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  #1  
Old Mar 14, 2011, 05:31 PM
kyubihanyou kyubihanyou is offline
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Yoshitaka "SAT" Hirota comes from Sonic Shuffle, as does Ryo "I.D." Fukuda (http://vgmdb.net/artist/172).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HH6W5tdpte4#t=8m13s
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  #2  
Old Mar 31, 2012, 08:19 PM
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Anyone want to share their thoughts/opinions on the music of post-Shadow Hearts (or pre- for that matter) Yoshitaka Hirota? You can comment on his entire soundtracks (including unreleased) and/or individual tracks for a multi-artist album. Convince me to search out his relatively unknown pieces/works.

Unreleased Hirota game music apparently includes I think: Saint Seiya Senki (2011 PS3), D.Gray-Man Sousya no Shigaku (2008 PS2), Heracles no Eikou: Tamashii no Shoumei (2008 NDS). I do not know to what extent his involvement in the music is.

Looking at the discography, I see quite a few unfamiliar and probably obscure names/products. I can only comment on (and have heard) the following:

SH1, 2, 3, Arrange, Special Sound CD: It's Shadow Hearts.

ENORMOUS THREAT from Rogue Galaxy Premium Arrange: The usual Hirota sound with Kyoko Kishikawa the "Voice Performer" AKA "gibberish but good-sounding gibberish". Excellent track.

Kinema in the Hole: I don't know what the album is about but it's the usual Hirota + Vocal goodness. It is both heavy (on the bass) and light.

THE PHOENIXION -Extra Mix- (From "Culdcept Saga") from Hyper Game Music Event 2007 EXTRA The Live Album Vol.1: Kyoko Kishikawa teaming up with a few performers, including Hirota on the Bass as usual. Addictive song. I would love to see this live (which it was). Has the video ever been recorded?

One-Winged Bird from Message: Another Hirota + Vocal combination (with Noriko Mitose from Chrono Cross). Mesmerising song.

The Wolf Revealed ~Castlevania: Judgment (Nintendo Wii)~ from Akumajo Dracula Tribute Vol.1: I don't remember listening to this song, even though I did. I'm not implying it's good or bad, just that I don't remember it (which I guess is a bad thing regardless). Update: I've listened to it a few more times since this post but I still don't remember anything about the actual song. Also, in an interview (where he was with his fellow "Earthbound Papas" members), Hirota himself stated that (paraphrased) this song should be forgotten/doesn't exist to him. I guess it worked (forgetting this song). Oh well.

何処までも (Doko made mo) from Yamadan / SPARKING!!!: Another single Yoshitaka song, this time with Yasunori Mitsuda, and this time with a male vocalist. Another good one.

Kagura (Stage 4 1st Half) from GUWANGE Arrange Album + Original Sound Track: is also decent.

Octave Theory: I haven't gotten round to give this one a proper listen yet but I see no reason to be disappointed (if their live performances are of any indication).

Last edited by layzee; May 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM.
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  #3  
Old May 24, 2012, 10:26 AM
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layzee layzee is offline
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Any other Hirota fans? Or are the other things so obscure that no-one else has had a chance to listen to them either?

I'd listen to them with my own ears except they're a bit hard to find (especially for the game music without published soundtracks) so I thought it would be faster to get an idea of what to expect beforehand from people who have already heard it.

Mayhaps not.

Last edited by layzee; May 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM.
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  #4  
Old May 24, 2012, 10:29 AM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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I love the Shadow Hearts soundtracks, but I haven't heard Hirota's other music yet. I'm interested, though.
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  #5  
Old May 24, 2012, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenofan 29A View Post
I love the Shadow Hearts soundtracks, but I haven't heard Hirota's other music yet. I'm interested, though.
For anyone who likes Hirota's style in Shadow Hearts, Kinema in the Hole is the next logical step when it comes to further exploring his discography. However, if you're not a fan of female Japanese vocals (or any type of singing for that matter), then maybe it might not be for you.

After that, you'll be jumping around on random soundtrack albums where he composed just a song or two. Or just see my list above.
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Old May 24, 2012, 10:51 AM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by layzee View Post
For anyone who likes Hirota's style in Shadow Hearts, Kinema in the Hole is the next logical step when it comes to further exploring his discography. However, if you're not a fan of female Japanese vocals (or any type of singing for that matter), then maybe it might not be for you.
The aversion to vocals among video game music fans baffles me. Perhaps it's a reaction to the crappy music on the radio.

