ReMix: Mega Man 4 "Standing on Top"
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Next up with an EDM track that features a section with vocals & original lyrics is fellow newly-anointed judge Flexstyle, taking on MM4 with a shimmering electronic landscape, some very atmospheric intro/outro vocalizing, and a first half that has more of a pop format, with some tastefully auto-tuned singing:
"And now for something a little different! This is a mashup remix/re-arrangement of two Mega Man songs. The first is the theme from Cossack Fortress 2 in Mega Man 4. The second is Top Man's theme from Mega Man 3. Lyrics written by myself and Jason Covenant, who also helped a bit with the arrangement. Vocals and all instrumentation done by me.
This was my entry into the sixth round of the Wily Castle Remix Gauntlet 2011. Even a year or so later, it's still got a place in my heart. It's the only track I did vocals on for the compo - and, in fact, is my only vocal game remix at the time of this writing. I'm rather fond of this song because it doesn't fit comfortably into any one genre, but has elements from several different types of music. The lyrics are meant to be from the perspective of a man climbing a very difficult mountain - no matter what the trail (or lack thereof) throws at him, he comes out on Top (Man, herp derp).
I realize the song structure is not standard by any stretch of the imagination, with only two verses and no standard choruses or bridges or anything of the sort, but I think that it flows exactly as well as I want it to. You'll want to listen to it a couple times through, as there is a LOT going on, melodically. Pay attention to the right and left channels individually, as at times during the song each one will be carrying a separate melody line at a time. Somehow, the songs managed to blend together in a way that I don't think made it too overly cluttered. Shariq has good taste in competition song choices. :P"
What I especially like about this song is how it's completely comfortable quarantining vocals to the first half or so, and how it makes that work. Usually once there's a lead vocal, it remains ubiquitous & dominant throughout most of a track, but with the right structure - and this is probably a bit easier in electronic genres - you can arrange things where vocals are the emphasis for a given section, but then pivot to an instrumental focus afterwards. The bookend vocalizing helps tie it all together, and while it's a little strange, the whole entire mix is a pretty big departure for Mr. Birch; less "aggressive electro", more "transcendental pop." Same attention to detail on synth part-writing, though, with plenty of modulation, filtering, and movement across the board. Reminding me fondly of "For You" in certain regards (Robbie, where you been? Come back to us!), this is a nice change of pace for Mike and an interesting & successful experiment. I'd love to hear him pursue more vocal arrangements, whether singing himself or collaborating with other artists, as I think this initial foray shows a lot of promise!
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