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Author Topic: Why do you read Game/Anime soundtrack reviews?  (Read 4366 times)
Wild Armor
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« on: February 04, 2012, 05:31:17 PM »

Out of curiosity, I'd like to know the reason(s) why you would read a Game/Anime soundtrack review.

For myself, I enjoy reading the opinions of others in regards to what they perceive as "good" and/or "bad" music to them. There are times when the reviewer specifies that their comments is of their own personal reflection(s) on a soundtrack, but at times you'll find a reviewer who drops the absolute,"The isn't Music" line (hardly is it ever direct/verbatim said; rather it is stated in a particular phrase of dissatisfaction or ambiguity).

Though, regardless of whatever review I read, I hardly ever allow it to determine my purchase. What I like, is what like, and no words from another reviewer can deter me otherwise.

A note: Worry not rpgfan ost reviewers, I enjoy your reviews very much. ;)
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Ramza
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 06:01:49 PM »

as a pretty big proponent of music reviewing in general, what I look for in reading another person's review is a perspective on the music that I could not have gleaned naturally on my own. Some music reviews get into the technical terms, others speak very metaphorically of the music's "soul," still others will compare this or that song to other artists' works or specific genres of music. And in almost any review, there is always the "informative" bit (information about the composer, artist, source material, etc). In all of these things, I may find an opinion that surprises me, and a way to approach the music as I listen.

In short, music reviews help me get more mileage out of the music. I learn new things and learn how to listen, just a little better. :)
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Wild Armor
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 09:13:19 PM »

as a pretty big proponent of music reviewing in general, what I look for in reading another person's review is a perspective on the music that I could not have gleaned naturally on my own. Some music reviews get into the technical terms, others speak very metaphorically of the music's "soul," still others will compare this or that song to other artists' works or specific genres of music. And in almost any review, there is always the "informative" bit (information about the composer, artist, source material, etc). In all of these things, I may find an opinion that surprises me, and a way to approach the music as I listen.

In short, music reviews help me get more mileage out of the music. I learn new things and learn how to listen, just a little better. :)

Reading this as a musician and future Music Librarian; this post greatly uplifts my spirits...thanks.
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 10:15:15 PM »

It helps me to appreciate from another angle the music I enjoy and learn something in the process. Many times a review has helped me in enjoying and/or discovering certain things that makes that album that I didn't liked that much in the beginning one of my favorites now.
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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2012, 06:57:52 AM »

as a pretty big proponent of music reviewing in general, what I look for in reading another person's review is a perspective on the music that I could not have gleaned naturally on my own.

This, exactly.  While I often do not share the same opinion as the reviewer, it gives me a chance to hear things I might have missed.  In some cases is also allows me to find music of similar styles because the reviewer makes comparisons.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2012, 10:21:02 AM »

All of the above, plus I have a certain fondness for negative reviews because it makes me want to find out, "is it really *that* bad?" and if it isn't, I'll enjoy a pleasant surprise. 
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Chronix112
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2012, 10:26:35 AM »

Reviews helps me judge whither or not I want to make a purchase on a particular album. I have used the soundtrack section for years (way longer then I have been a member of this forum), and would not have made a many purchase without Patrick's and Damian's reviews. It is nice to know what genre the music is and whither or not it suits your taste. I do not like using youtube, because I want the  experience of listening to that newly purchased album to be totally new, and you can keep that feeling by reading well written, expressive reviews. I don't always agree with the reviews, but it does give me a good ballpark of what I am going to be receiving.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2012, 10:28:09 AM by Chronix112 » Logged
RPGMetalFan
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2012, 08:30:15 AM »

It really depends on the review I'm reading. As a music fanatic, I'm predisposed to give nearly everything at LEAST the benefit of the doubt: as one of my musical heroes, Frank Zappa, said: "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." And that's the biggest problem I have with most professional reviewers: their minds are NOT open. They review bands, albums, and artists because they have to, and they don't seem to want to open themselves to the emotions that music is capable of stirring within people: it is not, after all, called the "universal language" for nothing.

It also doesn't help matters that my particular tastes in music tend to run a little askew. I do tend to go out of my way to look for musical reviews that are deemed to be "negative," for the same reason that Dincrest noted in his (her?) post: can it really be THAT bad? I find myself pleasantly surprised a lot of the time that, no, it's NOT really that bad, it's just that there's an agenda behind it: either they don't give a rat's ass about the game they're reviewing, or it's a game that's received a lot of hype that they just don't want to give a decent shot, or it's a decent enough game that they were hoping was going to be super badass, or whatever. I see the same kind of thing with regards to reviews that have nothing to do with video games whatsoever.

And every so often, there comes a reviewer who really does give a damn about the thing that they're reviewing: the music. I've been checking out the soundtracks section for this site for at least thirteen years now, and it's the biggest thing that has kept me coming back to RPGFan. The soundtrack reviewers have been very passionate about reviewing THE MUSIC, and not the bloody game it comes from, and I would not have found so much killer stuff if they had been predisposed to slag off the music based on whether or not they thought the game it came from was shit or not. Here, if I read a review that tells me something is shit, there are some bloody good reasons why they think it's shit, and there are also plenty of reasons given why I should maybe check it out for myself to see if I agree or disagree. I tend to agree a fair bit of the time, but you know, I REALLY like being given the option to figure out for myself why an album sucks based on somebody else's opinion, or why they think it absolutely rules when I can't find a bloody thing to like about it, and they give me enough information to maybe change my mind about it, along with the latitude to allow me to have my own opinion.

