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OCRA-0013 - Tales: Summoning of Spirits


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Disc 3, track 6: Desert Nights

Fun disco track. Overall it seems it would benefit from just a little bit more "punch" to it. Partially this impression may come from the fact that it's sandwiched between two rock tracks, but even when I listen to it separately it seems it's very controlled. Good sounds, I like the guitars and horns.

Love the guitar from 01:17 onwards. The triplet feel is great. 02:08 break with the horns and the wah-wah guitar is great. The next section feels like it could use a foreground element, even something small. It's just a few bars though, and we're back in to the last go of the tasty main riff. The outro is great. The very final cymbal crash feels very exposed though.

Disc 3, track 7: Strike of the Devil's Axes

Guitar, guitar, guitar, oh my god, it's full of guitar. I like the somewhat rough sound. The artists' styles certainly seem to mesh very well here. Very inspired stuff. I somewhat agree with Rozovian in the review thread, that about the first half of the mix is monotonous in tone, alghough there's a lot of variance in the playing. The later half is much more varied and has more "air" in it, which is pleasant to these ears.

I really like the rhythmic change-up at 03:10. The phased guitar in the next section is a welcome change in texture, and in the next section the rock is turned up to the full. Really like those big, wide, full overdriven chords from 04:35 onwards.

The bass is out of the pocket in at least a couple of places, for example in the fill at 00:20.


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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, here's the rest of the comments for the third disc. I'll be trying to wrap this up before "Echoes.." is out. Thanks to PriZm for that egging post. :)

Disc 3, track 8: Pain Withstanding

A rough gem. Judging by what Monobrow wrote, about the pain making this piece was.. I think she won't object if I say I find it not fully the sum of it's parts. I do like the track, even if it's a bit tough to get a handle on. There's just so much stuff going on, it doesn't quite end up 100% cohesive.

However, even if I feel the arrangement could have benefitted from pruning and focusing, I'm impressed the feel and mood of the piece. The whole soundscape sounds unique. The intro has a great mood. I like how the piano "shifts up" at 00:24. I also absolutely love the organ. The sound is perfect, the glitchy writing is really fun to listen to.

Disc 3, track 9: Determination

The basslines are very, very off from the rest of the harmony. It really, really hurts.

While as a whole I'm unable to enjoy it, the track has good stuff too: I like the beats, and the instrument choices are good. Combining wind instruments with breakbeats and electric piano is something I've not heard before I think, and it works very well.

Disc 3, track 10: Ain't Yo' Fool (Stay Cool)

What, even more 70s/disco/funk? Fun times, fun times.

This one has a bit of that rougher sound I was wanting for "Desert Nights" (though it's cool as it is), but overall it sounds a little less dynamic than I'd like. The horn section feels overbearing. It constantly has the same velocity, so it sounds somewhat monotonic.

The bass is pretty good. It could afford some longer deep, warm notes here and there to really ground the line. But other than that, I like the line, the playing and the sound. I love the drum break too. The guitar is very nice as well.

Disc 3, track 11: Antegenesis

Can't resist this progly beast. The intro already has me hooked. I really like the overall grainy sound this one has. Organ, guitar, mellotron, bass, drums, all fit together very well. The bluesy lead is a bit wobbly with the bending, which bugs me for the first minute. I like the variety of foreground guitar sounds.

It's a bit all over the place. It's sort of a stream of consciousness arrangement. I'm not a huge fan of the bluesy bit, but in the end it all fits - the turn at 3:10 and the next section wouldn't sound as fantastic without the blues before it I guess. Thumbs up from me.

Disc 3, track 12: The Fall of Iselia

Starts out pretty. Nice turn into minor when the strings and percussion come in. Nice touch with the change of the piano tone around 2:00. 2:30 it starts swirling into even darker territory. At 03:40 a reassuring return to the major from the somber ponderings of the previous section.

I like how it has a story-like structure, and it's quite carefully constructed. I felt the last major section was lacking; it's "just a one more refrain in major" (no sense of evolving and story in the part in itself) and the strings are rather dull compared to what went on before. Overall, however, the structure works and the piece is quite enjoyable.

