Songs of the Week (September 7, 2013)
Unexplained absences are my favorite thing in the whole wide world. Now, don’t get me wrong here: the so-called “necessities” that we human beings require in order to continue functioning are pretty great too, but somehow things like clean drinking water or a properly functioning circulatory system always seems to pale in comparison to the tantalizing allure of an unexplained absence. You see, when it comes to a regular absence, you’re guaranteed to get the general idea of why somebody has disappeared from the spotlight. You’re more or less told exactly why this person’s output has ceased and that’s the end of it. Of course, this is almost certainly never the case when it comes to an unexplained absence. Whenever somebody suddenly up and leaves without any sort of warning whatsoever, all that’s left for their audience to do is to piece together a vague what if using the missing person’s persona and whatever else they’ve left behind in their wake as a reference. One could quite literally come up with a limitless amount of possibilities as to where their favorite author or beloved Grandmother might have run off to and not a single one of them can be proven wrong, the laws of the universe withstanding. Quite simply, the absentee could be doing anything and nobody can say otherwise. It is for that reason that I adore unexplained absences and why I also believe that they’re a whole heck of a lot more interesting than the actual explanation as to why FFR’s front page post have stagnated over the past few months or so.
Now that we’ve gotten that business out of the way, how about we get this show on the road?
grass-green holiday by w_tre (Silvuh) – Light  / 1:54 / Classical / Easy Listening
Her Majesty by naotyu- (bmah) – Expert  / 2:13 / Dance2 / Progressive Breaks
Medley Rush #2 by Hideki Naganuma (Charu) – Very Challenging  / 3:54 / Purchased (2000 Credits) / Breakbeats
Taking Wing by Assertive Fluttershy (Xiz) – Tricky  / 1:30 / Dance / Happy Hardcore
We begin this (presumably) long-awaited writeup with grass-green holiday, a fairly nonchalant instrumental piece from w_tre, an artist with an apparent aversion to using anything but lowercase letters and underscores. As you can imagine from a file that resides in the lowest 20% of the difficulty spectrum, Silvuh ensures that the “easy” part of the song’s Easy Listening specification remains true throughout by employing a relatively light layering scheme that has contains only a few dashes of spice that arise in the form of a pervasive swing tempo and a bit of syncopation near the file’s conclusion. It’s calm, it’s easy, and– perhaps most importantly of all– it’s fun for everyone. Go and play it if you’re a fan of fun things.
Up next we have Her Majesty by naotyu-, an artist that despite having had songs on FFR since 2008 hasn’t earned all that much notoriety compared to other longtime musical mainstays. Could this soon change though? Could Her Majesty turn out to be such an incredible combination of musical ingenuity and stepfile mastery that both naotyu- and bmah are propelled into everlasting worship by the rhythm gaming community as a whole? It’s possible! The structure of the file itself is fairly straightforward, the likes of which peppered with the occasional color flourish for accenting purposes and climactic jumpjack chains that will probably catch you off-guard your first time through, unless of course you read this post beforehand. Or maybe you’re just so good at this game that you’ll get a sightread AAA and scoff at me and my close-minded views. Only one way to find out, right?
Our penultimate release of the week is Medley Rush #2 by Hideki Naganuma. Some of you beautiful readers out there might recognize Hideki as the man responsible for the equal parts funky and eclectic Jet Set Radio and Sonic Rush soundtracks. This release clocks in as the longest of this week’s batch, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise considering that the word “Medley” is right there in the title. Set your mind to autopilot as you tip-tap away at Charu’s lovingly crafted stepchart and enjoy a tasting of the many delights that Sonic Rush’s soundtrack has to offer, some pieces of which you may recognize thanks to them having already appeared on FFR beforehand. Some lengthier runs of 16th jumpstream and a few one-handed trills coupled with a protracted song length and higher than average note count make pulling off a good score on this difficult. Never fear though! I’m certain that you, the person that’s reading these words right now, will do fine…just so long as you can manage to cough up the required price of 2000 credits to unlock it first.
After two somewhat difficult releases have given our fingers a more than adequate workout, we wind things down and enter our cool down phase with the final release of the week, Taking Wing. If the artist name Assertive Fluttershy or the posting habits of the artist’s alter-ego megamon88 weren’t a big tell, Taking Wing is one amongst many in the ever growing library of My Little Pony remixes out there. Xiz, the file’s stepartist, employs a simplistic layering structure that serves as a subtle callback to the files of yesteryear. No color scheme switches, BPM gimmicks, hands, or sprawling song lengths can be found here. Instead, what you’re given is the basis to enjoy a highly energetic happy hardcore song without any of the fancier bells and whistles that might prevent emerging players from doing so. And in the end, isn’t that what this country was founded upon in the first place?
That’s it for this week! Since it’s been a little while since our last meeting, allow me to remind you that you can leave your thoughts, comments and criticisms in either the corresponding Songs of the Week thread on the forums or in the comments section of this post. Artists usually appreciate getting a pat on the back from somebody that enjoyed their work or some constructive pointers on how they can improve their work from somebody that wasn’t quite as fond of their release, especially if this is only their second in-game files, so why don’t you go and do so? Because you don’t feel like it? Because you don’t have an opinion? Because you thought that you could skip town and have all of your debt and ghosts somehow magically disappear, just like that? I don’t think so, pal. Keep your hands where I can see ‘em.
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