Open minds. What a beautiful thing.
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Aurian
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2012, 01:58:40 PM »

I read the reviews to decide what to buy. I am odd in that I am legally deaf and actually enjoy music, and for some reason, many video game soundtracks seem to be "just right" for my ears to handle. I am unable to really sample game music online and such since I need to be able to download it onto my configurated iPod to hear it properly, so I end up buying the CD, burning it and loading it onto the iPod.

So no test-listens... gotta decide what is worthy of risking my $$$ on.
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 10:06:42 PM »

I read the reviews to decide what to buy. I am odd in that I am legally deaf and actually enjoy music, and for some reason, many video game soundtracks seem to be "just right" for my ears to handle. I am unable to really sample game music online and such since I need to be able to download it onto my configurated iPod to hear it properly, so I end up buying the CD, burning it and loading it onto the iPod.

So no test-listens... gotta decide what is worthy of risking my $$$ on.

Aurian,

If you don't mind, could you open up to us more what you mean about being legally deaf but still hearing the music? And how game music is more suited for your listening than other kinds of music? I'd really like to hear more about this.
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Wild Armor
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 10:12:07 PM »

I read the reviews to decide what to buy. I am odd in that I am legally deaf and actually enjoy music, and for some reason, many video game soundtracks seem to be "just right" for my ears to handle. I am unable to really sample game music online and such since I need to be able to download it onto my configurated iPod to hear it properly, so I end up buying the CD, burning it and loading it onto the iPod.

So no test-listens... gotta decide what is worthy of risking my $$$ on.

Aurian,

If you don't mind, could you open up to us more what you mean about being legally deaf but still hearing the music? And how game music is more suited for your listening than other kinds of music? I'd really like to hear more about this.

Ditto. By legally, would you mean that you have relatively partial hearing and you're iPod is configured with some sort of amplifier? Very curious...
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Aurian
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« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2012, 12:01:34 AM »

Well, I don't know if you've seen audiograms before or not. This is a nice diagram that shows where common sounds fall on an audiogram chart:



To be legally deaf, the majority of your hearing must be in the darkest grey area - profoundly deaf. My audiogram looks something like a a backwards J - I am "just" severe  in the low frequencies and sharply drop off to profound in the higher pitches. Even with hearing aids, I can't use a phone, I use captions for the TV and I lipread. Hearing aids can only amplify sound so much without damaging what there is left of hearing - even at max level, it brings up my hearing to the mild/moderate range in the lower pitches (so I can hear about 2/3 of human speech sounds), but I'll never be able to hear the high pitches - that's still sitting in the profound level.

In addition to not hearing higher pitches, hearing aids just aren't as clever as real ears. I can't distinguish between many similar sounds; I can't pick out what I want to hear and focus on that - everything comes through at equal loudness.

Because of limitations in what a deaf person can hear and how well they can hear what they can hear, many deaf people don't bother with music. For some reason, I do like music, but it takes me many listens before I can start to sort through the noises and get used to the tune enough to decide if I like it or not.

To me, the good soundtracks seem to have enough richness in the sound frequencies that I hear that it sounds like a good tune (for all I know, there is more I am missing out on, but there is enough for me to enjoy) and many of the ones I like aren't so busy with similar-sounding instruments/melodies/notes that its all jumbled up in one blaaat of sound. I figure its because many soundtracks are designed not to compete with voices, battle sounds, etc. so they're not too busy?

I tried other types of music but they just seemed waaaay more hit and miss. One instrument is boring - I can't hear the difference between enough of the notes to get a good tune. I like having multiple instruments (or stimulated ones) that each instrument is its own pitch and melody line.  But when you get to the level of an orchestra, then it gets too busy and I have trouble sorting through all the NOISE.

I have a special device that jacks my iPod directly to my hearing aids and a program that works with the iPod which is set to optimize the sound for my audiogram pattern. Nobody else can hear it (which makes my husband happy :p - before I got the iPod set up, I used to play music loud enough to shake the walls :-\ 



« Last Edit: February 25, 2012, 12:03:54 AM by Aurian » Logged
Ramza
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« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2012, 09:17:48 PM »

Wow. That is just ... amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this information.

Can you list for us some of your favorite soundtracks, and specific songs? I want to see if I can figure out what it is about those songs that works well for someone like yourself.
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Dice
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« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2012, 10:38:43 PM »

I thought this topic was low-priority, but I loved reading about how Aurian listens to music! :O

Amazing to see this. :)
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Wild Armor
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2012, 11:44:57 PM »

I thought this topic was low-priority

:P

But

That really is quite fascinating and comforting to know such software/program exist to help the hearing impaired. So....what was your favorite tracks from the Arc Rise Fantasia OST then? :3
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