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djpretzel

OCR01309 - Final Fantasy VI "Return of the Phoenix"

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This sounds....exactly the same as all his other pieces. Exactly, except for the rather stupid electronica section in the middle. Bleh.

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This sounds....exactly the same as all his other pieces. Exactly, except for the rather stupid electronica section in the middle. Bleh.

Sorry it wasn't your cup of tea.

Before reviewing, I do suggest you read the OCR reviews guidelines and try to refrain from posting borderline unconstructive or rude comments.

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A "boom-chick, boom-boom-chick" beat doesn't make it onto OCR anymore. What Gray does with percussion is incredible and far more complex than something "satisfyingly predictable."

I don't understand how you can want something predictable like a drum beat, yet call Gray's style too predictable for you when his percussion is far more dynamic than some simple and stereotypical techno beat using a snare and a kick. Mind boggling...

Sure, he has settled into his style, while before he was wandering and experimenting in every which way to find what his strengths were, but he's definitely found them, and his percussion is far from being his weak point. Just because it's not some simple techno beat loop doesn't mean it's not good. Shit, it's better than good.

Do you bitch about John Williams' orchestral pieces not having a "boom-chick, boom-boom-chick" beat to them? Do you bitch about how Howard Shore's scores aren't techno enough? If you do, well... You might say that their pieces don't surprise you as well, just because they don't go outside their genre. But, that's just ridiculous. It's obvious that their pieces are amazing, and although they might not be great techno loops or have that cool "boom-chick, boom-boom-chick" beat you're looking for doesn't mean it's not surprising or dynamic. It just means that you didn't get your highly repetitive and generic, "cookie cutter" musical piece that you wanted to hear. The things that Gray does within the piece, however are still original, although the genre may be the same as many of his pieces.

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I've been listening to this for a while, and I've come to the decision that it's just not my cup of tea. I'm generally a fan of GL's work (his "Drifting Towards the Stars" mix from The Secret of Mana remains my absolute favorite), but I feel that his trademark new-age style simply does not work here.

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but the first thing I focus on in any Final Fantasy soundtrack is the boss music -- fast and adrenaline-pumped, usually melodic and memorable. Something that screams for a remixed makeover with heavy guitars. Now I'm definitely not against reinterpreting an original composition or its genre, but GL's decision to employ a tribal theme and completely change up the tempo of piece, particularly the length and timing of most of the critical notes of "The Decisive Battle", just did not jive with me at all.

I did enjoy the synth arpeggio, up until the point where it breaks off into 32nd(?) notes, which I felt was a less than ideal ending.

Sorry for breaking up the feel-good train, and I hope this didn't come off as too negative.

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You made a great job changing the original song to something new in this remix, because I can hardly recognize it. However, the remix itself was great,

the piece that started around 2:30 was very orchestral with the bells, the drums and that lady voice singing in the background. Beautiful GL.

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I totally didn't recognize the theme up until about 1:30. Once there, it really picked up, and the main arpeggio was played by a really cool synth. Nice orchestral backing, and a decent voice synth as well. I'm not totally certain all the sections transition to each other seamlessly, but there is a lot to love otherwise in the track. Great bells and harp, and the percussion is also very nice.

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Such gossamer transitions and instruments. Such a measured pace. Such star-studded awesomeness. As for the individual highlights:

- When things pick up with the duo additions of the "clapping" drumwork and the Naruto ninja flute (1:02+ and 3:47+), the mix tells me, "you better prepare yourself for a revolution. Sacrifices will be made, etc." Both times follow through, first with its "lightning in a bottle" potency and second with its "we made it through!" trailing vibe.

- In the frantic section (1:21+), the volume modulation (general and individual) makes things sound a bit muddled at times, but it also invites/stimulates my imagining of the tension and activity going on here.

- After the rapid OMGWTFBBQ panoply at 1:59, its conclusive note is drawn out long enough to evaporate into a conservative, same-key aftermath that would sound abrupt in less skilled hands.

- That gentle foray at 2:57 - 3:06 is the cream of recuperation in an atmosphere already populated by silky sounds. <3 <3 <3

And somewhat unrelated, but the vocals make me think of the choir used in the Dancing Mad source tunes, especially when closing out the mix. Cuz y'know - boss music, FF6, grandiloquent presentation... feels natural.

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