Posted 2011-11-17, evaluated by the judges panel

Really interesting orchestral arrangement here from newcomer JH Sounds, with vocals by Cyril the Wolf. I don't think it's gonna convert any vocal haters, but the concept & execution are very distinct, putting a somber, completely serious spin on the source material; JH writes:

"This remix of mine was originally made for my arrangement album Hedgehog Hysteria, available at The idea for "Finality" was to not only interpret the musical theme, but also the theme of the zone itself. In this case the song is about the finality of death, and the inevitability of mortality. After I worked on the backing track and lyrics, Cyril the Wolf was gracious enough to provide his vocal for it, and brought in vocal ideas that I believe strengthened the overall arrangement."

Heavy stuff - to clarify, this is NOT the "feel-good mix of the year," by a longshot. Instead, it's a meditation on mortality - life, death, those sorts of things - with an intelligent, deliberate piano part, augmented by strings (nice dynamics), and later a bittersweet oboe solo that floats in space, and some march-style orchestral percussion. Deia writes:

"I will admit to being a sucker for this kind of 'somber right before the final battle' music. I like how you've treated the source, and your reasoning behind it. Conner's voice works pretty well for this, and I think this is one of his better performances. I'd still suggest working on your breath support, especially for the opening line (slow, quiet, low lines are not easy by any means)."

OA adds:

"Nice arrangement idea, and generally good execution. Connor sounds good, with a lot better intonation than I'm accustomed to, and the subtle harmonies added give some additional interest. The lyrics are good, thought he chorus was slightly redundant. The production crits Deia has are valid, but overall things clicked. The ending seemed a bit abrupt, as I think either some rubato piano, or even something more involved would be a good epilogue to the lyrics, giving the listener time to reflect; but otherwise, the inherent strengths of this track easily overpower the assorted weaknesses."

If nothing else, I admire the vision & hubris to take the source material in this serious & dramatic a direction, but I also think Connor's vocals lent the necessary degree of weight to the lyrics, and the dynamics were subtle but expressive enough to convey the message. A bit of a downer, sure, but music can communicate a wide variety of emotions & tackle the gravest of subjects, and this arrangement embraces that flexibility.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-09-27 07:07:53

Not much to add, very deliberately paced, solid moody track, nothing superfluous, nothing lacking. Vocals work very well in this one; I can understand and even agree with the suggestions for technical improvements here, but most importantly they sounded very convincing on an emotional level, I felt like the singer was meaning what he was saying.

There was a sour note at 1:34 that should have been auto-tuned and ended up breaking the immersion of the listen.

Actually, that's a sweet note, which is the opposite of a sour note. Scientific fact.

The ending seemed a bit abrupt, as I think either some rubato piano, or even something more involved would be a good epilogue to the lyrics, giving the listener time to reflect;

This made me think about the ending, and I agree with this previous guy here:

I was listening to this song and I was like, "This piece is so good but it's too short!" Then I realized the purpose of this piece, connected that with the length of the song, then came to the conclusion that the length symbolized the fraility and shortness of life. Then I loved the song even more :)

I thought the ending was a great fit.


on 2013-05-07 15:22:52

Unusual style.. Considering style of the source.. I've heard a lot of trance/rock/etc. mixes, but this one is something special.. Awesome vocals and nice music, especially the drums in the middle of the track! :-) It seems the lyrics just describe the plot of the game, but on the other hand they are philosophical..

Martin Penwald
on 2012-02-03 11:54:03

Very somber arrangement; it sets out to create a rather sad atmosphere, and it manages to do so easily.

Not that big of a fan of the vocals, to be honest, though I can't exactly pinpoint what I do not like about them. Maybe it is the part around 2:00 that just sounds a bit too nasal for me.

Tuberz McGee
on 2011-12-25 00:54:32

I love Cyril's vocals. I always have. They're so emotional, even if they're a bit flat.

The piano is incredibly good at conveying the sadness in this mix.

The oboe(?) is great for the opening part.

