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djpretzel

OCR01495 - Chrono Trigger "Town Life"

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You know what I hate? When I've got a great idea for a remix and then someone else gets to it before I do...

Bitterness aside though, I must say that djp and Taucer did the concept far more justice than I would have myself. Personally, I would have had at least one part of singing the melody from the source, but on the other hand, the melody DJP chose to sing is quite nice. I'd love to hear more stuff like this on OCR. A bit short, but still very enjoyable.

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Hmm...I had trouble finding this thread due to the fact that the new tab system doesn't seem to be working on Firefox (works fine on IE7 though).

I will admit that, as predicted, I instantly downloaded this mix when I saw the Chrono Trigger image on the site's homepage (yep, I'm a sucker for the popular stuff). Good work for sure - great guitar and great lyrical combination. Quality sounded awesome to me. My primary disappointment was, being a big Chrono Trigger/Mitsuda fan, I couldn't hear the Meledy of Peaceful Days in this piece at all - which I was looking forward to (like a loyal fanboy). Slap a Chrono Trigger label on it and you could instantly sell any original piece :-D. But like I said, this is great work and I think it's good for the community to get a bit more folk out there.

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So I heard the original/acoustic version of this a few months back and instantly said "Why the hell is this not on OCR?" A few posts up someone said something about a judge possibly saying "any guitarist could chuck out twenty acoustic remixes a day," and if this is the case and you know of any such guitarists, please get me in touch with them as I can't get enough of this stuff.

When I first saw it posted on the front page, I was thrilled. Then I saw that DJP was contributing vocals, not instrumentals. I often find that vocal contributions ruin a song. Not so here. Spot on, guys.

I don't mean sing out blaringly loud, just stop whispering. Instead of whispering, sing, plain and clear and true.

I totally disagree here. This is, to me, what makes the song.

I'm a little sad that the second half of the original version is absent from here - there was a sweet rambling sort of bridge to it - but I don't think it would have fit with the wistful feel this song goes for.

This whole thing is amazing and brilliant and hits my spot dead on. Wow.

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At first I was scared to listen to this ReMix simply because I read that it had vocals, but I am glad I decided to listen to it. This is probably one of the best vocal jobs done in a ReMix I have ever heard. Nice Work Taucer and Pretzel!

I have listened to this song over and over again and now that I think about it, it kind of sounds like Don Mclean. That's pretty cool. :D

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I had trouble finding this thread due to the fact that the new tab system doesn't seem to be working on Firefox

Golly gee! Me too, what's up with that? Anyways, this is a very lovely little remix, it makes me feel happpy. Not like "WOAAAA IM SO HAPPY! WOAAAAA!", more like a cousy, comfortable, happy. Not like so comfortable and cousy that I'm going to fall asleep or anything, but something I'd like to drink hot coco too, not like the hot coco with marshmallows in them, more like just a smooth marshmallow-less cup that I can kind of feel burn down my throat. It's kind of like Neil Benjamin's "Far Away Memories" remix on this site (one of like my favs ever!). It gives me that same kind of feel. I like this kind of stuff, do more of this king of stuff, this kind of stuff rocks!

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I'm a little sad that the second half of the original version is absent from here - there was a sweet rambling sort of bridge to it - but I don't think it would have fit with the wistful feel this song goes for.

Um... actually, the guitar part here is the same as my original version, almost note-for-note.

Anyway, glad you liked it so much :D

EDIT: wait, when you say the original version, are you talking about my old arrangement or the version in the game? Well, either way there isn't really any section that's left out of this version.

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EDIT: wait, when you say the original version, are you talking about my old arrangement or the version in the game? Well, either way there isn't really any section that's left out of this version.

I'm talking about your arrangement pre-vocals.

Maybe it is still there and I just don't notice it as much. This might be related to the fact that my crackpipe is suspiciously empty and warm. (Edit: On further listens, I think this has less to do with crack and more to do with excellently molded lyrics.)

Anyway, this totally rules and you've both done excellent jobs and such.

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Oh wow. This is nice. Guitar is good; vocals are nice, from the soul even. Nice work.

Hmm...I had trouble finding this thread due to the fact that the new tab system doesn't seem to be working on Firefox (works fine on IE7 though).

I love Opera.

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I'm really sorry, but I couldn't even get through the beginning. I really, really, really do not like the singing. The guitar sounded nice and I liked the song back on VGMix, but... yeah.

Edit: Pro tip: If you don't have something nice to say, then you'd better have something productive to say. I had neither. Sorry for being an ass.

Edited by oakthielbar
I was an asshole

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What's up with so many people being so anti-vocal? What's wrong with the vocals here? They fit in perfectly with the song, they are performed incredibly well, and shit, the lyrics aren't even cheesy.

Incredible song you guys got here. Short and sweet.

