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Music

An Interview with City Girl

*thumbnail art by vicki

I discovered City Girl around two years ago from the album “neon impasse” and fell in love with the sound. I decided to reach out to learn more about who City Girl is and the journey they took to become a musician.

1. What inspired you to start making music?

My dad had a guitar no one played and i wanted to try. at first I hated it but years later I tried again and found it fun. it just felt really fun to do. Just a cool fun thing to do as a teen.

2. Do you have a favorite piece? If so why?

Im guessing u mean of my own? I really like empyrean off of TFLM

3. What other artist inspires you?

Recently ive liked audrey nuna and ARIES alot

4. What struggles do you face as an artist?

The past 6 months or so I’ve been in a lot of physical pain. It can be really hard to work on creative stuff when you’re in pain. It’s just so distracting. mentally tho it’s difficult to write things that feel good. It takes a lot of trial and error to find the right vibe.

5. Advice to other musicians?

Don’t listen to ppl who say you can’t do music or you’re wasting your time. if you’rere afraid to fail or be broke or make shitty music it will distract you from having fun. Try to block out all the negativity and just have fun and you will eventually find something meaningful. Also make music friends and join a community online. Having connections to producers and singers is SO important.

6.What are your plans for 2021?

I just want to heal. I want to be back at 100%. It’s been a while since I felt that way. I hope to fight for that and not give up. also jesus i wanna see my friends again. covid sucks lol.

Follow City Girl

Twitter
Bandcamp
Spotify
Youtube

City Girl has a new album coming out April 28th learn more here:


Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Need coverage? Please send an email to Allagesofhr@gmail.com

Tatiana Stec is the Co-Founder and Creative Director at All Ages of Geek. You can follow her on Twitter @Tatiana_Stec

2nd and Charles

I went into a 2nd & Charles for the first time this year looking for a birthday present. I had never heard of this store so naturally I decided to take a look. I was completely shocked at what I found. It was like a time portal. I go in looking for a birthday present but then my focus shifts on buying everything I saw. If you never heard of 2nd & Charles I highly suggest you go there right now to have your minds blown. You can trade in your used books, movies, music and video games for cash or store credit.

2nd & Charles was started in 2010 by Books-A-Million as a unique store concept. The store of course offers books just like Books-A-Million but that’s not what it’s about. The first thing I saw was all of the Funko Pops. After the Funko Pops I saw their video game selection. The video games they had for sale were amazing. 2nd & Charles sells Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Nintendo 64 and other old such video games. Of course they are all used but the point is that there is a retail store that sells these video games. It made me feel like I was back in the 1990s browsing a Blockbuster.

Beyond video games are the comic books and action figures. It was like being at a Toys R Us and my local comic book store. It was fun to browse and fun to choose what to buy. I hate that 2nd & Charles has so much to choose from because before I knew it I was already filling my cart up ready to spend my whole pay check but it was worth it!

DVDs and Blu-Ray were of course at 2nd & Charles. If you are like me you don’t buy physical media but its still to browse them and think about if you do need to buy them. Game of Thrones is one physical media purchase I’m still glad I own and 2nd & Charles of course has it!

After browsing the DVDs and Blu-Ray I look over on the nearest wall and see guitars hanging off the wall. There were actually guitars in this store! What the heck kind of store is this? This is awesome! I did not expect guitars to be here. By the guitars were books on bands, musicians and anything related to music which was a nice touch to this section of the store. Not too far from this section of the store was a wall of shirts like Hot Topic display their shirts.

2nd & Charles Locations

2nd & Charles has one or more states in the following states. Hopefully 2nd & Charles will expand to more states in the near future!

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia

2nd & Charles is one of the most unique retail stores around. I highly suggest you go there and check it out.

Rebecca Black Drops ‘Friday’ 10 Year Anniversary Remix With Big Freedia, 3OH!3, Dorian Electra, 100 Gecs’ Dylan Brady

2011 — The original Friday music video releases (through an exploitative label we won’t name). The video is awkward and silly, and the internet is incredibly mean about it.

*Anime Time-skip.*

A bunch of people submit to liking the song “ironically.”

Then, true irony hits— ~liking things “ironically”~ becomes the new meta, and now you just genuinely love Friday. So, everyone was pointlessly mean to a child whose deepest crime was wanting to make a pop record. The same mean assholes are probably writing articles like this one about how Friday was ahead of its time.

Given Black’s online/career narrative and proliferation of hyperpop, and heavily affected vocals — a collaboration between Black, Big Freedia, Dorian Electra, and 100 Gecs’ Dylan Brady is a brilliant fit. The Dylan Brady-produced remix feels like a reclamation of the track, a triumph over assholery. I’d definitely sub out 3OH!3, and get in Lil Mariko and 645AR, but it’s cool.

I’m excited to see Rebecca Black in this environment of artists. I hope she thrives.

An Interview with Cami-Cat

Art by: @KIDWMA

Will: Just to break the ice a bit, how has your day been?

Cami Cat: My day has been alright! A little tired, but who isn’t this year? laughs

W: For those who do not know you, how would you describe your YouTube Channel and yourself?

CC: I think the best way describe it is I post what I like to do.

W: Allagesofgeek talks about a variety of fandoms. What would you say is your top three that you are a part of?

CC: Ok. Critical Role, but I enjoy things without being major part of fandoms

W: What is your favorite cover you have sung?

CC: Ok, I give a different answer every time. Welcome Home is a good one, so is Friend Like Me. I like doing different voices.

W: What is one song you would like to cover?

CC: This is hard laughs Maybe more of the forever alone covers.

W: What is your favorite original song that you have wrote?

CC: This one is a tie. I love Maw of the King and Lioness

W: Is the Jingle Bells parody based on a true event in a Campaign?

CC: Not entirely. There were definitely moments in the Campaign. I’m working of a few other songs about the Campaign.

W: What are some interesting things about your bard Danni?

CC: Danni is more of a follower than a leader. When she performs being a leader.

W: What is one D&D class you have not played yet, but you would like to play?

CC: Ooh, I think that I would be interested in playing Ranger. I have seen people bashing the ranger, but I have seen so many others playing Rangers.

W: What is the oddest character you have ever made?

CC: I think Kiriki would be the oddest. She’s a Tabaxi that sells goods out of a bag of holding that she made out of yarn. The only bag she has that she didn’t make is a bag that allows her to teleport to a random location.

W: What is your favorite memory from a D&D Campaign that you were part of?

CC: Oof ok, it was probably the giant sword. We dropped a giant’s sword with a force ball attached to the bottom, the sword was imbued with our Paladin’s Divine Smite, and we just dropped it 100 feet off a peguses onto a pirate ship.

W: What is your favorite thing about D&D?

CC: I love the storytelling potential, interactions between characters. I’m not much of a Dungeon Crawler.

W: In closing. What words of wisdom would you leave the reader with?

CC: No matter what the numbers are saying, keep doing what you are enjoying. The more you are enjoying doing something, the more people will flock to you.

An Analysis of Attack on Titan’s (The Final Season) Opening “My War.”

(Author’s Note: Spoilers for anything beyond season three of the anime and for anyone not caught up with the manga.)

So, the final season of Attack on Titan has begun, it’s hard to believe that the end is already upon us. However, before the first episode aired we were treated to the opening and I’ve gotta say, this has to be one of my favorites out of all the openings. Sure, all of the openings are catchy and get the viewers pumped up for what’s going to happen in the episode. However, there something noticeably different with this new opening. It really gives us that “this is it” tone and gave me more of a feeling of dread as our protagonists will be in for the fight of their lives. Even if I wasn’t almost completely caught up with the manga, the opening would still leave me with that same feeling. Before we jump into my analysis, keep in mind that I will be analyzing the visuals and instrumentals of the opening. I won’t be analyzing the lyrics.