This also was a track that didn't stand out on the first listens of the album, but was good to discover later on.


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Quick update, I'd already made some notes for most of these pieces.

Disc 4, track 1: Disillusioned Fate

The intro starts off grand and sounds really good initially. When the piano comes in, the part starts meandering about. I feel there is too much going on and the result sounds aimless.

I like it when the guitar and bass come in, those dissonant chords resolve well into the rock part. The overall sound is somewhat muffled. The rhythm guitar isn't quite in the pocket, drifting a bit. I'm not feeling the point when the leads come in - I don't get a sense of build-up, they just appear.

The next section is passable, although I don't feel the strings and piano really mesh with the rock instruments, they seem to be competing rather than supporting each other. I really like the short part at about 01:58-02:05, it's a good change in the feel. I'm really expecting it to be a transition (especially with the momentary change in the drum beat), but it's more of a diversion. Continuing on, I still don't feel a great synergy between strings+piano and the rock band, although 02:21-02:35 works fairly well.

The next two bits where the guitar takes a break, and the on with the little added synth lead, are mostly alright as well. The bass seems to return to the tonic of the first chord of the chord progression, while the guitar and strings go to another chord. This gives a stiffled feel, which I don't like.

I really like the last part of the song. I again feel there's maybe too much going on when the synth/flute lead and harp enter towards the end, the instruments mesh well but the parts are busy. The marching snare sounds great.

Overall some great sounding bits, some bits that are alright, some that don't sound so great - the total lacks cohesion and direction.

Disc 4, track 2: Continental Divide

One of my favourite tracks. The combination of the plucked strings, harp and the flutes/wind instruments sounds great. Overall the track gives a feeling of space, that is both vast and intimate. Absolutely lovely.

Disc 4, track 3: Like a Glint

Starts off really well, good drums, bass, good rhythm guitars. But the lead that comes in is a turn-off. The playing isn't 100% tight (it really should be!), the lead sound doesn't mesh as well as it should with the rest of it and it sounds even slightly out of tune. Happily, the lead playing comes together around 00:48. This sounds much better than the previous lead, and for the rest of the track the leads sound better as well. The beginning gives a bad first impression. I really like the eerie stuff at 01:53-02:04. Nice use of stereo there.

The break after 03:13 is a nice change of pace, although the clean guitar sounds are somewhat lo-fi and don't quite fit in. The strumming sounds a bit awkward in the beginning as well.

The song has a good structure overall, there's plenty of different sections and all but it keeps cohesive. I especially like 02:17-03:13.

Disc 4, track 4: Cartesian Warfare

Hehe, this sounds a bit like it was recorded in a garage, it makes me smile. Lead playing is somewhat weak, it lacks expression. It could be a bit tighter (the fast bits especially) but it's listenable. Good, working arrangement in my opinion. I wish there was more variation between the lead sounds. Not the most professional sounding track, but cohesive.

Disc 4, track 5: Sacred Ashes

Segues well from Cartesian Warfare into this. The piano intro is very beautiful. From 00:30-01:30 I have a problem with that static cello line keeping in the same place - good idea, but the writing around it should take it more into consideration (or it itself could bend just a little to accommodate the other writing). I generally feel there's a bit too much going on. About 00:47-01:00 sounds aimless, I can't get a grip on it.

01:01 it recovers, the piano is very nice and carries the momentum forwards. From 1:30 onwards the track really picks up, working well to the end. Still slightly busy to my liking, but passable. The static cello works well here. And the track also segues well into Altar Perception.

Disc 4, track 6: Altar Perception

One of the favourites and the one I've been listening to the most. Everything sounds quite gorgeous. The basslines deserve a specific mention, the basswork is fantastic and groovy throughout. Cello is just plain gorgeous. I love, love, love the (superbly subtle) vocal break. The beats and the electronics, are wonderfully scattered, lots of little bits and pieces flying around. Don't really have any gripes, kind of wish the cello got a bit busier in the solo towards the end perhaps, but what is here is so good there's no need to complain.

