ReMix: Final Fantasy IX 'The Rose General'

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Final Fantasy IX


Let me take a second to pick my jaw up off the floor - this is an absolutely gorgeous piece of music. This is going to be one of those writeups where I gush enthusiastically and heap tons of praise, so if you've got a weak stomach for acclaim (especially when applied to others), be warned. I've looped this repeatedly the last couple days prior to posting, just to make doubly sure I wasn't being excessive, but no: This ReMix is an instant classic, a breath of fresh air, haunting, beautiful, memorable, and singular. Newcomer katethegreat19, aka Kate Covington, already has quite the following on MySpace and YouTube, and deservedly so - she's put together some very unique vocal fan mixes that apply a folksy renaissance fair/Celtic festival style to great effect. Her voice is not only breathtaking, but her control and her ability to break, harmonize, and convincingly pull off the quick modulations key to the genre are dead-on. This is an arrangement that essentially sinks or swims based on the vocalist, but with Kate it not only swims, but truly takes flight. Yes, that was a cheesy-as-all-hell metaphor, but I'm excited about this piece. It's a new direction, a different approach, something I wasn't expecting, convincing, and above and beyond all of that, a great piece of music. The artist writes:

"This is my vocal adaptation of Rose of May. The arrangement is entirely acoustic and I am performing all the parts on harp, guitar, frame drums and recorder. The lyrics, inspired by the character of General Beatrix are my own. please consider my submission! ^_^"

So, all of what I already said, plus she plays all the parts AND wrote the lyrics; color me impressed. And about those lyrics... absolutely perfect for the style; I love the "in rivers" repetition and "So put on my mask / I'll go where they ask" combination especially. Mattias says:

"This is one of the most personal arrangements I've heard in a while. While it's still rather close to the source you have a unique approach, great counter melodies and one of the most beautiful voices I've heard in a while. I am a sucker for folk-influenced singing I must admit but damn, this is fantastic. Beautiful lyrics, as a big FF-fan I appreciate the way it really portrays a character."

English may be AnSo's second language, but I think he quite often picks the perfect adjectives; in this case, the mix really does feel personal, due in no small part to the emotive vocal. Judges did have some feedback regarding panning and plosives that Kate addressed, making the piece even better. Everything is exposed, pared down to the bare essentials, and mesmerizing. Kate could make a dozen pieces like this one and I'd love each of them to death, but it would also be interesting to see if she could collab on something; right off the bat I can envision a Golden Axe arrangement I've been working on with her vocals in it...

... but I digress. It's sometimes difficult to talk about a mix like this: if I'm too overwhelmingly positive, I fear I'll trigger kneejerk reactions from those who may not dig vocal mixes, or the genre, or who simply don't like it when other people get compliments. Frankly, I usually don't let any of that stop me, and I'm not going to here: I believe this ReMix deserves a lot of attention, that it's both fantastic and original, and that I'll be listening to it regularly for the rest of my life. I sincerely hope Kate continues to create such works and submit them here.


Discussion: Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-01-25 06:31:44
Oh dear, some people actually make beautiful music. Just discovered this, fell in love at first si... hear. Djp hyped this a lot, and for a reason, I found. Every word is true, including the one that this song is worth listening to for the rest of my life. I hope kate had done more remixes by now, but creating magic like this... Must take time and effort only few can spare so much.
Anti elytS
on 2012-12-08 12:31:23
I... am ellipsis personified. Seriously, after I typed that first 'I' and then began to think about the mix and what I was going to write of it... <- happened. Big time. This is by far one of the most well done pieces of music on the site... From now on, whenever I'm trying to convince someone that video game music is a viable, valuable, and beautiful art, I am putting this song at the top of my 'ammunition' list.
PLEASE submit more. I'm sure we'd all love to hear from you.
on 2012-06-26 04:14:57
My goodness... the vocals surprised me at first because I wasn't expecting it.. but I seriously got goosebumps, not exaggerating.. This is beautiful.
on 2012-06-22 01:30:36
Perfect... This piece could be sold as an illegal drug
on 2012-03-08 01:13:15
DJPretzel actually somehow undersells this mix, which is shocking considering his praise, but there just aren't words enough to describe what an accomplishment this remix is. This is one of the most beautiful renditions of a song that I've ever heard. And it isn't just some great singer (though major credit to the voice quality!) - it's far more than that. The lyrics, good heavens, the lyrics are absolutely A+ and really evoke both emotions and the source material - tough to do both. Add to that the fact that she did all the instruments herself [U]and[/U] added absolutely scintillating harmonies and changes that seem like they were part of the source all along......

...This is one of my favorite remixes I've ever heard. Pure beauty. Be proud, katethegreat19 - you have created something truly wonderful.
on 2011-12-24 16:13:45
This song is just so beautiful... the source is rather emotional on its own, but this takes it to a whole new level. The lyrics seem to capture any lament that Beatrix may have, and they go with the song perfectly. Fantastic job! :D
on 2011-11-04 17:33:06
I've always felt Final Fantasy 9 is the most emotional game in the series, as well as its soundtrack. So it's fitting that this song leaves such an impact. It's also refreshing to hear real instruments played by real person. Kate's voice is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard. Not flattery, simply a statement of fact. Excellent work.
Brandon Strader
on 2011-05-01 21:01:34
Listen to Kate's Rose of May in May. End self. :<
on 2010-09-06 03:06:33
I already liked the original a lot, but this really pulls at your emotions. Amazing.
on 2010-07-18 01:02:52
So perhaps my original post didn't really convey my sentiments on this song the best - I really love this song, and glad it submitted here. I relish listening to the song even still, and it has led me to Kate's other stuff via her YouTube page.
In particular, there is a quality in Kate's voice in her technique that really accentuates the style in such a way that it strikes emotional chords with the listener. It really meshes well with the minimalist backing.
on 2010-06-27 00:19:18
The lyrics are wonderful, and the performance is even better. Breathtaking!
on 2010-06-26 08:48:52
Just listened to this one after the recently posted Hymn of Aveh. I've never heard the source material, but this is fabulous!
on 2010-04-30 07:40:27
This has been a fave of mine for a long time now, Kate is truely gifted and I want to thank her for sharing the talent she has with us. Her music is one of those that I feel honoured to listen to. Not only is she very talented but also a very sweet girl, so nice to chat with ^_^
on 2010-04-11 13:38:01
This song is incredible, I can't describe with words how much I love this song. So instead I made a music video for it. here's the link
on 2010-01-27 18:22:03
I absolutely love this piece. Very well done!