Kinema's been on my radar for a while, but imports are so expensive that I have to pick and choose what I buy (and I prefer not to pirate things that are still in print).


I have also heard the soundtrack to Bomberman 64 2, but that was co-composed with ACE and Mitsuda, and I don't know what exactly was Hirota's on it. There's some good music there, but it's nothing really amazing in my book (although Blitz Lunar's a fan, if I remember correctly).

Last edited by Xenofan 29A; May 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM.
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  #7  
Old May 24, 2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
although Blitz Lunar's a fan, if I remember correctly
you do! not as much as Bomberman 64, but good nonetheless.
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  #8  
Old May 24, 2012, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenofan 29A View Post
The aversion to vocals among video game music fans baffles me. Perhaps it's a reaction to the crappy music on the radio.
I don't think it's too entirely baffling. Certainly, I think most people here concur that music on radio can hardly be called music, which is why they turn to video game music which for the most part, consists of strong and solid instrumentals that can stand the test of time (unlike pop music that gets old quick).

Having said that, I guess it depends on each individual album on how the vocals turn out. For example, bad examples of vocal albums include ones where they just sing over the originally instrumental song (e.g. Guilty Gear XX L.A. and GGXX N.Y.). They're bad enough that they're good, but they're still bad. Legimitately good examples of vocal songs are these three Guilty Gear albums.

In general though and personally speaking, I don't consider the human voice to be a musical instrument. (in italics 'cos it's a controversial opinion) I don't care how good the singing is, if it doesn't have good instrumentals behind it, then I cannot listen to it.

Anyway, bringing it back to Kinema in the Hole. It's a vocal album yes, but it's also good (both the singing and the music). Things to expect in this album include the badass "vibrating bass guitar" element (I'm not good with musical terminology) from the best track of Shadow Hearts: From the New World: Dead Fingers Talk. You'll know it when you hear it.

This "vibrating bass" is further explored in ENORMOUS THREAT (Rogue Galaxy Arrange) and on the track, One-Wing Bird. More must-listens for Hirota fans who like his dark and serious tone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenofan 29A View Post
I have also heard the soundtrack to Bomberman 64 2, but that was co-composed with ACE and Mitsuda, and I don't know what exactly was Hirota's on it. There's some good music there, but it's nothing really amazing in my book (although Blitz Lunar's a fan, if I remember correctly).
Hmm, a N64 game from 1999 and a Bomberman game no less?

I'll lower my expectations and hopefully be surprised.
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  #9  
Old May 24, 2012, 12:10 PM
aquagon aquagon is offline
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I haven't yet listened to any of his main works, but I've listened to some of the collaboration works he made with some of my favorite vocalists (Akiko Shikata, Haruka Shimotsuki and Noriko Mitose), and while I'm not a fan of dark-styled music, I've gotta say he's quite an amazing composer.

Among the tracks I personally consider as some of his best composition and arrangement works, I'd mention "Fourth Movement - Madness" (Koboreru Suna no ARIA), "Terpsichora" (Istoria ~Musa~) and "Hanachiruya" (yorlga).
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:20 PM
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I love them Shadow Hearts and Kinema is wonderful too, not your typical vocal album for sure (heavy with dark lyrics).
His misc tracks are great too. If you liked Kinema check his track here, pretty much a "lost" track (yt).

Another obscure game to add to the list is Tsukibito (NDS), which he did fully I think, it had some good tracks (no clips I could find).
He really needs to score something more prominent .

