Bahamut

OCRA-0017 - Donkey Kong Country 2: Serious Monkey Business

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Hate vocal haters with hate. No instrumentals. :banghead:

I don't hate the vocals, but I would be interested in hearing the instrumental work more clearly. For an album based on a purely instrumental soundtrack surely I can't be the only one with such curiosity? :o

Kind of like how I like to sometimes listen to metal bands' instrumentals, even if I do enjoy the music with vocals too. You can't appreciate how intricate some of their background orchestration and such is when it's overlaid with vocals, although the vocals add a power of their own. :)

I don't question the decision to use vocals at all, but as I say it'd have been nice if the bonus disc contained more instrumentals. A clear opportunity to satisfy all.

Edit: I meant to say actually, the vocal work in A New Place is fantastic — best of the album by far IMO. Major props to those involved!

Edited by Thrik

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I don't hate the vocals, but I would be interested in hearing the instrumental work more clearly. For an album based on a purely instrumental soundtrack surely I can't be the only one with such curiosity? :o

Kind of like how I like to sometimes listen to metal bands' instrumentals, even if I do enjoy the music with vocals too. You can't appreciate how intricate some of their background orchestration and such is when it's overlaid with vocals, although the vocals add a power of their own. :)

I don't question the decision to use vocals at all, but as I say it'd have been nice if the bonus disc contained more instrumentals. A clear opportunity to satisfy all.

Edit: I meant to say actually, the vocal work in A New Place is fantastic — best of the album by far IMO. Major props to those involved!

Thank you for the explanation, Thrik, and I'm glad you like "A New Place." However, my decision about not providing an instrumental version remains the same. Posted from the review thread:

I will never provide instrumental versions of my music because removing the vocals would destroy the feeling I was going for. The lyrics tell a story about where Diddy and Dixie are headed both physically and emotionally; both are reasons why the song is called "A New Place." The shifting to the major key represents Diddy and Dixie overcoming the dangers that lie in Crocodile Cauldron and lyrically, their feelings towards one another have developed. The music and lyrics benefit from one another throughout the entire song.

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Good to know. As a gigantic Floyd fan, I approve. We need more of this stuff.

edit: Also, I loved Roller Disco. It does have an ending, it has the level clear jingle right there. ;)

Actually, it's technically Diddy Boom Box, which plays, if you didn't already know, when Diddy breaks the barrel at the end. Dixie has an electric guitar; same jingle but sounds different. The level clear jingle, which plays if you don't get the bonus item at the end, is different.

And I'll see if I can trick my brother into listening to Beneath the Canopy. Maybe he'll get a similar vibe; he loves Pink Floyd.

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Thank you, all the remixers for contributing to this project! It's something I've been looking forward to since I joined the site years ago. It was pretty amazing.

Also, I'd like to especially say that Patrick Burns and OA are two of my favorite musicians ever! Your remixes are just awesome. I thought Rare Respite was beautiful.

As for vocals, I prefer ones without them (A New Place was fine though), but I think maybe if instrumentals are not possible/fitting, two different remixes of the same song could be allowed. I may be the only one, but I feel the rap and Japanese lyrics detract from the music.

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That's the thing though about vocal vs. non-vocal, clarity isn't a legitimate argument if the song is produced properly. If nothing else, you could put on headphones and turn it up. The vocals don't stop you from enjoying the intricacies of a song. :-P

I actually recommend turning it up for all songs but Nekofrog's especially, since the instrumental version is so much louder.. You have to turn the album version up louder to match that and then you get the full experience.

Edited by Brandon Strader

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Hey, I got what you were going for, I've played the game dozens of times. :-) But I think there was a way you could have worked it in so that it ended less abruptly, which was the big complaint (though not from me).

Hey at least there aren't any vocals in it. :<

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As for vocals, I prefer ones without them (A New Place was fine though), but I think maybe if instrumentals are not possible/fitting, two different remixes of the same song could be allowed. I may be the only one, but I feel the rap and Japanese lyrics detract from the music.

Hate vocal haters with hate. No instrumentals. :banghead:

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^It's not that I hate vocals, it's much harder to do a good vocal song that everyone will like than a good instrumental, because IMO non-vocal music is more universal. No language barriers, less social difference, and the quality is much more controllable.

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This topic of vocals is getting old. NEXT PLZ

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Any chance we could get vocal versions of all these instrumental tracks? It's not that I hate music without vocals, but it's so bland and meaningless without a message or story being told. So yeah, if someone could get on that it'd be great. Thx.