The opening starts with a piano and what sounds like a tambourine while the camera is panning down what looks like gray clouds. After a few seconds, the scene immediately changes to a massive explosion (a mixture of red, orange, and yellow) going off by a small building and tower with people singing in the background. Soon the viewers are shown multiple scenes of colorful explosions and war (including a figure firing a flame thrower). After the series of explosions, there’s a massive cloud of color rising up. What makes this cloud interesting, in my eyes at least, is that if you look carefully and at the right time, the cloud looks extremely similar to the colossal titan’s head and face. Immediately after this series of events, the viewers are shown a flock of birds falling from the sky with streams of colored smoke following them. In the background, you can hear a mixture of violin and drums playing, giving off the hint that not even birds can fly freely. This also could be symbolism for our protagonists, since they wear the wings of freedom. Since they’re going to new, unexplored territory, they won’t be able to fly as freely as they originally able to. Soon we hear the lyrics to the opening, as the multi-colored form and take shape. It took some close examinations, but the different clips of the clouds appear to take the shape of a hand, chin and lower jaw, and finally an open mouth. This series of clips end with the words “this is my last war.” Immediately, we see part of an army, dressed in their uniforms and carrying firearms, marching down what is possibly a street or base. Followed by this we see some birds flying next to a zeppelin with some faint rainbow-colored clouds in the background. The viewers aren’t given much time to admire this peaceful, yet threatening scenery as what might be a titan falls from the ground and shatters. This leads to multiple soldiers, a few birds, and even zeppelins shatter from the explosion. Multiple titans are falling from the sky since they’re being used like airstrike missiles. Soon the viewers are greeted once again by the colorful explosions shown at the beginning of the opening, followed by buildings exploding as a result. Afterward, the scene shifts to rain falling (with an intense piano solo), as if the world is mourning the war and the conclusion it will lead to, with the mixture of colors fading into smoke. Soon, the rain is falling on a hand, which leads to a gruesome scene where there are broken bodies in a mixture of rubble. Some arms are reaching upwards to the sky while the words “war…my war…my war” are heard. In the end, the viewers are shown a gray statue containing the nine main titans (although only about 4 or 5 can be seen the clearest) and titan Eren is reaching out for something or somewhere. The opening ends with a few zoom-in cuts to titan Eren’s face.

Attack on Titan Season 4 Debuts First Opening and Ending Themes - Flipboard
(Photo from flipboard.com)

As I stated at the beginning, this opening has quickly become one of my favorites in comparison to all the other openings for this series. Watching the opening actually led to me reading the rest of the manga (or at least to where it currently is), and I’ve got to say, there are scenes that I can’t wait to see when they’re animated. For those that only watch the anime: you’re not ready, but it’ll be worth it when it happens. But yeah, now that I’ve caught up with the manga, I’ll need to watch the rest of the anime. While I could just jump to watching the first episode of the final season, skipping the other seasons just doesn’t sit right with me. Anyways, I hope you’ve all enjoyed the first episode of the final season. I can’t wait to catch up and enjoy the party with all of you. Until then, this is CuriousCat-13/Tracy Preston: signing off.

Attack on Titan OP 1 Thoughts From Someone Who Never Watched A Single Episode

Personally, I have never watched Attack on Titan. I know some of the characters thanks to how popular they are and some of the voice actors attached to the show. I know that Season 4 has premiered, so I decided to listen to the opening of the very first season.

Right off the bat, I feel like this show has flashy fight scenes, gore, and would wreck me emotionally. It is giving me the vibe of “Hey! We have cool main characters, don’t get attached to the side characters.” That scares me for one reason and one reason only: If they are a side character and I like them, either going to die or never show up again. There is no middle ground for me when it comes to anime, sadly. Overall, I think this opening does what all openings should do, hype you up for the show!

All Ages of Geek’s reaction to the OP is down below!

Totally Biased Look: RWBY V3 OST

This is part of an ongoing series. Please refer to my V1 Soundtrack article for scoring criteria and background information!

Wheeee.

Also this one gets heavy later on. Fair warning. 

And lowkey trigger warning for mentions of abuse. Nothing is in any sort of extreme depth but just…know it’s touched on lightly.

Neon

[Image source]

[Image description: Neon taking up the left part of the frame, roller blading, with her rainbow behind her. Her glowstick nunchucks are clutched in her right hand. Her left hand is out in front of her.]

Score: 1

Overall Ranking: 55 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? No idea.

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Nada

How fun is the beat? It’s a club song so the beat is fun.

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Nein.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Insta skip.

Yeah, this one I really have nothing to say about. Clubbing music is not a genre I personally like. So yeah, this one being at the bottom is probably the most one that I don’t like for that reason. I even have more to say about my 56 ranking than this one… It’s just this being really far outside my personal tastes.

When It Falls

[Image source]

[Image description: A black void. Team RWBY sitting against each other, heads bowed. A spotlight beneath them. Blake on the right, Weiss to left, Ruby almost entirely hidden behind her, the back of Yang’s hair and boots visible.]

Score: 1

Overall Ranking: 54 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Hell if I know.

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Obviously not.

How fun is the beat? Not at all.

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Nada.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Either insta skip or white noise at best.

Normally, hard rock and metal which are the standard for RWBY are genres I would never consider. I have pretty sensitive hearing, so excessively loud drums, bass, and beats are too much for me. Jeff manages to balance them well enough with engaging vocals and melodies that make me absolutely love them.

This song is not one of those.

For me, this kind of falls (hah) into the trapping of being little more than chaotic noise. The drums and guitar are just too loud for my hearing. His voice is too harsh. Normally I love his angry tenor especially as vocal backing, but it’s just too harsh for me. Casey’s voice is…okay. The lyrics work great for V3.

But, overall, this song really encompasses what makes me dislike rock and metal as genres. 

Please don’t get me wrong; I understand how difficult all aspects of music are. Everything is intentional. There’s reasoning behind it. It’s just that when there are so many heavy aspects in one song, it becomes too busy for my ear personally. 

That’s why I prefer much slower songs. It’s easier for me to appreciate more aspects of them. Slower songs can still be plenty busy in their own rights. But it’s just much less overwhelming for me personally.

Not Fall In Love

[Image source]

[Image description: Sun stands off to the left side of the frame, holding up a peace sign. Blake sits in the bottom right hand corner, looking mildly frustrated with him.]

Score: 2

Overall Ranking: 52 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Uh.

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Nope

How fun is the beat? No idea.

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Nope.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? It’s an insta skip…if I can even identify it.

This song exists

No. Seriously.

I literally forget this one even exists.

It’s so weird for me to not like this one. I have an odd affinity for love songs and they make up a surprising amount of my personal library. I can identify so many of them. Could I tell you why I like most of them? No not really. But I still find them very distinctive. 

By that means, I should really like this one. But I just…don’t. Again, it feels very, very generic… It’s so easy for my ear to pass over… 

Plus, I’m not the biggest Black Sun fan so that probably factors into it. I just feel like Sun was rather mishandled in the series proper. 

I’m The One

[Image source]

[Image description: Mercury on the left side, his right hand balled into a fist with his left over it. Emerald stands to his right, looking frustrated and disgruntled.]

Score: 2

Overall Ranking: 51 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? No idea.

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not at all.

How fun is the beat? Not fun.

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? No.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Sometimes. But not often.

I think you can see my breakdown of When It Falls for the explanation. It’s just slightly more tolerable than that. It does feel a little less like chaotic noise and a bit more structured. It’s a little easier to appreciate the artistry here. 

But not much.

It’s My Turn

[Image source]

[Image description: Weiss in the lower right hand corner of the frame, obviously running. Her ponytail trails behind her. The Glyph for the Arma Gigas summon sits behind her, taking up the entire left side of the frame. She looks shocked.]

Score: 6

Overall Ranking: 31 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? A little bit of a challenge.

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? A fair bit

How fun is the beat? Ehh not my favorite.

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Not entirely.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Pretty likely.

And suddenly we jump from my longest stretch of lowest scores to a pretty decently high scoring one. Thankfully, things are on the up and up from here. 

Unfortunately, this is personally my least favorite Weiss song. It just feels…disjointed compared to the others in my opinion. I think it’s because the lack of any major piano and is just more of a normal Jeff rock song. It’s not bad, per say, but compared to the rest of her songs, it blends into the ether of RWBY rock songs. All of the others are just so good.

I mean I think I could make a bit of an argument for why there’s no piano. It’s a tie to how she was trained in more classical singing. This is Weiss’ “I’m me, BITCH” song. She’s identified the problem and is doing her best to step away from it. She doesn’t want to show that she is tied to him. And the piano really shows that tie.

But I feel like it hurts the piece a fair bit in comparison to her others. The piano is what helps them stand out.

As for this being a bit of a challenge, yeah, it is. The rhythm is definitely different for a Jeff song, or so it feels. I can’t tell you how or why it does. He definitely doesn’t just stick to singular quarter notes all the time. I have sheet music (though fan transcribed) for Home and, let me tell you, quarter notes are not the standard there. Wings is another big example. Maybe there’s syncopation in there? Basically just emphasising the odd beats. 

The times I wish I was better with music theory.

But the rhythm is definitely a lot different than most songs or so it feels.

