ReMix: Final Fantasy VII 'The Crossroads'

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Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the LifestreamFinal Fantasy VII

The Return of... DJ CRONO?? Jovette Rivera, who now goes by his full name (which is rather cool to begin with - good move!), last had a mix posted in March of 2003. He's submitted things since then, but may have gotten discouraged as his personal style was veering away from our site standards and his pieces were not being accepted by the judges panel. All that changes now, with this ReMix. This is Jovette's best work to date, and fully delivers on all the promise his initial FF6 mix showed back in 2002. Way back then, this is EXACTLY the type of track I saw Jovette eventually progressing towards and submitting, and while it's taken a loooong while, his timing couldn't really have been much better, as his magnum opus coincides with Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream, of which this track is part. I'm a huge fan of this track; Jovette's maximalist style, inspired by J-pop and anime music and overflowing with vocal variety, isn't for everyone, but it's definitely for me. The ReMixer writes:

"I knew this song had to be special, an outlet that I hadn't tapped into yet. I wanted to combine the intensity of heavy metal and techno, with the energy of hip hop and breakbeats, with the dramatic and anthemic feelings of classical and oprah. I've always loved Cid's Theme, and unlike some other songs from FFVII, there's more than one consistent melody in this song. I then thought this would make a ideal song for building upon (ie, intro, verse, chorus, bridge) and implementing lyrics, as seems to be my signature. I hope everyone enjoys the song, I know it's been a while. Thank you everyone."

I'll say it again, I'm just really psyched that Jovette could be a part of this album. He's one of those very distinct mixers who fell off the OCR radar awhile back and who I always wished would make a grand return, and... here it is. He's right about Cid's theme having two distinct melodies, and he capitalizes on this to great effect. The traditional, very benign orchestral intro gets abruptly intruded on by a mean guitar riff, there's a screaming, ascending buildup into a vocal refrain that's sung/shouted, followed by some lower, grumbling metal vocal bits, then a vocoded electronica chorus... I mean, from a pure vocal variety perspective, this ReMix suffers from the worst case of multiple personality disorder EVER. Except that it's... beautiful. Jovette is absolutely fearless with trying out vocal ideas, combining singing in multiple octaves, rapping, growling, shouting, vocoding, and lord knows what else into this stew that somewhow works. The whole arrangement is to me an amazing stylistic accomplishment, but in particular it hinges on what Jovette's calling the bridge, which kicks in very anthemically at 3'10" - I always pump the volume knob up at this part, and it's already pretty damn loud. I've listened to this track on repeat half a dozen times in a row. It's very cathartic and therapeutic; it just feels like one big release of musical ideas juxtaposed together with equal parts craft and sheer, brute force enthusiasm. I'd absolutely die to see some quality Advent Children AMVs made using this mix (or for that matter any VotL mixes - come on, AMVers, show us what you're made of!) - it's such an uplifting and energetic piece of music, I think setting it to video would be fun as hell. At any rate, I may be this mix's biggest fan - it's not the most subtle, refined piece of music in the world, that's true, but frankly, that's not always what music has to be about. Jovette's mix is probably the polar opposite of my own Tifa mix, and I absolutely love the fact that they can both come out of the same community and end up on the same album.

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
GallenWolf
on 2011-08-11 17:10:28
Just wanted to say it's fantastic. :-D
DragnBreth
on 2010-08-03 20:10:34
Decided to revisit the VotL album the other day. I figured its been a while since it came out and my taste in remixes has expanded since then. Ran across this one.

Dude... Epic!
coolsonh
on 2010-06-01 22:37:32
This song has made me want to play FF7 so much! (I have not, yet!)
Vostok von Istigkeit
on 2010-03-25 21:40:15
Let me begin by saying that this song is absolutely incredible, and I've never heard a version of Cid's Theme that comes even close to being this good. That being said, I can't fully describe just how much I hate the vocals. Not the specific lyrics, or even your singing voice (which is also really good), but simply the fact that they exist. If I had the money, I would gladly commission an instrumental version of this song, money's tight, so for now I'll just have to say that I think it's... Arrogant? Presumptuous? Just plain wrong to put vocals to music like this.
I hate that I have to be so rude and unfriendly about this, and I can't apologize enough for insulting your work (which is still better than anything I could even dream of doing, giving me even less of a right to post this nonsense), but I just can't imagine how someone as brilliantly talented as you could ruin such a great remix by splattering completely unrelated vocals onto it.
Alright, I'm done making an ass out of myself. Again, I'm really sorry for being such a jerk about this, I usually try to be a pretty nice guy. It just really gets to me when people make amazing music like this and then destroy it at the last second. But still, I deserve all the angry comments that I'm sure will come as a response to this post. Here's hoping I'm never this unpleasant again...
OA
on 2010-03-10 15:14:59
An excellent track, The ending is spectacularly anthemic, and the ending finishes it off perfectly.
Really solid work, I love it. :-)
Davidrawr
on 2009-05-28 15:47:38
I absolutely love this mix. It brings back so many memories from FF7 and sends chills down your spine. It's beautiful and serious in its own nonsensical way.
I made an AMV for this afterall:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYmVFYdx1Nc
yosefu
on 2009-05-12 01:18:05
This is a very fun track to listen to and so are the lyrics.
Thompson
on 2009-05-10 04:16:47
I can no longer listen to the original song without singing to myself the lyrics of Rivera's remix. They're just that good, not to mention the singing which is also superb. One of my all-time favourite remixes.
sefirosu
on 2009-04-02 10:39:45
My god, I can't believe I hadn't posted a review on this one yet!
Well here it is:

IT WAS AWESOME! The lyrics at the end and between the two verses were cool although hard to get out of my head after listening to it. They don't have much to do with Cid, his struggle against Shin-ra or anything like that, but they're still cool.


