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