It definitely trips me up a fair bit at times, though. “A dream that’s been a lifetime / An endless vast uphill climb” were the lines that got me the most when I was learning this. They still do trip me up sometimes.

So yeah, overall, good song, but just…lacking compared to her others.

Cold

[Image source]

[Image description: Cinder standing over Pyrrha as she fades into orange dust.]

Score: 7

Overall Ranking: 22 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Very easy and has some fun variations

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? A lot

How fun is the beat? Not fun but memorable

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Yep… 

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Highly likely

Ah yes, everybody’s “favorite” song for Volume 3… The one that rips your heart up and stomps it into the ground whenever you listen to it.

I don’t think I need to explain anything about the meta or anything at this point. (I did that in another article…)

This song is just…difficult to talk about because of that. It’s beautiful and heart wrenching. It’s just so stunning.

But…it is something I can relate to. Even though I wasn’t in the fandom at the point Monty died, I still feel his loss. RWBY, though flawed, is a series that means the world to me. I’ve written a wealth of articles on how and why this series has impacted me so much. It’s saved me from myself more than once over the past three years. It’s helped me get through some very dark times (including this year). His light is one that has touched me even though he’d been gone for about two years before I started even digging into it. 

I’ll never get to say “thank you” to him for everything this series has done for me.

His legacy has touched me in a way that, honestly, almost no other series has. The only one that’s higher is Pokémon. 

Even though I never got to see him in person or anything, he touched me deeply. The light that still burns in the fandom. The light that still inspires the fans and CRWBY alike.

The ability to keep moving forward despite how hard things may be. 

We’ll carry that light on, Monty. We promise you that.

(I’d go into headcanon applications but I feel like it’d just ruin this…)

Divide

[Image source]

[Image description: Salem in center frame, looking at the viewer. Her eyes glow.]

Score: 7

Overall Ranking: 19 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Challenging

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? At times, yes

How fun is the beat? BANGER

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Not really

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Pretty likely

Okay, this one’s just such a freaking fantastic villain song. It lays out Salem’s motivations so well

The rhythms in this one can definitely make it a little bit difficult to sing along to, but it’s so much fun once mastered.

Like seriously, I don’t need much more reason for liking it than it’s fun

But yes… It’s something I can relate to. A bit too well sometimes, in fact… 

I’m honestly a rather shattered, former optimist. I used to believe the best of everyone. I had hope in everything. I won’t say I was naive but I probably was at least a little bit. (I at least don’t equate optimism with naivety. It’s an outlook and way of life that’s valid.)

However, I’m now…very much the opposite. I feel like humans are cancerous. We destroy the environment. We treat those of the same species like they’re lesser. There’s just so much ugliness in the world that it feels like there’s no hope. 

And, right, now, in late 2020, waiting for election results…it just brings all of that back into extremely sharp focus. There’s been so much strife and division this year. There’s been so much suffering. It just feels like the awfulness will never end. There’s just no hope left.

It’s at times like this it feels like the world would be better off if humanity just burned. It’d be better if everyone just died. The world would eventually reclaim itself. Balance would return in time. 

This song sums up those feelings I try to just bury and is a good outlet for when they get overwhelming. 

Mirror Mirror Part 2

[Image source]

[Image description: POV shot of Weiss’s hands. Her right holds her scroll, her left is curled up to answer the call. The caller ID says “Incoming call: Father” with a small ringing telephone icon beneath it.]

Score: 7

Overall Ranking: 18 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Easy 

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? So freaking much

How fun is the beat? Not the most fun, but it works

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Not really 

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Very likely

A Weiss ballad song is number one!

[Image description: Surprised Pikachu face]

Best girl seriously continues to have best songs though. This song hits me so freaking deeply. I feel it so much. I’ve hit every bit of Weiss’ arc in my life multiple times over. 

If any of them stick with me the longest, though, it’s this one. 

I feel like there’s something that I can’t identify or control holding me back all the time and I can’t understand why. 

My life’s also been relatively free of severe difficulty. I’ve always had my needs provided for. I have a house, clothes on my back, food in the cupboards, and I’ve never yet had to live on my own. I don’t know what it’s like to have to work 40+ hours a week at almost 30. So it’s just like “what right do I have to complain about hardship and struggle?”

But abuse is abuse no matter the form. The bullying I suffered from 3rd-8th grade was abuse. The sick freak I had as an RP partner from 13-17/18 was outright abusive. Feeling like I had to conform what I perceived like my mom wanted me to be caused me severe anxiety and mental health problems. 

And being late-diagnosed Autistic made life hard in its own ways too. 

Even if my struggles aren’t as bad compared to a lot of other people’s, they’re still struggles that left me with irreparable mental and emotional scars I continue to carry with me. Trauma is trauma no matter what form it came in.

Relative Rankings

Okay, so, um. That got a lot heavier than I thought it would when I started writing. This song has the absolute most lows of any soundtrack for me. Half of the songs do absolutely nothing for me personally. But the ones that hit hard really hit it right. 

I really do enjoy V3 when watching it but the soundtrack is just a slog for me…

I know I normally say more, but this just left me feeling mentally exhausted. Especially during a pretty anxiety-inducing week. 

To the leader boards.

1. Volume ?: ?? / ??

2. Volume ?: ?? / ??

3. Volume 1: 43 / 80

4. Volume ?: ?? / ??

5. Volume ?: ?? / ??

6. Volume 2: 40 / 80

7. Volume 3: 33 / 80

Rankings top to bottom: 

Volume 1: Dark orange. Volume 2: Dark Green. Volume 3: Purple.

5. All Our Days | 13: Wings | 15. I Burn | 17: Time To Say Goodbye | 18. Mirror Mirror Part 2| 19: Divide| 22: Cold || 24: I May Fall | 26: Sacrifice | 34: Red Like Roses 2 | 37: Mirror Mirror Part 1 | 38: This Will Be The Day | 40: Shine | 41: Dream Come True | 43: Die | 44: From Shadows | 45: Gold | 50: Caffeine | 51: I’m The One | 52: Not Fall In Love | 54: When It Falls | 55: Neon

Totally Biased Look: RWBY V2 OST

Thumbnail image

This is part of an ongoing series. Please refer to my V1 Soundtrack article for scoring criteria and background information!

All right we’re back at it with my thoughts on the V2 soundtrack. This isn’t my personal favorite soundtrack unfortunately. Outside of my top pick, none of the songs really hit a resonance with me. Because of that, this entire review is very middling. Talking about mediocrity is just really difficult.

Caffeine

[Image source]

[Image description: Team CFVY walking in a line. Coco on the left, Fox to her right, Velvet to his right, Yatsuhashi on the left side of the shot]

Score: 3

Overall ranking: 50 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Difficult

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not at all.

How fun is the beat? HELLA BANGER

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Ah, no.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Not very 

Yeah, I’m probably in the minority of people on this particular song. Like, I love Team CFVY just like a good chunk of the fandom. They’re awesome, badass, and just fantastic. I wish I could’ve read the novels about them, but I find Meyers’ prose style completely unengaging and…disagreeable. 

That aside… Yeah, I don’t have a whole lot to say about this particular song. It’s like super hecking banger. The high energy is fantastic. However, the super high metal energy isn’t my personal taste. 

I think another really off-putting thing for me is just the way Jeff sings in it. His “angry tenor” is usually a lot of fun, but, I dunno; I just don’t like it in this particular song. It feels a little too…strained? I feel like he’s gonna blow his vocal cords out or something. He’s a gifted singer in his own right. But I just feel like this song isn’t the best vocal match.

So yeah, this song tends to fade into background noise or is just a solid skip most of the time for me.

Die

[Image source]

[Image description: Yang in her Hunter outfit from V2 about a third of the way down from the top of the screen, completely parallel to it. She’s kicking the mech from the V2 fight of RWBY vs Roman in the stolen mech.]

Score: 4

Overall ranking: 43 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Still have a lot of trouble with certain places

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not at all really

How fun is the beat? Another HELLA BANGER

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Some.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Decently likely.

So for me this song kinda hints at my overall problem with the V2 soundtrack and probably why it’s my least favorite. Some of the songs just tend to feel very…disconnected from it. There’s no real context for who the singer is or anything like that. Die, Sacrifice, and All Our Days fall into this trap. Like, they’re great songs, don’t get me wrong; they just don’t have any real context within the story.

That said, I do enjoy this song. It’s got probably an 80%+ play rate for me. It can be a lot of fun to sing along with vocally. Granted, I do have some trouble with it in places. Then again, part of that is probably because I haven’t really invested a super amount of time into learning it. 