The drums help build up the dynamic towards the end.

My only problem is that it's really short. Is it so bad that I want more? Haha

on 2011-12-02 10:12:09

When I first heard the radio cut through Remix: ThaSauce, my jaw literally dropped at the whole idea behind the whole thing - reminds me so much of the arrangement of "Mad World" for the score to Donnie Darko.

Prior to this I had been familiar with much of JH's work from whilst I was still hosting the PRC, but the writing approach on this one managed to take it to a whole new level in comparison. Throw in Cyril's vocal work as well, accenturating with the faster variation at 1:50 and we have this dynamic yet somewhat somber approach to the track that really reflected on the more claustrophobic nature of the source.

For the most part, the writing game out well, though I'm not really too sure about the stiff string expression here, even at the end when the playing suddenly cuts out. That to me may be the only real issue I have with what is otherwise a beautiful piece of work.

I feel somewhat sad though that after Hedgehog Hysteria, JH decided to retire from remixing and dedicate his artistic capabilities elsewhere (most notably through the Crackton comics); though, we are still happy to see that you want to focus your time within the community and all associations with it, and by having a mix post on OCR you've managed to really break through that barrier and showing that personal side through your music. I am still so proud of you even today :)

on 2011-12-02 00:01:26

Congrats to JH for his first mixpost!

Connor is steadily improving with the vocals, although I do wish the breathy quality would go away :razz: . A little before 2:00, it reminds me a little of

. Perhaps the song could have went a little longer with that last part to enhance the feel of finality.

Good job with this though, a fairly good execution here with this mix.

on 2011-11-25 17:26:21

Whoa. This is awesome and a little depressing at the same time. Weird. The vocals were heavy and worked really well on the theme of the song. Very somber and sad in the beginning, but then it kicks in a bit at the second verse and it finishes strong while still holding onto that mortality feeling. Love it.

on 2011-11-25 01:21:22

Cyril and JH Sounds were kind enough to let me use this song for an advertisement contest at my university. So a big thanks to both of them!

This song is so beautiful; so touching. You can woo the women with it and make them cry. If you ever need to lose your positive attitude for a while and get down and dirty with the blues, then this song will help take you to that magical land.


on 2011-11-18 00:16:01

I was skeptical, but I ended up liking this a lot. Vocals are very nice, and the serious tone was unexpected but welcomed. Good job!

on 2011-11-17 17:28:14

I was listening to this song and I was like, "This piece is so good but it's too short!" Then I realized the purpose of this piece, connected that with the length of the song, then came to the conclusion that the length symbolized the fraility and shortness of life. Then I loved the song even more :)

on 2011-11-17 15:45:28

Loved it. Totally forgot it was a remix when I listened to it. Good job, guys! :nicework:

on 2011-11-17 14:31:19

Congrats, JH! Great to see you finally made it. Great stuff here, nice vocals and thoughtful piano arrangment. :)

on 2011-11-17 13:07:18

I've always loved this track. Glad to see it posted!

on 2011-11-17 12:54:13

One of, if not the best vocal pieces on the site, up there with Knuckleduster. Interestingly enough, from the same series. The instruments were great too, and I definitely got that mortality feel. A very emotional piece, well done.

on 2011-11-17 11:14:20

Super cool collab, nice vocals and mood! The lyrics were really good, and everything clicked for me on this one. Nice work, gentlemen!

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega , 1991, GEN)
Music by Masato Nakamura
"Final Zone"

Tags (10)

Orchestral,Piano,Singing,Strings,Vocals: Male,Woodwinds
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original
Origin > Collaboration

File Information

4,014,605 bytes

All things that live must surely pass.
Circles of life that move so fast.
We smile it off, we all pretend,
but we all began, we all shall end.

Can't stop finality.

Can't stop finality.
It is finality.

Life is too short to be restrained.
Must free our friends from binding chains.
Defeat the enemies we face,
so countless creatures can be saved.

It is reality.
Can't stop finality.
It is finality.


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