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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/

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