The main headcanon application for this is I feel like it sums up what happens to my Team STRQ after they’re pulled into the Oz-luminati. What were fun (if frustrating) days were ripped away from them before they were ready. Summer’s silver eyed magic activated in their final year (about a month before graduation) and they were pulled into a war they didn’t ask to be signed up for. They didn’t really get a choice in whether they participated or not. Summer had a target painted on her that would see her pursued. And so the rest of the team followed behind their co-leader into an unknown world.

…Okay, yeah I really don’t have a lot to say about this song. 

Boop

[Image source]

[Image description: Forest setting. Ren to the bottom left hand corner of the screen with Nora hanging upside down from the top right. She boops Ren’s nose. Both are in their Beacon arc outfits.]

Score: 4

Overall ranking: 42 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? There are some difficult sections

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not at all

How fun is the beat? Super fun

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? No.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Likely.   

Another “I really don’t have much to say about this” song. It’s super cute and super fun. It’s a real bop and singing it can be a bit difficult. That section where the rambling begins is just a bit of a nightmare but in the fun sort of way. I just gotta go at it slow (and also use the acoustic version since it’s slower ;P ) and I’ll get it eventually.

Dream Come True/Shine

[Image source]

[Image description: Weiss on the left hand side of the screen, facepalming. She holds onto a door. Jaune stands off center holding a guitar. Both are in their Beacon arc outfits]

Score: 4 (both)

Overall ranking: 40 / 57 for Shine, 41 / 57 for Dream Come True

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Shine isn’t too bad. Dream Come True can be a challenge.

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? I don’t relate to either.

How fun is the beat? Both are bops.

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Nope.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Not very.

Before anyone comes at me, I do ship Arkos and I know these are technically Arkos songs. But I just… I don’t know. I find them to be pretty shallow “what you see is what you get” types. They’re bops. They’re fun. But I just find them to be the type of in one ear, out the other. They’re more pop-type songs which is why they’re not my favorites. 

And, yes, I lumped them in together because they’re almost the same song. They’re Pyrrha’s feelings for Jaune which is fine and all. But did we need two songs on it…? I know they cover two different types of moments but still. 

I wish our girl had gotten some further development outside of her liking Jaune… It would just be so nice to have a song for her that isn’t focused around him. 

Sacrifice

[Image source]

[Image description: Cinder stands in a warehouse in her red and gold dress from the early series. Shot is from her waist up]

Score: 6

Overall ranking: 26 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Very fun

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not deeply

How fun is the beat? Very fun

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? YEP

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Very likely

Sacrifice is yet another one of the “disconnected” songs, but, honestly, it is one of my favorites from this volume. (Not that there’s a lot of competition…) It’s the “dark” song for this soundtrack and it’s just so good. It truly speaks to someone that’s in a situation they don’t want to be in and how they’ll fight to keep from losing themselves in it. The fandom seems to lean toward Raven or Cinder for this song which is why I went with her for the song picture. But we really don’t know in the end. 

However, I do remember that Murder of Birds made a very compelling AMV that says this is from Salem’s view. I mean everything lines up surprisingly well… 

But yeah, for headcanon, this ties back into the tribal Ruby AU. However, this time, it’s for Summer. This is basically her story in a lot of ways too. She was born in Vale and abandoned at five years old because her parents couldn’t handle her Semblance. She was found and cared for in Salem’s court from then on. She learned everything there: espionage, combat, magic, history, language, and so on. However, once she fell in love with Qrow, she plotted to turn against her mistress should the opportunity ever present itself… 

Time to Say Goodbye

[Image source]

[Image description: Team RWBY in a white and grey Beacon courtyard, standing in a line. They stand in team order, starting from the left and ending with Yang on the right. All have their eyes closed and have flecks of color flaking off of them. All are in their Beacon arc outfits.]

Score: 17 / 57

Overall ranking:

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Very fun, difficult to sing at times

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not really

How fun is the beat? HELLA BANGER

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Not really

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Almost guaranteed

Honestly, this song is just such a jam. I don’t have any deeply analytical comments to make about it. It’s my second-favorite theme from the series. The beats, rhythms, instrumentation… Everything is just so much fun. The extremely fast pace is probably what bumps it up so high. I honestly like faster songs when it comes to singing. That might sound weird, but it’s because it’s a challenge. Like some people enjoy video games for the challenge, I get the same enjoyment out of singing quite often.

All Our Days

[Image source]

[Image description: A shot of Taiyang resting his hand on Yang’s right shoulder during V4 while they’re in the kitchen. She looks upset and he’s trying to comfort her. 

Score: 8

Overall ranking: 5 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Very fun/easy

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Yeah

How fun is the beat? Not the strongest but it’s fine

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Yes and a half

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Almost guaranteed

Again, this probably seems like a weird choice for favorite but this is a pattern.This is definitely a pattern. By and large, my favorite song will be the ballad on the soundtracks going forward. (Usually, but not always

This song is just so beautiful. It’s simple, sweet, and gentle along with just honest. I have a weird love of parent-to-child songs that talk in this sort of way. It’s probably because I was a daddy’s girl growing up. I was so close with my dad and two of those sorts of songs came out around the same time: My Little Girl by Tim McGraw and I Loved Her First by Heartland (I think?). So I guess that’s why. 

While this is one of the “disconnected” songs, I don’t entirely hold that against it. I just love this song so much that it’s hard to. Plus, it’s hard to really hate the fact Jeff wrote this song as his feelings toward Casey. You can just feel the love he has for his daughter in it.

Which brings me to my two headcanon applications. 

My first major headcanon is that Summer wrote this for Yang and Ruby. However, she never actually sang this to them. The only time it was recorded in her voice was in a video she made right before going on her last mission. They never heard it live. It’s only on her scroll as her last goodbye. She did write the melody down in a composition notebook, but even so… 

The second applies to my other main AU, the one with tribal Ruby. Summer still wrote this song there and did basically the same thing (just for Ruby, though, in her last message before leaving Qrow for good). However, I actually apply this toward Glynda and her relationship with Ruby there. I know, Tai/Glynda is weird. I made it work though. Ruby does see Glynda as her mother and Glynda sees Ruby has her daughter (though with complex feelings). Ruby turns to her first and foremost with issues. She looks forward to going to see her. She’ll go up to Beacon and just stay with her sometimes for no other reason than to do that. It’s a very sweet, tender relationship that both of them benefit from. It’s…complicated by the family tensions, but they both love each other as if they were biologically related.

Relative Rankings

Honestly this volume’s score lines up pretty well with my thoughts on Volume 2 overall. I find this volume to be extremely middling and basically overall filler. People complain about Volume 5 (rightly so) but I feel like V2 is just beyond lackluster. The entire volume feels like filler and fluff. I’ve already said that I’m working on a series rewrite and my first two points for Volume 2 plot are just a shrugging kaomoji (ʅ(ツ)ʃ) followed by “WHY IS VOLUME 2 SO NOTHING IN THE END”. I know this isn’t a Volume 2 review, but my feelings toward the volume sum up my feelings toward this particular soundtrack.

My bigger complaint is that a fair few of these songs are just completely disconnected from the show’s context itself. I can’t, for the life of me, place who or what Sacrifice and Die are supposed to be referencing. I even have that problem with All Our Days. This soundtrack, from a meta perspective, is just kind of a confused mess in my eyes.

And I do apologise for how repetitive this got. It’s just hard to talk about things that are aggressively mediocre to you. There’s not much to hate or much to love. Without anything extreme to talk about, ya just kinda fall flat on your face.

It ranks my second lowest overall with a score of 40 / 80 points.

1. Volume ?: ?? / ??

2. Volume ?: ?? / ??

3. Volume 1: 43 / 80

4. Volume ?: ?? / ??

5. Volume ?: ?? / ??

6. Volume 2: 40 / 80

7. Volume ?: ?? / ??

So rankings table time!

Also, I apologise but I’m not going to be doing an image description for the rankings table from now on. It’s going to quickly become too unwieldy to do an in-depth description of it. I normally try to look out for my text-to-speech users, but there are some times I have to save my sanity.

To meet in the middle, though, I’ll list off each ranking, top to bottom. Volume 1 songs are in dark orange, Volume 2 ones are in dark green.

5. All Our Days | 13: Wings | 15. I Burn | 17: Time To Say Goodbye | 24: I May Fall | 26: Sacrifice | 34: Red Like Roses 2 | 37: Mirror Mirror Part 1 | 38: This Will Be The Day | 40: Shine | 41: Dream Come True | 43: Die | 44: From Shadows | 45: Gold | 50: Caffeine 

Totally Biased Look: RWBY V1 OST

Ah the RWBY vocal tracks.

