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Started by daj, December 26, 2016, 07:17:09 AM
Quote from: Tobbeh99 on April 21, 2016, 02:56:11 PMFuck logic, that shit is boring, lame and does not always support my opinions.
Quote from: Dekkadeci on December 26, 2016, 12:18:25 PMI love reading music nerd dumps!
Quote from: SlowPokemon on December 26, 2016, 12:51:34 PM^"Battle! (Team Flare)" was the best track from XY, fight me. And Cyrus's battle theme was amazing too.
Quote from: Dekka(It must be a bad sign when the Team Flare Grunt theme was my favourite Pokemon OST theme I listened to that day.)
Quote from: DekkaI find Gladion's themes to actually be hilarious because, if I strip the accompaniment and change the instrumentation of the melody, it's very easy to make them sound like plaintive jazz ballads. IMO, the accompaniment is the only thing keeping his themes remotely energetic. (I miiiiight rearrange his theme some day, but Musescore already has good enough piano versions that sound like jazz ballads because they didn't transcribe the accompaniment.)
Quote from: SlowInteresting choice with Paniola Town. That's a very cool and unique track from Ms. Sato and Mr. Kuroda. Not sure I totally agree with the top choice, but I definitely love a lot about that track. I also don't really care for the Solgaleo/Lunala theme much.
QuoteI'll post my top ten when I have a second to figure them out.
Quote from: DekkaLusamine's battle themes sound like typical soundtrack "epic" final boss themes, IMO--the type that Two Steps From Hell might compose. It's probably too typical a direction to take when even the SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom final boss theme is in the same vein. Granted, I played Pokemon Diamond and didn't remember Cyrus's theme--I think legendary and evil team boss Pokemon themes typically don't stick to me.
Quote from: SlowLoved your write-ups of Lusamine's themes, though you probably guessed that I felt similar when I ranted about them in Latios' thread so I won't repeat myself here (LOL). I have to say that unlike Dekkadeci, I don't think there's anything typical about them at all. Ms. Adachi is obviously really dedicated to her craft and can work magic with the details of her tracks.
Quote from: WaluigiTime64I strive for second place and I will fight for the position.
Quote from: WaluigiTime64 on March 04, 2017, 09:42:45 PMI'm pretty sure I do almost the exact same thing, but with less conscious thought. To be honest, it's better not to think too hard about it, otherwise you'll try too hard and produce a lower quality product.
Quote from: Zeila on March 24, 2017, 08:10:39 AMThe amount of effort and thought both of you put into it is clear. Thanks for analyzing it, the arrangement/performance choices give me stuff to think about. Also, nice job with the actual performance itself!
Quote from: daj on December 26, 2016, 07:17:09 AMWARNING: THIS IS NERDY.I write analyses about vgm stuffs. And because I'm me there will be theory. Yeaaahhh.Wanted to save the OP for a glossary post or something but oh well i won't update it after a while anyways so here's the first entry :pdaj's top ten Sun and Moon tracks! (might get turned into an actual video someday haha)~disclaimer:- subject to extreme personal bias (go ichinose yeah <3)- theory analysis was used to make it all sound more legit but it's all in the name of fun k ^^#1010. "Battle! (Hau)"Hitomi Sato and Go IchinoseSpoilerKicking off the list is the most energetic battle track of any game ever, composed by the two rhythmic geniuses who handled most of the DPPt soundtrack. Hitomi Sato's "Hau's Theme" is brilliant in itself, because it essentially uses only one rhythmic idea in its melody throughout the track, yet still succeeds in sounding fresh and awesome. "Battle! (Hau)" opens with the complicated rhythmic layering which gives Go Ichinose's music its flavour, along with a melody that...basically recycles-and-extends Sato's idea for most of the section. And the first section transitions suddenly to a perfect re-interpretation of the middle section of "Hau's Theme", and here we have it - the happiest battle track ever. It's hyped and cheerful as hell, and it's complemented perfectly with Hau's cluelessly happy pose in the background. Love it <3[close][close]#99. "Mahalo Trail"Minako AdachiSpoilerAll the classic cinematic harmonies, with a nice little mallet ostinato and wonderfully programmed ambient textures. Honestly, it's not anything special - it's just a perfectly executed atmospheric piece that matches the mood like a charm. Minako Adachi's technical mastery in sound programming shines in this simple, clean track.