Persona 5 Original Soundtrack Track-by-Track Composer Comments

by Will Yaltrin

The Persona games appeal to a wide variety of players for a wide variety of reasons, but one reason has remained ever-popular since Persona’s debut overseas: the music. The music featured throughout the series serves as a showcase of the Atlus Sound Team, and the unique talents of the man in charge of Persona’s soundtrack, Shoji Meguro.

Meguro joined Atlus in 1995 after sending in his (literal) mixtape and passing an interview, and was immediately assigned to work as a composer on the very first Persona game, Revelations: Persona. One of the first songs Meguro officially composed for Atlus was the well known series staple, “Aria of the Soul” (or “The Poem of Everybody’s Soul” if you’re using the unlocalized English title), which has appeared in every mainline Persona game since then, even receiving official blues, electronica, and disco remixes. While Meguro was busy composing for Maken X during Persona 2‘s development, he was the main composer for each mainline game following Persona 2, as well as most of the Shin Megami Tensei (SMT) PlayStation 2 games, such as Nocturne and the Digital Devil Saga duology. While the Persona series necessitated that Meguro tailor his compositions to bring out their thematic elements, the PS2-era SMT games allowed him to stick with a hard-rock style that expressed the harsh feeling of the worlds. This harshness was an ongoing theme within the SMT games that resonated throughout the soundtracks, and though the Persona games carry different themes, each game’s world aesthetics are reflected in their unique soundtracks.

From audio to visual, right down to the carefully cultivated colour scheme informing the various menus within the UI, the theme of each game is intentionally executed in sensory totality. Persona 5 is no exception, as Meguro utilizes the genre of acid jazz to bring Persona 5‘s theme of freedom out in full force, while occasionally mixing in hard-rock elements to denote the rather serious underpinnings of the plot. Meguro and the other composers at Atlus have worked hard to create Persona 5‘s original soundtrack, and you can view their thoughts on each of the pieces they composed below.

Courtesy of Reddit user Om_Badai, here are the Persona 5 Original Soundtrack liner notes (or composer comments) on each song, translated into English and copied with permission for your reading pleasure. Om_Badai is an Japanese/English translator living in Tokyo who passed the JLPT 1 in 2010. We have edited the translation for readability while aiming to respect both translator and authorial intent.

As thanks to you, the reader, and in celebration of the award nominated score, Too Far Gone is giving away a physical copy of Persona 5 soundtrack. Straight from Japan, the three disc set OST is an excellent addition to any collection. You can find all the giveaway contest details, including how to enter, on its dedicated page. Also below are image scans for each disc in the soundtrack’s three disc set. The liner notes have been translated, touched up, and are presented here in their entirety. If you’d like to read the notes for a specific disc, you need only click the link below the corresponding picture.


Persona 5 Original Soundtrack Composer Comments

 

1-1 – Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Benjamin Franklin

“The game’s opening has a short version one and a half minutes long, but we made the full version too! Actually, there’s also a 96kHz, 24bit hi-res version too. We have used the source of that hi-res version for this CD. Lyn’s ad-lib in the last part of the song is really cool, isn’t it? The electric piano at the beginning has a tremolo (trembling) effect and it sways left and right, so we recorded it dozens of times before we could stabilize it at the right timing.” (Meguro)

TL Note: “ad-lib” here is written “fake” in Japanese: Google tells me that it’s a type of ad-lib that drastically changes the rhythm of the song.

1-2 – Phantom – Composed by Shoji Meguro

Persona 5‘s songs mostly symbolize the same song, which is this one, “Phantom,” the song for the title screen. During development, a few months after implementing the demo version, director Hashino told me “You have to hurry and change the title song from the town song!” Did it resemble the town song (Disc 2-1 – Tokyo Daylight) so much…?” (Meguro)

1-3 – Escape – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi

“It’s the song that plays at the very start of the game, so I made it and re-made it many times. I spent a bit too much time and it turned out a little messy, so I tried to make it simpler, and I put these feelings in “Escape – another version.” (Konishi)  

1-4 – Life Will Change – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Benjamin Franklin

“It’s the song that plays in the casino at the beginning of the game, and the instrumental version plays on Treasure Heist Day… but! Towards the end of the game, we tried to give you a “nice” surprise, how did you like it?” (Meguro)

1-5 – Getaway~Arrest – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi

“This is the first song I started making for the P5 anime’s BGM. I remember that while making it I was mostly thinking “I have to give it a feeling of tension.” This song uses the “Last Surprise” intro phrase, but many of the anime’s BGM use phrases from the game music. Had you noticed?” (Konishi)

TFG Note: A phrase in music is a piece of the whole which has a distinct melody. BGM is an acronym for background music.

