Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

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TheBlackPaladin
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Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:14 pm

It would be fair to say that, (almost) all of the time, I prefer orchestral scores over synthesizers. I know most people aren't fond of the "English Dub/Japanese Music" audio track found on FUNimation's DBZ releases beginning in the mid 2000's, but that's how I discovered Kikuchi's music, and I loved it. I swore off the Faulconer score as inferior to anything that Kikuchi composed, and later, anything that Yamamoto "composed"(/stole). Ultimately, I still find the original Japanese scores to be superior....

....But having said that...I've softened up on the Faulconer score as time has gone on.

As time has gone on, I've found that I actually like the Faulconer score a little more than I thought I did. It's not a 180-turnaround, and it's not my favorite, but I've found that it's better than I once gave it credit for. In some cases, it's a matter of finding that I like the tracks by themselves and just not in the context of DBZ, and in a few brief cases, I think the Faulconer team actually came out with some stuff that totally fit the intended emotional tones of the scenes they were attached to. A couple examples...

-Faulconer's opening theme. There's no way it'll ever beat "Chala-Head-Chala" for me, as it has a little too much "DBZ IS A HARDCORE ACTION SHOW, BRO!!!"-feel to it, and it doesn't really fit the animation it was attached to. At the same time, it's exciting, it's upbeat, and I can't help but smile and hum along whenever I hear Faulconer's main theme. Even if it's just because it makes me remember a simpler time when I raced home from school every day to catch the next episode, I can't help but have a fondness for it.

-Vegeta's Super Saiyan theme. Chalk it up to an oddity of my own musical taste, but I've always loved hearing older instruments alongside newer instruments, as it helps create a memorable contrast. Violins alongside electric guitars, Gothic choirs against bass guitars, that sort of thing. So to hear the intense piano music against the aggressive synthesizers...that contrast always made this piece stick out for me. It was strong enough not only for me to associate with Vegeta becoming a super saiyan, but also for me to remember it as the track that played when Vegeta used Final Flash and when he saved Gohan in the battle against Cell.

-The Ginyu Transformation theme. Mounting tension boils over into thundering drums that signal the start of an apocalyptic motif. I think it was a little too over-the-top to be used for Ginyu's capture of Goku, but I've heard it used in a few other scenes where it totally works. Whenever the stakes for a scene are especially high, I think that's where this track shines.

-"New Earth Music." At first, I didn't really remember this one, but what made me remember it was the scene in the Buu arc where Goku reunites with his friends and family. When I heard this scene in Kai, I was flabbergasted by how poor a fit the Sumitomo score was. So, when I went back and listened to the Faulconer score for this scene...I was struck by how subtle and poignant it was. I tend to associate the Faulconer score with the "over-the-top HARDCORE ACTION SHOW, BRO"-feel that FUNimation tried to use in their "reversioning," so I was pleasantly surprised to hear the Faulconer team try their hand at subtle, emotional moments. I'll go ahead and say it--I think Faulconer did a better job here than Sumitomo.

In the end, I'd stop short of saying that I have "changed my mind" about the Faulconer score...but I would go so far as to say that, upon further review, perhaps I judged it a tad too harshly.
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Re: Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by 8000 Saiyan » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:44 am

Unfortunately not.

My opinion on his score is the same: a score fitting for an action show that isn't Dragon Ball. I'll never understand how people can say that Kikuchi's score is more fitting for the original series, but it doesn't fit at all in Z.
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Re: Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by Majin Buu » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:15 am

Nope.

The only thing that has changed is that I called it "mediocre" back then, while In retrospect, "bland" and "generic" better describe why I don't like it. The music itself still doesn't do anything for me, and the wall-to-wall way it was used still actively annoys me.

I wouldn't go as far as to say that it lacks a musical identity though. It has an identity, I just don't find that identity very interesting. To me it feels like a very boring person trying too hard to make you think they're cool and coming off as obnoxious for it.

