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Clem Fandango

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  1. It's two months later and I never played any Golden Sun, but I am here to answer you. My #1 favorite is 1-14, which I had on in the background and wasn't paying attention to track titles when 2:14 hit and I grinned and shouted "BACK TO THE FUTURE!" into the empty room. What a fun reference. 3-10's vibe of "Fly Me To The Moon" like from the Evangelion credits is also nice. I liked the whole 70s jazz band vibe in 1-13, and that it seemed like the same band came back for a slower track in 2-01. Right after that, 2-02 absolutely power-bombed me with unexpected New Orleans brass band awesomeness. That's easily one of the coolest tracks I've ever listened to on this site just because it's SO different in style from the ordinary. Also fun was a lot of general, unabashed weeb-iness in the third disc, especially 3-05 which felt like the second ending song to some 2000s anime, the 3-10 Eva callback, and the final track also having the J-pop/anime opening music feel to it. Glad I gave this one a listen even without any familiarity with the source tunes. Thanks for your hard work in pulling something fun together.
  2. The very first reaction when I saw this album was released was, "Aw, but there's already a Link's Awakening album on here!" That disappointment was washed away within about 30 seconds of listening to it, with one of the zippier versions of the LoZ theme music. It's fun all the way through to the last track's chippy race through the game's music with some Pirates of the Caribbean and Cowboy Bebop thrown in just for fun. I dig it! I'm sure it's been decades since I touched this game on my original Game Boy and even the mixes that are less immediately obvious as to the source tune make me feel like I'm again experiencing it at night, under a blanket with the light attachment turned on, because I was convinced my parents wouldn't know I was playing past bed time. Great salute to one of the pillars of my childhood.
  3. I'm one of those people who's nursed a grudge against Chrono Cross since I first played it for it having the nerve to not be Chrono Trigger. Probably a bit unfair since I've never revisited it over the years. This album certainly makes me think about it more, as it really showcases the overall quality of the soundtrack beyond just the one song I remember (2-01, a version packed with such frantic awesomeness that it had to be over as fast as it was). Chronopolis is chock full of both moments that are so cool they make me want to fist pump and go, "Hell yeah!" as well as moments where I can't help but grin and bop along, no matter how many times I listen to them. Getting another taste of jazzy Chrono from the OC Jazz Collective in 1-04 was a plus. 1-12 and 2-09 echoing the CT soundtrack are also good for the nostalgia. The two that make me grin the most, though, are in 2-05 when the melody hits at about 1:45 in, and the entire synthwave mix of 2-13 - which I loved on its own merits when I first heard it and now I love because its whole vibe makes me think about the dopey/amazing scene near the end of Season 3 of Stranger Things where Dustin has to sing with Suzy. It's perfect. A fun thing in the evolution of OCR album projects is how many of the more recent ones highlight performers and craft music around their strengths in a way that I don't think had been done a lot before. This particular album has a lot of that going on right from the start with Hold Onto The Dream really sounding like a group doing the recording together. Another job well done from the first track to the last.
  4. Hey, thanks! For a few years now I've just listened to this music by going to the OCR album page and running down the Soundcloud playlist of each game I'm familiar with, so I always look and see the comments at the bottom and how there aren't many recent ones. I made myself de-lurk to post a few thoughts as a kind of COVID "do something different" thing a few months ago, so that if any of the creators look in they know someone's still listening. I hoped things would be normal again before I got to the present day. Not quite. But listening to the music remains a good way to eliminate other distractions and focus on getting stuff done.
  5. In the early weeks of pandemic isolation, at a time when I felt stressed, I thought to myself, "I'll listen to this town theme album I've never actually listened to before. It seems chill." I was right! It's a great bunch of tracks. It also unexpectedly made me Feel Things. The South Figaro theme turned into a lullaby absolutely destroyed me. The day I listened to it, I had found out that my grandmother passed away early that day, and even though the song is a mother singing to her baby, I heard the lyric "Our day was short / somehow time flew by / I know it's hard to say good-bye" and I thought about my grandma, because no matter how long someone lives it always feels like the day was short when they're gone, and that hit me with the waterworks. On the other end of life, I have a little niece and nephew who I was spending time with every week and now I have seen them once in six months, so I heard "Tomorrow will come / and we'll start a new day / and see what adventures await" and I thought about all the growing up they're doing and adventures they're having without me and that shredded me pretty well too. It's a beautiful piece of music. Salute especially for that one and to everyone else involved in this album too.