1-6 – Interrogation Room – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This song plays in the interrogation room… those of you who played the game will know that the interrogation room’s events occur at a different point in time. In order to strengthen that feeling we made it exclusively with strings, to stress its differences from the other songs a bit more.” (Meguro)

1-7 – Recollection~Foreboding – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi

“The first half uses phrase(s) from “Tokyo Emergency.” At first there were more small sounds ringing through the song, but we made it lighter. The second part gave me a kind of Megaten vibe, but I rather like it.” (Konishi)

1-8 – Aria of the Soul – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The usual Velvet Room song. I want to say something more about it, but I’d be spoiling stuff…” (Meguro)

1-9 – Beneath the Mask -instrumental version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This song plays in the town at the beginning of the game: through the instrumental version I wanted to express the MC’s negative feelings, as he is blamed and punished for something he didn’t do.” (Meguro)

1-10 – Meeting – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“The song that plays when meeting Ann and Ryuji for the first time. Songs focused on the piano like this always give me a hard time… well, the reason is just that I can’t play the piano. Guess I should start practicing seriously…” (Konishi)

1-11 – Into the Metaverse – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“The song that plays when going with Ryuji into a Palace for the first time. I made it thinking of creating sound effects and environmental noise, rather than a proper song. What do you think? Personally I think it sounds kinda like it fits.” (Konishi)

1-12 – Tension – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Because of the nature of the game, tense scenes are very necessary; this song is suspicious and tense, so we called it “Suspicious 1.”” (Meguro)

1-13 – Awakening – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The song that plays when your companion awakens, after the boss blabbers during “Desire.” These scenes show the comrades’ feelings in a raw, clear way, so they leave strong impressions, don’t they? Each scene length changes depending on the comrades’ lines, but we adjusted the timing/length the song plays to make sure it fits each awakening scene perfectly.” (Meguro)

1-14 – Will Power – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“After “Desire,” as a symbol of the completely out-of-the-ordinary experience the MC’s gang is living, we made this song in a very Persona-like (or rather, Megaten-like?) rock style. The instrument of the first verse’s melody is a rather weird sound, between the guitar and the synthesizer; actually, I created it by applying a harmonic synthesizer plug-in to a guitar.” (Meguro)

1-15 King, Queen and Slave -another version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The song that plays at the beginning of Kamoshida’s Palace. The dungeon (Palace) songs completely change their atmosphere during the exploration, so [I] generally made two songs per Palace, but it was hard to draw the line for that change in Kamoshida’s Palace.” (Meguro)

1-16 – King, Queen and Slave – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The song that plays in the 2nd half of Kamoshida’s palace. When I first cleared Kamoshida’s Palace during development, I was shocked by how scummy Kamoshida was. In this song, as I wrote in the general comment, I’m playing the KORG/WAVEDRUM percussion, but it’s an orthodox sound so it’s hard to notice, I think.” (Meguro)

1-17 – Last Surprise – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Benjamin Franklin

“Battling is something out of the ordinary, but for the MC’s gang it becomes part of their everyday lives, so I made the song in full acid jazz style. Are the Muroya Strings in the beginning fantastic or what? I really love the sound of the organ’s glissando right before the singing starts: I had been doing a lot of trial and error since way back, thinking I wanted to use a sound like that. I finally found a good plug-in and realized it.” (Meguro)

TL Note: Muroya Strings is a strings orchestra led by Muroya Koichiro, famous Japanese violinist.

1-18 – Talk – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The conversation system returns to the Persona series. I never made a conversation BGM for Persona games, so maybe it became a SMT Strange Journey-like BGM?” (Meguro)

1-19 – Victory – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The battle results song. In the first demo the intro was a little bit longer, but I cut it in half to match it with the characters’ movements and effects.” (Meguro)

1-20 – Tokyo Emergency – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The song that plays in the map after entering the mission period. As the title says, I meant to give it an “emergency” vibe, so I slipped in the effect of gradually raising the guitar’s pitch, like an ambulance’s siren (?)” (Meguro)

TL Note: the (?) was in the original Japanese.