Love or hate the series itself, even a lot of the hatedom can still admit the music is absolutely top notch. Jeff Williams has a superb talent for composition due to his wide range. Everything from the slower ballads like Home to the Broadway-style Hero to the heavy rock/metal pieces like Bad Luck Charm… The man is just gifted.

Of course, helping out is his daughter, Casey Lee Williams, on most vocals. She has an incredible range to be able to keep up with the rather wide genre demands her father puts out. But she rises to challenge in usually spectacular fashion.

And with the wide range of music styles, everybody has their own opinion on what makes for a “good” RWBY song and a “bad” RWBY song.

Personally, I stand by there being no bad songs, just ones I don’t like as much. 

Needless to say, this article series covers what I think of each RWBY soundtrack covering up to Volume 7. These are strictly my own personal opinions and are not meant to demean what anybody else thinks of the songs. These are ranked basically solely on how much I personally enjoy them. 

There are some loose criteria I use in order to rank them. They’re not applicable to every song, though.

Regardless, I’ll still try to break them down using some sort of criteria. Each song has a score of how much I enjoy it, but the loose criteria doesn’t create any sort of formal point grading system. 

For each soundtrack, I’ll cover my least favorite to my favorite. Then, at the very end, I’ll provide my overall ranking of each song out of 57. There are some very loose “rules” for this, but they aren’t hard and fast.

Also, because this is my personal list of songs, I’ll also be talking about headcanon and personal stuff.

The Criteria

How fun/easy is it to sing along to?

Do deeply do I relate to it personally?

How fun is the beat?

Does it have any serious headcanon applications?

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle?

The “Rules”

1. Original vocal tracks only. No remixes or acoustics except for one very special exception. They’re just not to my personal taste most of the time. 

2. Explain each criteria if it’s not obvious what it means. This will often involve explaining my personal headcanon and/or AU applications. I consider clear answers to be stuff like “Pretty likely” or “Easy to [x].” I don’t feel that needs much elaboration. But things like “Kinda” require a bit more. So I won’t explain everything because i just feel most will be easy enough to understand on their own.

3. No technical musical aspects. Mainly just because I am not formally trained in musical composition. I’ve spent a lot of time in choir, so I know some stuff. But I can’t sightread to save my life, let alone talk about stuff like key signature and all of that. 

Score Explanations

So here are the general sentiments of each area. My scale goes from 0-10. I will admit they are very…vague. It’s just a bit hard to define, given these are very personal rankings.

0: I get literally zero enjoyment from these songs. Not even on my playlists.

1: Not my personal taste and/or find them generic. Either instant skip or seen as white noise.

2: Completely indifferent to. Either skip or seen as white noise.

3: Generic, not to my taste, but generally have a nice hook. Sometimes skipped, usually let it pass as more background noise but I’ll bop to the beat.

4: I begin to engage with the song. They have good beats and I’ll sing and maybe dance along a bit. Generally pretty fun songs but also rather “what you see is what you get.” Not super deep to me. Still an impersonal relationship to the song.

5: I’m starting to really enjoy the songs. They upgrade from “bops” to “jams.” Personal relationships with songs begin to form.

6: These are basically the same as 5 but just better. Either they tend to be a lot more fun and/or my personal relationships with them are a lot deeper. Basically they go from “pretty good” to “really good.”

7: This is where the songs become “excellent” to me. I form even deeper personal relationships to the songs. They have a lot of thematic relevance to my interpretations of the world and characters.

8: Things go from “excellent” to “amazing” here. These are the songs that strike some of the deepest meanings to me personally. The thematic relevance to my take on the world and characters is at its highest.

9: This is almost the pinnacle of perfection. “Transcendent” is about the best way to describe these songs. I may not have a deep personal connection, but, thematically for their canon context or my headcanon world’s, it’s basically flawless.

10: This is reserved only for the songs that mean the most to me on a personal level. They strike the deepest. Thematic relevance to world and/or characters doesn’t matter. This is about what means the most to me on my own personal journey.

Overall Scoring

At the end of each soundtrack, I’ll provide my overall score and placement. Total points tend to be out of 80, but V5 was out of 70 and V7 was out of 90. However, I still think these scores are comparable enough. 

Some of the overall scores will seem low. For example a 45 could easily be interpreted as really low since it’s only a little over half of 80. However, that’s actually really high. If you look at the above scoring explanations, it’s hopefully clear why. For anything to go to an 8 or above, it needs to be near absolute perfection for me. Most songs will be 7 or below. 

There are two 10s, one 9, seven 8s, twelve 7s, nine 6s, five 5s, eight 4s, five 3s, two 2s, three 1s, and two 0s. 

Most are clustered around that 4-7 range which are generally seen as generally the “average” range in most grading scales. So a lot of them will come out to what looks like an “average” or even “failing” score. Because of that distribution, the average is about 44. But, really, most of the soundtracks fall within the 40-50 range. Only two particular outliers fall outside of it: my absolute best and my absolute worst.

V1 Note

I’m not including Red Like Roses Part 1. This is mainly because there’s just not enough for me to latch onto as a full vocal track. It was mainly just the “proof of concept” backing for the Red trailer. It was made to be synced to a fight scene. That’s not to say the vocal work wasn’t impressive especially as Casey was 12-14 at the time. (I’ve seen both ages floating around.) The few lines that are there are haunting and beautiful. But I just don’t think there’s enough to call it a full vocal track.

Also considering how much people love the V1 soundtrack…this particular take is probably gonna be considered a hot take and kinda controversial. 

Gold

[Image Source]
[Image description: Yang sits off to the right side of the screen, her hair glowing. Her symbol is to the left of her, silhouetted against pure black]

Score: 4

Overall Ranking: 45 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Fun and relatively easy

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not deeply

How fun is the beat? Pretty fun

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Not really

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Pretty likely

It’s a good song and I won’t deny it. However, it’s just personally my least overall favorite of Volume 1. 

It’s a great insight into Yang and her view of the world and her relationship with people. It really lays out her character extremely well. It shows just how selfless of a person she is. She’ll do whatever she can in order to make people feel better. And I really admire that about her. 

Personally, I do think that it also hints at the fact she tends to stuff down her own feelings. Everyone else’s happiness is what matters to her. Her own doesn’t. She doesn’t want to seem like she’s cracking under the pressure to anybody that needs a base even if she knows she needs to slow down or take a break. I know that contradicts her talk with Blake in V2, but not every headcanon lines up with canon.

It’s a pretty solid image song, but not much beyond that.

From Shadows

[Image description: A mostly crimson screen with some specks of black floating across it. Blake sits silhouetted against it in pure black.]

Score: 4

Overall Ranking: 44 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Very fun and pretty easy to sing along with

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Kinda

How fun is the beat? This is a jam

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Not really

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Pretty likely

Honestly, I don’t have a lot to say about this one. I’ve listened to it up and down and all around and inside out. I know this song pretty well. It’s, again, a good song, but it’s exactly what it appears to be.

It is, again, a fantastic image song that’s an excellent insight into Blake during her White Fang days. The duet between Casey and Jeff in this one is of the serious highlights of the track. It really does a good job of capturing the similarities and contrasts between Blake and Adam and their mindsets. They’re unified in wanting rights for Faunus. They rightly feel angry at being treated like animals simply because of their race. It’s unfair and they’re angry about it.

But, while angry, Casey’s voice is a little calmer than Jeff’s, offering a good reflection of Blake questioning things more. She started off peaceful and turned radical because of him. Jeff’s voice is generally a lot harder, showing off his much harsher and deeply ingrained anger and superiority toward humans. 

The reason I say I sort of relate to it is because I’m a jaded idealist. I was someone who once believed in the best of people. I thought that people were inherently good and selfless. However, being on the internet has changed that (namely tumblr). I’ve become…rather misanthropic. People just seem to be inherently selfish and lacking in any and all empathy toward others. They just don’t care about others or respecting them. So yeah, I can relate to the sentiments in this song on some level.

This Will Be The Day 

[Image Source]
[Image description: A white circle takes up most of the screen. The word RWBY sits off to the right side in pure black. Ruby herself stands to the left in silhouette as well, holding Crescent Rose behind her back with the main scythe end near the bottom center of the screen. Her cloak stands out in bright red to the bottom right hand corner of the screen.]

