Hello, and welcome to my review/listening guide of the third disc of Final Fantasy IX: Worlds Apart, the remix album from the sonic wizards over at OverClocked ReMix!
I’ll be going through, track-by-track, and rating them on a 1-5 “Steiner Scale”, along with giving a few thoughts on why I rated them so. You can listen along on SoundCloud or download the album yourself at ff9.ocremix.org!
A Rose in the Storm (Roses of May)
Natalya Zarraga feat. Seth Tallman
Man. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad “Roses of May” remix (and trust me, I have sought out many). This mix is no exception – methodical, cathartic, with a nice little breakdown in the middle. Nice use of harp. Fuckin’ love harp.
Dig This Fossil (Fossil Roo)
Y’know, out of the entire OST, Fossil Roo is one of the few I’m relatively “meh” on (it’s still Uematsu, so it is still, by definition, perfect… but you know what I mean). This remix is definitely an interesting take, but it doesn’t really have the “wow” factor, nor does it make me look at the original song in a new way. Still good enough for three Steiners, though.
Rally-ho! (Conde Petit)
Moomba feat. Fishy
Dude. Fishy rules. I don’t look at the artists before I write these, but color me unsurprised that he (along with Moomba) took this remix and kicked its ass. I thought I was going to fall asleep in the beginning, but they came back strong with some grade-A remixing starting about a minute in.
Fixations (Before the Altar)
LOVED IT. Made me feel like I was at the (fake?) wedding in Conde Petit. Great take on a song which, had they fucked it up, I would’ve been quite saddened indeed. This one tugs at the nostalgic heartstrings.
Blakk Majik (Black Mage Village)
Brandon Strader, Jeff Ball
Another song that, while well-executed, doesn’t seem to allow the true tone of the original song to shine through.
OH WAIT WUBUBUUWBUWUWUWUUBUBBIIES
+1 for dubby-wubbies. They’re used to great effect, adding a layer of quirkiness that would have been lost had they gone with the more-aggressive guitar sound for the whole song.
+1 for having a Wicker Man reference. WELP, I started this review at a 3, now it’s a 5. Whoops.
I Am Gonna Stop Eventually (Unforgettable Sorrow)
Utterly fantastic. It really packs that “I just realized that I’m going to die one day” emotional punch. Very sad, as it should be.
Plus, I’m a sucker for solo piano. Sue me.
I’ll Always Be There (Eiko’s Theme)
Aside from the creepy whispers that sound more serial killer-y than like friendly reassurance, I thought this was a great remix. Relatively light and bouncy, but with a tone of sadness, just like the character. Flexstyle did a great job. Highly recommended.
Iifa, the Super Tree of Death (Iifa, the Ancient Tree of Life)
You can tell that this one’s by ch4rl33 immediately – sounds just like Knight-wit. And, if you remember my review of that remix, that’s not a bad thing.
ch4rl33 does a great job of keeping the foreboding of the Iifa Tree, while adding his own dubby-wubby, constantly-morphing flavor to the music. Another ch4rl33 remix, another 5/5 on my board.
Assassimander (Amarant’s Theme)
OH NO, CH4RL33 GOT SOMETHING LESS THAN A FIVE! GASP!
Don’t get me wrong – Assassimander. In fact, the more I listen to it, the more it grows on me; hell, it might be a five in my book sometime soon. I don’t think it carries the same glorious epicene that his previous two offerings provide, however. It may look like I just give out fives willy-nilly, and sometimes I do, but I can be picky; I expect a lot from ch4rl33 now, and with that comes higher expectations. Four out of five.
Four Score and Six-Eight (Tetra Master)
Speaking of high expectations, I have them for djpretzel. On a lesser album, perhaps I’d give this a four, but surrounded by the other stellar offerings, “Four Score and Six-Eight” musters no more than a three. It’s definitely good; it’s definitely worth multiple listens; it’s not as good as many of the other songs on this album.
Miles and Miles Away (Esto Gaza)
Man. After my FFVI reviews, if you had told me that XPRTNovice wouldn’t get a 5/5 on this album, I would’ve said you were crazy. But, hey, here we are.
This remix was quite close, actually – I looooooove smooth jazz, and this shit is smooth as a baby’s bottom wrapped in silk and dipped into a vat of liquid velvet. Unfortunately, it didn’t have the “wow” factor; it never blew me away. It worked great with the tone of Esto Gaza, but it’s squarely in the 4/5 range.
When Love Must Be Saved (Broken Spell, Healed Hearts)
It took a few minutes, but this remix came into its own… eventually. Kinda. Before the halfway point, this thing was headed straight for Onesville. Honestly, I was just bored to tears. It picks up a bit towards the end, however, and earns a bump in my rating. Nothing special, but okay.
The Final Melody (Melodies of Life)
Jovette Rivera feat. ISAO
There are a few things you need to know about me: one, I’ve been looking forward to this album for years; two, the FFIX OST is quite possibly my favorite musical piece of all time; three, if you fuck up a remix of Melodies of Life, there will be hell to pay.
Luckily, Jovette Rivera knocks it out of the park, yo. 5/5. Listen. Love. Listen again. Love more. Repeat.
Through Sun-drenched Skies (Aboard the Hilda Garde)
Dude, Archangel is really fucking good. The whimsy and glory of the original song is balanced and mirrored perfectly in this remix, while the artist definitely makes it their own. That dude with all the umlauts in his name from Disc 1 may just have a competition in the MVP discussion for this album.
Bibliotheca ~ Dreamer in the Library (Daguerreo, the Hermit’s Library)
So remember that time (read: those many, many times) I called katethegreat19’s voice gorgeous? Yeah, well, it is. And it remains so throughout this song. The music is perfect for Daguerreo, one of my personal favorite locations in the entire game. A fuckin’ library city thing built into a mountain? How fuckin’ cool is that?
Anyway, yeah, five. A fantastic run of songs to end the third of four discs.