Disc 4, track 7: Dream Traveler

The piano is good, sounds fine and is well played and arranged. The string lead isn't really as expressive as the piece deserved. When it gets louder, it quickly starts sounding a little harsh. The writing of the lead is, I think, fairly good, but the instrument is not a great choice for carrying it.

Disc 4, track 8: My Secret Forest

The intro, with the piano and the french horn reminds me of some Tori Amos material, which is a really good thing in my books. The piece is lush and emotional all the way through, and superbly well done.

Disc 4, track 9: On the Edge

Oh crap, OCR's so gonna get sued by Tim Langdell.

Hehe, I love the fake bass. The guitars that come in sound really good. About at 01:02 I'd really wish that the bass would change into something more groovy and less foreground, and the guitar was more in the front. With the unchanging bass in the forefront the whole time, the piece suffers from sameyness throughout, even while the line itself is really likeable. There's a good bunch of intersting stuff (like the tom-toms and electronics at 01:55-02:13) that gets buried under the ever-present bass. In the end we get that great guitar line served to us again, so the overall feel about the track is pretty good.

4+3 to go!


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Disc 4, track 7: Dream Traveler

The piano is good, sounds fine and is well played and arranged. The string lead isn't really as expressive as the piece deserved. When it gets louder, it quickly starts sounding a little harsh. The writing of the lead is, I think, fairly good, but the instrument is not a great choice for carrying it.

I pass my regards here for the critique, though the unfortunate thing is Dream Traveler was one of my favorite ones to write and I was actually dreading those that might not "get" it.

* I actually get bitter when someone ends up looking towards my sample bank at the time of writing, which was in a college music tech lab in early 2006. It's not so much the samples you choose but how you use them, and that so turned out to be the only one that sounded remarkably close to a real string quartet rather than most of the synth ones around. (Note that if I ever brought in my own samples into the lab, I'd get sanctioned for it. >.>)

* The reason why it ended up sounding a little more "harsh" in your words by the time the positive second half kicked in was because the attack power of the patch itself completely changed at that point. To make it fit with the tone at that point, I had to reduce the attack power to make sure the energy behind it would work. Otherwise I bet I would have got criticised for doing the complete opposite.

* It wasn't so much the production I was concerned about in this track but moreso forging the link between Tales and Klonoa with the writing (the latter being a cosplay that Presea pursues late in the game), especially since the original titles was clearly one of the most beautiful titles I had the priviledge to play back on the PS1. If I had been able to forge the link just right, then that's where I feel I would have succeeded more. (In fact, those disappointed with the track when it got played on VG Frequency #84 prompted me to jump onto standby to do some stuff for the Phantasia side if Kyle wanted me).

I know this comment might have come awkwardly bitter, but either way, I'd say thanks for the comment, even though you might not necessarily understand the creative processes behind it. I'm keen to hear what you have to say for the last batch of tracks though.

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Thanks for explaining about the process and choices behind the track, it was interesting to read. Especially the Klonoa/Presea link - am I correct you used some musical material from the Klonoa game(s) as well? I'm familiar with neither Klonoa nor Tales so on an "experiential" level it doesn't add to the piece for me, but the idea of making such link sounds very cool.

I do think that I "get it", what I'm doing is criticizing the execution. Also, I'm not sure if I can understand the creative process behind it if I don't know about it. :| Knowing about the resources, restrictions, intentions behind the piece of course changes the appreciation for the piece. Saying that the lead wasn't "a great choice" might sound unfair as it was the best choice you could make in the circumstances.

Anyway, I stand behind my opinion. I did listen to it a couple of more times. It's not as bad as I may have made it sound, but I do find it weak. I didn't really mind the change in to a harsher tone now (I agree you did the better choice by reducing the attack), but it does seem to highlight this "unexpressiveness" it suffers from. I note that you did a good amount of tweaking with the dynamics and volume in the writing. I'm not sure, some filters/effects used with similar detail might have helped - I'm really no expert on EQ, but I feel the lead lacks a certain presence, middle frequencies possibly.



