The Dragonsayer (dragonsayer) wrote,
The Dragonsayer

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Random Select Reviews: Summoning of Spirits

Maybe I need to come up with a cheesy name for these reviews... But more on that later.

So, weekly review time. Technically, I'm a bit early, since the last one was done on Friday, but I just want to do one each week, not necessarily seven days apart. Also, I need something to distract myself from some bad news which I heard about last night. This time around, I'll let you all in on something I actually discovered a little over two weeks ago. Summoning of Spirits is a 4.2-CD-length album of video game ReMixes from the games Tales of Phantasia (SNES) and Tales of Symphonia (GameCube). The original music is top notch; I recently posted about one song in particular, Be Absentminded, that had gotten stuck in my head from ToP, and the rest, in both games, is at or above that level of quality and complexity. The ReMixes are all great, ranging in genre from (mostly) rock/metal-ish to light jazz and orchestral to a bit of electronica and techno. Surprisingly, to my own mind at least, some of them have had lyrics added, and they work quite well.

A few of the songs that jumped out at me in particular (of a total of 53 tracks) are as follows...

No Better Time Than Now - Energetic rock/techno blend, one of the songs which has had lyrics added to it. The vocalist reminds me of another guy, whose name escapes me at the moment, who did a song called See You On The Other Side, a techno/rock song with the DJ Paul Van Dyk.

Beyond Absentminded - ReMix of the aforementioned Be Absentminded, also with lyrics added. Slow rock. Someone who listened to it at my office compared it to the band Chicago; I thought it was more reminiscent of some of Pink Floyd's mellower stuff. Either way, it's great music.

Strike of the Devil's Axes - Originally the boss fight music for Tales of Symphonia, now turned into a pretty high-speed metal track. I think I can definitively label this one to be straight metal, because the song's review page on OCR lists it as having six electric guitars playing. That's just nuts.

Go The Distance - Another good rock/metal track. Also has good energy to it. This and the previous track have kind of been my biking music over the last few evenings.

as time goes on - Dunno why it's in all lower case, but... anyway, the song is kind of smooth jazz with lyrics. The lyrics have an odd filter on them, which makes it a little hard to understand unless you're paying attention, but the effect doesn't detract from the actual song at all, strangely enough; in fact, even without understanding the lyrics, the effect is quite beautiful.

Riddles in the Dark - Neat little tune that starts off as a piano solo, turns into an upbeat piano/techno bit, transforms into dark electronica, then back to the upbeat tune. Kind of suffering from identity crisis in places, but still stays coherent enough to be enjoyable.

Standing Up - Slow rock piece with some orchestral backgrounds. It's good, simple, well-done music, I don't know what else to say about it. :)

Sweet Dreams - A beautiful slow jazz tune that reminds me a lot of Yoko Kanno's work on Cowboy Bebop. The kind of music you might find in a romantic comedy's requisite scene of the Meet Cute characters (an Ebertism) spending a day in the snow in the park or whatever. Or at least, in one that wasn't dreck. ;)

Smile and Forgive - A light and cheerful piano/electronica mix that really does seem to wash away bad feelings. It's amazing what good music can do.

Holy Judgement - A hauntingly ethereal tune, reminiscent of the post-flooding and chase music played in the first Ghost In The Shell film, transforming into a more orchestral/rock piece, and ending again with the ethereal electronica. The song is the final boss theme for Tales of Symphonia, and includes some of the character dialog preceding and following the final battle. The dialog is incredibly sad, even out of its context, and that just adds to the haunting quality of the piece.

Anyway, for your enjoyment, the link is here. Hope you all enjoy.
Tags: music, random select

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