Monogatari Music

This is a two-CD import from Japan, with music from Bakemonogatari, arguably the best of the two seasons released so far. It has 56 tracks, and runs just over two hours. You can listen to samples about halfway down the page at this Japanese site. The best part about it is that it has all of the OP/ED songs: Staple Stable, Wonderful Day, Maoi Snail, Surugu Mokey, etc. Usually, you don’t get this music on a sound track CD because of licensing issues, so I’m glad they were able to get those sorted out. These tracks all run around four minutes, and if you liked them in the series you’ll like them here.

A second category are the tracks that form something of a leitmotif for the various characters. Most memorable, of course, are the various guitar / piano / harmonica blues backgrounds to Arararage’s encounters with Oshino Meme.

Third, we have a few additional renditions of the OP/ED music, but on different instruments. If you’ve ever wondered how Nadeko Snake would sound on a music box, here’s your chance. Also in this category is the unforgettable piano rendition of Staple Stable that always seems to make its way softly into the more romantic moments. This alone makes the album purchase worth it.

The final category is what I’d call incidental music: simple tunes that form an aural backdrop to one scene or another, and useful most for recalling those scenes. The music isn’t designed to stand on its own. Most run about a minute and half, are childishly simple, and repetitive. The last track on the second disk, for example could be mapped as something like:

xylophone: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
accordian: ____BBBBBBbbbbbbB’B’B’B’B’B’
marimba: __________CCCCCCcccccc

with each letter representing an identical six-second/ 12-note sequence.

If you then replace those instruments with various combinations of tubular bells, marimbas, autoharps, pianos, drums, or their electronic equivalents, you get the pattern for about two thirds of the music on the discs. Nice tracks to build ringtones and time alarms with on your cell phone. Nice background to other things. No thought required.

Conclusion: I like it. I’m glad I bought it. I’m not sure it’s worth buying if you’re not a Monogatari fan. Even the Staple Stable piano cover gains most of its value through its romantic associations.

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