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Well, there are cameos to both the opening and ending themes to Door to Phantomile thrown in there, but other than that it was a case of analysing this particular musical style and seeing how Presea's theme would work in a reimagined sort of way.

I do get what you mean by the "harshness" though, moreso with the equalisations rather than the patch expression. I'll open up to be guilty for opting for the mid-high range to go against the mid-low frequencies of the piano patch that I used; I think I've known better than to manage that type of approach since. >.> Nevertheless, I do understand where you're coming from in spite of the initial confusion, so thanks for the clarification.

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Not sure the website will ever be updated, so here's 3 more bonus tracks:

Showroom Dummy - Pixelated Tales (The Land of Sylvarant): http://kngi.org/talesproject/site/release/bonus/BT-SoS-ShowroomDummy-PixelatedTales(TheLandofSylvarant).mp3

LuIzA, CarboHydroM - Strike of the Devil's Axes (Alternate Version): http://kngi.org/talesproject/site/release/bonus/SoS-LuIzA,CarboHydroM-StrikeoftheDevil%27sAxes(Fatalize)-AlternateVersion.mp3

AndyJayne - Raising a Curtain (WIP): http://kngi.org/talesproject/site/release/bonus/BT-SoS-AndyJayne-RaisingaCurtain(WIP).mp3

Also, the intro for The Unholy Wars, as composed by Dhsu: http://kngi.org/talesproject/site/release/bonus/FightingoftheSpiritPianoIntro.pdf (I'm not sure this was actually transcribed completely accurately, but it gives you an idea, at least. :-P)

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Looks like some others are doing track-by-track reviews, too, namely this Japanese blogger. Of course since I don't know Japanese, I ran the text through Google Translator, and what it spit back out at me was pretty hilarious. I figured I had to share the translated version( for some reason direct translation of the site itself isn't working):

2009/06/23 (Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Symphonia)

OverClocked ReMix TEIRUZUSHIRIZU the WEB are published in the album are arranged.

In all there DISC4. DISC1聴KIMASHITA so today, the thoughts.

Track 01 - The Unholy Wars (Fighting of the Spirit) / Sixto Sounds, Dhsu

Begins with a piano intro.

However, I also know from the arranger's name is on the whole rock arrangements.

Instead of keeping to the original arrangement greatly and is arranged to make the original.

In particular, from 3:24 guitar and cool.

Track 02 - Crisis Healing Salve (Mint) / Hemophiliac, Christian Pacaud

Fantastic start to the sound that flute and stringed instruments that the intro.

I thought I would leave the orchestra arrangements, you there! The middle, the guitar comes in pathos.

The orchestra is also looking at around midday on a guitar then shazam! Waterloo Bridge, where the guitar solo.

And ends late in the sort of orchestra music.

Taste is the arrangement of this kind, I TAMARIMASEN.

Track 03 - The Koan of Drums (Desolate Road) / djpretzel

Rattle the change in mood, changes in the arrangement of the dance.

The tone being used is old-fashioned feel, and the like are used, such as drums and shamisen.

A sense of arrangement, GOEMON Bad! I think we can easily understand and dance series.

I think, djpretzel's not what I'm doing in the past also GOEMON arrangements.

And it is his veteran studio. I think there is a stable arrangement. I taste it I'm out w

Track 04 - Airborne (Aviators) / Dhsu

It is the only piano playing.

There are places that pull the tick jazz, and in areas that draw moisture,

And are listening, I feel I'm enjoying it.

Track 05 - Arche Angel (Arche) / The Joker

The song was the piano, I think I have this song in order to possibly lead piano.

Begins with the sound of the piano intro, orchestral arrangements are magnificent.

In addition, it has also arranged songs, and sounds like a prelude. I feel like two movies.

Track 06 - Chronometrical (Stream of Time) / The Joker

Rattle like change the image of the previous songs are DANSUTEISUTOARENJI.

The seaweed is DANSUTEISUTO but, in general ringing tone that is often the instrument orchestra.

The only title, this is what I think you're aware of the corridor at the KURONOTORIGA,

Well well, what's the word? w

Track 07 - Setting Sail (Hydropolis) / TheDeath

The songs are OKEARENJI. Arrangements are明RUME.