  6. It's fun listening to this one in a similar way to my enjoying the Secret of Mana OCR album - this is not something I bring any childhood/teenage nostalgia for, and since I didn't "do the splash hop" of finding the translated version over the long years it existed, I don't have any adult experience of it either. I plan to correct this eventually with the Switch version! But for now listening to it is neat to experience the music and imagine where the source would happen in the game. I'm glad I read the director's comment at the top because you can certainly hear the way that the pieces here straddle eras of this site with who was involved and what the mixes sound like. "Oh, that's X's style from Y older album" occurred to me a handful of times throughout. The way that different themes appear in multiple mixes is also a distinct thing for this album and it helps give a "whole game" feel rather than just tracks that are lined up in the order you come across them in the plot. I like it. World journeys certainly are part of the game experience from that era. I'm intrigued to play both Secret and Legend of Mana after listening to both of these albums to hear how much the music has in common between the two games since it's hard not to notice what I, knowing nothing, have come to think of as the "main theme" of Mana (from 1-01 of the Secret album here) popping up in at least four different tracks for the SD3 album.
  7. Listening to this album makes me feel like I'm getting introduced to a long-lost sibling as an adult. I never played Secret of Mana when it was new - it was never in stock at the Blockbuster; when I found ROMs as a teenager that wasn't one of the games I thought to get; it isn't one of the games where remakes keep crossing paths with systems I own (ahem, owning three different versions of Chrono Trigger). So I have no attached nostalgia to it on its own, either from when I was a kid or an adult with fewer responsibilities, but even listening to this album of remixes just does such a good job of taking me back to the era, it's amazing. It's like seeing that hypothetical sibling and finding out we're totally into the same stuff and wondering why nobody told me about this before! Having said all that, I guess I better get Collections of Mana on my Switch and see/hear it for myself. This album is fun in my journey of OCR albums also because there are some new-to-me names like Rebecca Tripp and Jorito who've popped in to do some tracks so not only is this music I don't really know, but the styles of remixes are different as well. Something like 2-05 Beyond the Big Infinity in particular is just like... whoa! I've listened to a lot of stuff in literal decades of lurking on OCR and the first time I heard this track it just blew me away. Even noticing similarities to music I'm more familiar with was fun - the track right before that one, 2-04 Together We Will Stand feels like it has the Super Mario RPG battle music melody in the background (especially 2-01 from the SMRPG OCR album), which is more of that long-lost sibling feeling. Like, oh, yeah, we definitely came from the same place even if the paths we've taken since then didn't intersect before. A salute to all involved for another great job.
  8. There really aren't any bad OCR albums out there, it's just that some of them distinguish themselves from others by having a greater proportion of tracks that really hit you with an "Oh, hell yeah!" moment. The overworld medley that starts this album off is such a lovely salute to the various Zelda games, and tracks 5, 9, 11, 16, and 18 have got the "hell yeah" quality in their own different genres ways as well. I love it, and as we have just passed the three year anniversary of the album's release I hope the creators involved remain proud.
  9. Even the cover of this album makes me feel nostalgic. What a great choice - I know many of my earliest experiences of SMRPG were in a dark room with pillows placed at the bottom of the door, since I was supposed to be asleep and I assumed this meant if a parent went by in the hall they wouldn't see the TV light. Probably they knew and didn't think it was worth fighting about, but who knows? The album starts off great with a mix that takes us into the weird and then-unprecedented world of a Mario RPG-style game. I like many tracks in the first couple of discs; from 1-07 to the end of the first disc is a great stretch, and I like the second disc for its battle themes broken up by the long Mallow melody. But I think it's the third album where the fun and whimsical songs are concentrated that just made me happy. Honky Town is an inspired little jam. The random, not unwelcome appearance of the Robo theme after the track starts to spin out of control brings a smile to my face every time I listen to it.
