Yoko Shimomura

Listening: Super Smash Bros - Route 10

Composer: Shota Kageyama

Arranger: Yoko Shimomura

Sure has been a while since I've posted. Taking translating tests and moving (first countries, then states) takes a lot of time... go figure!

In any case, I'm currently suffering from a lack of 2v2 Smash 4 in my life, so I'm looking to the OST to help stave off my urge to forward-air hapless folks off the stage (2014-2016 Ft. Shulk).

Anyone remotely familiar with the Smash series can tell you it has always had a rich musical history, calling back first to Nintendo's own classics, and later branching out all over the place with tons and tons of outstanding arrangements. Because I am shamelessly biased towards Yoko Shimomura though, I'm compelled to draw attention to her fantastic reworking of Shota Kageyama's Route 10 theme from Pokemon Black/White. I've only ever experienced post-Red/Blue/Yellow Pokemon games through their music (which is lovely), but I've always been a fan of the original Route 10 theme. The choice of instruments in Shimomura's arrangement of course bears the unmistakable mark of her stringwork, but thanks to the original melody, it has a distinct flavor from her other recent work.

Also seriously, that piano that begins around 54 seconds is amazing. Go enjoy it.

Music: V.D. Vanishment Day OST

Is it a day of Vanishment? Or a Vanishmented Day? We may never know.

Is it a day of Vanishment? Or a Vanishmented Day? We may never know.

I missed this album when it came out a few months ago (probably also because I completely missed the game. Stepping outside my usual utter adoration for Shimomura's work, I'd say the biggest "criticism" I have for V.D. Vanishment Day's OST is that it's very much evocative of all of the characteristics modern Shimomura music tends to have, perhaps without really diversifying or venturing outside that realm. Simply stated, it's a bit safe. That said, intense strings, great (and prominent) piano, and a very Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance-esque sound to the major battle themes (Rock on the Heaven!) make it a strong, if familiar album. Built a Fire, the tune I've sampled here, runs a bit more along the lines of Cavern of Remembrance from Kingdom Hearts II.5. One of the most entrancing parts about it, I find, is the steady, almost droning consistency of the bassier notes on the piano, thrumming in the background for the duration of the track.

The second tune I've sampled, The Tempest, is both awesome (he said without a hint of favoritism) and completely similar to Dark Impetus from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep Final Mix. Of course, the songs aren't identical, but I'm pretty sure even a quick listen would tell you that there's some clear inspiration for the newer tune. 

In any case, if you have any love of Yoko Shimomura's modern work, seek out a copy of V.D. Vanishment Day and give it a listen. I suspect you will not be disappointed.