1-21 – Confession/Secret – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“A song that plays in scenes where characters confess past worries or similar. I named this “Weakly Sad,” but there are several different entrances into weakly sad scenes, so I made versions with/without the intro—there are a few different edits of this within the game. The song after this, “Confession/Secret – piano version,” is a song Konishi made based on this one, but it’s actually a coincidence that the name proposals for both songs were similar.” (Meguro)

1-22 – Confession/Secret -piano version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi

“Track that plays during the conversation between Ann and the MC. During muxing I cut and pasted the almost-finalized track and changed the length, so the one that plays in the game unfolds in a slightly different way.” (Konishi)

TFG Note: Muxing is short hand for multiplexing, the process of combining different types of data (ex. audio and visual data) into one single file/stream.

1-23 – Layer Cake – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The intro is not very P5-like, but it’s perfect for the somewhat suspicious atmosphere of the airsoft shop, right!? Now this is completely unrelated, but in the early phases of development, when we still had few materials about the game, I thought that the weapon shop owner was someone called Morunaga (looks like a surname in Japanese), but then I found out that it was a cat (I’m not a cat!) called Mor”gana”…” (Meguro)

1-24 – Life Will Change -instrumental version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This track was actually made in the latter stages of development—before we planned to play the opening theme on Treasure Heist Day—but its mood didn’t fit so I had to quickly create a new track using pieces of the opening theme’s melody. I was told that the intro resembles a certain artist’s song, and actually during testing that same remark had come up on the debug sheet! When I heard the song in question, though, I found that it was fundamentally different (differences between major and minor keys, etc), so I went on with the track as is. But its atmosphere is similar!” (Meguro)

1-25 – Blood of Villain – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Track that plays before boss fights. Before the boss fight there’s always a speech by the boss: some transform, others do all sorts of stuff. Movements and actions vary greatly between bosses, so using this track was pretty difficult. This track uses the “Blooming Villain” synthesizer phrase.” (Meguro)

1-26 – Blooming Villain – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Track that plays during boss fights. This is one of my personal favorites, I like the da-da-da-da! drum sound at the beginning, the guitar melody during the chorus…” (Meguro)

1-27 – Regret – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This song uses live strings, like the opening theme and the regular battle theme. It doesn’t feature the strings front and center, but the cello’s deep echoes are pretty good, aren’t they?” (Meguro)

1-28 – Collapse of Lust – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“This can be said for all animated scenes but on the testing machine, for development purposes, the scenes before and after the animated scenes were not fixed, so I was very concerned about which tempo and mood to give to the tracks. This track has a pretty energetic momentum, but looking at the game events as a whole, I think that I could have made it a little calmer.” (Konishi)

1-29 – Beneath the Mask – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Rike Schmalz

“I think that this song might be the one that expresses Lyn’s style the best. Her singing voice is fantastic, isn’t it? The song itself is shuffled (swing), but the basic melody is generally not shuffled (but when necessary, it is) so I think it’s a difficult track, but it was impressive how easily she sang it.” (Meguro)

1-30 – Endless Days – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Track that plays in self-improvement scenes (that’s what we called them during development). Many of those scenes have a somewhat surreal atmosphere, so the track turned out like this, but I made [it] thinking about the batting center and the pull-ups.” (Meguro)

1-31 – Star Forneus – Composed by Kenichi Tsuchiya

“Using the actual name would not be OK for this and that reason, but the track of the masterpiece shooting game I modeled this on was composed by someone who also worked on Megaten; in the first version I “respected” the original too much, so it was discarded.” (Tsuchiya)

1-32 – Punch Ouch – Composed by Kenichi Tsuchiya

“Rather than the track itself, creating the cheering and the whistle-like sound effects on retro game hardware was really hard.” (Tsuchiya)

1-33 – Train Of Life – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“NES music is created from a limited set of sounds, and we re-created this effect. At the time, all sorts of methods were used to avoid the listener perceiving these limitations…” (Kitajoh)

1-34 – Power Intuition – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“Using two sounds for the melody, I gave it a powerful feeling. Differentiating the hitting sounds was pretty hard.” (Kitajoh)

1-35 – Legend of Gambla Goemon – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“For all the retro games, since they proceed differently based on success or failure, I think I spent more time watching people play both these patterns, adjusting the timing, discussing how to make them play, rather than creating the tracks themselves…” (Kitajoh)

1-36 – Pro Golfer Sarutahiko – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“I wonder if anyone noticed the slight differences between the sounds when the ball goes on the fairway, in the bunker, out of bounds, or a water hazard? Creating these sounds is really fun.” (Kitajoh)

2- 1 – Tokyo Daylight – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn

“The song that plays at daytime in the city, before the mission period. It’s a plain song, but it was given the luxury of Lyn’s scat singing. I personally like it. As I wrote in the comment for “Phantom,” these two songs have a similar atmosphere, but the “Phantom” demo version was really really close to it. The melody is completely different, though.” (Meguro)

