YouTube Performer of the Day: SongeLeReveur
Welcome to our ongoing feature in which we highlight talented musicians who arrange/cover videogame music! That’s quite a mouthful, but isn’t much compared to the handle name of today’s artist: SongeLeReveur. I’m pretty sure it’s French for “I am awesome” since his YouTube profile says he’s from France and his performances are awesome! Let’s refer to him as “SLR” from here on because I’m too lazy to correct mistakes that I will eventually make since I know ZERO of the French language. And no, keep your thoughts away from Mercedes’ out-of-production SLR super car.
Anyway, SLR has two big hooks: he wears a cap that sometimes covers his eyes and he’s a one-man band. The former is pretty cool despite people making fun of it, while the latter basically means he plays multiple instruments, superimposing all his performances under one video. It’s catching on in YouTube, but this guy truly takes the cake for being consistent and seamless. His favorites are the acoustic/electric guitars, bass, and ocarina…although you will see some odd ones popping up from time to time.
You’ll notice multiple playlists on his page…obviously the ones which caught my eyes first are Final Fantasy, Zelda, and Sonic; three timeless games with timeless music. Turns out that the Final Fantasy one is a gold mine! Let’s take a look at our favorites, shall we?
This is the video that introduced me to the artist whilst casually browsing YouTube. It’s a funky arrangement to Final Fantasy VII’s “Oppressed People”, one of the game’s quirkiest tracks. Love the sound of the guitar…bass accompanies that quite well, too. Mid-track is where he starts getting comfortable with the source tune by giving us a cool solo. The instrument that keeps this tune true to the original is that cool Melodica (thanks Wikipedia!). Don’t see that being played often.
Ah, Sandy badlands…one of my favorites. It was really a cinematic track in FFVII that totally fit the area. SLR goes above and beyond to make his take unique yet stick true to the source. While his ocarina playing and bongo drums are spot-on to the source, I found the shaker to be an excellent addition to the vibe he’s setting. His electric guitar playing sticks to the melody as well, but he makes some sweet improvisations with the acoustic one. Picks up the tempo towards the end.
I just had to highlight this piece. SLR has a knack for covering FFVII’s quirky tracks. This one is the one played in Midgar’s sewers if you people recall. Pretty straightforward cover with the clarinet, bass and guitar…it’s that custom “brushes on a cardboard” that really had me awed. Just like the shaker from his Sandy Badlands arrangement, this guy manages to pull out the perfect instrument to keep the sound true to the original.
“Can you Hear the Cry of the Planet?” is one of my favorite FFVII tracks and one of Nobuo Uematsu’s most haunting and experimental works. It plays in the City of Ancients if you recall. The original had that electronic lead that gave me goosebumps, yet the background orchestral sounds really soothed the soul. SLR didn’t stay exactly true to the source with this one, replacing the electronic sounds and orchestral ambiance with his acoustic guitars and ocarina….but it doesn’t matter because it sounds just as haunting. Mid-track is where SLR quickens the tempo and takes liberties with the arrangement…his acoustic guitar and ocarina playing go on overdrive and really add the feeling of intensity not found in the original source. That’s just passion playing right there. Love it!
Here we go! Time for some heavy metal. This is a cover of one of Final Fantasy’s most unique tracks: Otherworld from Final Fantasy X. Not a lot of people love this one because it’s different…it’s possibly the heaviest track in the series with growling/spoken vocals and blaring electric guitars. I personally love it even though I’m not a heavy metal fan…the lyrics really suit the game and FMV well. SLR has a lot of guts taking on this one since it’s a vocal track, and he mostly passes with flying colors. While his growling isn’t as good as the original, he does a good job imitating it. The electric guitar playing is great stuff as usual.
This is SLR’s first full-blown arrangement…a medley of all the music found in FFVII’s Midgar slums. It has all his favorite instruments in high quality, yet adds some nice keyboards and Melodica to mix it up. He takes some nice liberties with solos here and there, yet the transitions between songs are abrupt. Nice work overall.
Let’s end off with one video that’s not Final Fantasy-related. This is yet another full-blown arrangement that involves Sonic 2′s infamous Chemical Plant Zone tune. I have to say; this is my favorite video so far! It takes a famous source and transforms into a very catchy blues song. Again, the guitar playing is top-notch stuff, especially with the increased tempo towards the end. The arrangement is the highlight of the track though. I encourage SLR to submit this to OC ReMix since this is exactly what the community loves to highlight.