Score: 4

Overall Ranking: 38 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? A lot of fun and pretty easy (once you get it down)

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not at all

How fun is the beat? Phenomenal

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? HELLA

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Very likely

Hoo boy is this one going to be a hot take. 

I think this particular song is very overhyped. 

Like, don’t get me wrong, it’s an absolutely killer jam. The beat, the rhythm, the lyrics… It’s an extremely catchy song and a great first opening theme for the series. It sets up the themes for V1 well. It helps establish the tone amazingly. 

However, I just find I don’t like it anywhere near as much as other people. I find it a killer jam and that’s about it. I have a relatively impersonal relationship with this song. Honestly, the OPs tend to be some of my least favorite songs. I just find them often to be generic.

The past face of this song can definitely be a high barrier to get into in terms of singing. I think my biggest challenge is getting the “I don’t want to hear your absolution / Hope you’re ready for our revolution / Welcome to a world of bloody evolution” right because “absolution, revolution, and evolution” are so similar. It’s a great play on words but it makes it difficult to keep them all straight

The headcanon applications of this song are pretty fun for me. This is not the last time I will mention this, but I have an AU called Fear and Sacrifice (more on why when we get to each song). I personally used this song for Ruby’s theme. The short version of the AU is that Summer works for Salem and was an inside agent during the STRQ days. She originally started a relationship with Qrow to manipulate him but it turned genuine along the way. Ruby was a mistake and she yeeted herself out of there as soon as humanly possible. She paralysed Qrow a year later, leaving Taiyang to raise Ruby and Yang by himself. Ruby eventually learns of her Branwen heritage and decides to join the tribe. However, she bounces between there and Vale with Raven’s Semblance. 

This song is just so very much Ruby in this AU. Due to me messing up basic math, she’s actually only fourteen entering Beacon. Because of her short height and everything, people underestimate her. She’s a surprise due to the sheer ferocity of her fighting and strong will. She’s basically a bolt of lightning that can’t and won’t be controlled unless she wants to be (RIP Ozpin). There’s also a lot to say about the family dynamics but we’d be here all day if I went into it…and this is only 

Mirror Mirror Part 1

[Image source]
[Image description: Weiss stands by herself against a black background in her Beacon outfit. Her expression is neutral.]

Score: 5

Overall Ranking: 37 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? It can be a challenge

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Extremely so

How fun is the beat? Pretty fun

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Yes

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Pretty likely

Oh Weiss, Weiss, Weiss. My baby. My bean. My OG.

So to back up a little, Weiss is one of my favorite characters because hers is a story I relate to well. The struggle for identity is common in fiction and applies to most people even in real life. As somebody that is both LGBT and Autistic, her songs have really hit me deeply. 

Honestly, I want to save a lot of my story for a later entry.

My headcanon for Weiss runs basically entirely counter to that of canon. Once those walls are broken away, she becomes extremely shy, demure, and very uncertain. That might sound like an insult to her character, but look at her songs. Especially Mirror Mirror Part 1 and 2. I took inspiration from these songs and just went a different route. Plus, with the abusive environment of Schnee manor, it’s not unreasonable Weiss could turn out like that if you zoom in on Jacques’ behavior, tweak it just a little, and then add in a bit of cultural worldbuilding for Atlas.

In this case, my Atlas is extremely sexist. Jacques learned to not educate Weiss because of how unruly Winter was. So he only taught Weiss how to read and music theory.The only other things she learned until thirteen (at least under teachers) were things like embroidery, manners, and all that other ‘fun’ female stuff. 

She was trained to be little more than a doll. So when presented with freedom and choices after being told what to do all her life, she’s terrified to fall outside of that little box. But she eventually does and becomes extremely strong, though in a much different way than canon. 

As for singing, the biggest challenge in this song is that bridge. That freaking operatic bridge. I’m an alto but with the right breath support, I can hit it without trouble. But the quick rhythm of it still makes it really difficult. It was kind of annoying to learn to put it lightly.

Red Like Roses Part 2

[Image source]
[Image description: Summer Rose stands on a cliffside against a stormy grey background in the middle of the screen. Her hands are clasped in front of her and she looks down.]

Score: 5

Overall Ranking: 34 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? It is extremely fun, but the rhythm makes it extremely difficult. Especially the chorus.

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Not really.

How fun is the beat? So much fun

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? Not really

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Very likely

Hoo boy another really hot take. 

Once again, I find the song to be a bit overrated.

Again, don’t get me wrong. It’s a great song. Casey, Jeff, and Sandy all being in on it is absolutely fantastic and amazing. The beat is killer. The lyrics are great. It’s an amazing view into Ruby’s psyche and a glimpse at what happened with Summer’s death.

But I just personally don’t find it to be as great as probably 90% of the fandom does.

You can analyse and get a fair bit out of it for Ruby’s motivations and mindsets, but I still find it to generally just be one of those “what you see is what you get” songs. It’s a bit deeper than that, of course, but I dunno. I just don’t find it to be the absolute best RWBY has to offer. 

I May Fall

[Image source]
[Image description: Velvet stands in the middle of the screen, crouching down like she’s about to jump. Replications of Penny’s weapons made of hard light dust hover behind her. Sparks fly up from the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.]

Score: 6

Overall Ranking: 24 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Really fun but still has its difficult moments due to the beat

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Yes

How fun is the beat? Amazing

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? YUP

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Almost a guaranteed listen

Okay, I’m gonna make an observation about V1 and V2 songs: why are there some randomly disconnected ones

Like most of us tend to associate this particular song with Velvet and her V3 stand due to it being played then. 

But why is it a V1 song? I see, like, zero connection with anything in V1. 

Despite those misgivings, it’s such a good song. It’s one I’ll almost always listen to when it comes on. I just find it to be an extremely inspirational piece personally. 

I have depression, anxiety, and PTSD which can really get me down a lot of the time. I often just want to curl up and not do anything or just give up entirely. I feel like the darkness will consume me. I just have nothing left to give. 

But then I’m reminded that I’ll only fall to these things if I let them consume me. I’m not talking down to people that have bad days, weeks, months, or even years. I understand what it’s like. It’s not a choice to have depression or anything. It can sap you of everything. A positive mentality won’t save you from the literal faulty wiring in your brain. This is just my own personal path I walk and my own mentality. 

Even if I only make one small decision to do something to feel better that day, then I’ve had a small victory. It’s like facing down the shadows and “creatures of darkness” the song talks about. 

As for my headcanon, this more ties into my normal universe. It’s my song tag for Blake whenever her chapters come up. It would probably seem like Wings is a better choice as that’s a song for her. That was my original plan, but then I figured out the trajectory of her character arc. And this fit better. 

The arc is similar enough to canon for the first 4-5 volumes. There are some unique twists in my take, of course. She eventually stops hiding the fact she’s a Faunus around Beacon. She starts doing outreach on the campus and educating people about unknown Faunus history. Basically, look back at my comments about Weiss and she starts off similarly. She understands what Weiss is going through due to what Adam did to her. And she doesn’t want to be a hypocrite. So Weiss forces her to grow in unexpected ways. It gives her strength and confidence that she wouldn’t have normally in canon.

Everything comes crashing down at the Fall and she bolts for Menagerie…except it’s Weiss following her instead of Sun. So the Menagerie arc parallels the Beacon arc but in reverse. 

No confrontation happens in V6 with Adam due to some other plot stuff I made up.

V7 is set in Atlas with full martial law declared. The Faunus are rebelling. The military’s trying to put them down. Blake is a face they can trust, so she becomes a leader during that period. I’m not sure of the specifics, but that’s the general gist. At some point, she and Weiss take Adam down there. (This arc is two years long in universe. Much different from canon.)

So yeah. This song is just perfect for her refusing to give up even under the worst pressure once she gets on her feet fully.

I Burn

[Image source]
[Image description: A mostly black screen with a ball of fire in the middle. Yang bends over in the very center of it, her body blacked out but her hair glowing brightly, a separate light source from the fire. The image is reflected on the mirrored floor.]

Score: 7

Overall Ranking: 15 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? YEP

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? nah

How fun is the beat? Out of this world.

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? No.

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Basically a guarantee.

This is another “what you see is what you get,” but, come on; it’s I Burn. It’s not deep. It’s just a Badass Boast song. But it’s just amazing. It’s hard to say a lot about this song in any depth mainly because it is so surface level. That’s not a bad thing though. 

Wings

[Image source]
[Image description: Blake takes up the left-hand side of the screen, a sad look on her face. Her cat ears are visible. Lamp posts with blue banners hanging from the run along the right-hand side of the screen. Some trees and a water feature can also be seen in the Beacon courtyard she’s in.]