Oh! I thought of was whether I was using BOKAROIDO,

There is a scat. I had to use these people.

Track 08 - Mirror Image (Mysterious Japon) / the prophet of mephisto, Fishy

When I arranged a name, I thought I would rock it,

Studio, w was the beginning of rock is softly set,

And revolves around the guitar from the midfield.

Betrayal is the expansion of the drum and create an atmosphere in AKOGI, many people would be covered.

Track 09 - Frozen Heart (Biting Cold) / Sir NutS, Usa

Sir Nuts KITA! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

It's my my favorite arranger. The arrangement of the transformer is not my favorite.

After all, the arrangement of the songs were arranged in a TORANSUTEISUTO w

The music for a short time and is arranged such that the extract significantly condensed.

Slow and when I lean more to the music, I think if I had been a magnificent view of the world of music.

Track 10 - Momentary (Harmonious Moment) / Kureejii Lea, The Joker

This arrangement probably arranged by the people of the two recordings,

What do you think I fit. Piano arrangement is arranged.

That with other songs and I think I'm doing,

This song has such a feeling.

弾ITA listening to each other, and how it would play on it.

Track 11 - Gentry Is a Five Letter Word (Euclid) / Rexy

The atmosphere of the arrangement, the first city KURONOTORIGA BGM what I think you'll remember.

While the sporty feel, and taste HASAMIKON a little pathetic.

Track 12 - Wind Dry My Tears (Sylph) / XMark

It remembers that he was also named GITAARENJA.

The song is finished with a pathetic TEISUTOARENJI AKOGI and electric guitar.

Scat and in the song. DISC1 would bring the end of this song I want to, too.

2009/06/25 (Tales of Phantasia and Tales of Symphonia 2)

OverClocked ReMix TEIRUZUSHIRIZU the WEB are published in the album are arranged.

In all there DISC4. DISC2聴KIMASHITA so today, to think.

Track 01 - Beyond Absentminded (Be Absentminded) / Hale-Bopp

The recent trend of overseas, who arranged the music on the game, It's getting more and more of them singing the lyrics.

Instead of the scat songs, lyrics are attached, and with songs.

80 that's reminiscent of the Western music, is like the Hotel California of Eagles.

What's really different! As I said if仰RU! I only say I w, I like that.

Track 02 - Summoned Without Reason (The Second Act) / Sixto Sounds

APPUTENPOARENJI rattle is changing the atmosphere of the song.

Guitar students, and other arrangements in the entire sound of the driving feel.

I think maybe the violin, because it combines the sound of a stringed instrument,

Rock is fantastic.

Track 03 - Middle-Aselia Biology (Forest of the Treant) / Rexy

Sound of flutes and strings are arranged in a prominent sound of a bell.

Track 04 - Cold Memory (Freeze) / The Joker

Has many strings and piano arrangements.

In addition, rain and wind and used the SE, the arrangement is that I'm MOTASE the atmosphere in the music.

Track 05 - Simplified Design (Take Up the Cross) / PriZm

Arrange to have heard about this for a long time. Arrangements are locked.

I JANJAKAJANJAKA ringing guitar, and it is in the bass and drums create a world based.

I think all the time, the sound of this guitar but I think things like chizz w

Track 06 - Just Go (Go a Step Further) / Nutritious, Fishy

What genre's low hanging clouds?

I could hear a stringed tube, and the ringing guitar, and rhythm is also DANSUCHUN,

Synth sounds are the minimum necessary.

The expression is a magnificent view of the world are, in modern films where the BGM I felt like I

Track 07 - City of Vigor (Vigorous Town) / pu_freak

All are piano arrangements.

Softly at first, mid-peak on the second half is feeling a little melancholy.

Track 08 - New Technology (Abyss of Thor) / OverCoat

As title, what the songs say crisp breakbeat and synth sounds.

Arsenal of modern science is a perfect fit for the BGM.

Track 09 - Horizon's Walk (Final Act) / Tepid, PriZm

This arrangement I thought it interesting.

