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Music of the Year 2014 Categories

Davi Tesnovich's Music of the Year
Editors' Favorites

Joining RPGFan recently in The Great Music Editor Conscription of 2014, Davi has committed in earnest to spreading the importance of having a deep, rich, fullness in your synth leads. While it's true we haven't been able to confirm his corporeal form, he insists that he's not an AI construct. He definitely turns in music reviews, though.

Davi is proud to present to you his Music of the Year, which he thinks is a bunch of cool music that you should at least check out. See if it's for you and all that. He's also proud to award himself with "Best RPGFan Hair of the First Quarter, 2015." [Editor's Note: Many of us would agree.] Thanks, Davi.

Have you heard...

Monarch: Heroes of a New Age Arrangements & Variations

With artists such as Dale North, Joshua Morse, and GENTLE LOVE on this album, you'd be nauts not to listen.

Child of Light / Cœur de pirate
Composed by Béatrice Martin

Talk about being blindsided! I had no idea what to expect from this game. Ubisoft making a JRPG? A Grandia-like battle system? Strange, asynchronous two player mode? The music was probably the last thing on my mind, but it's definitely the first thing I noticed. It didn't take long for the game to snatch me up. The aesthetics, music included, absolutely dripped melancholy. I became unbelievably absorbed in the experience of Child of Light. While the OST can easily engage a listener on its own, there's also a great deal to be said on how strongly it holds the disposition of the entire experience together.

Favorite Tracks:
Dark Creatures
Down to a Dusty Plain
Pilgrims on a Long Journey

Also See Our Review: Child of Light / Cœur de pirate Review

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII OST
Composed by Masashi Hamauzu, Naoshi Mizuta, Mitsuto Suzuki, Nobuo Uematsu

When I first played Katamari Damacy, I was blown away by how colorful the music was. In an era where RPGs were incredibly focused on a live orchestral sound, I never expected an OST like this to carry so much influence into my favorite genre. I certainly never expected Final Fantasy to stray too far from what they were doing at the time.

I was never as hard on the FF13 trilogy as some, and there's little doubt in my mind that a good deal of that has to do with me bopping along merrily to the tunes. I'm also a real sucker for callbacks, so this OST hit me in the sweet spot. Violins soaring over chunky, distorted guitars, thick and dirty jazz tunes, unexpected pop vocals, wistful piano tracks... this OST really likes to set up and defy expectations. While Final Fantasy may have left a few too many game mechanics behind with old titles, I'm glad the music hasn't stagnated into a gruel of overly bombastic orchestral pieces like it could have.

Favorite Tracks:
Crimson Blitz
Midnight Eternal
Ouroboros Festival

Also See Our Review: Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII OST Review

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
Composed by Atsushi Kitajoh, Toshiki Konishi, Shoji Meguro, Yuzo Koshiro

I already talked about this one a lot in my review, but I'm just so glad this OST exists. I've been listening to the same Persona music for years. Lives, remixes, album versions, the whole gamut. There's only so many times you can listen to Deep Breath before you want to hear Laser Beam. It's still remarkable to me that most of this music was not Shoji Meguro. I feel like it's proof that Persona music has become larger than any of its composers, like it's got a style all its own now. I hope to watch it grow and mature in the hands of whoever wants to nurture it with some funky tunes in the future.

Favorite Tracks:
Laser Beam
Light the Fire Up in the Night ~Dark Hour~
Disturbances - The One Called From Beyond

Also See Our Review: Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth OST

Have you heard...

A Melancholy Tribute to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

TPR usually takes his penchant for melancholy arrangements to the Final Fantasy series, a tradition he broke to give some Zelda arrangements a go.

Favorite Non-RPG Music: Guilty Gear Xrd: SIGN
Composed by Daisuke Ishiwatari

Daisuke Ishiwatari goes back to his roots with some extreme guitar wailing. This OST amounts to a metal sampler, covering black metal, pop metal, and nearly everything in between. Much like the design of Xrd itself, Ishiwatari doesn't hesitate to capitalize on his old Guilty Gear style: cranking up the guitar track on every tune, riffing on callback melodies, and writing long, narrative-driven bridges and solos. I have nothing bad to say about this OST. It scratches the itch it intends to, and does so magnificently. Be sure to check it out if you're a fan of Ishiwatari, instrumental metal, or intense cardio playlists.

Favorite Tracks:
Reunion (Sol vs. Ky theme)
Jack-a-Dandy (Slayer theme)
The Spider's Thread (Do You Know?) (Zato-1 vs. Millia theme)

Honorable Mention: Bayonetta 2
Composed by Masami Ueda, Naofumi Harada, Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Norihiko Hibino, Takahiro Izutani, Satoshi Igarashi, Hitomi Kurokawa, Takayasu Sodeoka, Rei Kondoh, Naoto Tanaka, Henry Mancini, Gioachino Rossini, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Franz Schubert, Georg Friedrich Händel, Johann Sebastian Bach

I'm not really crazy about the Bayonetta 2 OST as a whole. For me, it's got some hits, but a lot of misses. I would, however, be extremely remiss to not mention the amazing pop-jazz-neo-lounge-dance tunes that play during combat. Functioning as a kind of medium for insanity, these songs make the absurdity of Bayonetta 2 feel completely natural. Be sure to check these ones out, even if you have no interest in the game.

Favorite Tracks:
Moon River Climax Mix
Theme of Bayonetta 2: Tomorrow is Mine

Twitch Schedule & Status

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII
Sunday, March 25 • 10am PST/1pm EST

On Break
Mondays • 6pm PST/9pm EST

Tuesdays • 12pm PST/3pm EST

MS Saga: A New Dawn
Thursdays • 3pm PST/6pm EST

Secret of Mana Remake
Fridays • 3pm PST/6pm EST

Tales of the Abyss
Tues-Wed-Thu • 7pm PST/10pm EST
Saturdays • 5pm PST/8pm EST

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