ReMix: The Legend of Dragoon 'Unbreakable Heart'
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'Innocent Deception' was the first ReMix we posted this year, and Dj Mystix is back, again collaborating with Claire Yaxley on vocals, again combining themes from multiple games, and again achieving epic results. For this mellow, extended synth-pop vocal ballad, he incorporated sources from Legend of Dragoon, XenoSaga, Xenoblade, and... Super Street Fighter II?? Because why not? Combinations of disparate sources tunes into a cogent, natural whole is more or less Mansoor's trademark at this point, and I think it's a great approach. When 'Cammy' comes on strong @ 4'05", I might smile as I know the theme quite well, but there's no "raised eyebrow" feeling that it somehow doesn't fit. The ReMixer writes:
"For eternity (probably ever since I saw first trailer of XenoSaga back then), I thought that "Kokoro" (XenoSaga) and "If you still believe" (LoD) can be mixed into one track and even the lyrics would make sense. So here I am trying to re-imagine both songs into one. I started the song with some original writing to set the mood of the song. I could write original stuff between vocal breaks as well but that's not what I usually do so Xenoblade and Cammy are just supporting elements here :D I wouldn't even call it a remix of Xenoblade or Street Fighter. They are only mentioned to ensure credit is given where it is due. Both Xenoblade and Street Fighter are there to keep the listener's interest level up (since the mix is 7.3 minutes long). This is still mainly a XenoSaga/Legend of Dragoon remix.
Claire, once again, has done an amazing job. Her vocals made the song 10 times better than what I could do without them. She went an extra mile to record supporting elements (adlib etc.) We hope you enjoy this track. Thanks for listening :D"
A pleasure, as always. While there were a few fleeting moments where I felt Claire's voice was a little exposed & overbalanced in the mix, this arrangement does a great job of maintaining interest & filling 7+ minutes with a strong vocal melody, beautiful harmonies, and compositional variety aided by the inclusion of supporting sources. Claire adds:
"When DjMystix asked me to do a second vocal submission, I literally jumped at the chance. His work always has a professional sound to it and he knows how to blend music and vocals without one being way more dominating over the other. I also knew that he would expect nothing but the best from me and would not let me be lazy! I have to admit, mixing two songs together in a kind of Glee style mash up seems very ambitious, but he's totally pulled it off in my opinion. I very much enjoyed providing my vocals for this track and being giving the opportunity to sing things my way and put my own spin on them. If I say so myself, the end result is pretty amazing! I'm adding this one to my mp3 as I want my baby to hear my singing way before she is born... that's right, I am pregnant! My first baby, a little girl, is due in September. I can't wait!! I need to do more singing so she can get used to it."
Congrats to Claire! She later posted on our forums that she delivered on September 1st, at 11:27pm! That baby girl has a super-talented mom & is lucky to be exposed to awesome music so young! While judges did notice some inconsistencies with the vocal recording & mastering, none felt they overpowered the combined strength of Mansoor's arrangement and Claire's performance. Vinnie writes:
"Recording quality of the vocal isn't the best, and that was probably the most major problem (though not a dealbreaker) ...The medley barely seemed like a medley and the sequencing and lush soundscape were dead-on. Really nice stuff, some of your best so far."
Ditto that; great, emotional work that further explores the possibilites of Mystix' unique & compelling recipe!
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