[close][close]#88. "Battle! (Gladion)"Go IchinoseSpoilerOut of all his masterpieces in the DPPt soundtrack, Go Ichinose's "Galactic HQ" surfaces as the most rhythmically complex and most hyped-up track. I think it's his most well-composed track in the OST too (and then there's Hitomi Sato's "Eterna Forest" haha). When it comes to the Sun and Moon OST, the Gladion Battle Theme falls in a similar spot. Without question, this is the most rhythmically complex track in Ichinose's Sun and Moon arsenal. The distorted bass guitar never stops moving until it plays in homorhythm with the other parts, rhythmic stabs punctuate the beat all over, and above it all floats an expressive, continuous melody. All of which, interestingly, are elements shared by the DPPt "Galactic HQ" track. It is a technical masterpiece. The sounds are harsh and bright, the aggressive bass guitar cuts through tastefully, and the drum beat punches hard. When all the rhythmic elements come together, the track sounds amazing. [close][close]#77. "Lively Lillie!"Minako Adachi and Hitomi SatoSpoilerNot really a spoiler or surprise, but yes, there's another Lillie track coming up further down on this list. And we already know which one it is."Lillie's Theme" is a perfect reflection of her character. It struck me quite quickly that the chord progression was reminiscent of Ravel's "Pavane for a Dead Princess" (IV7 - I7 twice, then naturals, yay), and the melody of the Lillie theme shares the mellow darkness and vulnarability of Ravel's Pavane too. Um, yeah. Digressed a little there, not editing it out. Point is that Lillie's Theme paints the image of a dainty princess. Which is pretty accurate.Lillie remains a passive character, getting lost and being useless for most of the story, and then she meets her mother and realises that the world seriously could use one less useless princess around. So she gets into action, and the "Lively Lillie" track plays as she reveals her Z-Powered form (cringe-y but cute so welp) for the first time. The melody and harmony of this track is similar to the original, and the daintiness of the original melody is preserved through a brilliant choice of mellow instruments. But an upbeat drum pattern, some rhythmic fixes, and some hat shimmers breathe life into the track; the dead princess comes to life. I think most of us only got to love Lillie after this turning point, and the track really bought me over.[close][close]#66. "Paniola Town (Night)"Hitomi SatoSpoilerChills. So much of them ran down me when I heard that whistling sound, and I instantly went weak. Everything about this track speaks "human", in the sense that it's raw and imperfect. Both melody sounds are never in tune, the guitar and melody don't agree on the chords sometimes, and those whistle slides are bone-chilling. Dang.I won't be surprised if some people are turned off by the imperfection, but I find it beautiful. It's hard to describe, and it's the only track I won't do a theoretical analysis for, ahaha. I just love it.[close][close]#55. "Battle! (Lusamine)"Minako AdachiSpoilerThis was the first track of the OST I put on repeat. Unlike the Lusamine-Nihilego theme, which is a huge, beautiful, distorted mess of sound, this track is pretty clean and structured. Yet, with the elegance of Lusamine's theme and Minako Adachi's harsh drum sounds juxtaposed like Team Skull and Aether's black and white, the track is a perfect reflection of Lusamine's main-bad-guy-with-a-story character.The introductory flourish propels into a possessed soprano motif (D-Eb-A, shostakovich would eargasm), Lusamine's theme is sung in a bold piano solo in octaves, and then a beat drop shifts the music to a breakcore section which puts a clean melody-and-extension of Lusamine's theme against the syncopated breakbeat. The space between the powerful melodic phrases is filled with statements of the Aether theme in a harpsichord part (yes, really, and it's brilliant). The melody is classy and the accompaniment is grungy - Lusamine's stereotype in a nutshell.A dissonant piano flourish calls in a "piano solo section". The low strings play a chromatic, subverted version of the Alola theme, and the piano responds with dissonant