Score: 7

Overall Ranking: 13 / 57

How fun/easy is it to sing along to? Very much so on both sides

Do deeply do I relate to it personally? Extremely so

How fun is the beat? Slow and methodical but memorable

Does it have any serious headcanon applications? You bet it does

How likely am I to listen to it if it comes up in shuffle? Extremely likely.

I know this is probably a surprise for my favorite song. Don’t see people talk about it a whole lot. I think the ballad songs honestly tend to fly under the radar since people tend to prefer the catchy beats like I Burn or the more forward ones like Red Like Roses 2. And that’s fine. This entire article series is about just how subjective music taste is. 

But these songs tend to be my personal favorites for each soundtrack because they tend to be the most meaningful to me personally. Plus, this is just how my music taste skews. This doesn’t mean it’s entirely predictable what my favorite songs are. But most of the ballad songs are pretty high up.

This song hit me so hard because I know what it’s like to feel like a stray. I was never the popular kid in school. I hung out with the misfits. I still don’t have a lot of friends. 

I’ve been waiting for a sign of what I’m supposed to do for a very, very long time. It’s not something I’ve found yet either. I have a general path laid out for me (linguistics) but that might not be it. I’m almost thirty and I’m still adrift. 

But, like I said earlier…I can still choose to pick myself up and act on things. Even though I feel like my wings are clipped and even broken at times, I can still walk. If I can’t walk, I can crawl. I can still make one small step to keep moving forward. Even if it’s just taking a shower to do my hair, that’s something accomplished.

As for my headcanon, it’s probably not what you’d expect. It doesn’t have anything to do with Blake, at least not directly.

Basically I made this song diegetic—that is, to say, it exists in universe as a real song. I made it the story of an unnamed OC, a first-generation Menagerie Faunus returning to the mainland after the Faunus Rights Revolution. She fell in with a radical group (not the White Fang) but managed to get out. She then just…wandered until one of my OCs up there in age helped set her straight. She came back to Menagerie to start writing songs. Of course, this is all extreme metaphor. 

One interesting tidbit is the word “stray.” I ended up making it a pretty bad slur toward Faunus, but those from Menagerie especially. Menagerie wasn’t just ‘given’ to the Faunus. Basically after Mistral and Mantle couldn’t punish unruly Faunus with slavery anymore, they just sent them to Menagerie to die. So it’s literally equivalent to Australia. 

To say someone from Menagerie is a “stray” is to imply they have no home, no family, have no place of origin. It completely negates the history of the people who have built and fought to survive there. It trivialises it in the worst possible way to them. 

She did that as an artistic choice because she was a stray in every sense of the term following her departure from her days of radical action.   

Relative Rankings

So here we are at the end of my Volume 1 review. 

Overall, I think it’s a pretty solid entry and an excellent first foot forward for the series in terms of music. All of the songs are honestly really strong and I understand why people hold this volume in such high esteem. However, there are a lot of songs and soundtracks I personally like a lot more. 

If you weren’t keeping tally, my overall rating of is a very solid 43 out of 80 points. That makes it my third favorite volume. And, honestly, it was number 2 for a while. 

While I did give the rankings for each song, here’s the visual comparatively. (I will be doing this for each volume and they’ll all be color coded.)

[Image description: A 12 column long by 10 row array. Every other column is narrow and has numbers in it. The first is 1-10. Second is 11-20. The others follow that pattern until the last one which only goes to 57. A few spaces are filled in with golden text: 13 for Wings, 15 for I Burn, 24 for I May Fall, 34 for Red Like Roses 2, 37 for Mirror Mirror Part 1, 38 for This Will Be The Day, 44 for From Shadows, 45 for Gold. All other squares are whited out.]

RWBY V7 Soundtrack First Impressions

[Image description: RWBY is emblazoned in the middle of the image. The V7 concept art is used. Weiss sits off the left, Yang in the top middle, Blake to the right. Ruby is to the bottom center.]

The day is finally here; the Volume 7 soundtrack has been released! After our patience and longer wait due to the pandemic, we finally have it! This article is literally my first impressions of each song after listening to it once or maybe a couple of times. Bear in mind, this was not done with lyrics in front of me, so there are probably passages I’ve missed or not understood. It’s just me using my own ear.

This is also the order I personally listened to them in. I kinda just went with what caught my attention first.

Post-listen Addendum: Also, I just want to note that these interpretations are 92% my own. I went in as blind as I could. Some of them are probably wrong. I went as dark on social media on Thursday as best I could to not be influenced by others. Unfortunately, some things still got through via Discord servers. So if you see things on social media that contradict what I say here, please just remember these were literally my thoughts unfolding as I listened to the songs for the first time (the exception being Touch the Sky). I seriously paused the songs to write these down.

I also didn’t use lyric videos for Touch the Sky and Until the End. I just picked things out the best I could with my own ear.

I am seeing things rather differently after digesting things and reading others’ views.

Touch the Sky

[Image description: Team RWBY in appropriate order from left to right in their V7 outfits. They’re on an airship, standing to ret ready for their ‘landing strategies.’]

All right, all right, I admit I listened to this one on YouTube way before the soundtrack dropped in the US. (Thank you to BasicallyCinder for this one.) I’ve been having a bad month and the Thursday before release was just especially bad. I needed a little pick-me-up.

It’ll take a little while for me to get the lyrics fully, but I really do like this one and it’s going on my ‘Inspiration’ playlist without a freaking doubt. It’s such an upbeat, happy song and, honestly, it feels like a Weiss song, possibly the final one in her arc. This point is probably open to interpretation, but with it talking about “looking in the mirror,” going through darkness, and “finally feeling free”, it just feels like the conclusion to an arc. Her main arc has ended with Jacques being arrested. But more can come with the SDC now open. 

However, the ending is…interesting for sure. I like the darker twist it takes toward the end, finishing off on a melancholy piano before being resolved, promising for more. It really feels like a Weiss song in terms of lyrics. The music is different from all of her other songs, but that’s the point (if I’m right). She’s moved away from Jacques, she’s finally her own person fully. Of course it’s not going to take a heavy, conflicted tone. 

After watching the lyric video on Sirs and Madams Entertainment channel… My thoughts haven’t really changed. This still really feels like a Weiss song. 

Honestly, this probably is just a full Team RWBY song about how they all feel they’ve progressed after their various traumas especially related to the Fall. They’ve all grown considerably and are in better places now. Being back together is one of the best things for them. Things are always so much brighter when you’re around the people that bring out the best in you. 

I May Fall (acoustic)

[Image source]
[Image description: Screen is split in three in an inverse V shape. Ruby sits to the left, looking frustrated. Harriet is in the middle. With the way the frame was frozen she kind of looks drunk. Weiss is on the right from a side view.]

Okay, I haven’t even finished listening to this one yet and I have to say the opening is absolutely chilling. You can really, really feel desperation and absolute betrayal with this version of the song. 

Once you hit the chorus, instead of the usual determination, there’s just this very heavy sense of bittersweetness. You can very, very much tell this acoustic version is about how Team RWBY and Qrow feel betrayed by the Ace Ops and Ironwood. It so perfectly captures that.

Hitting the last verse with “There’s a moment that changes a life when” is just…even more chilling. It just goes to complete acapella (no backing track), showing just how isolated, betrayed, and hopeless everything feels.

And then, despite that, it starts building toward the end so that they’ll continue on, keep moving forward, not giving up in what they believe is the right decision. 

This is an amazing acoustic version. 

Nevermore (remix)

[Image source]
[Image description: Yang and Blake holding hands in front of a waterfall, Yang on the left, Blake on the right. It’s during the V6 Adam fight, so they’re in their Anima arc outfits. Blake has no white coat.]

I kinda listened to this one to get it out of the way. I’m not huge on remixes personally. I tend to just not really like the heavy beats and techno elements many of them have. As far as remixes go, this one isn’t that bad to me. Probably won’t really listen to it too much just because I feel like Nevermore can’t be improved on. It’s just very “eh” for me.

Until The End

[Image source]
[Image description: Ozma in his second incarnation. He walks through the a door with his four little girls.]

This one is the one I’ve been waiting for the most. I personally tend to favor the ballad songs heavily because that’s where my personal taste in music tends to lean. Doesn’t mean I don’t love the rock and metal ones. I just know my personal taste in music.

Again, not fully done listening and I’m in the interlude. Just ooh all of those accidentals are neat. An easy explanation of accidentals is when you’re listening to a song and something sounds very off. It’s usually sharp or flat. Here’s a video that explains it quickly (about three minutes long). 

