5 stars. best. song. on. newgrounds.
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5 stars. best. song. on. newgrounds.
what a memorable melody. This belongs in a AAA title!
This is a NGADM Round 2 review.
All scores are out of 10, for a total of 50.
This piece is a chordal canon -- and an exceedingly varied one at that.
The instrumentation is excellent, dipping in and out and giving space to different instruments to thrive and shine at different times. There are some background elements that you introduce that add to the playful, heartwarming feeling I describe in Emotion below, e.g. the glockenspiel that punctuates some notes starting at 1:25. The arps and ostinatos you have introduced here are nice and ethereal. The pad that forms the main melody is singable, memorable and well chosen; I talk about its full impact in Emotion, once again.
At about 2:00 it gets warm and lush. 3:00 sees it getting warmer and lusher. The introduction of the chiptune melody at about 3:37 is a pleasantly unexpected twist.
Transitions could use some work -- the cymbal roll could have a little more pizazz; it feels quite thin at this point, for example. Chime bars, a doubling of the cymbal, or timpani / bass drum rolls wouldn't be out of place in some parts.
5:03 takes another pleasantly unexpected turn with the theme going all synthwave, but it returns to its orchestral flair at about 5:24 without feeling disjointed. That flute sings beautifully, as does the violin that comes at about 6:04.
At about 7:00 it reaches its climactic point, perhaps a culmination of all the ideas you've had with your chordal canon.
7:34 is a repeat of 5:24 and 6:04 put together, and both these melodic sections feel like they complement each other well, that they're not fighting against each other.
The ending simply remains on the B bass line and ties up loose ends. The piano you used here sounds fittingly dreamy and uplifting.
The whole piece has structure, progression and dynamism plastered all over it. It is just full of these. The chordal canon and arps ground the piece in a sort of structure; the instruments being introduced or removed shows progression, and you've had softer and louder moments in the piece, building up tension very well. Not once did I feel like this was dragging on for too long despite its 9-minute length.
For the most part: wide, atmospheric, and a delight for sore ears. Everything has its place in the mix.
I mentioned in Composition above that your transitions seem quite thin, your cymbals for example. If, as a compositional choice, you are planning to keep the cymbals in as is, they could do with a bit more lower-mid and mid frequency, something that really gives it its crash. Either that, or adding stereo widening on it, or doubling it up with another cymbal patch, or another percussion instrument altogether depending on the feel that you're going for. It sounds bright -- perhaps a little too bright, to the point of being tinny.
EMOTIONAL IMPACT: 10
I feel a lifting of the weight in my chest, a sort of joy. I felt like I was being taken by the hand, and taken on a journey -- whether it be a journey to discover a new pristine, untouched place, or a journey of self-discovery, or a journey to trace the steps taken by a long-lost friend. The whole piece feels very heartwarming and hopeful, very viscerally so. I felt a huge smile forming on my face -- bear in mind that at the time of judging this I was at a very low point and in tears, and this eased my sadness almost immediately.
The title lends itself to so much significance that the listener can attribute to it themself. Because this piece is heartwarming and playful, the listener can relate to it too. I certainly could. In addition to that heartwarming feeling, there is also a sense of sobriety with the chords, with the haunting, otherworldly pad that forms the main melody for at least the earlier stages of the piece...
It feels like the kind of piece that encourages acceptance of (to use the title) the paths our heart guides us through -- to not flee away in the face of failure, to not falter, to go down these paths in good faith, with every hope in our hearts.
Your style has always been eclectic and I certainly hear you from a mile away. This song brings to mind the kind of film or cutscene score in some of the very best of films or games, and to my knowledge, not one has come to this level.
That said, perhaps you were not intending these influences, or were influenced by people other than the ones I am about to mention -- sections of this piece did remind me of Vangelis, Mike Oldfield, and, strangely enough, Musica Maya AJ. These were only slight reminders, though, brought about by some of your instrument choices.
MEMORABILITY / REPLAYABILITY: 10
I remember every moment, every little variation in the 8-chord sequence, every melody, every background element, even the arps... I hear it playing in my head a good while after the piece had ended. And I certainly remember the emotional impact of this piece.
Will I be playing this again? YES, YES, WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, YES. Will I be recommending this to other listeners? Oh YES, YES, ABSOLUTELY YES. From the comments it appears that I am not alone in my assessment; a good many people felt similarly uplifted and their souls soothed by your song, and I don't doubt that new listeners will feel the same way.
I like how it takes roughly a minute to build into the main melody and meat of the song. The glockenspiel and synth work together and give a feeling of someone's heart aching and yet being in some state of joy of knowing time has come and gone for their heart to be intertwined with another's.
The drums add another layer of immersion and mix well with the tune. Sounds keep building over time that sound interesting. The chiptune synth is a nice touch.
Not too much more to say here that I haven't already said in Composition, I don't hear any points in that song that I feel could be considered a weak point. Each part of the melody helps cover each other and add more to the overall tone of story on this one.
The story I seem to get from this one is that someone either fell in love or broke up or lost a loved one and they are trying to move forward over time and make peace with the past for a better tomorrow, beautiful.
Something I would very much listen to and space out listening to while imaging some kind of story or scenario in my mind, I like it.
While the story idea itself is not original in my opinion, the tune feels refreshing and fun to listen to.
This is very heartwarming. I especially love the ending with the beautiful piano.
Which reverbs did you use?
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*Please contact me if you would like to use this in a commercial project. We can discuss the details.