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When I ordered Final Fantasy Pray, I had no expectations - none. I had heard that it was good, but that was all; still I had no real expectations. When I popped the CD in and heard the first track, I instantly fell to my knees and thanked God that I even knew this music existed. The first track, as you all should know, is the Prelude from the FF games, just being sung. No words. Just one "harp" instrument.
Well, it turns out that I stayed on my knees when I heard the best track on the CD. Actually, I believe "Nao Chora Menina" to be the best of all the arranged Final Fantasy music I have heard. I always liked "Kids Run through the City Corner" but I never thought that it could be arranged into a touching piece such as this. Even the translation is good. For those of you that haven't heard this CD (and what's wrong with you?), "Nao Chora Menina" features Risa Ohki singing in Portugese and an acoustic guitar. That's it.
All the songs are good, but they pale in comparison to Nao Chora. "Terra's theme" is done perfectly and "Mon Petit Chat" has a great arrangement that truly sounds like a real French song.
I classify both Final Fantasy vocal albums as art. It's too bad that when Americans make a non-English language song popular that it has to be "The Macarena." I have no doubts that if a song such as "Nao Chora Menina" or "Love Will Grow" (from Love Will Grow) were played on American radio stations, this whole country would fall in love with them. Not to mention with Risa herself, who has the voice of a goddess.
Favorite Final Fantasy tunes, arranged and sung by Risa Ohki - *droool*!
Reader review by Eric Steffens
Final Fantasy Pray is a compilation of familiar themes by Nobuo Uematsu arranged into song by famous arranger Risa Ohki. Risa does such a good job arranging the music and combining it with sung words that it's even more beautiful. You can tell a lot of emotion went into these songs, especially the title track "Pray", and the spectacular arrangement of "Prelude". The songs are sung in either Japanese, English, or French; and unlike some unusual arrangements, the lyrics seem to fit well to the music. Pray makes video game music what it should be, an art form.