2-2 – Butterfly Kiss – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This is my personal favorite track in Persona 5. It starts in a quadruple rather like an irregular meter, then turns into triple meter in the chorus, but while the meter goes back in the bridge the rhythm stays at triple meter. It’s a strange track, but I think that its feminine melody expresses Takemi’s feelings well.” (Meguro)

2-3 – Mementos – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays during the never-ending explorations of Mementos. Even if the theme changes this dungeon has to be explored for a long time, so I made this into a rather plain track.” (Meguro)

2-4 – Have a Short Rest – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays in the dungeons’ safe rooms. The sound in the latter half’s solo is something I made by adding various effects to the Wurlitzer piano. I think it has a lot of flavour.” (Meguro)

2-5 – Suspicious Person – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

The track that plays when meeting Yusuke for the first time. At first I made it in very cliché fashion, using lots of diminished chords, but Meguro scolded me, saying, “it’s way too cliché.” It’s true that listening to the old version now, I get ashamed because it really was too cliché… I’m lucky he scolded me.” (Konishi)

2-6 – My Homie – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Track playing in so-called “wacky” scenes. I’m not good at making these type of songs—they give me trouble every game—but this track was completed surprisingly smoothly. The first verse’s melody is, wait for it, a push-on sound! I was looking for a wacky-sounding sound, and I think I found the perfect one.” (Meguro)

TFG Note: We believe that Meguro is referring to a stock preset sound, as most stock preset sounds could be considered cheesy, silly, or “wacky.”

2-7 – Wicked Plan – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays during deduction scenes. When making tracks like this, I always end up thinking of “A Taxing Woman” and use the soprano sax a lot. I couldn’t decide whether to use a live sax or not for the recording of the song, but since it was in unison with electric piano and guitar I decided that I didn’t need to do that much, so I used the sampler. Later, I heard that Konishi can play the soprano sax, so I thought that I should have tried…” (Meguro)

2-8 – A Woman – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays in the first half of Madarame’s Palace. Palace melodies often use melodies with peculiar characteristics; in this case, the first verse uses the koto’s “sweep” sound, and passed the rotary speaker simulator.” (Meguro)

2-9 – A Woman -another version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays in the second half of Madarame’s Palace. I matched it with the atmosphere of the parallel dimensions inside the paintings; I especially like the part, in the second half, when it’s only strings and the percussion returns.” (Meguro)

2-10 – Sunset Bridge – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“I used to call this track “Deep Twilight,” but the name “Sunset Bridge” comes from the Shibuya passageway scene.”

2-11 – Days of Sisters – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“There are many scenes of the Niijima sisters talking at home, but no tracks I had made up till then fit, so I thought to make a track matching not the events, but the Niijima family, and this is the result. There aren’t many scenes of sisters talking in the Persona series, and I felt that the Niijima sisters were particularly unique.” (Meguro)

2-12 – Beneath the Mask -rain- Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Benjamin Franklin

“There are four different arrangements of “Beneath the Mask”, but we didn’t put them all in the CD just to fill space. We imagined that the OST would probably turn out to be three CDs, but Kitajoh had many more songs than even he expected, so during mastering we were pretty worried about running out of room.” (Meguro)

2-13 – Crossroads – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“I made this for Escargot’s bar. It fits the place’s atmosphere well; it’s one of my favorite tracks.” (Kitajoh)

TL Note: Escargot is the surname of the owner, Lala Escargot.

2-14 – Suspicion – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“One of the so-called “suspicious” tracks, but our company’s games have several slightly different “suspicious” scenes, so we need several tracks like this. This time we made four “suspicious” tracks, and this is “Suspicious 3.”” (Meguro)

2-15 – High Pressure – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“As I wrote in the comment for “Sweatshop,” this track plays during tense scenes and uses the “Sweatshop” track as base.” (Meguro)

2-16 – Price – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays during the first half of Kaneshiro’s Palace. The melody uses a simulation of a west Asiatic tribal instrument called a zurna.” (Meguro)

2-17 – Price -another version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays during the second half of Kaneshiro’s Palace. The music in Kaneshiro’s Palace retains the same mood as the first and second halves, but as the party explores the interior of a certain structure, I did some trial and error to match the track to this aspect.” (Meguro)

2-18 – Keeper of Lust – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays during battles against the so called mid-bosses. When I first made it, I played the first verse’s guitar more sharply and simply, but since I wanted to express a hot passion (or burning heat?) not only during the chorus, I played it again from the beginning and re-recorded it.” (Meguro)