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Any chance we could get vocal versions of all these instrumental tracks? It's not that I hate music without vocals, but it's so bland and meaningless without a message or story being told. So yeah, if someone could get on that it'd be great. Thx.

for posterity

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Any chance we could get vocal versions of all these instrumental tracks? It's not that I hate music without vocals, but it's so bland and meaningless without a message or story being told. So yeah, if someone could get on that it'd be great. Thx.

Sure, I'll see what I can cook up.

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Actually, it's technically Diddy Boom Box, which plays, if you didn't already know, when Diddy breaks the barrel at the end. Dixie has an electric guitar; same jingle but sounds different. The level clear jingle, which plays if you don't get the bonus item at the end, is different.

And I'll see if I can trick my brother into listening to Beneath the Canopy. Maybe he'll get a similar vibe; he loves Pink Floyd.

I did know this, I guess I was just using "level clear jingle" as shorthand. I was just trying to intimate that I knew what you were going for. :) It's a nice easter egg for those that have beaten the game; but I'm not sure how you could make it less abrupt.

On the subject of vocal mixes, I'm personally not opposed to them... so long as they're good. ;) The vocals have to work, though. The only track that I listen to consistently from the FFIV album, Eminence Grise, is a vocal track. It's also, strangely, my least favorite song on the original FFIV soundtrack. OA and DragonAvenger really put together a solid mix. It works because the singing is very good (in time, tune, etc), the actual written lyrics fit the overall feel of the song, and the arrangement still invokes the gestalt of the original track - an alien, airy, atmospheric tune. The lyrics only add to that.

The lyrical tracks on SMB (heh) are a mixed bag, in my opinion. A New Place is probably a pretty divisive song because it's so markedly different from the original, and then lyrics are thrown into the mix, and people don't know how to make heads or tails of it. The bigger problem with the song is that the main backbeat of the song doesn't come in till about 2:45. I guess my gripes are more with the actual musical arrangement than the lyrics. The singing is pretty well done and while a little cheesy there's a lot worse lyrical mixes out there.

Us Monkeys Together... I just can't get into it. The lyrical track takes me right out of it, and feels almost unnecessary. It's the only track I unchecked from the playlist. I don't mind a lot of electronica, and the stuff in this track is actually pretty good; I just won't be listening to any of it due to the lyrics. This has even less of a legitimacy, IMO, than A New Place because to 99.9999% of the audience the lyrics are gibberish until they're forced to look it up. Admittedly that is a very personal thing for a lot of people; I do not care for foreign language pop at all. Your mileage may vary.

Backwards Room... I still haven't completely digested yet. I know where zykO was going with it, but the singing need some tightening up with the beat. The actual lyrics and vocal production definitely add to the track. The only flaw, along with his other tracks, are that they really need some solid editing/tightening up; they just go on and on when you feel that, musically, you're spent by 3/4 of the way in.

Trapped in the Minds clearly got some work done inbetween its entry in the Jan 09 DoD and what we've gotten here. I did like the original entry in a sort of "what's going on here?" kind of way. In the end, I find myself going back to the original mix, even though this one has superior instrumentation. The mixing of the lyrics absolutely kills the track. The original still had some meshing issues with the beat and the lyrics, and the harmonic portions of the original had so-so singing. The rapping meshes up better in the original too. There's a ton of potential with this track - it just needs more work, and based on Hale and co's comments on the review thread they recognize that.

Lastly, Monkey Disarm Your Kremlings is clearly the best lyrical track. It perfectly gets the death metal sound (which I normally don't care for but find oddly compelling here), the lyrics are well written, and it feels like it could be what's going on in the game. The recorder section is still a bit of a WTF, and it's more out of place than the lyrics, but it's still played pretty well and fits the pirate theme of Kaptain K. Rool, so it's hard to argue with it.

All of this being said, I've got some criticisms of many of the instrumental tracks. I wouldn't take this as picking on the vocals, as there's several instrumental tracks that just aren't up to snuff. I just figure there's more room in the discussion than just black and white "Vocals are terrible!" and "Every track should be vocals!"

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Us Monkeys Together... I just can't get into it. The lyrical track takes me right out of it, and feels almost unnecessary. It's the only track I unchecked from the playlist. I don't mind a lot of electronica, and the stuff in this track is actually pretty good; I just won't be listening to any of it due to the lyrics. This has even less of a legitimacy, IMO, than A New Place because to 99.9999% of the audience the lyrics are gibberish until they're forced to look it up. Admittedly that is a very personal thing for a lot of people; I do not care for foreign language pop at all. Your mileage may vary.

