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Original Title:

South Korea 2005

Kwong Wing Chan
Shigeru Umebayashi

Daisy - OST

Review: "Daisy", a dreamy romantic flick, that also tries to be a neat thriller, may be a little disappointing as a movie, but it will still remain in your memory, not only because of its fantastic pictures, but also because of its great soundtrack. Making this OST so special is the collaboration between composers Kwong Wing Chan and Shigeru Umebayashi. Kwong already created some small masterpieces with his works for "Infernal Affairs" and "SPL", and he proves once again that he is one hell of a creative and talented composer. Sadly, only a small part of his work is getting published on CD.
Anyway, Shigeru Umebayashi isn't a no-name either, as he already created the soundtrack for "House of Flying Daggers" or "Fearless", making him one of the most sought after Asian composers around, who is already being signed for several Hollywood movies. Therefore, it doesn't come as a surprise that our high expectations for this CD are actually met, as the soundtrack for "Daisy" stands as one wonderfully versatile OST, being romantic at times, and at others quite somber. Here, everyone will find his personal favorite track.

Generally, it is safe to say that the more dreamy and romantic pieces are to be found at the beginning of the CD, while the score becomes more gloomy throughout the second half, even though there are still some more joyful songs to be found there.
For some reason, the CD starts off with the only sung piece of the OST, which presents itself as a true love ballad. At times the theme song with the title "Daisy" may sound a bit cheesy, but if you are willing to overlook that fact then you have to admit, that this piece has a nice melody, and is a dream-the-day away song with a strong yearningful character. I actually like it. At the end of the CD the track is popping up again. This time as an instrumental version, whereas it sounds less cheesy played solely by strings and piano, without the singing voice. Even though the only thing in which this version differs from the original one is actually just the fact that there is no singer.
As it is the case with almost all the tracks on the CD, "New Beginning" is also carried by a piano and strings. The modest use of a accordion creates some real Amsterdam-feeling, and the flutes, as well as the singing of some children in the background, underline the joyful, lighthearted and romantic style of this song.

"Transformation" is the first track that is a bit more somber in tone. With its menacing acoustic guitar play and the great melody, we soon conclude that this song must be Kwong Wing Chan's doing. The following track is also carried by an acoustic guitar, yet it has a lot more warmth to it and reminds us of a sunny summer's day. "The First Sight" is one of those romantic pieces once again, and concerning its style gets continued in "A Hidden Love", a piece that offers only little alternation of what we have already heard in "Daisy", and otherwise is almost 1:1 similar to it. That becomes annoying only after serveral times of listening to the OST, as this track at first serves as a welcome way to internalize the main motif.
"Another Man" doesn't seem to know which direction it wants to go, as the strings are actually playing a very warm melody, while a more distressing drumming provides a little bit of tension that keeps rising. The next title is "June: Barcarolle" by Tchaikovsky, a dreamlike piano piece, that is very tragic and dark with a light shimmer of hope. A music piece I already came across in a "X-Files" episode. A timeless piece of music.

"Standing on the Daisy Hill" is another romantic track, that picks up motifs of "The First Sight" again. "Heart Flutters" is a heartwarming guitar piece, which fades into "Confession I", a title that picks up the main motif of "Daisy". After this it gets even better qualitywise. "Encounter and..." is one of my personal favorites of the CD, as it stands out with a beautiful piano melody and a dark, somber cello. "Parting" is one of those more tranquil and sad guitar pieces being accompanied by the dark sounds of wind instruments, while "Chaos" is a very depressing and mourningful piece played by a cello.
"Love goes astray I" is a little bit longer than the rest of the tracks concerning its running time, and is very melancholic and somber in tone. At first the melody is played by a piano and a heavy cello, while the great motif is then carried by wind instruments and strings. A beautifully sad piece with a very memorable tune. "Love goes astray II" again heads for the "Daisy" main motif, yet alternates it in a very refreshing way, so that the track sounds more gloomy and tragic as a whole. "Crisis" is a very atmospheric track with a minimalistic melody, but a great tension-filled beat.

"Confession II" is a quiet, slightly melancholic piano piece with strong classic music characteristics and a wonderful melody. "Freedom under Restraints" is once again one of those typical Kwong Wing Chan tracks with a magnificent beat, great guitar sounds and a very tension-raising aspect to it. Yet, the melody luckily doesn't fall too short, either. "Reality" is a tragic, tranquil track played by wind instruments, whereas the strings get into the foreground later on. While this piece becomes louder and more mourningful as it progresses, the listener eventually falls completely under the title's spell. "Repentance" is a song with much diversity, which tone, however, always remains tragic and grieving. Yet, it becomes more tranquil at some times and gets more offensive at others. Surely, one of the CD's best tracks.
Actually, it's just my guess, but I'd say that the second half of the CD is mostly full of songs by Kwong Wing Chan, and it's those tracks that really made an impression on me. Catchy beats, memorable melodies with great diversity, that really go under your skin, and a good usage of different instruments. Sure, the OST also offers lots of dreamy and well-done romantic pieces, but the true highlights are the more tragic and depressive titles. They just stick with you longer.
A great, versatile soundtrack, that is even available at a very fair price at the moment. You really don't get such a good movie soundtrack every day! So go get it!

Copyright 2007 AsianMovieWeb

Track listing

01. Daisy (Hey)
02. New Beginning
03. Transformation
04. Untitled
05. The First Sight
06. A Hidden Love
07. Another Man
08. June: Barcarolle - The
      Seasons, Op.37b
09. Standing on the Daisy
10. Heart Flutters
11. Confession I
12. Encounter and...
13. Parting
14. Chaos
15. Love Goes Astray I
16. Love Goes Astray II
17. Crisis
18. Confession II
19. Freedom Under
20. Reality
21. Repentance
22. Daisy (Inst Ver.)

Running Time = 57:29

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