2-19 – Life Goes On – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays during exams. Like in P4, I made a fusion-style (what was once called crossover) track for the exams. It’s a typical subdominant -> dominant -> tonic minor progression, but if you play this with the electric piano, it magically transforms into something just like Jamiroquai’s “Space Cowboy.” Even though it seems a simple chord progression, it’s actually more complex than that.” (Meguro)

2-20 – Memories of Summer – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“I didn’t have the chance to make soft-sounding tracks like this until now, but it was surprisingly easy to create. Could it be that I’m actually good at this type of song, and I just didn’t know it…? I should have recorded it playing with an acoustic guitar…” (Konishi)

2-21 – Treading on Scorched Sand – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“Because of the anime’s story, it naturally progressed to this kind of track, but I think I brought it in a good direction, including the passage into the second half. I like that it sounds kind of goofy. Maybe I shouldn’t have made it sound like “shan!” at the end though…” (Konishi)

2-22 – When Mother Was There -another version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track used in the desert area of the Futaba Palace. I like the bass line.” (Meguro)

2-23 – When Mother Was There – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track playing throughout Futaba’s Palace. I remember that I had a hard time deciding on this track’s tempo. The demo of this track was faster, but I dropped the BPM by 2, then 2 again, then raised it by 1… Tempo is something you can hear faster or slower depending on your own condition, isn’t it. In the middle, the part where the drums start playing with the guitar, the drums are 1 beat slower, but this happened because I made a mistake with the software at first. Since it sounded good, I left it.” (Meguro)

2-24 – Alleycat – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Track playing during sad scenes. This is one of Persona 5‘s characteristics, but this game’s sad scenes don’t just make you a bawl, they have a deeper, “cooler” atmosphere, so this track turned out like this. It has the type of coolness/manliness of Taiyo ni Hoero!, so when we were deciding the events’ structure, it ended up being used in many scenes with Leblanc’s old man, so it was hard to adjust it to be used only in sad scenes.” (Meguro)

TFG Note: Meguro is likely referring to Taiyo ni Hoero!, a Japanese detective show that aired in the seventies.

2-25 – The Collapse of Wrath – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“The mood is similar to “The Collapse of Lust,” I think. Well, when this track plays who has time to listen to the BGM, though? There are plenty other things to pay attention to.” (Konishi)

2-26 – Alright -elp version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Among the tracks I made to be used in all sorts of situations, I made this to be used in slightly happy, relieving situations.” (Meguro)

TFG Note: We believe that the “elp” version is named that way because the “elp” versions feature only electric piano and percussion, where as the regular versions feature synths as well.

2-27 – New Beginning – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“A track that plays in happy scenes. For the melody’s flute, rather than a nice flute sound I wanted to use a rough one, a kind of “overblown” sound, so I looked around the library, found something perfect and used it: the Irish flute. This happy melody is actually used in part of “Our Beginning.”” (Meguro)

2-28 – Hawaii – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“For this animated scene, we used “Our Beginning” for the first part and a new track for the second part. It’s Hawaiian style… right? Right. If it wasn’t for this animated scene, it’s a type of melody I would probably never have to create…” (Konishi)

2-29 – Alright – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This is the normal version of “Alright.” The elp version fits relief scenes, but the normal version fits clearly cheerful scenes more, right?” (Meguro)

2-30 – Break it Down -elp version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This track also plays during relief scenes, but I think that this elp version is mainly used in the scenes where the gang defeats the boss and returns to the real world, thus breathing the first sigh of relief.” (Meguro)

2-31 – The Spirit – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays when Confidants are unlocked. Following the flow of Persona 3 and Persona 4‘s Community/Social Link, I made a similar track. On Hashino’s instructions, I made it more solemn-sounding than its Persona 3Persona 4 counterparts.” (Meguro)

2-32 – What’s Going On? – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Just like the self improvement scenes, this track is used during the often slightly surreal Confidant events. Of course, there’s another track for serious Confidant events, but in general scenes this track plays. Kozuka was in charge of matching the tracks for the Confidant events: it seems that the large quantity of Confidants made the task difficult.” (Meguro)

2-33 – Sweet – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This track was first called Amai (sweet in Japanese), then the name changed to “Sweet.” I think that there were many tracks similar to this in another game of ours, Catherine. I personally like the faint sound of the organ towards the end.” (Meguro)

2-34 – Big Bang Burger March – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“Track that plays at the Big Bang Burger shop. I was thinking of the theme of working for the company, following rules and regulations, so it became a march.” (Kitajoh)

