Beautiful World: Beautiful Music

For anyone who might have missed it, I am a huge film and video game buff (shameless plug: you can check out my entertainment blog here!), and that love for film and gaming also stems into soundtracks.

In a way, I think that soundtracks have slightly made classical music "cool". It's generally not considered cool to say that you like Pavane, or Beethoven's 5th Symphony. Yet, it's not quite as bad to say that you're loving the Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack, which is ultimately a collection of classical music. Of course not all soundtracks are considered classical.

Over on Entertained, I run a series of posts called "Top Six", where I list my Top Six favourite whatever I'm talking about in that specific post, and as a little dedication, I've decided that as part of this weeks Beautiful World post, to share my Top Six Film and Game Soundtracks. This is the entire soundtrack, I'm not going to pick out individual songs, however.

So, here goes. Enjoy:

Six. Final Fantasy X-2

As a die-hard fan of the Final Fantasy games, I can practically feel the negativity towards this inclusion, purely because from a traditionalist point of view, X-2 is not considered one of the greatest of the (sort of) main games. But, I love the game, and I love the soundtrack even more.

The interesting thing about this games and its soundtrack is that, as far as I'm aware, it was the first Final Fantasy that was produced by Square Enix (Final Fantasy X and its predecessors) were all produced by Squaresoft, before that company merged Enix. The difference in the sound is clearly evident in the soundtrack, which still embodies the classical element that Squaresoft were renowned for, but with a lot more joviality to it.

However, the part of the soundtrack that I appreciate the most is the inclusion of songs that are very J-Pop. Squaresoft had toyed with J-Pop in small doses with Faye Wong's Eyes on Me from Final Fantasy VIII, but X-2 used a lot more of it.

Tracks I Love:

  • 1000 Words (including the instrumental version)
  • Real Emotion
  • Abyss of the Farplane

Five. The Hunger Games

There are actually two soundtracks for the first Hunger Games film, but I'm actually referring predominantly to the Score Soundtrack, that features instrumental music from the actual film. Although, there are a couple of pieces that do not appear in the film, and several that have been omitted from the soundtrack, which I find a little sad.

Anyone who has seen The Hunger Games, or even read the books, will know that this is all about high tension and action, and the soundtrack adds to that so beautifully. The music makes your heart race when Katniss' will be, or feel a sense of sadness or happiness alongside the main character, and I love how soundtracks can do that.

Read my full review here.

Tracks I Love:

  • The Train (this is a track so full of intrigue, but at the same time is so sad)
  • Rue's Farewell
  • We Could Go Home

Tracks I Love from the "other" Soundtrack:

  • Abraham's Daughter - Arcade Fire

Four. Sucker Punch

With heavy comparisons to video games such as Final Fantasy, I'm really not surprised that I liked this film. The soundtrack, however, isn't exactly classical, in fact, it isn't at all.

The Sucker Punch Soundtrack takes popular songs by artists such as Queen, Eurythmics, The Smiths etc and revamped them to fit in with the style of the film, as well as what was going on at the time, and this worked incredibly well. Of course fitting music to the action is the norm in films, but I think that doing it through popular music is a brilliant way of doing it.

Read Chris' Sucker Punch review here.

Tracks I Love:

  • Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
  • Where is my Mind?
  • Asleep

Three. Final Fantasy VII

For the record, Final Fantasy VII is not my favourite game in the series, but it does score highly when it comes to the soundtrack.

A few years back, Square Enix celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the game with a selection of sequels and spin-off's, including Advent Children (Film), Before Crisis (Mobile Phone Game), Dirge of Cerberus (First Person Shoot-em-up), Last Order (Anime) and my personal favourite Crisis Core (PSP Game).

Each of the spin-off's, but most essentially Advent Children and Crisis Core featured re-vamped versions of much of the music that featured in the original game, modernising it and bringing it to an existing as well as a new audience.

This was the first game that I ever played that actually had a proper soundtrack, and I'm so glad that this was the first one, because the music is so enchanting, dramatic and beautiful. It sets the level incredibly high, and for the best part, very few games other than Final Fantasy beats the series on soundtrack.

Tracks I Love:

  • One-Winged Angel
  • Aeris' Theme (or Aerith's Theme, depending which game you're playing)
  • Shinra Company

Two. Transformers

Similar to The Hunger Games, Transformers also has two soundtracks, one for the bands that feature in the film, and another for the overall score. For this, I'm referring to the score.

I absolutely love the score to this film, because it re-introduced me to the awesomeness of "classic" films scores, that I think have faded out a little bit over the past few decades, but appear to have made a resurgence with recent blockbusters including the recent Batman films opting for a more traditional orchestral affair.

Initially, only the band soundtrack was released, however following a huge campaign by fans, the score was released for download, although at first it was a complete nightmare to get hold of. Learning from the success of the first films score, both of the sequels saw the score being released alongside the band albums

Tracks I Love:

  • Arrival To Earth
  • Bumblebee Captured
  • Autobots

One. Tron Legacy

There aren't many film soundtracks that are (almost) completely put together my one artist or group, rather than a Composer, but Tron Legacy is the best of the small bunch, as Daft Punk did an incredible job creating a score that fit both into the 1980s era of music, within which the world of Tron was of course set, but also fitting in with modern audiences.

The soundtrack packs a lot of punch, and not being a fan of the group, has made me appreciate the talent of Daft Punk as this is the only album of theirs that I have been able to like, personally.

For me, this score is beautifully crafted and adds a sense of epicness to the overall feel of the film. Daft Punk certainly did an amazing job. Although it is alleged (I don't know if it is true), that Composer Hans Zimmer played a big part in putting the album together, but I couldn't find any real evidence, other than general hearsay and the fact that Daft Punk thanks Hans Zimmer for his "generosity" in the liner notes. The idea apparently is that Daft Punk would be more likely to sell a soundtrack to a modern audience. However, if this is the real reason, I'd like to point people towards what happened with the score for the first Transformers film!!

Tracks I Love:

  • Overture
  • The Grid
  • Nocturne
  • Flynn Lives
  • TRON Legacy (End Titles)
  • Finale

TRON Legacy: End Titles

For the other half of my Barefoot Girl/Entertained cross over, check out my Top Six: Make Up in Film Transformations over on Entertained :)

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This entry was posted on Sunday, 16 September 2012 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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