madness. So extrapolate a bit, and this ties Lusamine's mad ambitions with the peril of the Alola region. Hey, that's not far-fetched at all ^^A new melody with a characteristic chromatic descending tail enters in the trumpet part, and the high strings respond with a similar line. The beat intensifies until the breakdown - an inversion (ascending, basically) of the chromatic scale plays in the background and a dark, minor version of the Aether theme floats in the foreground. And then the music explodes in rhythm, kicks and crashes smashing aggressively - above it all, a grainy, round drone sound imitates the chromatic rising passage. And that sound alone is probably one of the most well-programmed sounds in the whole OST.It's a track that's brilliantly designed and chilling to the core, and it probably holds a solid spot in anyone's Top 10 Sun and Moon track list.[close][close]#44. "Alola Region Theme"Minako AdachiSpoilerI arranged a 4/4 version of this theme in September, upon the release of the Japanese Gameplay Trailer. I sang it every time it came on playback, and that made transcription a lot easier...at the cost of cementing the Alola melody in my head for the months ahead. Even before I started checking out the Sun and Moon OST I knew this was the first track I would arrange. It's a simple melody with a simple harmony. But amidst the slew of brilliant ambient electronica tracks that would define the Sun and Moon journey, it sounded like a charm. Alola is, after all, a simple Hawaiian paradise, once you look past the misguided teens and corrupted corporations (ok to be fair aether isn't that bad but still). And beyond that, there were some sweet moves pulled on the music-nerdy side of things. It's the first time a Pokemon series had a central "region theme" which came back several times throughout the journey; in fact it's the first time a Pokemon soundtrack used common themes (less so leitmotifs btw cuz theory) in such an extensive way. It warrants some good discussion, but that's for another article in itself ^^Anyway, about the Alola Region Theme - to cite some examples, we hear a bouncy and lively version of this theme in Ula'ula Island's "Route 10" track, "My Home" uses a clean acoustic guitar rendition of the theme, and the Credits track presents a heartfelt 4/4 interpretation of it that really got me. It was a theme I knew through-and-through, yet I still broke out in smiles and warmth every time it played. The Alola Region Theme was a stroke of genius, in a macro sense above all, through the Sun and Moon OST.[close][close]~So at first I wanted to only put the top three in spoilers but dang these spoilers look good <3#3!3. "Lonely Lillie"Minako Adachi, Hitomi Sato and Go IchinoseSpoilerIt's honestly one of the best piano solo pieces I've heard in a video game OST. I thought the Xion final boss track in KH 358/2 Days was beautiful and melodramatic (though not strictly a piano solo), but this piece, with its cold piano sound and weird sustains, captured me in a much more profound way. Xion was just sad and sad and sad, and then whoa! A sad KH main theme. But Lillie wasn't just lonely - she was accepting, she was happy for Nebby, and more than that, when her theme played, it signalled that she was ready to walk on towards the world outside. The opening is turbulent and confused, with weird rhythmic and melodic jumps inserted between phrases. The mood is tranquil, but the syncopation keeps it kinda upbeat and the music always moves forward. An ascending sequence leads to a rhythmic build in the middle register, and Lillie's Theme emerges from the turbulence, accompanied by a bouncy accompaniment that drives the music ahead. It's a beautiful transition - it's dainty and vulnerable. Anyone who isn't feeling something by the time Lillie's Theme comes in really needs to listen closer. Or, y'know, just start listening. I'd heard the track many times before I reached the cutscene where it was played, because everyone seems to love this track and want to arrange it. But I didn't expect the cutscene to sync so well with it, and yeah, I probably cried. Whoops.Definitely learning this one.