2-35 – TRIPLE SEVEN – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“The track that plays in Central Street’s convenience store. I wanted to make it sound kind of cheap, incorporating the environmental sounds you’d hear inside the store.” (Kitajoh)

2-36 – Crane Game – Composed by Ryota Kozuka

“The track that plays while playing with the arcade’s crane game. Maybe you’ll feel like you heard this somewhere before, but there’s no deep meaning behind it.” (Kozuka)

2-37 – Planetarium – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“The environmental sounds of the planetarium. Yeah, this isn’t a BGM, just environmental sounds…” (Kitajoh)

2-38 – Home Electronics Store – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“I first made this as the “Discount Shop BGM,” but for various reasons it became the Home Electronics Store’s BGM. It’s an instrumental, but it’s very discount shop-like. I made it as a melody you could easily match lyrics to.” (Konishi)

TL Note: I think he’s referring to the fact that the BGM in real-life Japanese shops, like Don Quijote, have lyrics.

TFG Note: Don Quijote is a chain of discount department stores in Japan.

2-39 – Welcome Home, Master!♡ – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“I thought I had made a cute song, but it wasn’t that cute in the end, was it… by the way, I have been to a maid cafe before, meow.” (Kitajoh)

2-40 – Time to Repent – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“This too is a track that sounds like environmental sounds, but I made it based on church psalms. Looping sounds like these easily creates noise, so I always have a hard time.” (Kitajoh)

2-41 – Destiny Land – Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh

“In the game, it’s made so that you hear this faintly, in the distance. It’s a map used only in events, so it was difficult to portray a realistic way of hearing it…” (Kitajoh)

2-42 – Tanaka’s Shady Commodities – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Arranged by Atsushi Kitajoh

“It’s a track for internet shopping, so I made it instrumental. I changed the backup demo of “Jika Net Tanaka.”” (Kitajoh)

3-1 – Beneath the Mask -rain, instrumental version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This is the fourth alternate version of “Beneath the Mask,” and I’m starting to run out of things to comment on… About the organ used in the melody, I used an effect simulating the rotary speaker, so it spins around left and right. The speed of this spin can be changed between slow and fast with a switch, but the timing of the left-right movement doesn’t reset with playback, so while creating the song I recorded it dozens of times to make it spin at the best rate. The most problematic thing is when you have vocal and karaoke versions of these “spinning” songs, and during the final check before mastering things turns out like “Wait? Isn’t the timing different in the karaoke version?? “Crap, I messed up!!”… this happened to me once 5 years ago. I bolted back to the office to re-do it…” (Meguro)

3-2 – Break it Down – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The normal version of the track playing during relief scenes. Using this or the elp version depends on the scenes before and after the one in question. There are many scenes when there’s an initial relief, then the tension rises, then it goes back to relief, so I make alternate versions for these moments.” (Meguro)

3-3 – So Boring – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track that plays during class. I think that classroom scenes in the Persona series exude the highest “boring” sensations, so I made the track boring to match. The melody says “Tsu – ma – ra – nai” too.” (Meguro)

TL Note: “Tsumaranai” is “Boring” in Japanese.

3-4 – Mental Shutdown – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“Just listening to the track, it sounds kind of scary… This too sounds more like environmental sounds than a proper song.” (Konishi)

3-5 – Sweatshop – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track playing in the first part of Okumura’s Palace. This is a pretty tense track so I wanted to use it in other tense scenes, and I had trouble deciding where to use it. In the end we used it for Okumura’s Palace, but the tense scenes (track) was re-made on the basis of this track.” (Meguro)

3-6 – Sweatshop -another version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track playing in the latter half of Okumura’s Palace. Who would have ever thought of space movement! Isn’t this probably the first of our games where you can get ejected into space?” (Meguro)

3-7 – RUN,RUN,RUN! – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Track that plays in tense scenes where you are being chased by something.” (Meguro)

3-8 – Accident on-Air – Composed by Kenichi Tsuchiya

“This track plays only once for a few seconds in-game, with the sound quality purposefully lowered. If you played the game at least until around the middle, the title should tell you where it plays…” (Tsuchiya)

3-9 – Disquiet – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi, Arranged by Toshiki Konishi

“A track used a lot in suspicious scenes. The anime’s BGM “Erosion” was created first, and this is its version arranged for the game. This track too uses phrase(s) from “Tokyo Emergency.”” (Konishi)

3-10 – The Whims of Fate – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Benjamin Franklin

