Thursday, May 29, 2008

3/8/08 CMT II Soundtrack: "Hot Blooded Tooning"

This is the second of four soundtracks from the second Comic Making Tournament: "Hot Blooded Tooning." In this case, the term "hot blooded" doesn't mean angry, but is a reference to the character archetype that's a staple in many boy's shows. The reason for invoking here is because I loaded this soundtrack with rock songs that "ooze passion."

Track list (artist/source - song name):

1. Nightwish - Elvenpath
2. Bleach - Asterisk
3. Death Note - The World
4. Ergo Proxy - Kiri
5. Naruto - GO!!!
6. xxxHolic - 19sai
7. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX - Wake Up Your Heart
8. Bleach - D-tecnoLife
9. Nightwish - The Phantom of the Opera
10. Digimon Savers - Going! Going! My Soul!!
11. Naruto - Seishun Kyousoukyoku
12. Fullmetal Alchemist - Ready Steady Go
13. Yu-Gi-Oh! GX - Genkai Battle
14. Hellsing - Logos Naki World
15. Witch Hunter Robin - Shell
16. Nightwish - Wishmaster
17. Dragonforce - Revolution Deathsquad
18. FLCL - Little Busters

Track 1 was a natural opener for the album, setting the heavy guitar riff tones for the other tracks. Track 2 was more semi-rap than rock, but blended well. 3 and 5 would've worked better right next to each other, as track 4 was seriously out of place. Track 6 slowed down the pace for a breather, before the album entered its weakest portion.

I had chosen track 7 because of its strong guitar opening, but had forgotten that it basically slows down about a minute in and doesn't build on that momentum. Track 10 had a similar problem of not keeping momentum from a good start. So putting track 8 right after 6 would've worked better. And while I really like track 9, it just didn't mesh well with the surrounding songs, being stylistically very different from the others.

From track 11 on the CD improved. The transition from tracks 15 to 16 and 16 to 17 were quite nice. 14 and 15 were slower rock pieces, effective at setting a mood of expectation. 16, in contrast, starts off loudly and sudden and continues that kind of pounding work.

Track 17 was the climax of the album: a nearly 8 minute power metal epic that never lets up. It features some of the finest guitar solos around and is great at getting people pumped. Despite what the song name would suggest it's 100% family friendly, since the whole thing is about good guys battling the forces of evil.

Track 18 is the resolution track (the thing I left off the first album). It's a short but very upbeat tune and one of my favorites from FLCL.

Overall, I wasn't as happy with this album as the previous one. One reason I think is that I didn't put as much hard hitting as deserved to be here. Tracks 2, 5, 8, and 11 were recognizable to the students, which was good.

Track 4, 7, 9, and 10 did not work as well as I'd expected and will likely be replaced in the next incarnation of this disc. Likely candidates for inclusion on this soundtrack next time: "Makka ni Chikai" from Busou Renkin, "Gong" by JAM Project, "Pride" from Gundam Seed Destiny, "Live from Baghdad" from Cowboy Bebop, and "Ichirin no Hana" from Bleach. I'll try to add some Judas Priest (which I didn't have available at the time) for some classic metal. I'll also keep an eye out on any new series themes to add.

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