Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yu-Gi-Oh - Songs to Duel By

Yu-Gi-Oh - Songs to Duel By
Released - October 29, 2002
Length - 49:15
4Kids and their lacky publishers

I've decided to do album reviews of discs I physically own, and for some reason I decided to torture myself for the first review.  Maybe my pain will attract attention.....  I took this down off the shelf and disgraced my disc drive with it once again.  The card insert says "Duel like Yugi with these special battle tracks"...  Now to be perfectly honest, I used to watch the 4Kids version of Yugioh back in the day.  I made it up to Yugi and Kaiba dueling the two Steves on top of the building in Battle City.  I honestly can't remember much more after that but I'm pretty sure none of these songs were featured while Yugi was dueling.... 

1 - Yugioh Theme - This is the full version of the theme on this disc, and surprisingly this version has a pretty good sound to it.  I'm willing to bet it would be pretty awesome on a surround sound but I don't have one of those =(  It actually has a bit of a hard core (but not much) movie sound to it which could be complimented a lot more without the vocal bits.  A little serious but still not serious enough. SCORE  6.9

2 - Time to Duel - D-D-D-D-D-D-D-D-Duel...... It actually does that in this song too....  This song is reminding me A LOT of back in the early-mid 90's when big hair rock bands were trying to make their sound more current but it just mellowed out into forgettable doodles.  It's kind of like that. The song seems short... and that's good because it's a repetitive one.  "Time to Duel" and electronic voice chunking litter this track too much.  I can't tell you what other words in it were because I've forgotten them already... SCORE - 3.2

3 - I'm Back - Still sounds 90s.  For some reason they thought it would be a good idea to interrupt the flow of the song with lines from Seto Kaiba just inserted with barely any good timing.... and then Mokuba.  SHUT UP MOKUBA! SCORE 2.0

4 - Summon the Dragon - AH!  Finally!  An instrumental!  Now we can play children's card games in peace!  Drum beat, bass, and heavy on the synth.  It almost has flow but not really a coherent flow.  The entirety of this track is strayed from that failing rock sound but moved into a failing synth track.  It ends abruptly.  SCORE 4.5

5 - Your Move - And now we're back to the failing rock sound.  Borrowing the bass lines from the theme song, this track lays wailing lead guitars over top.  Oh boy, these lyrics define trite.  SCORE 2.0

6 - Duel Madness - Hold on to your seats!  They are attempting rap!  It's not working.  They're attempting rap with the awful rock style...  I feel like there are children in their garage next door trying to sing like the Beastie Boys but they are only serving to annoy me thoroughly....  SCORE 1.5

7 - No Matter What - Following the discs "Has-been-rocker" style, this track isn't as bad as I think it should be.  It's almost worse from the lead singer not sounding very good, but honestly this one seems alright.  The sound is slowed into almost a ballad.  The lyrics, although still being trite, still seems like something that would have been written by better bands we've all heard of.  SCORE 5.0

8 - Exodia - Back to the instrumentals!  Fast paced start into the ending bit from MiB into fast paced into no flow again.  This track went everywhere and invokes nothing.  Noise for the head.  SCORE 1.0 

9 - Ahead of the Game - "HAUGH"!  You know you have a winner of a rock track when you start off with "HAUGH!"  Trite lyrics once again followed up with more "HAUGH!".  I'm sensing a pattern.  The rthym doesn't seem to follow itself in places, and let's refrain the title line until the song ends!  As I always say about music "Repetition is KEY!"  SCORE 2.0

10 - We'll Be There - WARNING!  TEA STARTS THIS TRACK WITH FRIENDSHIP!  We roll into Tea singing the song but instead of her 4Kids VA Amy Birnbaum, we have Lindsey Warner singing instead, and Dominic Nolfi providing the voice for, I can only assume, Joey instead of Wayne Grayson....  Nolfi's voice strangely reminds me of Brad Kane's singing voice for Disney's Aladdin.  The song rolls on into friendship, love, hard times, friendship, blah, blah, friendship, we are the world, we are the children, friendship.  SCORE 2.0

11 - Face Up Face Down - And now for something you'll really enjoy!  Seriously!  This is THE highlight of the disc.  The only real reason to ever entertain the thought of buying this disc.  A song by Maximillian Pegasus himself, Darren Dusnstan!  This track is the only thing that was done RIGHT on this disc.  The darkish rock tone this one takes on compliments Pegasus' "you gon' raped" attitude and singing voice. This makes me wish I could feel the bass.  The lyrics here are the only ones that will get stuck in your head.  It's pretty self aware and takes on a comic element.  "Face up, Face down! Stay on guard!  Face up, Face down.  Play your strongest card!" This song is the strongest card!  SCORE 7.9  