“In the early stages of development I pile up composing notes during the trial and error process; this song finally matched up perfectly with the file “idea 10.” I think this is probably one of Persona 5‘s symbolic tracks.” (Meguro)

3-11 – Escape -another version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi, Arranged by Toshiki Konishi

“This animated scene comes up twice in the game, but since “the second time the player probably feels differently,” we created a new track. It evokes more tension than the first version.” (Konishi)

3-12 – Getaway -another version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi, Arranged by Toshiki Konishi

“This is an alternate version of the “Getaway” part of track 1-5, “Getaway~Arrest.” This one too was made for the second time (the player sees this scene). Just like track 1-5, it uses phrases from “Last Surprise,” but there are only two tracks using phrases from animated scenes’ BGM. It’s a phrase that leaves a deep impression, so I thought it should be used more.” (Konishi)

3-13 – Betrayer – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“The track playing when XXXX does XXXX, and the player goes “whoa!” Creating tracks with this kind of tense atmosphere is rather easy.” (Konishi)

3-14 – Nothingness…? – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“I created the chord progression first, the melody later. I didn’t think much of the connections when making the melody, and placed sounds for each chord, so it turned out kind of weird. The latter part’s chord progression…if they told me to create it again, I couldn’t.” (Konishi)

3-15 – Trick – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“The track playing when XXXX does XXXX, but then XXXX happens and the player goes “whoa!” (again). Anything I’d say here would be a spoiler, so I’ll shut up.” (Konishi)

3-16 – Limitless Pride – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“The strings’ slide leaves the deepest impression, doesn’t it? I wanted to give it a “Baan!!”-like feeling in the latter part of the movie, so I opted for this kind of arrangement.” (Konishi)

3-17 – Ark – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“This Palace has a uniform atmosphere throughout, so we used only one track. I think this track fits the “hyper-energetic” old dude owning this Palace, right?” (Meguro)

3-18 – Impromptu for the Next Prime Minister – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Ryota Kozuka, Arranged by Ryota Kozuka

“I created this track to be played by the piano in the restaurant in XXXX’s Palace. It’s an alternate arrangement of the Palace track.” (Kozuka)

3-19 – Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There -instrumental version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“We first thought of creating an exclusive track for the animated scene where this plays, but then decided that “We have to use this one here!,” and so was born the instrumental version of the opening theme. I kept the audio without the vocals and re-played only the guitar melody. But I had a hard time making it fit well with the original audio…” (Meguro)

3-20 – Rivers in the Desert -instrumental version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The track plays when facing a certain enemy in the last part of the game. There’s an instrumental version and a vocal version, and well… If you haven’t played the part where this plays yet, forget about this track.” (Meguro)

3-21 – Desire – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The Palace is something created by human desire: when its master, aka the boss, blabbers about their desires, this track plays. I like the part starting when the woodwinds come in.” (Meguro)

3-22 – Rivers in the Desert – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Benjamin Franklin

“The vocal version of the track I commented on two tracks before… If you haven’t played this far yet, ignore this. I think this track gives a different vibe than the rest of Persona 5‘s soundtrack, but those who played will be convinced, I think? Lyn really sings tracks like this well. The fast first verse should be pretty hard by itself, but she performed the chorus with a perfect parallel fifth. She’s just great.” (Meguro)

3-23 – Collapse of Pride – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“Third track of the “collapse” series. The basic mood is the same as the two previous ones, but this track is arranged to progress in accordance with the movie.” (Konishi)

3-24 – Freedom and Peace – Composed by Shoji Meguro

Towards the end of the game, the Palace in question is very out of the ordinary, so its track too changed radically. In a way, it’s a typical dungeon BGM for Atlus games: I feel there’s at least one of these dungeons per game. Like the Argon HQ in Soul Hackers… (I didn’t make that track though).” (Meguro)

3-25 – Erosion – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi, Arranged by Toshiki Konishi

“This track, a different arrangement of “Disquiet” which plays often during the game, is an animated scene BGM that was actually completed before it. I made it based on this scene, so during the first half of the game whenever “Disquiet” played I’d think “This is exaggerated here!,” but it turns out that I was the only one to think so. Maybe because I made it.” (Konishi)

3-26 – Confrontation – Composed by Toshiki Konishi

“There’s an energetic trombone playing in this track, and actually no other animated scenes BGM use brass instruments. It wasn’t on purpose, it just turned out like that. I tried thinking why I only used them in this track, and it was because the thing that this animated scene focuses on is golden… maybe.” (Konishi)

