Cheers to two often-covered legends, Uematsu and Mitsuda! Time for another double-up highlighting Rebecca E. Tripp as we pair her relaxing FF7 orchestral arrangement with an equally relaxing yet more organic and ominous new age tribute from Chrono Cross. This one's also another huge feather in the cap for Tripp; with this mixpost, she's now at the extremely rare 75 ReMix milestone only previously attained by Mazedude and djpretzel, and, thankfully, there's no end in sight!!! :-) Rebecca crossed this source tune off her to-do list and we get to enjoy the results:
"This track has been on the list for a very long time! The original theme for Isle of the Damned (composed by Yasunori Mitsuda) was one of the first songs in Chrono Cross to catch my attention. It was so mysterious and layered! Mitsuda really has a knack for atmosphere."
Mitsuda's knack for atmosphere certainly serves this piece well, as Rebecca signature approach of personalized instrumentation & timbre is applied to the original's beautiful structure, something the panel was well aware of while also grappling with articulation and realism issues. Gario took a while in deliberating this, and carefully weighed the pros and cons before putting it over the top with his closing vote:
"I think the opening of this arrangement is an excellent example of "Less is More": it's open, airy, and personalizes the arrangement by removing elements of a source rather than adding them. It gives room for a few subtle yet tasty harmonization changes that add a lot of flavor to the track that would've gone unnoticed otherwise (I hear that bit of mixture at 0:49, very tasty). It is otherwise orchestrated well, and though the arrangement becomes more conservative as it proceeds that doesn't take away the personal touch that it was given at the outset.
The sample usage is alright, but some more effort could've been put into giving it more body with consistent sounding reverb across the instruments and some less stilted samples. The vox and organ are the biggest offenders here of sounding dry compared to everything else, as well as being stiff. Most other instruments are at an acceptable level of realism, so these items really do stand out in the arrangement. You do great work, Rebecca, so we know even in 2020 you're capable of better in these departments.
I agree with DJP on this, though: don't judge a remix based on past experience with an artist and evaluate it on it's own merits, and this is certainly above the bar. While conservative, it does a good job bringing out what made this track special by trimming the fat of the original, so to say, and brings the elements back together for a nice, comfortable listen. I dig it, let's post it."
Let's! Having approved the previous mix and dissented on this one, I'd argue this piece presents better in terms of the production yet being very structurally conservative, while the FF7 one sounds more interpretive while having more production flaws. As a judge you often have to examine both sides of the arrangement development coin and see whether the combination of interpretive elements clears our hurdles. I've often invoked not making the perfect the enemy of the good on the judges panel, and that's something we've collectively done with both pieces here.
I'd like to think the title just refers to somehow catching a fleeting glimpse of Hell, suffering some sort of temptation and getting out unscathed, but if you DO go to hell, this is the nicest soundtrack to damnation you could possibly experience. :-D Enjoy this back-to-back feature of solid interpretive arrangements with some notable criticisms, but not enough to outweigh the strength and creativity of these PS1-era Square RPG tributes!
And her march toward the most OC ReMixes continues... :-)
Sources Arranged (1 Song)
- Choir,Hand Drums,Harp,Organ,Oud,Sound FX,Woodwinds
- Regional > Middle Eastern
- 5,537,058 bytes
- Size: 5,537,058 bytes
- MD5 Checksum: e090aaf61c7ec3e6b5c10b909f9b02cf
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