Final Fantasy: Random Encounter is a new album by The OC Remix (OC stands for over clocked) featuring metal remixes and compositions based on the music of the first Final Fantasy game. The OC Remix are a collective of artists who specialize in making remixes and covers of video game music.
I’m going to say this now before anyone points this out, I am conscious that this post is going to reek of “it’s not as good as it used to be” and “anything new is rubbish”, I’m not a music blogger, I don’t want to be a music blogger, in fact I’m probably rubbish at blogging about music in general but this is something that I wanted to blog about and if you don’t want to read it well… Just don’t.
I bought the new Garbage album today, I’d listened to a couple of the tracks on YouTube and my impression was they sounded okay, but there was something wrong with them that I couldn’t put my finger on. I’ve now listened to the whole album twice in the background while working and I think I’ve realized what the problem is.
I don’t think I could have listened to any of the previous Garbage albums for the first time in the background. Shirley Manson’s voice exudes so much power and (for want of a better word) sex that you are drawn into it, or at least it did…
There are hints of that power in some of the songs, “Battle in Me” for example has it’s moments and, but it never quite reaches the intensity of their previous albums. “Man on a Wire” Is, I think, one of the closest songs to their old levels of intensity but it’s still only a 10 when to be honest I expect Garbage to have turned it up to 11. This album is Garbage by numbers it’s unmistakably Garbage (the band obviously not refuse) and it’s not half bad, but it’s what to me makes Garbage not just another band and that makes me sad.
Note as I’ve been listening to it in the background I’ve not been listening to lyrics, which I probably should have, Garbage normally have quite evocative lyrics, but to me Garbage are about the music and Shirley Manson’s voice. Mostly Shirley Manson’s voice actually, and what’s wrong with this album is Shirley seems to be phoning in her voice, it’s beautiful but like I said before it’s jut missing that extra level of sex.
I have no doubt that this album will grow on me, but it should’t have to… At this point I should probably make some kind of joke about this album being “Not My Kind of Garbage” but to be honest I can’t be bothered. I’m not angry, I’m just a little disappointed.
I just saw a tweet by my friend Fiona that got me thinking of an awesome business Idea…
People have been making themselves and each other mix tapes since the audio cassette was invented, meticulously putting together songs that they like or that they think other will like for their own amusement or with the hope of getting laid. Technically this practice it illegal as you are sharing copyrighted works without permission or paying for it, but it happens on such an ad-hoc basis and such a small scale that there is no way that the music industry can do very much about it.
Why not try to monetize and incentivize mix tape culture? Lets say there was a service where you could select 74 minutes of Music of your choice, create album artwork and compile it into a mix CD that would be professionally burnt, printed etc and sent to you for the cost of the music, media and processing. You could then put make your mix CD available to buy on an online storefront and get a small percentage of the profits.
I know a few people who put together monthly Spotify play-lists that people religiously subscribe to, why could the same not be true of mix CDs?
I see no flaws in this plan, the artists get paid, the mixer get’s paid and the purchaser gets a physical artifact that they can keep.
I guess an extension of this would be to allow people to download the whole mix to cut the media cost, and give a small kick back to the mixer for this too.