12 - Millennium Battle - The last of the instrumentals!  Will this one get it right?  Starts off with some mid-paced synth and bass, and it keeps rolling with a pretty steady beat only building up to crescendos.  The slowest of the instrumentals and the more epic sounding of all of them favoring the melody of the theme song.  It's not a great one but compared to the others it's several steps in the right direction.  SCORE 4.5

13 - Heart of the Cards - When will the cheese-rock end?  This is the worst so far.  The music itself reminds me of Aerosmith's "Nine Lives" mixed with the violin?/cello? bit from the main music from the Batman TAS episode "The Last Laugh" only with the sound of synth.  The lyrics.... I can't really tell what they are.  The singer tries too hard to sound like a generic heavy metal singer and constantly keeps his voice in his throat.  This is actually cringe worthy.  SCORE 2.2

14 - World of Yugioh! - This has the most abrupt beginning coming out of the last song.  As the last song of the disc, they tried to do it up big and make it something that could market the series in one song....  Problem is that this song ended up as just noise.  I can't tell what the melody is over all the treble and the singer going "Woahoh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh".  This is so assaulting on my ears.  A terrible way to end the disc.  Way too upbeat.  SCORE 1.3

Production - SCORE 6.7
For a disc to play children's card games by, there sure are a lot of lyrics to distract you....  The production of this disc seems highly decent aside from the tripe that's on it.  The sound quality actually sounds very good and I wish I had a better system for all this bass.  Though several songs would probably break the tweeters with all that unnecessary treble :(  The flow between tracks is nearly non-existent.  It's like listening to a mixtape with no direction other than it's based on a tv show.  I was going to be generous and give it a 7.7 but all the trite lyric writing knocked off a point.

= 46
= 30% = 3.0
+ 6.7 for production
= 36.7% = 3.7

ALBUM SCORE = 3.7 out of 10

Pegasus was definitely NOT enough to save this disc from being a complete disaster.  I shudder to think of the children who received this as a present or something.  Poor things.  This disc is awful and two decent tracks can't save it.  Absolutely, truly awful.  The kind of thing only 4Kids would put their name on.  They tried to aim this at children, but honestly I don't think even kids would care about this garbage.  It's assaulted this disc drive and my ears one too many times.  I'm never putting it back in again.  Let's wrap this up with something good shall we

Monday, January 30, 2012

Future Reference For Album and Music Scoring/Rating/Grading

I'm just going to make a quick post here.  Personally, I like to use a 1-10 scale with decimals to the tenth for scoring and average out the numbers.  So far I'm not sure how Lye wants to grade his.  So upon thinking about this, I thought it might be a good idea to have tags on the posts for the ratings to make good musics easier to find for the readers (assuming we'll get more over time).  Point of this post is to put scoring tags on this post so we can get them lined up in the labels.... just so we can start with some kind of coherent rating system...  Lye if you want to score by a different system, then go ahead and edit this post with them in it (I'm not sure how much more can fit on this post though.  Tagging is 200 characters per post.  If they don't fit, feel free to make a part two post).  I'm going use number's to keep them at the top of the tag list.  I wanted to use the word album but it ended up being too many letters....  I hope some of this made sense....

Scoring 1 -10. 1's, 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, 6's, 7's, 8's, 9's, 10's

Scoring 1 - 5 "Stars" (doesn't have to say 'star' inside the posts, just whatever. Includes 1/2 'stars' into first number). 1 Star, 2 Stars, 3 Stars, 4 Stars, 5 Stars

note - That didn't quite line up how I though but at least they're at the top of the list I guess....

edit/update: Since Misu and myself both seem to prefer the 1-10 scale, I think I will do away with the star system, mainly because it will make our labels index look a bit less muddled and easier to navigate. Aden, if you absolutely hate the 1-10 system and want to do something else, then I'm sure we can work with that.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Angelique Kidjo "Wombo Lombo"

I first encountered Angelique a few years ago on the NickJr program Jack's Big Music Show.  The program featured this very song while Angelique and some others were dancing with the children.  This song really started to stick in my head and before I knew it, I really liked it.  It's got that mid 90's HipHop/R&B fusion kind of sound.  The actual video to this song is pretty cool but sadly the only version on youtube isn't very..... good.  The video is quite interesting to watch as it contains influences from her African heritage.  I was able to find it on yahoo - video    I've since seen several of her discs at the discount bookstore.  I have yet to buy any though...


New Contributor Introduction

Hello to everyone old and new!  For those just joining us who may not know who I am, I am Chocolate Misu, but please, call me CM.  I'm new to the reviewing scene but quite a few of the people around have been doing it for a very long while.  I look forward to practicing my writing skills while I'm here and getting myself to sit down and enjoy some music.