3-27 – Jaldabaoth – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“The fact that a track typical for battles like this comes up towards the end is already pretty telling… This track stubbornly repeats a do-si-la—– melody, to give an “everything is going to end” feeling, and is used as an intro to the last scene.” (Meguro)

3-28 – Swear to My Bones – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“A track that plays when the MC’s gang resolves to do something—it’s used in many scenes since early on in the game. This melody is also used in the last track.” (Meguro)

3-29 – Our Beginning – Composed by Shoji Meguro

“Similar to recent comments, this track is in a place that makes it impossible not to spoil… it was made to perfectly fit the scene where it plays. It takes the introduction melody from the track before, and as said in the comment for “New Beginning,” the melody of “New Beginning” is connected to “Our Beginning.” Then it resolves the “Jaldabaoth” melody, ending with the credits’ climactic melody, and lastly repeating the mellow chorus of the credits’ track. It’s a flow I put a lot of thought into, so I would be happy if you played the game and experienced it for yourself.” (Meguro)

3-30 – Hoshi to Bokura to -piano version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro and Toshiki Konishi, Arranged by Toshiki Konishi

“The piano arrangement of the ending theme. I can’t say much, but it does make you shed a tear.” (Konishi)

3-31 – Hoshi to Bokura to – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Shigeo Komori

“The ending theme. For Persona 3 and Persona 4, I asked Komori to write the lyrics for the ending themes, and this time too the lyrics are wonderful. I didn’t explain it when I requested the lyrics but Komori understood what part I thought was the track’s climax, so when I hear “so today I say goodbye,” I get emotional.” (Meguro)

3-32 – Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There -opening movie version- – Composed by Shoji Meguro, Vocals by Lyn, Lyrics by Benjamin Franklin

“We put the opening movie short version of the main theme as a bonus track, but it makes a pretty “unfair” appearance during the game too, doesn’t it. If you don’t know what I mean… You need to fulfill certain conditions to hear it, so please play the game until the end!” (Meguro)

Closing Remarks

“Thank you for checking out the Persona 5 OST. I drew the OST jacket this time. The illustration I used is based on the repeated passage of day and night in the game. With Persona 5, the music is something that cannot be ignored. If you played the game, I hope that listening to the music will remind you of the year you passed in Persona 5‘s world. Please enjoy Persona 5‘s world through its music too.” (Soejima Shigenori)

“After becoming involved with Persona, I had many, many first experiences, and it’s also my first time being featured in an OST! I felt even more that I’m a member of the Persona team, which makes me really happy. [Thanks to this OST] you can listen more closely to Persona 5‘s music, which means that you will be able to fully appreciate the pursuit of excellence by Meguro-san and the music team! Please enjoy that aspect too. I would love it if you listened to the vocal tracks and sang along too so that if there is another concert, we can sing together!!” (Lyn)

“110 tracks in total. About 227 minutes. Thank you for buying this record of the Atlus sound team’s long battle! For P5, other than the composers (Me, Konishi, Kitajou) the whole sound staff participated: the sound effects were handled by Tsuchiya, Kitajou (he took care of this too), and Kozuka. For my general comment about P5, since we don’t have much space left, I summarized it in 10 bullet points:

  • The MC’s state of mind, his “crudeness” and “immaturity” are expressed through acid jazz.

TL Note: The “crudeness” used here is meant as the opposite of elegance and refinement, but not in a bad way. I think it is meant to express Joker’s raw pain, sadness and resentment towards what happened to him. “Immaturity” is maybe not the best word either, the word used in Japanese refers to the idealism of youth.

  • In contrast with the usual everyday life, the boss battles and other “unusual” scenes for the MC and his gang are expressed with powerful rock.
  • Actually, the melody of almost all songs expresses the same thing. The core part is “so – la!”
  • To get rid of “catchiness” and add in “coolness” and “realness” we had Lyn, who can sing true old school soul, sing the vocals.
  • As the back support of Lyn’s vocals, we used the string orchestra Muroya Strings.
  • The “exaggerated” feeling of the strings’ refrain is supposed to express the MC’s gang’s youth, their ideals and immaturity.
  • The biggest characteristic among P5’s instruments is actually the electric piano.
  • The unique mellow rhythm is born because I played the KORG/WAVEDRUM.
  • Almost all in-game songs are created as full versions. Enjoy them leisurely when you can take a breather in game.
  • Lyn’s real name is Inaizumi Rin.” (Meguro Shoji)

Image Source(s): Atlus, SEGA, Mastard Records

Persona 5 Original Soundtrack scans by Razakin at VGMdb.

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