Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Soundtrack September: Final Fantasy IV

Game: Final Fantasy IV (1991)
Platform: SNES/Super Famicom
Composer: Uematsu Nobuo

I made it through nearly two Soundtrack Septembers without writing about Uematsu's FF music. As beloved as he is, none of the games he worked on feels to me like it has a consistently solid soundtrack...but FFVII and FFIV come close. Based solely on the number of songs I like on the soundtrack, those are my two favorite numbered Final Fantasy titles.

I've said before, and I'll say again, that the world's adulation for Uematsu Nobuo's music is not always founded in, shall we say, a strong understanding of what makes music good or bad (from either a compositional or production standpoint). I cannot deny, however, that his anthems are accessible and memorable by virtue of their simplicity.

For my money, Final Fantasy IV has the series's best love theme, best random battle theme, best overworld theme and best final boss theme. The last of those in particular shows Uematsu's affinity for progressive rock like Yes and Emerson, Lake & Palmer with its parallel fourth arpeggiations and tricky time signatures.

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