Author Topic: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST

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Prime Mover

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Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« on: February 02, 2012, 08:17:41 PM »
Surprised noone's started a topic on this yet.

I think it's really top-notch. I'm kind of dazed though, because I thought it would be Hamauzu and Hamauzu alone that would save the FF franchise from musical duldrums. But then I learn that Hamauzu only did about 1/4 of the tracks in the game, and honestly, they're probably the least interesting bits. The orchestral themes aren't nearly as inspired as they were in FF13. However, much of the stuff done by the other two comprosers is absolutely ASTOUNDING. "Run" marks a new favorite in the series: driving fusion jazz with a killer violin improv solo. WOW! Still quite a bit of jazz on this album, like with FF13, "Win or Loose" is a great cool bop track with really juicy upright bass.

But one thing stands out about this soundtrack like never before: the drumming. Who played the drums on this stuff? I really like his style and sound. The drum production is also some of the best I've ever heard, very organic, yet still punchy. The ride cymbal he's using is absolutely humungus... like a really old-school jazz ride, just a SWEET sound.

In-game, I noticed a real improvement over FF13... they finally used ducking to get the music to balance correctly with the other sounds! FF13 had a huge problem with the music from a technical standpoint... it was WAY TOO QUIET. They seemed to be worried about it getting in the way of the other sounds to such an extent that it got turned down to a whisper. But on FF13-2 they've gotten wise and used some real-time ducking techniques to push the volume of the music down while sound effects and voices are playing, so you can hear everything when it needs to be heard without sacrificing music volume. I'm really thankful for this.

Also, for the first time, I'm not turned off by all the vocal tracks. New Bodhum is just beautiful... wonderful track. The "death techno" track for boss battles is also killer. The vocalist REALLY reminds me of the singer for Paradise Lost. And overall, I'd just say that the vocal tracks are quite listenable. The Brescha Rap is still absolute crap though. Thank god they had the sense of removing the lyrics from the US version. I'm sure Japanese kids who have no idea what's being said will think it sounds cool, but it's painful for english speakers to listen to.

Yggdrasil

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2012, 09:59:54 PM »
I've been having stuck in my head "Historia Crux" for weeks now. I can imagine people by now having a bunch of tracks from the soundtrack in their music players.

...and later they don't tell anyone that they enjoy video game music. :P The horror.

Cyril

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2012, 03:39:02 AM »
Funny you mentioned the drumming - the composers loved him as well!  They actually apologized to the drummer because they were very hard on him.

http://www.destructoid.com/exclusive-meet-final-fantasy-xiii-2-s-sound-team-220375.phtml

Ramza

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2012, 11:34:28 AM »
Yeah, this is a great album, and it was very great of S-E to include the full four disc soundtrack with the collector's edition. It's rare that they give FULL soundtrack releases.

The best tracks are, surprisingly, from Naoshi Mizuta. He wrote Noel's theme (which you hear in "Run" and elsewhere, including the beautiful vocal track on disc 4 performed by KOKIA). I think he also wrote Yeul's Theme.

The soundtrack is really something special. I think I wrote about it... here:

http://www.rpgfan.com/soundtracks/ffxiii-2/index.html

Ah, there we go. I'm still alive and kicking here on the 'Fan. Just not dominating like I used to with the soundtrack stuff. Props to Meyerink for keeping that part of RPGFan alive.

Prime Mover

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2012, 02:54:43 PM »
I should mention that I played "Run" for the violinist in my band, last night. Her son plays a lot of loud PC games, and so she has a negative association with video game music in general. When I told her I was going to play her video game music, she rolled her eyes. But when it got to the violin improv solo, her eyes popped! "That's really good!" I'm trying to get her to do more stuff like that (which she's really starting to do), so I had ulterior motives. Though, one thing she pointed out, curiously, is that the violin used on that track (and I'm guessing on the other rock/electronica tracks) is most likely a solid body electric violin. Makes sense if you're going for that Mahavishnu Orchestra sound like they're doing here. At first, during the melody line, she thought it was a synth violin, but when the little imbellishments and slides start coming into view, she quickly realized it was real, just solid body. Our previous fiddle player played solid body... his kinda sucked though, and we all developed a distaste for electric fiddle. But after hearing this album, it's rekindled my appreciation for the instrument. (I need to go back and listen to more Mahavishnu and Dixie Dregs, me thinks).

I'm surprised noone in any review or interview has mentioned "Win or Lose" on disc 3. How do you "compose" something like that? Well, obviously you just get good jazz musicians together, write a good head, and tell them to improvize the rest. Problem is, it goes counter to the tightly controlled world of film and videogame music where the composers write every last note. That's why you hear so little jazz in soundtracks, unless you're doing stylized melodic stuff for noir. I'm pretty sure I've never heard bop on video game soundtrack. Everyone's talking up the electronica and rap elements, and they are need, but they aren't exactly new to video games these days. Jazz, on the other hand, is pretty much completely out of the blue. Uematsu would once in a while throw in some Rhodes piano blues cuts, but once again, much more streamlined and stylized. The upright bass solo on "Win or Lose" is particularly wonderful! But there's a piano solo in there that I want to transcribe as well.

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 03:10:36 AM »
Some tracks I LOVE....  It's unfortunately countered by a lot of the lyrical songs and "genre songs" (except the 80s bossa nova of Serendipity).  I like the classical stuff more.  Origa, while amazing, the Russian accent isn't working for me, and it's too harsh for Historia Crux for me to dig (the "time and space"6x really blows).  I liked her with GitS openings, her semi-opera voice I dug, she can hit keys, thats for sure.

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Lard

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2012, 02:26:51 PM »
What I've heard is good but that metal Chocobo track is bloody awful
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Agent D.

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2012, 05:49:41 PM »
"The ruler of time and space" is the best tune on all four discs of the ost. Bresha ruins 300af is pretty good.

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Prime Mover

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2012, 04:00:49 PM »
What I've heard is good but that metal Chocobo track is bloody awful

You're wrong, that song is better than you are Lard... and you know it.

Also, I do really like the rock section of Historia Crux. Yeah, the "time & space" thing is a little strange. But something about that section REALLY reminds me of Rush. I can't put my finger on it, but it just does. My girlfriend thought the same thing too. Definitely a plus.

Lard

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2012, 12:49:35 AM »
What I've heard is good but that metal Chocobo track is bloody awful

You're wrong, that song is better than you are Lard... and you know it.

No way Hose-A
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Agent D.

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2012, 01:57:24 AM »
So yeah, Ruler of time and space is now my ringtone. Every rpg needs to have a song like that for the prefinal battle.

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Ramza

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2012, 11:02:50 AM »
So yeah, Ruler of time and space is now my ringtone. Every rpg needs to have a song like that for the prefinal battle.

What I love about that track is that that's the subtitle to SaGa 3 on Game Boy. Also, that it's a beautiful song.

Prime Mover

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2012, 12:48:19 PM »
So yeah, Ruler of time and space is now my ringtone. Every rpg needs to have a song like that for the prefinal battle.

I'm still using Figaro Castle from FF6 as my ringtone. It's obscure enough that only other FF fans know it, but it's well loved. Been using it for the past 2 years actually. Never get tired of it.

Dice

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2012, 07:48:46 PM »
I had FF13's battle theme as it for a while... kinda works well as one.  Switched tot he more obscure but similar sounding boss theme from Xenosaga 3.  It's intimidating-ish. :D
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Yggdrasil

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2 OST
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 03:57:28 AM »
I can't get enough of that violin in "Plains of Eternity -Aggressive Mix-".