Don't worry, there's no real spoilers about the film.
Final Fantasy games have always been reknown for their monsterous soundtracks. Fight themes, songs and pieces for continents and cities all around the make-believe globes, and of course, those lush cut scene. So it is only natural that the soundtrack to their first proper FF-related movie to have such a beast of a CD. Well, 2 infact.
The soundtrack was composed by Nobuo Uematsu, known for his work on past Final Fantasy ganes (Except the song "Calling", which was written and performed by Kyosuke Himuro). The first CD kicks off with a rendition of the opening theme for FFVII. It's strikingly similar to the original, but lasts only about a minute. The soundtrack only really gets interesting at "Beyond The Wasteland", an eerie 4-minute piece combining haunting sounds with slight bursts of violin and piano, and it really sets a scene. It perfectly describes Midgar (The main city in which Final Fantasy VII begins in), and suddenly rushes into a more Western song, with high-pitched violin melodies laced over a distorted lead guitar.
The next song that got my attention a lot more was "For The Reunion", a more fast-paced song based on a piano melody being repeated. It is quickly joined by wooden instruments, providing a more Asian feel to the song as electronic noises over the top build up gradually to head into a piano remake of the classic battle music, "Tatakau Monotachi". The two together fit nicely, although this rendition on piano isn't as energetic and harder than the original. Then of course, another classic from the game, "Aerith's Theme" has been again remade on piano (Although I suppose that isn't much of a remake). It's a very beautiful song anyway, but this version feels very haunting and depressing, and adds a sense of miswell-being and harmony. It's certainly a highlight of the first disc, and a song most game lovers will be familiar with. One of the more appealing songs from the first CD was "Violator". Beginning with an Aveneged Sevenfold-esque intro, it quickly heads into a combination of heavy metal backed by a drum machine, which sounds echoey. It's such a weird track to listen to for a FF soundtrack, but it's undeinable how heart-racing it can get.
Now then, disc two begins with a more traditional FF-style song. "Divinity I" feels like a giant build up. Those high choirs, the racing sounds of the brass orchestra against rolling druums, it all mixes to create a truely epic sound. And then it heads into the Advent Children remake of the fight theme, and oh my god has it changed. Palm-muted guitars? Dance beats being hit incredibly fast? This is no longer traditional Final Fantasy, and very quickly we see the openess and talent of Nobuo's composing. "The Chase Of Highway" is the next harder-hitting song, and it feels like it's taken directly from an 80's action movie. The lead guitar riff is just so insanely catchy, and fitted against more electronic sounds, it sounds magnificent. If you've played the game before, it's going to be obvious what scene it is from from the title, and trust me, it plays out so well.
Once again, the remakes of older songs feel more modern and updated, and they sound great in my opinion. "J-E-N-O-V-A" and "Advent: One-Winged Angel" (Actually the Sepiroth theme) feel more up-to-date, with lead guitars busting out some sick solos over a pretty standard drum beat. Of course, the latter feels incredibly spectacular. 6 minutes of pure orchestrated Final Fantasy. It soon shifts from a standard orchestra to something you'd expect from Iron Maiden or Coheed And Cammbria or something, combining piercing licks with that
choir almost chanting "Sepiroth!" throughout. This song is the true meaning of a modern-day epic, and it works to perferction. The final song, "Calling", shouldn't have even made the soundtrack for me, and I think the 2CD set could've been better without it. I mean, after hearing the soothing sounds of "Cloud Smiles", a beautifully-composed piece of string orchestra, "Calling" just seems to ruin the mood.
I'm not going to say this soundtrack was flawless. It has it's downsides like most other CDs. There are a few tracks which are about a minute, which seems a little out of place and doesn't give you long enough to get into them ("Materia" and "Encounter" are the 2 most noticeable) come to mind. And of course there's "Calling", but other than this, this soundtrack is a superb way to bring the Final Fantasy VII music back to life, and give it an electronic makeover while they are at it. The lead guitar in a lot of these tracks will make you want to play like that, and combined with such a professional and taltented orchestra, it really does fit well with the movie. I know this isn't in the soundtrack, but I love how one of Kadaj's henchman has the "battle won" bit as their ringtone. A little montage to the cult-classic RPG that made me smile when I heard it.
Yes, this is a soundtrack for all ears. Rockers and orechestra players will both find something they can relate to about this soundtrack, and something to introduce them to different styles. I so suggest you listen to this after seeing the movie, because that way you will be able to appreciate it more because of how it fits with the scenes, but if you want to get your hands on this to listen to the renditions of older songs and the newer songs as well, don't let me stop you! It's a brilliant listen, and I found it entertaining most of the way through. I know I only commented on the more outstanding songs, but trust me when I say about 90% of this is class FF music.