeccable and powerful. On the other hand, the album is horribly mastered. Most of the reviews focus on the individual pieces, and for the most part, I agree that the tracks are great, especially highlights such as Liberi Fatali, Aerith's Theme, Memoro de la Stono, the Mario and Draco Opera, and One Winged Angel. Instead, I will focus on the mastering problem, which diminishes the enjoyment of listening to these otherwise wonderful pieces.

The album is far too compressed during the mastering process. For those of you who are not familiar with audio compression, I am not referring to compression of CD or WAV to some lossy format such as MP3. Audio compression is the process of taking a recording and making everything louder, and in the process, loud peaks within a track gets cut off, which means you're essentially losing audio data. For an idea of its effects, please refer to:


One (out of many) example of this heavy compression killing the music is in One Winged Angel, at 0:39, when the big drums hit. In a live setting, that produces a loud, thundering bass sound compared to the rest of the sounds. Instead, what we get in the CD is a distorted mesh that only sounds nominally louder than the other sounds, in essence, losing whatever dynamics the original sound had.

It's unfortunate that the producers of this album decided to go this route, especially considering that classical recordings (the closest genre this album comes to) typically have the most dynamic range and least compression.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Geisler on December 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although there are a lot of orchestral CDs and DVDs of Final Fantasy music at this point, this recording stands out among them due to it's amazing sound quality. It was recorded at 24 bit, 88.2k by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. It has a very "live" sound instead of sounding exactly like the studio recording which gives it a bit of flair. FF music regulars will hear instrument parts they could never hear before.

I was at first disappointed by the track list since they can all be found on one CD or another. I was hoping to see some exclusive recordings that we haven't had a chance to hear at this quality. Specifically, I would like to see Not Alone, Prelude, Final Fantasy V Main Theme, and Dancing Mad if they decide to record a second volume. Still, I'm extremely impressed with this CD and recommend it to anyone - even the most diehard Final Fantasy music fans.

Track-by-Track Review:
9.5/10 Opening~Bombing Mission - A great song to use as an opening, the recording does very well what past recordings have not. It has a strong bass, unlike Tour de Japon, and doesn't sound full of spaces like the More Friends recording. It could easily pass as part of a film score.
8/10 Liberi Fatali - An obvious choice for a Final Fantasy compilation album, I found this recording to be a pretty decent take on the original studio recording. However, the choral parts seem a little too soft for this piece. I always considered them to be the main focus of the song. I think I prefer the studio version over this version.
10/10 Aerith's Theme - Another classic that demanded to be on this album. It easily bests previous recordings at this quality. It's much slower than other recordings (45 seconds longer than the original), but I find it a lot more satisfying.
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