Tag Archives: Lightning

SPECIAL REVIEW!!! The Music of Final Fantasy 13

The OST, with main character Lightning on the front. I gotta say, her character has grown on me over time, but she's nothing compared to Fang. ❤

I felt like doing this write-up because I’m such a loser for FFXIII these days. I don’t play it, don’t know how to play it, and don’t pretend to know how to play it so I’m sort of a poser fan. My experience with the game involves me shoving the PS3 controller into my fiance’s hands and saying “play it.” Yes, I have enslaved my own fiance just so I can watch him play this game for hours on end while I drool at it like a babbling idiot. And I don’t think he minds it much. 🙂

What’s funny is that I totally hated the game at first, would roll my eyes when my fiance turned it on, and went off and buried myself in Pokemon. I thought the game, despite having great graphics, was over-the-top and had storylines that were so nauseating that it turned my stomach. This is because I had never fully understood how Final Fantasy works. Its nothing like the games I’m used to playing, where you have a clear objective, you go do it, and then its over. When you play a Final Fantasy game, you live it. You feel like you’re best friends with all the characters just because they become so believable as the game progresses.

Okay, ranting aside, and on to the review.

The music of Final Fantasy XIII was composed by Masashi Hamauzu, and it is a far cry from the music we were used to Nobuo Uematsu cranking out. Because FFXIII takes place in a more futuristic society, the music reflects that. The battle theme for the game is really rock-ish with some heavy thumping guitar driving the beat. The battle theme has some elegant, yet still really contemporary strings in it, which screams classic FF but with a twist. My favorite song from the game is called Will to Fight and is the music from the Fifth Ark dungeon. Its a very hard and tense song, but also incorporates harp and some angelic vocals. I loved the contrast here, because it really works and doesn’t seem strained. You can listen to Will to Fight here:

Not every song in the game is modern sounding. There are some that sound like older FF pieces. Examples include The Promise, which is absolutely beautiful and breathtaking, like we expect FF songs to be. Another orchestral piece is Fang’s Theme, which is a strong and confident number and totally captures the aura of butt-kicking Amazoness Fang. She is totally my hero.

Another song worth mentioning is Sazh’s Theme. Sazh is a ridiculously cool character because he’s got super powered guns and a BABY CHOCOBO which lives in his afro. How much more crazy awesome could you be? Sazh’s Theme is a smooth and jazzy piece which is really unique, I thought.

In Conclusion: The OST for Final Fantasy XIII is four discs, so there’s no way I’m going to cover each track in detail. NO WAY. Just trust me in saying that all the music is great, and is a seamless blend of old and new. I think the music is part of the reason I love the game so much.

~Alisa~

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Filed under Sakurayume's Collection, Special Articles

“Man-Like Creatures” -Straightener

Straightener is a really cool band. Their experimental sound has yet to be matched.

Track 1: Man-Like Creatures- This song is mainly driven by the drums. The beats are rather unique and frame the guitar and plaintive vocals really well. It is a more relaxed breed of alt rock, and sparkles with an electric voice that seems to leap out of the song and surround you as you listen. About three minutes into the song, it becomes significantly harder and the guitar overpowers both vocals and drums in a pulse-pounding race towards the end. Some really nice falsetto comes in the last fifteen seconds and its done. Highly recommended!

Track 2: Toneless Twilight- You already know how much I hate b-sides, but Straightener normally provides ones of (at least) decent quality. If you’ve ever heard “Dive” from the single “Melodic Storm” then you know that b-sides from Straightener usually sound like they were actually thought out, not slapped together in five seconds. This has some beautiful piano, a great melody, and a thrilling guitar track. This is like a continuation of “Broken Youth” by NICO Touches the Walls. Very enjoyable, and flows very nicely after the first song.

Track 3: Man-Like Creatures (Aus Mix)- Meh. I’m never much for remixes…

(the single also contains instrumentals of the first two tracks)

In Conclusion- “Man-Like Creatures” is an amazingly strong release from Straightener. Both the a-side and the b-side support each other and work together nicely. Its worth a listen.

~Alisa~

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Filed under Japanese Rock, Sakurayume's Collection