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Do you want to know what's wrong with the vocals? First problem - the recording. Very poor quality. You can hear his breath in a bad way, as well as some mouth noises. The EQing on it is poor as well, as it does not balance the guitar in the least. Listen to some folk guitar + singing stuff and you'll know what I mean. Second problem - bad vibrato. Or rather, terrible vibrato. I personally think that vibrato at all is out of place here, but this is also poorly done. Add those two together and you have a problem. I also don't like his voice, but that's a personal issue.

Also, Pretzel's description for the piece says "I don't think solo guitar/vocal folk songs are exactly sweeping the nation." That is very, very, very wrong. There is a pretty big folk revival that has been going on since the early 00's. This very much includes solo guitar/vocal folk songs.

Yup.

EDIT: Okay, okay. I was unfair. I gave the ENTIRE song a listen and I was a bit harsh. His singing is worse at the beginning, and I think I was mistaking some guitar noise with his voice (don't ask me how.) I still don't like his voice, I don't like the style of singing (too active and rock-like, not calm and folk-like as evident mostly in weird crescendos in his singing.) All in all, though, it's not as bad as I thought.

As for the lyrics... I dunno. I'm really critical. As in way, way, way too critical. There are some minor things in here that just really spoil it for me. I mean, they're not bad lyrics, but I just have too many issues with some of the wording. That and they don't make sense.

Specifics:

"Home is where I want to be but I've been torn

from out its pages for a need to be reborn

taking all of the last chances I can get

the distance multiplies in rhythm with the debt

For any prayers you send my way that I get by"

Entire first part = crap. I've been torn from out its pages for a need to be reborn? That's a confusing sentence that doesn't really make sense. If you want to use a metaphor, you have to start it in order to finish it. And what about a need to be reborn? That just sounds silly. Taking all of the last chances I can get? What the heck is that supposed to mean? That seems like a completely irrelevant line. The distance multiplies in rhythm with the debt? You're wracking up debt as you travel? What does rhythm have to do with that? Neither distance nor debt create rhythms. For any prayers you send my way that I get by... okay, that one could work if this song were by Yoda.

"it wasn't big enough for who I'm meant to be"

Tense shifting. It works and is correct use, but it's jarring and annoying.

"every street recalls the time I saw you last"

Ehhh. The streets are recalling? Should have been worded better.

"It's getting dark now and there's not much left to say

Just leave a light out each night and I'll find the way

Back to arms and eyes where I want to be found

Not these silhouettes that never make a sound

For any candles that you burn so I might see"

It's just kind of disjointed. It's not bad or anything, but it jumps from the candle to the silhouettes to the candle again. It could have been written smoother.

Harsh criticism aside, it's not a bad attempt at writing lyrics. As I said before, it's better than a lot of stuff that gets commercially released. It could still be a whole lot better, though.

 

SECOND EDIT:

I was an asshole. Literally, the lyrics here are better than 90% (or more) of what I hear on the radio, so I don't know why I felt the need to be so absurdly pedantic and straight up rude about something that ISN'T EVEN BAD. I'm sorry.

Edited by oakthielbar
I was an asshole

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Reminds me of a folk singer/songwriter I know in Florida named David Milam. Really good stuff. Reminds me of one of my favorite songs of his.

Of all the awesome types of song that are overlooked, folk songs have to be one of the most incredibly understated. I love the line "the distance multiplies in rhythm with the debt"...it holds so much imagery in so few words.

Great job, DJP. This is one song that won't easily be forgotten.

~.C.S.~

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Do you want to know what's wrong with the vocals? First problem - the recording. Very poor quality. You can hear his breath in a bad way, as well as some mouth noises. The EQing on it is poor as well, as it does not balance the guitar in the least. Listen to some folk guitar + singing stuff and you'll know what I mean. Second problem - bad vibrato. Or rather, terrible vibrato. I personally think that vibrato at all is out of place here, but this is also poorly done. Add those two together and you have a problem. I also don't like his voice, but that's a personal issue.

First problem: the recording is not poor quality. It's not amazingly pristine, either, but it's not by any means poor. If you want people to take you seriously, which it seems you do given the way you present yourself as a conclusive authority, you should acknowledge that there's a spectrum of adjectives that could be applied to recording quality, and calling this poor leaves little room for anything lower, which - I assure you - there's plenty of.

Second problem: There's very little vibrato in this vocal. There are times when the pitch center wavers, because I'm not a perfect singer, but vibrato is an intentional, deliberate oscillation in pitch, and... you won't find much of that here. Talk to Jill or Hale-bopp or someone else more steeped in vocals than I and see what they think - you appear to be flatly incorrect. Again, if you didn't try to present yourself as an unquestionable authority, this would be less problematic.

Also, Pretzel's description for the piece says "I don't think solo guitar/vocal folk songs are exactly sweeping the nation." That is very, very, very wrong. There is a pretty big folk revival that has been going on since the early 00's. This very much includes solo guitar/vocal folk songs.

