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djpretzel

OCR01404 - Secret of Mana "Dragon Song"

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Excellent I said to myself as I saw another Secret of Mana mix on the site.. I was sceptical reading DJP's comments though.. would it compare to something as magnificent as Pillar of Salt?

It started a little quiet with the vocal, but had a nice mellow feel.. then 0:37 my ears recognise something familiar - hey-hey, that's Prophecy - and sharply distinct again at 0:49.. oh yes, I like what I'm hearing very much now. Prophecy was one of my favourites of the OST and this mix cetainly does justice with beautiful use of instruments, blended with a peaceful ambience and heartfelt vocals throughout - this is a track that makes my top list of mixes on OCR and I love to listen to it.. congratulations on a stellar job Harmony, easily your best piece yet.

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The vocals were great and bad. Great in that they made the song, bad in that they were, as has been noted many times in this thread, cheesy at times (prime example being "take me to meet my mother") But what the hell kind of criticism is a lyric being "cheesy" anyway? This is a song based on a JRPG after all.

In conclusion, should've sung about your cock.

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"take me to meet my mother" is cheesy? Damn, who makes up these "cheesy lyrics" rules anyways? Guess they all need to be about armpit hair and hot-rods...

and "my baby"

I agree that the vocals make the song. The lyrics aren't important, it's the way they sound that matters.

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"take me to meet my mother" is cheesy? Damn, who makes up these "cheesy lyrics" rules anyways? Guess they all need to be about armpit hair and hot-rods...

and "my baby"

...The lyrics aren't important, it's the way they sound that matters.

Thanks guys. Lyrics are always an individual thing though. Personally I think of them as simply another instrument without real concrete meaning. It's the quality and tone of the words that impresses me. I think that's why many people can enjoy something like "Pillar of Salt" or "Prayer" without knowing exactly what the words mean.

Just the same, if I had to pick a cheesiest line in "Dragon Song", I'd go with "Fly me over deserts, fly me so far" :D

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Harmony you better get your singing voice ready - here are some proposed changes I think you'll like, and might help you get more respect on the OCR scene:

It’s a fucked up world that I live in.

Why won't you leave me alone

Fuck off and leave me alone

Just fuck off and leave me alone

Leave me alone...

Don't try to control me, I'm nothing like you.

Stop trying to own me, don't think I'm a fool.

Quit crawling inside me, your skin burns to the touch

Take me to meet my mother, in hell eternally

(screaming and record scratches)

Leave me alone…you will never find a friend

Leave me alone…all hope has indeed gone

Leave me alone…if your lifeforce seems to fade

Leave me alone…this is one fucked up song

(more screaming and record scratches then abrupt ending)

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Singing in the mixes alone is still something fresh to the community, let alone lyrical composition. When you just read the lyrics, black and white, sure they may sound a bit dull, with the music though they are brightened. Emphasis and emotion to some is more important than semantic practicality.

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Wow.

I can't stop listening to this one.

The SoM ReMixes here are superb.

With this and Tidal Sequence, I'm not sure if

anything else on my playlist with get much play...

Keep up the excellent work.

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A well-made piece. The vocals, which seem to be a hot topic, blend into the song well. I've listened to

it and made an effort to hear behind the vocals, and to my own ears, I think without the actual vocals,

the piece would be much worse off and far too plain to bother with, or at the very least, where the vocals

are would need to be filled with something else.

I only have two problems with this song, and both deal with something similar.

At 2:21 and 2:28, the pronunciation of mana and Flammie, respectively. The first "a" sound in mana and

the "a" in Flammie were mispronounced ('man-uh and 'flam-ee when they should have been 'mah-nuh and

'flay-me). This is only a somewhat minor issue, though, when taken with the rest of the piece.

Other than those two words, the rest of the vocals worked quite well, and the often-used "m" sound during

the third and fourth lines of the second major stanza brought in a rather soothing hum into the piece.

The rest has already been stated. The timing was done well and the music itself flowed with superb grace.

The piece was very enjoyable.

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I only have two problems with this song, and both deal with something similar.

At 2:21 and 2:28, the pronunciation of mana and Flammie, respectively. The first "a" sound in mana and

the "a" in Flammie were mispronounced ('man-uh and 'flam-ee when they should have been 'mah-nuh and

'flay-me). This is only a somewhat minor issue, though, when taken with the rest of the piece.