General arrangement, the arrangement of It's a dance, using the tone is light synth.

Patheticness TORIIRE guitar work, and it got me what I w

Track 10 - Riddles in the Dark (Morlia Gallery) / Red Tailed Fox, Xaleph

I say beats and symphonic music genres.

BGM fueled a sense of impatience that has been arranged.

Track 11 - as time goes on (As Time Goes On) / the prophet of mephisto

It is an impressive arrangement of saxophone sound. And has also arranged the song.

Effects on the vocals are also reminiscent of what I have to express the time series.

In it is a good voice.

Track 12 - Deity (Martel) / Sir Nuts

Sir Nuts KITA! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! (Second)

HYA arm, studio, Sir Nuts, right? K of this expansion, will you?

The expansion is not bold, the cool and expand. It's more like an adult transformer.

Track 13 - Sweet Dreams (The Dream Will Not Die) / Dhsu, Anthony Lofton

It will make her dreams only to the sound of the saxophone, is arranged like that.

From what I can tell, this guy love Sir Nuts (who is a Transformer), thinks some songs were pathetic, and mentions "scat" a lot. Ah, bad translations are awesome.

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That's Google Translator for you, Kyle. The least we could do is figure out what he really meant by shifting some of the lingo around.

Still, I DO somehow understand the fact that Gentry sounded as if it got some inspiration from Chrono Trigger's "Guardia Milliennial Fair" (hah, maybe Aleah WAS right with the fairgrounds connection!) but the "pathetic" link makes me feel rather uncomfortable.

Then again, if the Japanese "critic" also loved Sir Nuts (nothing wrong with that), I'm assuming he's probably younger than 17, so there we go. Typical sushi-penis power, maybe?

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Still, I DO somehow understand the fact that Gentry sounded as if it got some inspiration from Chrono Trigger's "Guardia Milliennial Fair" (hah, maybe Aleah WAS right with the fairgrounds connection!) but the "pathetic" link makes me feel rather uncomfortable.

It occurs to me that Darkesword did a Guardia Fair mix that was also in 5/4. Maybe there's something there!


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Actually, "Blue Skies Over Guardia" was in 7/8. You're close enough with the under-explored time signatures, though. :)

They have posted feedback for disc 3 now.

Also, I would advise against using Google Translate even for interpreting the feedback as it is often way off the mark.

Rexy, the author did not refer to your piece, nor the link, as pathetic.

Well, if it's not my arrangement that's pathetic (note to self: NEVER visit OCR at 7 in the morning!), then what is?

And is there anyone here who could figure out what that "HASAMIKON" thing means while they're there? I'm still surprised I figured out the Chrono Trigger romanisation correctly. :P

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Track 08 - Pain Withstanding (Standing the Pain) / Monobrow

First, selection of music is good! [tsu] [te] thinking better seed. If the lock whose forward curved is extreme, you hold down the next a little, with the eye. Music started with the piano and whether piano arrangement when the [tsu] [te] thought, it was development of the betrayal. Gradually, the timbre to keep increasing, Drum& It keeps showing the development of Bass. To be good making use of the timbre of the organ and the string instrument, you insert the classical element the [ri] it does. It means potato that at one time I try doing such arrangement from calling. (Sweat)

Apparently my song means potato!

YEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! I don't even care if that is a good or bad thing lol

Okay I used babel fish for that... Google translator makes more sense, but is way less fun.

First, good song! I thought it. If heavy rock music, slightly less in the following. Begins with piano music, piano arrangements if you or I could expand the betrayal. Gradually increasing the sound, Drum & Bass and showed expansion. Using a fine organ and stringed instruments, and classical elements into place. I want to do is to arrange such a good time. (Sweat)

Still like the potato better haha.

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Altar Perception was just accepted. Hooray more Symphonia tracks!

And hooray for Protricity's comeback!

...eh, yeah. I don't think most people would acknowledge me saying that... >.>

Either way, I pass my congrats to Katie and the team. If you're in the mood for champagne for tonight, I suggest you go for it :)

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