[close][close]#2!2. "Showdown! (Lusamine)"Minako AdachiSpoilerI'd be surprised if this track doesn't make it to everyone's Top 10 (or even Top 5) list, because it's a masterpiece through and through. The alternating 4/4 and 2/4 time signatures, along with a bass drum rhythm that doesn't quite match the beats, makes for a huge distorted mess of layers that sounds absolutely frikkin awesome.Minako Adachi shows off her mastery in sound design here, juxtaposing heavy electronica textures and distorted drum beats with raw piano sounds. The sounds alone are genius, and then there are the harmonies - holy crud, that distortion. Analysing the harmony reveals minor 2nds (eg. C and C#, a pretty horrid-sounding interval) all over, yet they're so carefully woven in that the distortion doesn't cut through too much. Then there's the piano, which cares a lot less about subtlety. When the piano plays a dissonant flourish, it slams it, because that's the idea - Lusamine has gone mad. And she's a jellyfish thing. So things are pretty chaotic.It's not that easy to create organised chaos in music - the Lusamine-Nihilego battle track is full of subtleties. Many layers exist for textural effects, and every element - melody, rhythm, harmony - is distorted in some distinct way, then crammed into simple 4-bar phrases. From the analysis standpoint, this track is a creative masterpiece. But y'know, you didn't need to listen that closely to know that the track was amazing :p[close][close]~honourable mentions!"Battle! (Solgaleo/Lunala)" and "Battle! (Elite Four)"They're actually really similar. Their structures are essentially identical. But they sound epic as hell, so go Jun'ichi Masuda, you're still great as ever <3"Po Town"Creativity could never be this simple: dark key, sharpened 4ths, drown in reverb - here's a dark track! Yet it's this simplicity that truly portrays the loneliness and emptiness of the Team Skull grunts, and I love it."Ancient Poni Path"The last time I heard oboes used beautifully in a VGM track was "Gusty Garden Galaxy". And that was released a pretty long time ago. Also, those were real oboes, so they had an advantage. Another tear-worthy track."Acerola's Trial"Now -this- is creativity. And stereo madness. Technical mastery on the programming end too. also was legit creepy, 11/10 <3[close]Which brings me to my number one favorite track of Sun and Moon...#1!!!!!1!1. Battle! (Island Kahuna)Go IchinoseSpoilerI don't know if it's a personal bias towards Go Ichinose - he did write my all-time favourite VGM track, after all - but when I shuffled to this track during my first listening I died all over inside. Go Ichinose doesn't have Minako Adachi's extraordinary talent in sound design, but he arranges parts and organises rhythms like a god. And this track shows it all.The introduction is what you'd expect a boss fight theme to sound like - both sides priming for the fight, tension rising...and then a flute flourish explodes the track with energy, with low string ostinatos and rhythmic patterns in the upper mids filling the atmosphere with suspense. The introduction section builds towards a powerful climax, and you'd expect the most epic track ever...But nope. The dominant chord stabs cadence to the "A Captain's Trial Begins!" melody, in a single bright flute part, in the chirpy parallel major key. I associated it with the Trial Victory track, but it's more or less based on the same plot idea, so ^^It's Go Ichinose's rhythmic mastery that makes this anti-climax work - the percussion layering, complete with trumpet stabs, give the section a distinctive "song and dance" feel which got me captivated to Ichinose's style when I first heard Route 216.And when I heard the Captain's Trial section begin on my fight with Olivia (cutiefly swept hala too quickly i think), I saw it as the representation of the Trainer's journey. The track undoubtably happy and victorious, but more than that, the Trial melody is a reminder of what the Trainer's journey is for. You're fighting the big boss of an island, and it's an epic fight, but at the end of it the only thing that matters is that you had fun. After all, you can always try again So I guess that's why this track takes my number one spot, past the genius of the Lusamine-Nihilego theme. It's well composed and creative, but more so than that, it holds meaning that goes beyond the basic plot ideas. To me, at least [close][close]~And that concludes my Top Ten Sun and Moon Track List! ~Thanks for taking the time to read this if you did, hehe. I'll probably be posting some deep analyses and other nerdy stuff like this in time to come, so yeah! ^^ This thread's going to be a nerdy dump. yaaayyyy
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