All right, finished it. This is 100% an Ozpin song. No doubt about it. It’s talking about how Ozpin will be here until the end of his and Salem’s conflict. It’s talking about his regrets and how fear and grief shaped how he’s approached this whole conflict and his mistakes in it. It’s definitely one of the more haunting RWBY songs in general.  

Hero

[Image source]
[Image description: A picture of Ironwood against mostly black frame, holding up a gun with his right hand. It’s right before the Watts fight begins.]

Oooh that beginning is great. I love the softer tone a lot. And how it grows into something amazingly majestic. It reminds me of songs like For Good from Wicked. I’m not a big musical person, but this just feels like one of those pieces that’s at the absolute pinnacle of the end of an act or something.

And then it goes into the part we heard in the series proper. 

Honestly all I can think about when listening to this song is how I personally write Ironwood. I started writing him about…April or so of 2019 so it was well before we got V7. I remember freaking out during the early episodes because my characterisation seemed so spot on. Mine’s just a very awkward man who struggles with interpersonal connections. He doesn’t really understand emotions. He tries to have the best interests of Atlas as well as its people always in mind. 

Unfortunately, what he thinks of as right and what Atlas sees as right are two completely different things.

He wants equality for Faunus and women (I headcanoned it as a very sexist society due to being “traditional”) but society doesn’t agree. He does what he can to get that equality, but he has to be careful. Too far one way and he might be removed from power.

It might not seem like he’d be able to carry out V7 from that particular description. 

He can and he would

Except the fact of the matter is that it would destroy him to do so. He’d disagree heavily with oppressing an already oppressed population even more. But if he thought it could defeat Salem, he’d do it.

The other thing with the beginning was that it was very chilling and made me think of his relationship with Winter. Again, things are very different per my headcanon. Basically they have a father/daughter relationship and he would do anything he could to protect her from Jacques. Mine enrolled in the military at fifteen to protect Weiss from being married off. She didn’t go to Atlas Academy because she didn’t have time to waste four years doing school work she probably would’ve been bored doing in the first place. Ironwood had her back from the moment he saw her application. The softness in that part just really made me think of this.

Brand New Day

[Image source]
[Image description: Qrow in shadow in his V7 attire. He rubs the back of his head and looks away from the camera.]

So I’m watching the lyric video on Sirs and Madams Entertainment for this one and the part about being a buttercup and it starting with a new haircut is just adorable. I also love the little duwop/swing vibe to that part. That’s so clearly from Blake’s view and it’s nice to see her so upbeat. 

On the first Jeff section and, yeah, that’s clearly Qrow too. Like the “drunk” mention is just too specific. It’s nice to see him feeling good about things too. I still love the little duwop backup singers. 

Honestly not a whole lot about to say this one as it’s an extreme bop. It’s exactly what it is on the surface. And I don’t think it’s bad for that. Some songs are just happy, upbeat romps with no real deeper meaning which is fine. I really do love this one!

Fear

[Image source]
[Image description: Oscar falling down in front of a sunset sky, eyes closed.]

I don’t have a lot to say about this one since we’ve had this one since the end of the volume. It was the very end credits song which is the one song each volume we get in full. That doesn’t mean I don’t love it. I’ve just had a lot of time to sit and percolate on it due to listening to it so much. It’s an extremely poignant song that applies to many situations in real life. 

Honestly, this song left such an impact on me when I first heard it that I added it to the name of one of my WIP fics. I’d had the name Sacrifice picked out for a long time. And, yes, that is the song from V2. I changed the name to Fear and Sacrifice because the song just fits the dynamic of that particular AU so freaking well. I adore this song. I just don’t have any “first impressions” since they’re long past. 

Celebrate

[Image description: A shot in a warehouse. A crowd lines the bottom part of it while the upper part is the rafters. A drone with a crudely written “KICK ME” sign hoves above the crowd.]

This one and the next two were decided my one of those spin wheels for order. I wasn’t sure which ones to go next to, so let’s just use that to decide. I’m gonna leave War for last since it’s one of the most hype songs.

Normally club-type songs aren’t my thing, but this one is a bop. I don’t think this one is gonna be one of my favorites on terms of lyrical content, but it’s gonna be hecking fun to learn to sing along with. Once again, it’s just a shallow song that’s meant to be danced along to. It really doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s fun and catchy and sometimes that’s all you want in a song. I definitely favor the songs with deep content, but eh, shallow bops can be great.

Let’s Get Real

[Image source]
[Image description: Ren and Nora kissing. Nora has her arms around Ren’s neck while he has his around her back and waist]

So the wheel speaks again.

I’m not the biggest Renora fan. Don’t say I hate it. I do ship it. I just have other ships I prefer. But the beginning of this song, despite being a serious bop, is pretty heartbreaking. Hearing Nora basically just begging to have Ren talk to her is pretty upsetting since they’re so close. 

And about halfway through, in typical Nora fashion, she’s tired of sitting with her thumbs up her butt and is just like “hey, you gotta talk to me” and just decides to act. She doesn’t want to lose Ren or drift apart. 

So she’ll do what she does best: be in your face and honest about it. 

My thoughts are about the same as Celebrate and Brand New Day. Absolutely fun bop. 

Trust Love

[Image source]
[Image description: Large group shot of every major character in V7.]

Ah the OP. Ironically, these tend to be my least favorite songs on the soundtracks. I don’t think they’re bad but they usually tend to not be my favorite tracks. V3 and V5 were my lowest ones. V3 was so low I barely remember it. It just sounds super generic and forgettable. 

I did like the TV size for this one, so let’s see what I think of it in full.

Of course, the first halfish of the song is what we’ve already heard, so it’s hard to have “first thoughts” here. It’s great and I love it. 

I’ve gotten to the second verse and it’s definitely interesting. It’s talking about leaving the world of fantasy and opening your eyes to get to the victory you seek. I know it’s about Ironwood not seeing the reality of the situation for what it is. But it also feels like a somewhat more general plea to people in general who live in a world of fantasy to engage with reality more. I know that probably wasn’t intended but it’s just what stuck out to me. 

The bridge (?) (“There’s not a miracle that’s gonna show you how” part) also seems to be a callback to Miracle from the last volume which is even more interesting. It’s just continuing to expand on that particular theme. It’s about the fact that you have to be the one to create your own miracles. Most of the time, nobody will be around to save you. You’ve got to exist in the moment to find your own way out. 

It reminds me of a phrase we constantly use in my dojo to salute into the higher levels of the art. It’s “shikin haramitsu daikōmyō.” Written in kanji, it looks like this: 詞韻 波羅密 大光明 (Shikin, 2009). The particular translation we use in my dojo is roughly “within the moment is the potential for the enlightenment you seek.” Basically it just means that every moment holds the potential for the solution you may be looking for. It may not be directly for the thing you’re trying to figure out, but something may happen. By focusing in the moment and not worrying about other things, you may end up finding exactly what you need. 

Overall, the song just seems to be kind of a big metaphor for mindfulness to me. You need to be in the moment to be able to see things clearly. And when you do that, the love of the other people around you should be the first thing you turn to over anything else. 

It’s a very, very interesting song. 

I do like it, though I think it’ll be one of those songs that grows on me more and more over time. I’d put my enjoyment at about a five right now, but I have a feeling that’ll bump up in the future.

War

[Image source]
[Image description: Screen is cut in half horizontally. Left to right RWBY: Yang, Ruby, Blake, Weiss. Left to right Ace Ops: Vine, Marrow, Elm, Harriet.]

So this and Hero are kind of the most awaited songs on the soundtrack. I’m using a lyrics track from someone that isn’t Flynt or Sirs and Madams so they may not be 100% accurate. But it’s the best I have right this second.

It’s hype.

It’s freaking hype

It’s good.

I love the rhythm, the play, the heaviness.

I love it. 

The lines “Filled with spite and jaundice / Like Judas thereupon kissed” definitely made me go “oh dang” since I wasn’t expecting that sort of lyric. 

I don’t have a lot to say about it other than it’s super hype. 

It’s fantastic. It perfectly captures the feelings of all the parties involved. I just wish my ear were sharper so I could tell who was who when singing what line(s). It’d make it easier to comment on the lyrics.

But yeah. It’s just…a fantastic song. 

Sources:

Shikin Haramitsu Daikōmyō (詞韻 波羅密 大光明). (2009, March 16). Retrieved from https://fecastel.wordpress.com/2009/03/16/shikin/