To be completely honest, I usually don’t listen to a lot of videogame music unless I’m hearing it as I play the game. For me, there’s plenty of other things to listen to–currently digging Freelance Whales and lots of Connie Francis and Regina Spektor–and if I was to generalize, I’d say that a good portion of videogame tunes are unlistenable when they stand alone.
That said, I simply adore the soundtrack from Chrono Cross, the 2000 follow-up to Chrono Trigger. Composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the official soundtrack features 67 tracks spanned across three CDs, hitting about three hours of music in total. That’s a whole lot more tunes than some games get. A few tracks subtly recall themes from Chrono Trigger, but it’s the new stuff formed for Chrono Cross that really make it unique, memorable. I’ve found it’s wonderful background music for drawing and writing, ranging from up-tempo town songs to battle music to somber undertones.
My personal favorite is titled “Reminiscence ~ Sentiments which Cannot be Erased,” a haunting piece of piano and echoes. Please listen to it as you continue on with today’s post:
One of the hardest things to write about is music. I know this for a fact; as a journalist for my college paper and alternative zine, I covered concerts and new album releases. These ranged from holiday choir specials to the latest Butch Walker CD to seeing a bunch of bands play live at summer festivals. At times, it was a grueling task. Describing how music is heard, understood, taken to heart–it’s a complex process, and it can be very hard to not seem overenthusiastic or fanboyish or simply in love with pretty sounds. Plus, how can I, someone who can’t sing, really critique those that can? So, yeah…writing about music has its tricks. It can also lead to pretty lazy sentences like, “The drums were totally kicking!” Not that I did that, ever, but the temptation to play it slack was always there. Music is meant to be heard, not read.
For this post, it’s best if I just link you to some of the finer moments from Chrono Cross‘ soundtrack:
“Dream of the Shore Bordering (Another World)”
I’ve heard a lot about Chrono Cross, particularly the soundtrack Sexy Videogameland recently praised it to hell and back. It’s a game I know literally nothing about, save for the fact it sounds great.
As for my own favourite gaming soundtracks – Metal Gear Solid is certainly up there. I love everything about the game, absolutely everything. I have the soundtrack on CD, every time I hear a track it takes me back to that moment, that specific battle. There’s some great action packed tracks – Hind D. Then the beauty of Enclosure. The intrigue of Discovery/Cavern and Matnis’ Hymn. And of course the splendour of End Title/The Best is yet to come.
I’m also lucky enough to own the Red Dead Redemption OST on limited edition vinyl. It’s a damn cool product and an epic soundtrack. The tracks barely stop moving. There’s a relentless rolling theme throughout. The vocal tracks are especially wonderful too, particularly Jamie Lidell’s Compass.
Also, just gonna throw this out there – PaRappa The Rapper…
Metal Gear Solid certainly had an epic soundtrack, like something more comfortable in a big budget film production. I still remember the music escalating in the elevator as the credits finally come on, and the game truly begins. Powerful stuff!
I cannot agree more. I’ve never played it, but CC has one of the best soundtracks ever.
However, I do listen to music from games outside of the game; in fact, a majority of the music on my music player originates in some way from a game.
Pingback: Harle, wilt thou leave me thus? | Grinding Down
Pingback: Grinding Down’s Chrono Cross week – Music | Grinding Down