  10. I don't know how many other people out there are in the overlapping part of a Venn diagram of "People who experienced and loved Chrono Trigger in formative years" and "People who were in jazz band in high school and/or college" - but as someone who is in that overlap, I just love this album so much. I could only love it more if the whole album had the large ensemble feel of the first and last tracks (shout out to what I'm reasonably sure is a trombone solo in Driftwood), though I think the way it's done it works out great anyway. There are a variety of different styles tackled within the jazz umbrella, with even the small combo stuff feeling distinct. Even the one that's "just" a trio has the unusual lineup of drum set, xylophone, stand-up bass, with the bass getting a lot of bow action rather than just being plucked. What I love the most about this whole album is the way it brings a live performance energy to the tracks that's simply not present on the vast majority of mixes. There are a lot of them out there with great music where I know what I'm listening to is someone who sat down and made a computer sound this way. And then along comes Chronology. It's so fun.
  11. What a neat little album with a fun story behind it. I hope all of the remixer parents who participated were able to get some warm fuzzies out of playing the music for their young kids before they started to get too big for music like this. I enjoy the wide variety of source material here, with some frequently-mixed classics and some more obscure ones thrown in too. I think my favorite is 3-09, Child of Legend, which just seems to inhabit the theme suggested by the album's title so well. Great to get some DuckTales nostalgia, really enjoyed the kind of church organ-y take on Gau's theme in 2-02, and of course the Chrono Trigger tracks are lovely. Another fantastic job.
  12. FFV always had that mystique as the game you couldn't play without jumping through hoops, at least until its eventual GBA release. Its music doesn't hit me with the same strong "memories of being a carefree teenager" as other FFs do, and as a result I didn't ever think of it making much of an impact on me. And then I listen to this album and I'm like, oh yeah, that game DID have some good music! There are a few solid "hell yeah!" bits in here, especially for me when the battle music really kicks in at :20 in track 6 and the whole section from 2:00-3:00 in track 7. I also think this interpretation of the FF prelude music is the perfect version of it. If there's ever a third part to this series, I'm sure I'll enjoy that too.
  13. I skipped over the boss theme albums for a long time because I figured, eh, I don't know most of those songs. It was only my loss. This album is the one that drew me in since it is bookended by the Kefka and Lavos themes. What I love about this Kefka remix is that it seems like Dancing Mad typically gets either an organ-heavy remix or a guitar-heavy remix and the track here just pulls the taco girl, "Why don't we have both?" and then throws in some occasional choir for good measure. The Magus theme stands out for dropping down to one sinister, spooky piano rather than all of the heavy industrial stuff and face-melting guitar licks from other tracks. It's a great version of the theme and a great palate cleanser for the album. And there were a number of other fun ones from source music I don't know so well. The Shredder theme, the one from Wild Arms, the Majora's Mask boss. Another great one.
  14. A lot of the music I listen to on this site is for games I've not played in a long time but they're still imprinted on my memory. So it was interesting to experience the FFIX album after having recently replayed the game thanks to COVID destroying the possibility of many other kinds of leisure activity. The thing that stood out in playing the game, compared to all other FF games, is the sheer variety on the soundtrack, and I think this album does such a great job of showcasing that. Some of the tracks are kind of in the vein of the source material, just presented in a fancier way - the Zaghnol hunt music, for instance, you could put the track from this album right into the game and would notice little difference. Others are a lot more out there, and that's fun too. If I had sat down before I ever heard this album and written down thoughts on what I hoped for certain tracks, there's a 0% chance I would have said anything like what ended up for "Not Alone." The same is true for a lot of the tracks with vocals here, whether that's the lament-filled interpretation of the Dali theme, the intense performance behind "Not Alone," or the ethereal sounds of "Unforgettable Silhouette." I had a new appreciation for IX after this recent replay and now that I've listened to this album again after that replay, I feel the same way about it, too. Another great effort from everyone involved.
  15. This album is like a blend of half totally serious and half "it's second semester of senior year, I already got into college and I'm not going to read Pride and Prejudice" goofing off. It makes for a unique and memorable blend of music that a totally straight take on a limited old soundtrack like FF2 probably couldn't have achieved. The repeated visits to "The Rebel Army" in disc 1 makes it all feel unified. The standout tracks to me are Rebel Dream, which uses the reference to FF8 to great effect to add to its otherworldly ambiance, and Grind My Crank, with its carnival vibe.
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