yorlga was a bit meh, but I find Mitose's voice kind of grating (or should I say SHIT? )
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  #11  
Old May 24, 2012, 12:24 PM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by layzee View Post
I don't think it's too entirely baffling. Certainly, I think most people here concur that music on radio can hardly be called music, which is why they turn to video game music which for the most part, consists of strong and solid instrumentals that can stand the test of time (unlike pop music that gets old quick).
It's music, in my view, just bad music. But music nonetheless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by layzee
In general though and personally speaking, I don't consider the human voice to be a musical instrument. (in italics 'cos it's a controversial opinion) I don't care how good the singing is, if it doesn't have good instrumentals behind it, then I cannot listen to it.
For my own opinion, I would rewrite this to be "if it is not well-composed, I cannot listen to it, no matter how well-performed". I have no problem with a capella music, but vocal jazz is my least favorite type, that's for sure.
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:24 PM
aquagon aquagon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
yorlga was a bit meh, but I find Mitose's voice kind of grating (or should I say SHIT? )
Which is quite insulting to those that actually like her singing, and her abilities as a lyricist (myself included).
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:25 PM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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How? It's just his opinion. I like Mitose's singing, and I don't feel offended.
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  #14  
Old May 24, 2012, 12:27 PM
aquagon aquagon is offline
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Getting something you like called "shit" or lower feels insulting to me. Sorry if that means I'm hypersensitive.
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  #15  
Old May 24, 2012, 12:30 PM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquagon View Post
Getting something you like called "shit" or lower feels insulting to me. Sorry if that means I'm hypersensitive.
If he says your tastes are shit or calls you personally shit then I understand, but just saying that he doesn't like her voice (and the last bit was, I felt, thrown in mainly because layzee asked for it earlier) shouldn't be all that offensive.
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:33 PM
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Now now, just kidding is all, since the DRAMA is so strong these days.

I do find her tone of voice kind of unnerving, I think it's her peculiar pitch. Not her singing ability certainly.

Now let's go back to loving Hirota
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  #17  
Old May 24, 2012, 02:19 PM
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I really really love Sonic Shuffle's music, but I'm pretty sure I'm in the vast minority on that, and I think five other people worked on that soundtrack besides Hirota so who knows how much he actually wrote.
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Old May 24, 2012, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by layzee View Post
For anyone who likes Hirota's style in Shadow Hearts, Kinema in the Hole is the next logical step when it comes to further exploring his discography. However, if you're not a fan of female Japanese vocals (or any type of singing for that matter), then maybe it might not be for you.

After that, you'll be jumping around on random soundtrack albums where he composed just a song or two. Or just see my list above.
Is it like the female vocal style Mitsuda uses often? (Since he worked him on some projects, I'm assuming at least their styles mesh some what.) I only know the music to Shadow Hearts and Bomberman 64, admittedly only because Mitsuda worked on these.
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Old May 24, 2012, 03:48 PM
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They really should let Hirota again compose for somewhat big game, and not let him waste his talents on boring albums like Kinema or Yorlga. Especially when those seem to be bit more concept albums and sung in japanese which makes the whole listening annoying when you don't know the story behind the album.
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Old May 24, 2012, 04:02 PM
aquagon aquagon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razakin View Post
They really should let Hirota again compose for somewhat big game, and not let him waste his talents on boring albums like Kinema or Yorlga. Especially when those seem to be bit more concept albums and sung in japanese which makes the whole listening annoying when you don't know the story behind the album.
If the album as a whole turns out good, I wouldn't mind him to continue working on them, such as some other composers like Kenji Ito, Michiko Naruke or Noriyuki Iwadare have been doing. Plus, for the people that don't understand Japanese, there are some others that take the time to translate the lyrics and info about the world concept and stories they tell.
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Old May 24, 2012, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dag View Post
Another obscure game to add to the list is Tsukibito (NDS), which he did fully I think, it had some good tracks (no clips I could find).
He really needs to score something more prominent .
Apparently that's obscure enough to not be listed on the Wikipedia page either. So I guess I'll add that to the list (of Hirota stuff that needs listening to).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
yorlga was a bit meh, but I find Mitose's voice kind of grating
I haven't heard of that particular album yet but as a person who only listens to Japanese music and is used to female singers, even I found her voice on "One-Winged Bird" to be a little too high for my tastes, as good as that track is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dag View Post
(or should I say SHIT? )
By the way, for those of you don't get the "joke", due to the perceived lack of actual album discussions on vgmdb, I invited people to this thread. I was inspired to encourage people to begin their opinions with "x is shit" since, as evidenced by the Soukaigi thread, that is apparently an effective way of stirring debate/responses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dissident93 View Post
Is it like the female vocal style Mitsuda uses often? (Since he worked him on some projects, I'm assuming at least their styles mesh some what.) I only know the music to Shadow Hearts and Bomberman 64, admittedly only because Mitsuda worked on these.
I suppose you could say that Kinema in the Hole and Kirite (by Mitsuda) share some similarities. Both are concept non-video game albums that pair a video game music composer with a female singer. As for the vocals itself, I'm not the right sort of person to analyse it (to me, vocals are just vocals), but I don't see any major differences. But as saidearlier, some parts of KitH are a bit darker in tone (unlike Kirite which is mostly relaxing), and likewise, the singing sounds quite a bit more, for lack of better words, "edgy" and "emotional". If one likes Hirota's music and has a reasonably open mind, then I don't see why anyone would dislike the album.
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Old Jun 23, 2012, 03:11 AM
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Hirota doesn't like his Akumajo Tribute remix? I remember the small piano bridge around the 2:50 mark but I wouldn't say the track is completely forgetful, though it is definitely not on par with Enormous Threat.

