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Angela Nov 24, 2013 (edited Nov 25, 2013)

So I just bought Taylor Davis's latest arranged album, her first catered entirely to The Legend of Zelda series. It's a lovely listen, consistently vibrant and entertaining throughout its lean but substantial 47 minute run time. Track lengths are economically efficient so as to never wear out their welcome, with most ranging in the two and a half to three minute range. Adam Gubman's orchestrations and samplings are a great fit for Davis' elegant, spirited performances, and there's a high-quality feel to the production that isn't always evident in fan-based albums such as these.

It is a bit Ocarina of Time heavy, with nine of its sixteen tracks devoted to such. I was never the biggest fan of OoT, so it's a real testament to the excellence of the arrangements that I enjoyed even those featured pieces. (Davis does some particularly impressive embellishing on the seconds-long ocarina songs "Serenade of Water" and "Nocturne of Shadow.") But it's the non-OoT themes that I'm most enamored with, particularly A Link to the Past's "Dark World," Wind Waker's "Dragon Roost Island," and an especially rousing rendition of Link's Awakening's "Tal Tal Heights." (Which subsequently builds into a soaring arrangement of the main Zelda Overworld theme.)

This will likely be in my daily listening rotation for some time, so I'd say it was $10 well spent. Have a listen to the 30 second samples on her Loudr page, where the album is available to buy. There's also extended samples available via iTunes.  About the album's only real disappointment is that it doesn't feature her previously released Zelda Medley track -- but at least it's readily available for purchase separately.

Adam Corn Feb 23, 2014

I've been curious to check this one out.  It really bugs me how a brand-new music service like Loudr only has 30 second samples (especially when Bandcamp is their competition.)  Judging from that little bit it does sound promising but my two main concerns are:

1) Does the solo violin over the course of a full album get old?  Really well-done efforts (such as Vanessa Mae's first album, which we discussed briefly) are fine obviously, but on the other hand I find I tire of the violin in some of Falcom's recent efforts within a track or two.

2) Are the backing sampled orchestrations up to snuff?

I take it you find the album passes on both of these counts, Angela?

Angela Feb 23, 2014 (edited Feb 23, 2014)

Davis's violin is very much the lead throughout, so her presence is always at the forefront. But I think the backing orchestrations blend well enough that one sound rarely dominates over the other. It's that homogeneous give and take that makes the album such a strong, cohesive listen.

As mentioned in the Top game soundtracks of 2013 thread, Davis currently has music videos up for Song of Time/Storms and Gerudo Valley. In addition, I also uploaded the most excellent Tal Tal Heights & Zelda Main Theme in its entirety.  There are quieter, more reflective tracks featured too, so if you're interested, I could put together a sample reel of those for you as well.

Adam Corn Feb 23, 2014

Angela wrote:

if you're interested, I could put together a sample reel of those for you as well.

Well if you're up for making one I can link it on the album page as the album sampler, same as my samplers for CT Symphony 1 & 2 and FFVI Balance and Ruin.  Just give me the heads-up if you do happen to post one. smile

LiquidAcid Feb 24, 2014

The only thing I ever heard from Davis is from this clip. This almost instantly reminded me of David Garrett. I think I stopped it when the rain sequence started -- this was just too embarrassing for me smile

Adam Corn Mar 20, 2014

Just found out that Melodies of Hyrule is also available on Bandcamp, which means that you can preview the entire album.  Definitely give at least track 2 ("Bolero of Fire" from Ocarina of Time), track 3 ("Song of Time and Song of Storms" from OoT) and especially track 14 ("Ballad of the Goddess" from Skyward Sword) a listen - they're pretty great!

http://taylordavisviolin.bandcamp.com/a … d-of-zelda

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