Have you ever started listening to something and became completely entranced?
If you have, then you have an idea as to why I have fallen head over heels for the music that the artist TPR arranges.
I am a huge fan of video game music. Ever since I popped in Sonic 2 for the Sega Genesis and heard Chemical Hill Zone, I searched for and wide for all the music from games I could find. Mind you, this was back when the only thing you could download reasonably on a dial-up connection was MIDI files. And if you were a music head like I was back then, you knew all the websites.
Thinking back, I used to think it was strange to pop in a game and get to one of your favorite tracks and just chill out. My grandparents would get mad and yell at me for keeping the television on for hours listening to tracks. But I digress. I will come back and give a little background on myself. I promise.
However, in our day and age, it has become increasingly difficult to acquire music freely. And before you say pirating is bad, I only really search for the music that can no longer be obtained by normal means before either they no longer sell it or someone is selling it for an obscene price. (Chaos Legion… my gawd I want that soundtrack!) I have purchase soundtracks before and I have no problem with doing it. But in life, there are times where you cannot afford to purchase that desire because of responsibilities and such. Thus, I turned to the subscriptions that I pay for monthly in the hopes that they might be able to scratch that itch.
And boy, did I find one hell of a treasure.
Final Fantasy has been known for their amazing soundtracks. Each game has brilliant scores of filled with orchestral, vocal, violin, and piano arrangements and has always been the one series that I can listen to day in and day out without any issues what-so-ever. It never gets boring. It never goes out of style. These songs transcend moods and emotion because no matter what I am going through, it always seems to fit the time.
In addition, the series has a habit of releasing piano compilations for each individual game in the series, usually hand-picked by the composer. These songs are to die for as they are some of the most fascinating arrangements I have ever heard. Unfortunately, these are really hard to find (especially for the older games) and can be quite pricey. I used to own all of the soundtracks thanks to torrenting back in the day but that avenue is probably gone and the external hard drive that I had which contained all of the music I had acquired over the years had crashed.
I resorted to YouTube for music for a long time until I stumbled upon the wonderful artist known as TPR on Spotify.
The performer and arranger from the UK has arranged most of the songs within the Final Fantasy library known as Melancholy tributes to the original score. These are licensed arrangements and breathes fresh air to an already remarkable score. Some songs within the albums become more complex while others are more simplified, stripped of some instruments each really makes these songs sound unique and different while maintaining their charm. This makes them feel almost like remastered tracks that could arguably be used to replace the original score if the game itself was being rereleased. The production is top notched and should be praised.
All of these slow and somber arrangements are perfect for unwinding after a long day or as soothing background melodies to drift off to sleep. Though the title of the albums may make you believe you are in for a sorrowful ride, all of these tracks are heartfelt and emotional. They will move you in ways that I might argue the original did not. memories of a time as a child, playing these games for the first time and experiencing the ride of feels that came with it.
And don’t expect to hear just the popular tunes either. TPR shows love to some of the lesser known tracks such as Secrets of the Deep Sea from FF7 which is by far one of my favorite songs on the game. (Yes, if you played Final Fantasy 7, I use to get in the submarine and go underwater just to be there and listen to the music. Until I got the MIDI file.)
Another favorite and on my list of top FF scores of all time is Village of Dali. I break out in goosebumps every single time I hear this song played by TPR. Everything about this performance takes my breath away. It is truly a beautiful arrangement that harkens back to peaceful times. I can hear each finger stroke on the keys, dancing away with the notes in such a way that it leaves me in awe.
There is a lot of music in his library on Spotify. Melancholy Tributes by far are the most notable to me but his original work isn’t anything to sleep on. TPR’s work is a testament to not only his craft but to Uematsu’s work which some would say is some of the greatest of the modern era. (I say that. Others have to!)
From Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Chrono Trigger, there is plenty to keep you entertained.
Give him a listen if you have the spare time. You’ll thank me later.