Key’s Music, goodness I could go on and on about how much I love it. Jun Maeda never disappoints wrt his musical ideas and works. One of the best things about Key is the sheer amount of music, it seems like I find a new song or album every week!
My favorite OST is Clannad’s by far, every song (except 1) I am a fan of. The top few works from Clannad I have (In no order) are as follows;
Sunbeams Streaming Through the Trees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cynudwqmnFk
This song is a variation on one of the major theme songs in Clannad, and it is the only vocal version of that theme. It is played as an insert songs in the latter half of after story, and despite the song being played in a pretty neutral setting in the anime, I find the song to be insanely sad, yet hopeful. Its a song about looking back on life and remembering all the happy things that have happened to you. goosebumps incoming
Unused Track 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdOZ9PW8Nqg
I don’t see this piece mentioned very often, but it has that very picturesque Clannad S1 feel to the piece, upbeat, driving, and very encompassing of the show though the bulk of season 1. You get a little bit of techno beats with a feel good melody on top of that. Solid piece.
Spring Breeze https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV9zLHch8_I
Again, a great piece which highlights the show’s feeling, its hard for me to describe why I like this piece so much, it just plays at all the right moments.
To the Same Heights - Remix https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaoV8mtH2TU
One of the most exciting pieces in Clannad, a remix on the second opening, this piece was played during the basketball game, and it is such a fun piece of music to listen to, it works well by itself, and it works well when it is incorporated into the anime.
Next up is Little Busters, which also has a fantastic OST that has been rising in my ranks for the past few months. Here are a few of my favorites;
Waking Up in the Morning https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXc8O1z2qVc
My favorite piece in Little Busters (Maybe all of Key). It has such a relaxing an innocent feel to the piece that the first time I heard it, I stopped the game and spent about 30 minutes to find the piece so I could save it. I absolutely love the piece, even if there is no other plot point to the piece, since it is only played in the Morning in the VN.
Born into this World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cikD4AvGuH4
Reminds me a lot of Dango Daikazoku from Clannad, I love the “hollowness” of this piece, the mystery, the timing of the music, it all comes together all too well. I need to rewatch LB soon.
How to Make Delicious Pickles https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZoBhYZfL4A
It took me over a year to find this song, and it was worth it.
Air and Kanon in my opinion do not have an OST up to Par with Clannad and Little Busters, but I still enjoy the OSTs quite a bit.
Air - Giniro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URZ9ECuFXrc
Again, with the hollowness, the mystery, the piercing sound of this piece, its absolutely gorgeous. Sets up for the great anime or VN. The mix on Aozora, while it may not be a sad or emotional, I feel the absent of the instrumental variety gives it more of an “uneasy” vibe, much like Dango Daikazoku or Born into this World.
Kanon - Umaretate no Kaze https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEIPyVIABtY
Kanon, Kanon, Kanon. This piece plays in the perfect moments in the show! It is my favorite Kanon OST piece, but…
Canon in D https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vTsGCCseFw is my favorite piece played in Kanon. I love the story of Pachelbel’s Canon. It was originally played for the wedding of Johann Sebastian Bach’s eldest brother, and after that, the piece itself was lost for almost 300 years, before it was rediscovered in 1919, and it is now an important part of Wedding Culture here in the West.
For Tomoyo After, Life is Like a Melody was mentioned above, so I will highlight Love Song - Piano https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7NF2Uq-zwc
I am now realizing what kind of Key music I love, the hollow pieces that carry little to no multi-instrumental parts, but are just beautiful melodies!
For Rewrite, I have not read the VN yet, but from what I have heard, Journey is my favorite piece. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvKq4fuR8ao
For Summer Pockets, I am still listening to the OST whenever I get the chance, but so far I am a huge fan of Sea, You, and Me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZQQWVV2ziA
I love the broad feel of this piece, it seems to set up a good perspective for the VN, unfortunately I cannot read Japanese, so I have no idea how this piece is applied into the VN. Its a good piece nonetheless.
Key’s Sound Label also has some fantastic songs, some of which took me a long time to track down and find the name of it. Below are a list of my two favorite albums from Key Sound Label;
Love Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8pI6i2d0ow&list=PLPxNInTMGqy-DlRrmR_81OFAM-7x6As4i
Long Long Love Song https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVR6A_2nH8k