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Music of the Year 2012


Patrick Gann's Awards

5) Beer SQ
Composed and Arranged by various artists
This was a toss-up for me. I love Beer SQ and Battle SQ equally, but for very different reasons. In any case, Square Enix's officially-sanctioned collections of arranged music from a variety of completely different parties across the world continues to thrive. Beer SQ contains a variety of ethnic musical styles one might hear in a pub, bar, or beer garden. The arrangement styles include folk, acoustic jazz, Celtic, klezmer, and Asian. And, if nothing else, that 10 minute FFVI character medley is one of the greatest ideas in arranged game music history.

Favorite Tracks:
Chrono Trigger "Guardia Millennial Fair"
Seiken Densetsu 3 "Can You Fly Sister?"
Final Fantasy VI "Spinach Rag ~ Character Medley"

4) Etrian Odyssey 4 Super Arrange Version (and OST)
Composed by Yuzo Koshiro (Arranged by various artists)
The Super Arrange Version for Sekaiju no MeiQ 4 (That's Etrian Odyssey 4 in American-ese) turned out to be a Falcom arrange album. Ex-Basiscape member Noriyuki Kamikura joined Falcom's Sound Team JDK and then went on to lead arrangements on this album. He brought old-school Falcom member Ryo Yonemitsu alongside the more recent JDK-er Yukihiro Jindo. However, the album also sports chiptunes artist KPLECRAFT and FFXIII composer Masashi Hamauzu. The whole album is fantastic.

I think Koshiro's OST and the SAV were equally good, so they sort of tie for fourth place... but I think I like the SAV slightly more.

Favorite Tracks:
Labyrinth II - Misty Ravine
Labyrinth IV - Library of Puppets
Battlefield - The Fall of the Final Enemy

3) Dust: An Elysian Tail OST
Composed by HyperDuck SoundWorks and Alex Brandon
I've been a HyperDuck fan for two years and counting. Each OST they've worked on is better than the last. And Dust is their best, without a doubt. I don't own a 360, so I haven't played the game, but it is easily the best indie game soundtrack of the year. Just listen to it. It's genius. And heartfelt. And wonderful. If you don't buy it right now, it's either because you already own it or you hate music. Hyperbole for the win!

Favorite Tracks:
Beneath Hollow Ground
The Blackmoor Mountains
Gone Home (Journey's End)

2) Atelier Ayesha OST
Composed and Arranged by Daisuke Achiwa, Kazuki Yanagawa, Yu Shimoda
When NIS America releases this game (likely sometime in 2013), I predict people will be absolutely floored by this soundtrack. The opening theme, "Flower Sign" ("Hanashirube"), is folksy and indie and soft and wonderful in every way. That instrumental section at the end of the chorus is pure joy. And the soft ballads throughout the OST and the solid battle themes are totally worth the price of entry. Import this album before it becomes hard to find. That or hope for a pack-in bonus CD from NIS America next year.

Favorite Tracks:
Flower Sign
Sleeping Earth
Invitation Flower ~ Summer

1) Re:Birth II / Romancing SaGa Battle Arrange
Composed and Arranged by Kenji Ito
Oh look, Falcom is back on my list! But once again, not with a Falcom game! For this amazing rock arrange album, celebrating the Romancing SaGa Super Famicom trilogy, Ito brought together the current members of Falcom's JDK Band and recorded an absolutely brilliant rock album. You don't have to know the source material to enjoy this one, but it would certainly help. This is my favorite rock album since SSH's "DECEITFUL WINGS" album for Atelier Iris.

Favorite Tracks:
Re:Birth II - Battle 1 Medley (from Romancing SaGa 1.2.3, Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song-)
Re:Birth II - Four Demon Nobles Battle Medley (from Romancing SaGa 3)
Re:Birth II - Last Battle (from Romancing SaGa 2)







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