Usage of a foreign language creating a lack of "legitimacy" is NOT the word you're looking for.

Hate vocal haters with hate. :banghead:

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I am finding the complaints over my choice of language to be bordering on racism. OCR is a diverse community with listeners and remixers from all over the world. If a remixer's primary or only language wasn't English, I don't think this should prevent them from writing lyrics and singing on a remix. Nor should we alienate non-English-speaking remix fans by only allowing vocal remixes in English.

So, maybe to some people, my family's language sounds like "moon language" or "gibberish," but luckily for me, there are ~1 billion people out there who speak it.

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lol, moon language.

I'm just curious what inspired the decision to sing in a language that's clearly not as natural to you. Unlike most everyone else here I CAN understand Mandarin and while the pronunciation is a bit iffy, it's the undeveloped lyrics that kind of bother me. I'm not sure you put much thought into them, and I wonder if that's because you believed nobody would understand them anyway. Now I'm not expecting some poetic Chinese lyrics from a non-native speaker, but it sounds like something a 5 year old could write, no offense.

don't get the wrong idea, I've seen some of your youtube stuff and I like your voice, especially adore the Portal cover. Just questioning the appropriateness of the language choice if you knew there would be difficulty expressing yourself fully.

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I'm just curious what inspired the decision to sing in a language that's clearly not as natural to you. Unlike most everyone else here I CAN understand Mandarin and while the pronunciation is a bit iffy, it's the undeveloped lyrics that kind of bother me. I'm not sure you put much thought into them, and I wonder if that's because you believed nobody would understand them anyway. Now I'm not expecting some poetic Chinese lyrics from a non-native speaker, but it sounds like something a 5 year old could write, no offense.

I don't have much more explanation for my choice of language than "I felt like it." Actually, I was going for a child-like feeling to the lyrics. In fact, I likened it to writing a children's song in my submission writeup. So if you think it sounds like a 5 year old wrote it, I guess that fits. I wasn't trying to hide anything in the meaning of the lyrics by choosing a non-English language, as I did provide the English translation, and I'm glad that some people do understand the Mandarin lyrics.

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Okay, so I just listened to the bonus track Bonus Bop and, I have to say, that's absolutely stellar work. Shame it isn't in the album proper, but it is most definitely on my playlist.

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I WTF'd at 4:05 of Token Up. What exactly is that supposed to be?

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I just won't be listening to any of it due to the lyrics. This has even less of a legitimacy, IMO, than A New Place because to 99.9999% of the audience the lyrics are gibberish until they're forced to look it up.

Two words:

Sigur Rós

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I did know this, I guess I was just using "level clear jingle" as shorthand. I was just trying to intimate that I knew what you were going for. :) It's a nice easter egg for those that have beaten the game; but I'm not sure how you could make it less abrupt.

It is the level clear jingle; but its the special one that plays when Diddy breaks the barrel at the end of the stage, not at the end of the game like you have insinuated. It can play at the end of EVERY level if you choose to. >_>

On the subject of vocal mixes, I'm personally not opposed to them... so long as they're good. ;) The vocals have to work, though. The only track that I listen to consistently from the FFIV album, Eminence Grise, is a vocal track. It's also, strangely, my least favorite song on the original FFIV soundtrack. OA and DragonAvenger really put together a solid mix. It works because the singing is very good (in time, tune, etc), the actual written lyrics fit the overall feel of the song, and the arrangement still invokes the gestalt of the original track - an alien, airy, atmospheric tune. The lyrics only add to that.

Good points there, I won't pick that apart, except that I love the source as well.

The lyrical tracks on SMB (heh) are a mixed bag, in my opinion. A New Place is probably a pretty divisive song because it's so markedly different from the original, and then lyrics are thrown into the mix, and people don't know how to make heads or tails of it. The bigger problem with the song is that the main backbeat of the song doesn't come in till about 2:45. I guess my gripes are more with the actual musical arrangement than the lyrics. The singing is pretty well done and while a little cheesy there's a lot worse lyrical mixes out there.

A New Place is a beautifully sung song, in my opinion. Yeah, the main source may not come in until then, but the basic rhythms play throughout.