Last edited by Argentis; Jun 23, 2012 at 03:14 AM.
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  #23  
Old Jul 1, 2012, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argentis View Post
Hirota doesn't like his Akumajo Tribute remix? I remember the small piano bridge around the 2:50 mark but I wouldn't say the track is completely forgetful, though it is definitely not on par with Enormous Threat.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7VzLXPubT8 (53:00)
Closer view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJjBlZUbwDw (51:30)

A person directs a question to all Earthbound Papa members asking which music they would personally like to arrange, using Hirota's arrange from one of the recent Akumajou Dracula Tribute albums as an example.

Shortly after the question is asked, it looks like Hirota said something (his exact words aren't audible for either video) making the other members laugh, and the interpreter tells the audience: "He said that doesn't exist... or so I was told".

If the translation was correct and "that" refers to the aforementioned arranged Akumajou Dracula track by Hirota, I can only assume that he isn't exactly proud of that contribution.




Anyway, I got around to listening to the "yorlga" album at least 5 times before making a decision on whether I like the album: Yes, I do. I had to do the same thing with Yuzo Koshiro's Wangan Midnight: Maximum Tune 4 (and before that, 3). Sometimes you have to give an album a few goes before you can discover its intricacies (or lack of).

This album is more similar to Yasunori Mitsuda's Kirite than the later Kinema in the Hole. Compared to KitH, which is definitely Hirota's "voice"/style, yorlga has a slight Mitsuda influence, most of it coming from the very first track The World is a Movie Inside My Eyes (セカイは僕の睛の中の映画).

Having said that, Hirota fans coming from Shadow Hearts should be able to find something to like here. In fact, the riff from the first few seconds of What Lurks at The Bottom of Another World (異界の底に棲むモノは) sounds like it was played from the same guitar that played the first few seconds of Mauve, a battle theme from Shadow Hearts: From the New World. The strange-sounding voice from Kagura (Stage 4 1st Half) (Guwange Arrange) also finds it way here in the form of a short intermission instrumental track Circulation(inst.).

Aquagon's favourite track on this album, Blossom-falling Night (桜散ル夜~ハナチルヤ~), also ended up being one of mine too. I'm a fan of unconventional approaches to music like One-Winged Bird so my other favourite was Narcolepsy (眠り病). It also has the added quality of being slow and unassuming for more than 2 minutes before building up to a climax halfway.

Fortunately, Noriko Mitose's voice register in this album did not reach the highs heard in One-Wing Bird, though in one or two tracks (Track #1 and #4), they can still be potentially uncomfortably high. That's coming from a person used to Japanese female singing so your mileage and tolerance level may vary. Actually that's another reason I like the Narcolepsy track: the atmosphere/mood of the song does not allow her the opportunity to hit the high notes (for the first half at least).

Overall, for true Hirota fans, this album is essential listening. For casual Hirota fans, Shadow Hearts music fans (as opposed to the-musician-Hirota-himself-fan), and everyone else, proceed at your own risk.



I also gave the Earthbound Papas album "Octave Theory" a few goes. Since this isn't solely a Hirota work, I'll make just a few comments about it. This album has mixed reviews so far. This album also sounds similar to The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight, which also had mixed reviews. I liked THB3, therefore, I liked this too.

There's nothing wrong with the music in the first track Introduction ~Octopus Theory but the "singing"/gibberish or the voice samples sounds quite weird. In fact, the first thing that came to my mind was the Hanjuku Hero 3D OST of all places, in particular it reminded me of the voice samples from PICK DA RAP 4 GIRLZ, a similarly unusual song (then again, the entire album and the game itself is unusual).

The Japanese vocal version of Eternity has some novelty value but otherwise unremarkable, neither better nor worse than the English original. The rest of the arranged tracks are competently done and at least worth listening if you're bored with the originals, but again, nothing particularly earth-shatteringly new.

I came to this album for the arranges but I think it's reasonable to say that most people left this album with the same star track as I did: Metal Hypnotized, a non-arrange original composition.
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