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You know what I really I love? Owl City. You know what this sounds like?

Owl City.

You've got a really slickly-produced track; from the punchy drums to the bouncy bass groove, all backed by some incredibly warm-sounding synths. And I've just gotten to the part at the end with the vocal chops, and I'm even further impressed. That was very very well-executed!

I sincerely dig this!

johnfn responds:

hey mang, glad to see you around! :)

haha, yeah, we started thinking about owl city as soon as we came up with the "firefly" line, so we just embraced it and told Dan (McGorilla42) to sing it as much like them as possible lol.

glad you liked it! =D

It's good to hear from you again, just came across this while listening through your older music.

You've always had this fantastic way of weaving distorted, disorganized patterns of percussion together that I admire, and it's no less prominent here. Grouping the drums with the faint chiptunes sounds and that Rhodes organ creates this very heavy, almost oppressive atmosphere of gloom (for me, at least).

I've just made it to your guitar portion. I like how it doesn't overstay its welcome, ducking out when the organ comes back in. Every new instrument you introduce to a composition has its place, and it never feels under-or-over-utilized.

Just hit 5 minutes. Much less going on here, taking a more minimalistic approach and relying more on the reverb from your synths to keep the song moving forward before reincorporating every instrument again in a wall of sound.

But then it just ends! That threw me off for a bit! That was 7 minutes long, but you keep the whole thing moving along so smoothly and with so many new variations on the central theme that it doesn't seem like it's gone on that long. This was a great listen, I'm glad you're still making tunes, man.

LLAAPPSSEE responds:

Yoyo, Retro. Good to hear from you! Thanks for the really kind words, man. Highly appreciated!

If you hit up my Soundcloud, there's a follow up track called "Lure" that this song transitions into, that's why it cuts a bit abruptly, ah-hah. I'll throw a link in the description.

Holy crap, this is really heavy. It carries this despondent, hopeless tone throughout, and in a way I haven't quite heard before.

And I can't give enough praise to the way you chose to bring in the piano. The harsh cut was a very nice decision, considering the rest of the song.

ForgottenDawn responds:

Thank you :) The game that uses this as a soundtrack has some pretty heavy themes going on, so I tried to reflect that in the music. Pretty post-apocalyptic/dystopian.

This is a really nice sounding track. It flows from one part to the next smoothly and has a really good amount of variation to it. For being only three and a half minutes long, so much happens in it.

And, most importantly, you went and really hit the nail on the head when it came to emulating the style and sound of the 16-bit era of gaming. Great job on making such an era-appropriate track.

DanJohansen responds:

Thanks for the awesome review Retroman! Glad you approve of the era I was going for.
I recently got Tales of Hearts R and I've almost reached the ending of it, and it's at times equally retro in the music as the 16/32 bit era. Pure classic styled JRPG with a great battle system and a WORLD MAP. So rare to get that these days.

Anyways, sorry for going off topic XD Thanks again!

I don't believe anyone's an asshole for having anything less than a stellar opinion of someone else's song, and you definitely don't need to be a musician to like or dislike a song.

With that said, while the quality of sound is really good, the song itself just meanders between different synth arrangements without any real flow. There's no progression or gradual transition to be heard. My first listen, I found myself clicking back and forth through the timeline because I was bored. In fact, typing out this review is the only time I've taken time to listen to this in its entirety, and my playback settings have caused it to loop several times during, with me only noticing because I scrolled up from this review to check.

Honestly, it sounds like one of those joke videos on Youtube that's nothing but Dubstep drops back-to-back. But you can definitely make some mean-sounding bass drops.

Hey, I wanted to drop in on you and tell you how much I enjoyed this. The bass flowed so smoothly with the pads and holy crap, that percussion!

I could definitely see this being spit over, and it's got such a clean arrangement. I'm favoriting this, man.

xninja04 responds:

Thanks man, that means a whole lot! ^^

This is a very powerful song you've made here. Most songs on this site rely on beats and effects to provide variety, but you've created a airy, atmospheric tune that evolves in a very natural way, and without the use of percussion of any kind. And oh Lord, those violins. I really, really love violins, and those were such a pleasant addition to this song.

OpenLight responds:

Thanks! That's actually aaviolin, which you used on your last song. I just mixed the crap out of it lol.

I'm really glad you liked this song, especially after your last song like this was so well done. Here's hoping more people like it, too!

OOOOOOH! I love that distortion on the synth, holy cow! There's something about fuzzy synths with heavy reverb that just gets to me.

And the bridge that opening portion goes into, it reminds me of the soundtrack of Pocket tanks, which I loved playing when I was in high school. It's so cool that you could take such a dense intro and drop it into such a finely minimalistic melody.

Then, you just incrementally make the whole production thicker and bigger and more dynamic. Your drums just hammer away at my soul, in a good way, and the way those synths wail around 4:00 just oozes emotion, man.

And then it eases itself out so smoothly. I personally find it hard sometimes to take the momentum out of a large track without it sounding too sudden or too long-winded, but your use of reverb in the outro really hits the nail on the head.

I really, really enjoyed listening to this. Powerful blending of sounds and effects channels, emotionally charged percussion, and an ideal amount of time for the song to grow and evolve in a natural-feeling way.

One more thing. Did my own songs really inspire your use of beeping sine waves? If so, I'm honored, haha.

johnfn responds:

Hey thanks, I'm glad you liked it! And YES that was totally inspired from Alone and Adrift! I could have adjusted the rhythms to be accurate but I was hyper sensitive to direct copying because all of the crazy NGADM rules hahaha. Thanks for saying all this nice stuff :-)

That bass, and that lead synth: Just "mm." It's a tastey combo. Chemiqals said it himself, that melody sounds like it's coming right out of a Daft Punk classic. And then you keep changing it up with different basses and arpeggios, that's the sort of Midas touch that takes a song in a genre typically known for being a waiting period between bass drops and keeps it fresh. I only wish you'd made the variations in the second half of the song different that the first; it would have kept that momentum going for me as a listener.

Still, this was a joy to listen to!

Man, the melody of this song sends me back to 2006 when Trance was the big thing on Newgrounds. But, until the pad synths come in, even with the melody being backed up with that mean bass, the production mostly sounds very simplistic; that said, the introduction of the pads really thickens this song into something truly rich.

My only gripe with this song is its length. You're really good at producing, and it shows in this song, but this song just feels too short for all of the different phases it goes through. That's just me personally, though; overall I thought it was a very strong Dubstep track. Good work!

Pandasticality responds:

thank you for the review (n__n)/
- Pandasticality

Hello. I used to produce music as Retroman, but now I just go by Osman. My music spans multiple genres, but my mainstays are 8Bit, Classical, EDM, IDM, Drum and Bass, Synthwave, and Hip Hop. Please, consider following me if any of that appeals to you.

Osman @RetromanOMG

29, Male


Joined on 10/8/08

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