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Re: Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by BlazingFiddlesticks » Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:27 am

I am a Toonami-viewer who never really "equated" the FUNi dub or replacement soundtracks to the series, so I never thought much of it and tend to watch the FUNi dub with Kikuchi anyway. Aside from the Buu theme it was the Legacy of Goku games that really reminded me of it, I think it works much better there. I would add First Stage Cell, Babidi's Ship, and Pikkon's Themes among the better ones as well.
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Re: Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by TheBlackPaladin » Sat Oct 06, 2018 1:37 pm

Majin Buu wrote:To me it feels like a very boring person trying too hard to make you think they're cool and coming off as obnoxious for it.
And indeed, that sums up how I view most of the score to this day.

The responses thus far are more or less what I expected and, for the most part, I agree. When I say I judged it "a tad too harshly," I chose the phrase "a tad" very deliberately. For the most part, the Faulconer score isn't really my thing. At the same time, I can't sit here and say, "Ahh man, I hate it from start to finish." I guess this thread was my way of saying, "Eh, well...there's a select few tracks here and there...."
A "rather haggard" translation of a line from Future Gohan in DBZ, provided to FUNimation by Toei:
"To think of fighting that is this fun...so, it was pleasant fight, as many as, therefore is a feeling which is good the fight where."

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Re: Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by Kakacarrottop » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:35 pm

I loved the Funi in-house score as a 6 year old in 2003, not really understanding how different it was from the original Kikuchi music. However, around 2011-ish I rediscovered the Saban dub, having only seen a handful of episodes from when I was really little and from VHS tapings a few years later. After rewatching that dub on the internet, I came to the conclusion that it's soundtrack was much better than BF, who I've grown to dislike because of all the obnoxious Youtube type fans who dismiss every other version of the show. Also, around the same time, I found out about the existence of the Westwood dub and it's replacement soundtrack. I think it's roughly on par with BF, but I can actually enjoy it since it doesn't have the same ridiculous cult built around it.
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Re: Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by Majin Buu » Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:31 am

TheBlackPaladin wrote:The responses thus far are more or less what I expected and, for the most part, I agree. When I say I judged it "a tad too harshly," I chose the phrase "a tad" very deliberately. For the most part, the Faulconer score isn't really my thing. At the same time, I can't sit here and say, "Ahh man, I hate it from start to finish." I guess this thread was my way of saying, "Eh, well...there's a select few tracks here and there...."
The Levy/Wasserman replacement score has become that for me, actually. While I still find it inferior to Kikuchi like the Faulconer score, there are actually one or two tracks from it that I kind of like.

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Re: Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:10 pm

It's gone up and down. I've always loved the arrangements/orchestrations from the Legacy Of Goku 2 and Buu's Fury... I've gone back and forth between what I think about that score in the show, but I think ultimately its main flaw is that there are a lot of filler tracks as a result of the mandate to have music playing at all times during the show, so while there's some great stuff in the soundtrack, it's full of filler too. Very much like the middle of the Freeza arc. :lol:

I think, because of the filler and the way the soundtrack kind of just blared on throughout the run, it doesn't really work for me. But, I do sometimes listen to the better tracks on Spotify, and I think the Legacy Of Goku version of the Faulconer tracks were excellent. I do wonder if there's an easy way to extract the Impulse Tracker files from the Legacy Of Goku GBA ROMs. Always loved the sound, feel, etc. of that stuff, and since they didn't have to use all that many tracks, they always used the best stuff from the Faulconer repertoire.
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Re: Has your opinion on Faulconer softened over time?

Post by Soppa Saia People » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:06 am

I'm not super well versed in a lot of synth rock (or really... rock in general beside 80s hc punk and pop punk. shoegaze too if you count it), but from what I've heard of faulconers soundtrack, its fine i guess. its kinda generic, but i suppose it works with the vibe the funi dub was going for.

this is a improvement from when i was getting into the original version and hated everything about funi including faulconers score, lol.
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