Ahem. "Very, very, very wrong" - again, you seem incapable of expressing an opinion without hyperbole. But let's look a bit closer: you didn't name any bands, or statistics for that matter. Are you referring to Nickel Creek? Ani DiFranco and Indigo Girls and Dar Williams have been around longer than 2000. If you're going to say that someone's "Very, very, very wrong", first of all, don't, because it's sophomoric, but secondly you should probably present some supporting information, rather than simply alluding to a revival. And, in either case, this revival still isn't "sweeping the nation", the specific phrase I used, in terms of sales.

Yup.

Flippant.

As for the lyrics... I dunno. I'm really critical. As in way, way, way too critical.

That must be similar to being "very, very, very wrong"... or perhaps "too, too, too triune"...

Entire first part = crap. I've been torn from out its pages for a need to be reborn? That's a confusing sentence that doesn't really make sense. If you want to use a metaphor, you have to start it in order to finish it. And what about a need to be reborn? That just sounds silly. Taking all of the last chances I can get? What the heck is that supposed to mean? That seems like a completely irrelevant line. The distance multiplies in rhythm with the debt? You're wracking up debt as you travel? What does rhythm have to do with that? Neither distance nor debt create rhythms. For any prayers you send my way that I get by... okay, that one could work if this song were by Yoda.

I think that last bit about Yoda was meant to come off as some sort of "oh snap" dis, but it really floundered. Since you seem vexed, let me help you out a bit. First, song lyrics don't have to be literal or work in specifics, and it's okay to leave a trail of unfinished metaphors in your wake. See The Strokes or Talking Heads or any number of bands for reference. Beating a metaphor into the ground is actually far MORE dangerous, as things become real trite real fast. If you could cite some examples of what you think are superlative lyrics, perhaps that would help explain where you're coming from. Secondly, let me piece this together for you: the singer feels like he was torn from his home like a page out of a book, i.e. decontextualized. This was due to a need to be "reborn" or, in other words, grow (this links up with said town life being "too small" in the following verse). Leaving the town and travelling have been fiscally difficult for someone of his means, thus he's taken a lot of chances and been very close to not making it, etc. The debt he owes is to his good fortune in being able to take these last chances and always scrape by.

This is all pretty straightforward, up until the distance multiplying in rhythm with the debt. I still think even this line isn't too difficult to interpret, however: the singer is clearly travelling, and whether walking, driving, riding a horse, or sitting on a train, when one travels, there's always a rhythm to it. So, as he's travelling further away and relying on fortune and luck to get by, both distance and debt increase.

Of course, it's a little more poetic when you don't HAVE to explain it literally like this, but since you questioned whether it made sense, I'm forced to resort to spelling it all out.

"every street recalls the time I saw you last"

Ehhh. The streets are recalling? Should have been worded better.

Thanks for pointing out a subjective problem, suggesting it be improved, and failing to provide an example. That's a single sentence, and you spent three critiquing, whereas a proposed rewording would only have consumed one.

And yes, the streets ARE recalling:

2 a : to call back <was recalled to active duty> <a pitcher recalled from the minors> b : to bring back to mind <recalled seeing her somewhere before> c : to remind one of : RESEMBLE <a playwright who recalls the Elizabethan dramatists>

Got a problem with that? Is using alternate definitions of a word too "Yoda" all the sudden?

I appreciate the detailed criticism, which obviously took time to write, but there's not much I can do with it. I don't think the recording quality's problematic, I don't think the vocal is perfect but it's not due to vibrato, your rebuttal about folk sweeping the nation seemed very, very, very tertiary, and the lyrical critique I think ignored the need for some degree of poetic license. It also conveniently suggested that things could be easily fixed and/or improved, without bothering to provide examples.

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Oh snap. Although, DJP, everybody that read his post already knew that he was full of it, so I doubt you needed to use your madd comeback-n' skeelz to tell him off. Unless you really needed to vent, in which case, I'll just get out of your way. :)

BTW, great song.

~.C.S.~

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Oh snap. Although, DJP, everybody that read his post already knew that he was full of it, so I doubt you needed to use your madd comeback-n' skeelz to tell him off. Unless you really needed to vent, in which case, I'll just get out of your way. :)

BTW, great song.

~.C.S.~

Thanks. I know you're probably right, but nevertheless he took the time to write it, so I figured I'd take the time to respond. If all that was accomplished was a clarification of the definition(s) of "recall", it's still time well spent.

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I've been humming this all day. It's great, and brings a new dimension and depth to a tune that I didn't really give much thought to, but will now appreciate every time I play the game.

There are never a shortage of people who don't realize the kind of time and effort required to make things like this, and as such like to express their opinion apathetically and without much intent on helping. Anyway, I'm a fan.

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