"You can't believe everything you hear.
And you cannot see everything that's near.
But if I believe you're gone, then you'll disappear.
Still, you reappear, endlessly."

"Each and everyday's the same,
Life has left you nothing new.
Turn around and you
Will see what has become of you.
Your visions of
Immortality or love
Left you at the crossroads of what to choose."

(^ That's some powerful stuff right there.)

I disliked the heavy stuff though.


The main thing I liked about this was in the intro; the snare drums with the choral vocals, they seemed a lot like a militaristic march, which I liked.
cremdogz
on 2009-03-30 23:26:16
Man I loved this song. This is one of my favourite OC remixes. The short bit at the beginning which sounded very epic reminded me instantly of Metroid Prime 3. After that, the very rock type music was really well introduced from the intro. Hearing you're proper voice in the chorus drew me in each and everytime. I will say I didn't like the 2nd verse, but I'm saying that compared to the rest of the song. I loved the way Cid's Theme was used in this song, both in an epic and rock sort of way. But man, at 3:10, that's some of the best stuff I've ever heard. I cranked the volume way up high, something I don't do for many songs, even my favourites. I don't need my songs on high volume, that bit from 3:10 till the end was a complete necessity. When I hear an OC remix or even the original song like The Skies Above for To Zanarkand in Final Fantasy X, when I hear the ingame music, it makes me want to sing to it, and this song is gonna be one of them. One of the best OC remixes I've ever heard.
Rozovian
on 2008-11-21 04:57:40
The man makes great music. I'll write a proper review someday, just wanted to post the actual lyrics:
Each and every day's the same
Life has left you nothing new
Turn around and you
Will see what has become of you.
Your visions of
Immortality or love
Left you at the crossroads of
What to choose.

I think it's a powerful text right there. Basically, it's about finding or choosing direction in life when it's gotten stale. Dunno how well that applies to the character, haven't played the game.
vgss
on 2008-11-21 01:16:03
Am I the only one who took "crossroads" too literally here? I thought this was a suicide song at first, especially given Cid's troubled story...
Each and every day's the same.
Life has left you nothing good.
Turn around and you,
Will see what has begun to you.
Cue your visions of,
Immortality in life,
Has left you on the crossroads of
What to do...
PorscheT1
on 2008-11-04 02:24:18
This remix is downright awesome! As a couple others have said, I can put this track on loop and keep listening to it forever without getting bored. I also like how Dusky Ferret put it in regards to the lyrics:
DuskyFerret;318796 wrote: they're INFECTIOUS in the best way possible.

Amazing stuff :)
Sorceror Nobody
on 2008-08-26 15:40:29
Put it this way... I define my "very favourite music" as those which I can play on a loop pretty much indefinitely (until interrupted by external factors) without getting fed up with listening to it. "The Crossroads" is only the second track ever to pass this test, and at the time of writing only a few more have passed since. Indeed, this is the track that first inspired my "very favourite music" system, and only retrospect made the first track to pass... well, the first to pass.

It's probably my favourite track on the album, although "No Such Thing as the Promised Land", "Mark of the Beatsmith", "Beginning of the End" and "Black Wing Metamorphosis" are all solidly up there too. Then again, to be fair, there are only a couple of tracks on the album that I'm actively not particularly keen on, and none that I outright dislike.

It's one of those ReMixes that listening to the original track, or even another ReMix of it, almost always makes me mentally follow the lyrics, and I can't say I dislike the persistence.
Catullus
on 2008-02-01 22:30:54
I really love this piece, its one of the best mixes off the VOTL soundtrack OCR put together and that really is saying something. Ive enjoyed Jovettes other pieces for a long time now most notably kono sekai de when he was simply DJCrono.
In any case this song represents so much growth and change from him its pretty amazing what he put together, Not only does this song sound great, its extremely hard to classify it or to compare it to anything else. I think its great from the metal sections to my favorite part the harmonizing at the end. That said to those who think it "sucks" or they hated it thats fine, you are wrong but thats fine.
Why doesn't it suck? Because if you actually have and listen to the FFVII Cids theme original you can fit the lyrics on top without much of an imagination at all and it fits... Also as already stated there are two distinct styles going on in the original, what Jovette did was expand on those and ran with them and blended them together much as they were in the original. When I hear the orginal now I can also hear the lyrics in my head along with it. What Jovette has pulled off is nothing short of masterful.
So while I can understand if its not your cup of tea or you personally not liking it and thats fine thats a perfectly acceptable opinion. Saying that the remixer did a bad job on the original or just saying it sucks however is just absolutely wrong. There really can't be too much debate on it when you listen to the original and the remix. This remix is a great interpretation on the original and it took a lot of talent to pull off which Jovette obviously has a lot of.
And to quote rathoi:
"And that's part of what's missing here. Cid's Theme is probably one of the most memorable in FF7, and I don't believe that this remixer did it justice"
My friend Id like to see you or anyone else do better ^_^ and that is a very steep challenge right there.'
In other news someone did make an amv out of this song: http://youtube.com/watch?v=8M_Z2OjzDDA