Shimomura is back, drawing upon her compositions from last time and from Final Mix, she has brought the musical world of Kingdom Hearts II to a new level entirely. The world of Disney and Square has been melded together with such flair the world embraced it, now KH II is set to go beyond what the original title ever could. The music is certainly showing this, some of Shimomura's compositions are wonderfully arranged into orchestrations by Kaoru Wada, better known for her anime compositions for Inuyasha and Samurai 7. Shimomura seems to be setting up common themes and traits within her soundtracks for KH, with some rather familiar titles back, but this time rearranged and far better. She thrusts hard piano into her work, with more chorus, and more hard beats. Some rather disturbing tracks that resemble the Gummi Ship music are present too, but we already knew about that.
"He's a Pirate" clearly from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is a welcome addition, as is the music from Tron. The album clearly sets up some new themes and draws heavily upon old to create a new chapter in the universe of Kingdom Hearts. Utada Hikaru is back for more with her title "Passion", which again is broken up into an opening and closing title, and an orchestrated version courtesy of Wada. Other similarities include another orchestral credits piece, and the addition of One-Winged Angel.
All in all the album does exactly what it needs to, evokes the previous story while creating new threads. Add that to the awesome orchestrations from Wada and you've got yourself a soundtrack that's even better than the previous one, well worthy of the game.