The OST for [eM] -eNCHANT arM- included an instrumental version of the theme song, "Reborn," performed by Mai. I hesitated to review this lovely little single because I wanted to see how each of the two songs were used in the game.
Unfortunately, Ubisoft cut the song from the American release altogether and I was fed instrumental rehashes of other songs in their place. CD Japan claims that Reborn is the introduction theme, and Squair is the end credits music. That's the most reliable information I have.
Regardless, one thing's for sure: Mai's debut single is beautiful, and From Software was fortunate to have their first Xbox 360 title associated with the faux-nudist pop star.
What's that, you ask? Why did I call Mai a nudist? Well, three singles and one full album later, it seems that Mai has an extreme dislike of clothing...at least for when she poses. She's also completely nude for the majority of the Reborn music video, but it's "tastefully" done (i.e. - the private parts are kept private).
As much as I enjoy the ethereal and almost trippy techno-pop of Reborn, I was not surprised to find that I enjoyed the B-Side even more. I generally do like B-Sides on Japanese singles more than their over-promoted counterpart. "Squair" is a typical ballad with typical chord structure, but the production in the instruments and vocal harmonies are what help it to stand out. It is a much more conventional song than Reborn, but it's very pretty, and slightly less repetitive than Reborn.
If it weren't for the hefty retail price tags that many J-Pop singles carry, I'd quickly recommend this single to many. Mai definitely has a style all her own, and of the many budding J-Pop stars, her sound is something I definitely appreciate.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann