2021 in musical key – Market Research Telecast

There are already so many consecrated composers who must be listened to each year, that a review of what they have given in recent months may well arise from these names who have been active in the most prominent titles. In the end, it is talents like Gareth Coker, Peter McConnell or Keiichi Okabe who lead the stick in what we hear most in the video games of the year, but there are always surprises in a panorama that leaves no one indifferent no matter how predisposed we are already to everything. With that premise in mind, we’re going to tackle what this course has delivered on its own, handing out our awards and honorable mentions to what has struck us best over the past twelve months.

Deny Replicant: the (umpteenth) confirmation of a great.

Keiichi Okabe is one of those songwriters who have always been around, even though it was actually 2017 thanks to Nier: Automata When his name began to gain the attention of a wider audience, so no one is surprised that his compositions for Nier: Replicant – retouched or not compared to the original Nier – are once again among the best of this course. The perfect fusion between oriental melodies, the voice of singer Emi Evans and the meaning – sometimes epic, sometimes intimate – of Okabe’s compositions elevates everything to a sensational level. Music cuts through almost every state of mind that Yoko Taro’s robots go through, giving new life to one of those soundtracks that we never tire of hearing outside of the game. -we found the rewards that this course received more deserved, deserved in our opinion for an Okabe who is comfortable in this universe which makes it sound the way you want it to. While we may like what sounds in Nier: Automata more, we may be facing the most essential OST of the year.

The big surprise

There are games, like Nier, whose music can be listened to enthusiastically off-screen, but The Artful Escape is something different, rarely seen. It’s not that we like the music in the game more or less, but that the resulting album sounds – we recommend that you listen to it from start to finish disconnected from any screen – as a sort of what if in which Bob Dylan would have embraced the British progressive rock of the 70s. Forgetting the indigestion of nostalgia but with a lot of melodic inspiration in return, Johny Galvatron and Josh Abrams have a blast with brightly colored virtuoso instrumentation that members of Yes, Genesis or King Crimson would approve of. Moreover, everything is so integrated into the game and its storytelling that it will have to speak for years to scholars about the subject. An absolute surprise which fits perfectly with the proposals of Annapurna, who this time seems to want to go further with the music than with the video game itself.

Pianos and bad vibes at Ender Lilies.

Although there are those who vehemently deny it, Nintendo redefined the use of the piano in video game music with those notes that sounded when occasionally in Zelda Breath of the Wild. Around the same time, Christophe “Hollow rider” Larkin decided that the cello and the piano were sufficient on their own to characterize all these sonorously. decadent worlds that they love so much right now in video games. Fortunately, this is something we’ve had new examples of since then – Lily’s theme in Ender Lilies sounds exactly like that, but its use as leitmotif throughout the game is really exceptional, like almost everything in a soundtrack that hits the mark with a genre in which you always have to be careful that the music does not get heavy. Let’s look where we’re looking – the areas, bosses, cutscenes– in Ender Lilies we find some of the most beautiful melodies of the year, in a style to which we must give honorable mention. More precisely, José Ignacio Teruel with his Kings trial in Aeterna Noctis, a piece whose piano embraces these references that Breath of the Wild has left forever.

The other Triple A of the year.

the shooter American Subjective Factors has been a complete package musically since the first Halo, a game that punched the table very loudly in terms of sound. Knowing this full well, Bungie took care of what Destiny has sounded these years to the extreme, so musicians were revolutionized by what could happen with Halo: Infinite, most notably by the presence of the great Gareth Coker. Can’t say the resulting album disappointed, but yeah the composers were conditioned by the historical weight of the melodies of the saga and they did not want to develop their full potential. Regarding another of the great soundtracks of the year, that of Deathloop, we meet a Tom Salta who gave a real master lesson when it comes to adapting harmonies, instrumentation and any musical parameters. that comes to mind to the unique visual section of the game. Even if everything loses a lot of meaning if we listen to it detached from it, something about which we must be clear, especially since we like the references to Frank Zappa and so many others.

Our last honorable mention for the AAA category this year goes to another historical composer we talked about at the start. After his time with Lucasfilm, Peter McConnell is in that moment where a musician can do whatever he wants with his career, and his music for Psychonauts 2 reflects exactly that. From echoes of john williams As a prologue to a true 70s psychedelic with musical motifs recurring here and there, this is one of the most varied soundtracks of the year, with a spectacular mid-level. Conclusion: highly recommended.

The annual dose of chiptune

We wouldn’t say 2021 has been the most significant year in terms of what’s already an aesthetic. retroBut outright nostalgia is too prevalent to be forgotten in our annual review. Back in April, Cyber ​​Shadow showed us again just how great the sound of a little doped NES, with some really powerful themes that have benefited from the traditional structure of the game. As it cannot be otherwise in a game like this, the first level melody –Geothermal Towers– She stands out, even if she’s not the only gem of a round OST by Pentadrangle, a Spanish artist who will have to be followed in the future. The same can be said of synthwave from Narita Boy, where Salvasky got incredibly atmospheric pieces which will delight those who follow the demoscene years ago on computers like the Amiga 500. Our last mention in this musical intrigue goes, this year, to Asalon Tears of the Earth, a metroidvanie Pixelated aesthetic with a matte cap that stands out in pieces that work perfectly. Although what we love is the music that enriches these sounds chiptuneros With more current instruments, Eastward has sublime moments like this Strange Quest. You know: music that sounds like chiptune, but at the same time tells a more advanced story.

The J-Rpg that never stops

Normally, to find some of the best songs of the year, you have to go to battle themes, title or first areas of the Japanese RPG. We spoke before the shooter subjective American, but the history of video game music has largely been built on the great achievements of Japanese role-playing games. This year we got an entry from one of the most classic sagas thanks to Tales of Arise, with scores from a Motoi Sakuraba who knows exactly what he is playing. He does very well with the epic moments, with this particular character of the Japanese armed with violins who decided to replace the chiptune and read the epic music style book carefully. We found some great battle themes – something that can’t be wrong in a game like this – and Alphen’s, in a very high mid-level OST.

And every year

Let’s be honest: no matter how many hours we spend listening, it is almost impossible to cover all the music in video games each year. Many wonderful themes get lost in the twists and turns of the scene India, and it is not uncommon to find incredible pieces that do not become confirmed later in the musical framework of a video game, as it seems to us to happen in Returnal. 2021 has been a year with very good musical representatives in almost all categories, but also one that keeps us waiting, like May Water, for returns like Yuka Kitamura with Elden Ring, or a Nintendo that started the generation by singing the unforgettable Jump up Super Star !, but this year has been a lot quieter than usual. And we already know what Nintendo means musically, whether we like it more or that we like it less.

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