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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

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