Us Monkeys Together... I just can't get into it. The lyrical track takes me right out of it, and feels almost unnecessary. It's the only track I unchecked from the playlist. I don't mind a lot of electronica, and the stuff in this track is actually pretty good; I just won't be listening to any of it due to the lyrics. This has even less of a legitimacy, IMO, than A New Place because to 99.9999% of the audience the lyrics are gibberish until they're forced to look it up. Admittedly that is a very personal thing for a lot of people; I do not care for foreign language pop at all. Your mileage may vary.

Gibberish? Really? I think quite a few people would like to talk to you since you just called their language gibberish. Just because you can't understand it doesn't make it gibberish. I can't understand it, but they're still beautiful. I view them as more of an instrument since I can't understand them, and that makes it even better. And because you can't understand them makes them illegitimate? Really? Show me the flowchart to explain your point, because to me and many MANY others I think your claim makes no sense.

Backwards Room... I still haven't completely digested yet. I know where zykO was going with it, but the singing need some tightening up with the beat. The actual lyrics and vocal production definitely add to the track. The only flaw, along with his other tracks, are that they really need some solid editing/tightening up; they just go on and on when you feel that, musically, you're spent by 3/4 of the way in.

But the run run run is funny...

Trapped in the Minds clearly got some work done inbetween its entry in the Jan 09 DoD and what we've gotten here. I did like the original entry in a sort of "what's going on here?" kind of way. In the end, I find myself going back to the original mix, even though this one has superior instrumentation. The mixing of the lyrics absolutely kills the track. The original still had some meshing issues with the beat and the lyrics, and the harmonic portions of the original had so-so singing. The rapping meshes up better in the original too. There's a ton of potential with this track - it just needs more work, and based on Hale and co's comments on the review thread they recognize that.

I honestly like it, and the lyrics are well written. I find that they mesh quite well with the track. The original was more of a WIP than this. To quote Geoffrey Taucer:

We submitted a rough, mega-rushed version to DoD at MAGFest 7 with me singing (which was finished literally seconds before I left for MAG), and while it was generally well recieved, I wasn't completely happy with it, and wanted to improve on it.

So the original was rushed and he wasn't happy with it. Hence the improvements, as I see it, found in this version.

Lastly, Monkey Disarm Your Kremlings is clearly the best lyrical track. It perfectly gets the death metal sound (which I normally don't care for but find oddly compelling here), the lyrics are well written, and it feels like it could be what's going on in the game. The recorder section is still a bit of a WTF, and it's more out of place than the lyrics, but it's still played pretty well and fits the pirate theme of Kaptain K. Rool, so it's hard to argue with it.

The recorder makes it sound like "It's over... wait what's this! DRAMATIC!". And the lyrics describe K. Rool's thoughts before and during that battle on his airship. They're well written too! Even though Nekofrog wrote them a few years back. If you have any problem with those, tell him. You'll have to wait for a response though!

All of this being said, I've got some criticisms of many of the instrumental tracks. I wouldn't take this as picking on the vocals, as there's several instrumental tracks that just aren't up to snuff. I just figure there's more room in the discussion than just black and white "Vocals are terrible!" and "Every track should be vocals!"

Well most of what you said was "Vocals are terrible!" sooo... Your point is moot. I know all this is your opinion, but you basically said you hate the lyrics in all these tracks.

Also, good music is when the vocals are treated as another instrument, not a way to recite poetry over the music. Even Trapped in the Minds' rapping is treated as an instrument, not just poetry. I find that the lyrics were well done on all these tracks, personally.

Edited by Mirby
TheChargingRhino likes this

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That's it, I'm going to start an all-vocal remix project. This is getting ridiculous.

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The lyrical tracks on SMB (heh) are a mixed bag, in my opinion. A New Place is probably a pretty divisive song because it's so markedly different from the original, and then lyrics are thrown into the mix, and people don't know how to make heads or tails of it. The bigger problem with the song is that the main backbeat of the song doesn't come in till about 2:45. I guess my gripes are more with the actual musical arrangement than the lyrics. The singing is pretty well done and while a little cheesy there's a lot worse lyrical mixes out there.
A New Place is a beautifully sung song, in my opinion. Yeah, the main source may not come in until then, but the basic rhythms play throughout.

Um, no, the source is used throughout the entire song. The first and second verses are based on the minor key melody of the original. The break in "A New Place" has the same bass progression as the transition in the source (the part with the delayed piano).

Edited by Nicole Adams

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I WTF'd at 4:05 of Token Up. What exactly is that supposed to be?

your face on the asphalt :)

and people, why is the run, run, run, funny?

because there really isn't much comedic element to that song at all unless you're mocking it.

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