Hmm. I've wondered about the correct pronunciation of both words. My pronunciation of "Mana" is the one that I've heard most often, although Dictionary.com agrees with you that I am incorrect. As far as "Flammie", in the WIP thread for this song I specifically asked how the word should be pronounced and the only reply I got concerning that was from Keiiii:

I always pronounced Flammie as 'FLAM-e.' [as opposed to FLAME-e]. In Japanese the creature's name is spelled furamii as opposed to fureimii (fureimu is how they'd say 'flame'), if that's any evidence.

Certainly not the strongest evidence to stand on but with that and no arguments to the contrary, I felt I had good enough reason to justify being lazy and not changing the way I've pronounced it for all these years :D. Thanks for the criticism and glad you enjoyed.

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I always pronounced Flammie as 'FLAM-e.' [as opposed to FLAME-e]. In Japanese the creature's name is spelled furamii as opposed to fureimii (fureimu is how they'd say 'flame'), if that's any evidence.

Certainly not the strongest evidence to stand on but with that and no arguments to the contrary, I felt I had good enough reason to justify being lazy and not changing the way I've pronounced it for all these years :D. Thanks for the criticism and glad you enjoyed.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it be FLAM-EE just because there are 2 consecutive Ms in the word ?

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I see absolutely nothing wrong with it... I just got lost in the music, which is what I feel you were going for. This piece is nothing short of a masterpiece. I never would have expected lyrics, but their usage added a beautiful, but well-needed twist on the original song. I would hope to hear another from you sometime soon, possibly a Kakara Village? Something along those lines would be nice to hear from you...

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Lyrics are always an individual thing though. Personally I think of them as simply another instrument without real concrete meaning. It's the quality and tone of the words that impresses me. I think that's why many people can enjoy something like "Pillar of Salt" or "Prayer" without knowing exactly what the words mean.

Songs can impress me lyrically but for the most part I enjoy songs just as Harmony has described it. If anyone has heard of a band Sigor Ros they just sing a bunch of jiberish in a made up language and it is some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard, and their concept is based on Harmony's idea that the beauty is found more in the sound and how it makes you feel and visualize etc. In "Dragon Song" for example my favorite part is mostly the nonlyrical singing starting at 2:30 with the "uhhhhs" and "oooohs" and textures therein.

It was at this part in the song that I definitievly acknowledged Harmony's sweet chocolate voice as orgasmic.

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This song is just... woah damn. I need to pick my jaw up from the desk now.

Really nice on the opening 40 or so seconds; It's a quick buildup, but it's so smooth that you barely notice it. I think of it much like lowering yourself into water; it happens faster than you think, then plunk, you're in. Well, I'm biased anyways... I say Prophicy kicks.

Nice break at 1:42 - 1:46; the mellow-ness of it contrasts very well with the energetic part before it, in my mind.

I really liked the time sig change at 2:31 from 5/4 to 6/4... or is it 3/4? :? Well, whatever it is, it's good, signaling an overall mood change in the song for a moment. Dig the vocal stuff that stars there as well.

3:47 starts the buildup to the moving section again, almost as smooth as the one at the start, but no less pleasing. 4:44 gives a sudden drop and powers down the song, bringing me to my only real gripe: the last note. For some reason, it always feels like there should be another note after it, just to close it up all nice-and-neat like. But I guess I'm being nitpicky or something.

Also, the trap set during the moving parts; Love it. I have yet to find it get old or repetitive, mainly due to the whole no-loop aspect in it (duh), but also because it fits in with the melody so well and helps dance it along. Yes, dance. It does more than just move; it moves with style. :P

One more thing... someone earlier expressed surprise at the fact that you're black, mainly do to the vocals. I must also confess, I, too, was mildly astonished. Your voice does provoke images of a white tenor singer. No offense intended at any of this, mind you. It doesn't change the fact that you're damn good, though.

So, there. That's my two shillings with a shilleleigh. If you have not heard this yet, get it now. If you are not listening to this, turn it on now. If you want to send this man $100... hey, it's your money, bub.

Excellent work, sir!

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Well, people can argue back and forth on the lyrics as much as they please (and by the way, until we all decided to try to become Japanese we mispronounced everything in video games, from Chocobo to Aeris), but the fact remains that this song is incredible.

Great mix of themes here, and the transitions between them are well played. The singing is haunting, the lyrics fit the game while still being original, and the fact that they don't take over the song adds a lot.

Guitar playing is stylistic and suave. I really couldn't ask more of it than what it gives. The piano offsets it nicely. 40 seconds in, when the melody really starts, I get shivers. And a great ending. Really brings us down and out, unlike some music, which ends too abruptly for its own good.

All in all, a great mix, gets a perfect 5/5.

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