We’re back this Friday, and it’s all about the music of Persona/SMT–Send us you Questions!

Personamuuu

After a month long hiatus since our Holiday Special, we’re finally kicking off the second season of the podcast. Didn’t mean to keep you all in the dark for that long, but December was a busy month and a break needed to be had!

One of the most distinguishing aspects of the Persona series has been the music from composer Shoji Megero. Often when someone mentions their first experiences with the games, they mention how puzzling but strangely endearing the music is. So it’s long overdue that we dedicated a episode to the music of Persona and SMT. We’ll be covering things from composition, to the strange lyrics, and of course the Persona Music Live concerts.

This week’s panel will include a number of folks with formal training in musical composition. Specifically the podcast’s composer Doug Farrell, who is the talent behind the SMT piano collections you hear on nearly every episode!

In addition to just posting questions here, please share your stories on how you first reacted to the music in Persona. Would love to hear them, and we’ll even read all them out on this episode!

8 thoughts on “We’re back this Friday, and it’s all about the music of Persona/SMT–Send us you Questions!

  1. I already said this on Twitter, but saying things on Twitter is a pain so I’m saying it here. :P

    The thing that really stood out to me about the music in P4 (my first Persona game) is that many of the songs were basically straight pop & rock songs. I had never heard anything like Your Affection or Reach Out To the Truth in a game before, and it really suits the modern, stylish vibe of the games. Of course, with songs structured more like rock songs instead of your usual looping videogame music (although there is that in Persona and it’s great also) you run the risk of it getting tired, but that’s where the quality of the songs comes through. Reach Out To the Truth is probably permanently imprinted in my brain at this point.

  2. I really enjoy the smt music and I was first exposed to it in P4G. Normally when I play long grindy RPGs on a handheld, I listen to the audio maybe 1/3 of the time. With Golden though I listened to it a vast majority of the time through two play throughs. Between the music and the voice acting, I just couldn’t turn it down. I think all of the songs do a great job of setting the mood for the moment or feeling you should be having. I think my favorite song is probably the remix of I’ll Face Myself (Battle) from Marie’s dungeon. I have a lot of the soundtracks on my phone and I’m excited for new remixes in the dancing game!

    For a question what do you think the music for persona 5 will be like. I feel that 3 and 4 are thematically very different and I am curious what 5 will do.

    PS Love you guys, keep up the great work and I’ll keep listening! Congrats on season 2!

  3. I have several questions. So please “bear” with me:
    1. Do you guys think that the P3P FeMC school term music is better than the male MC’s side? (In my opinion, I do believe it is. The song ‘Time’ (that 2 bar repeated 4 chord piano opening :D) is definitely much better than male MC ‘Changing Seasons’, note: ‘Changing Seasons’ is the one that goes like “Heeeee, ee-ee-ee. (repeat forever).” P3P’s ‘Sun’ wasn’t much better than ‘Changing Seasons’, but at least it has a good synthesized horns section after the beginning.)
    2. (Specifically to Doug Farrell, though everyone else can give their opinions) What is your opinion of Shoji Meguro’s music orientation around piano, violin, horn, alto sax, and electric guitar and how he combines these instrumentals that don’t seem that they would come together into an amazing soundtrack. Then adding pop/aria style lyrics and rapping on top.
    3. What do you guys think about the Japanese ‘Engrish’ used in the series. Do you think it would have been better if it was actually properly pronounced? (Ex: “California potato powers!” in P4 original opening. Time also falls into the same pit hole. In fact, it seems that the only singer in the series with good English is Lotus Juice.)
    4. How do you guys feel about how the music is created to make the gamer feel a specific mood? (Ex: P3 ‘Dawn of the Fall’ and P4G’s version of ‘Corner of Memories’)
    5. How do you guys think that the ‘vibes’ of the music between P3 and P4 are? For sake of comparison, Dawn of the Fall (which actually made me depressed when I was introduced to that section of P3) vs. Girl of the Hollow Forest (Marie’s theme, which seems to give off the vibe of understanding, the final stage and end of denial).

  4. On another note, can you please play Dawn of the Fall and Time at some point during the podcast in the background. All my thanks if you can manage it without causing it to somehow drown out your voices. :D

  5. What sort of musical style do you see Meguro using for Persona 5? Is the trailer an indication of the style do you think, since Meguro stated in an interview around a year ago that his musical style for P5 would be “completely different” from 3 & 4. And do you think there should a return to character themes.

    And what are your thoughts on Meguro’s rearrangement work on the PSP versions of Persona 2: Innocent Sin & Eternal Punishment’s music. I also think Meguro’s work on P1 PSP was underrated, do you agree or disagree with that? (I do also actually like the original version of P1 on PSX musical style from Aoki, who sadly died in a car accident, that game had such a nice 90s sound to it).

    Finally, any thoughts on his work outaside MegaTen like Catherine’s OST & Maken X’s OST?

    • As a follow up, my first exposure to the music from Atlus and Shoji Meguro was SMT3: Nocturne, or Lucifer’s Call as it is called here in the UK. It really stood out as some really excellent ambient, electronic and rock music. I would later play Persona 1 for the PSP and that game featured Meguro’s signature style for the later Persona game – J-Pop style all over. I really took to it,s despite the obvious difference from SMT series. It helped give Persona its own identity from mainline SMT and other spin offs. I think the various MegaTen series all have their own distinct styles and are always a feast to listen to. Meguro has quickly become one of my favourite composers in anything, games or otherwise and really like how much he changes his music in each and every game he works on. Compare Strange Journey’s music to Nocturne’s or even Persona 3’s and Persona 4’s, they all have their own identity, create a theme/setting very well and help to flesh out the games atmosphere. Truly a diverse composer if there ever was one and one of my favourites.

  6. When I first heard the music in the Persona games, I thought it was….. different. I didn’t think there was anything inherently wrong with it, but at the same time I wasn’t a big fan. However that soon started to change the longer I played the games. The music started to grow on me to the point where the games now rank in my top game OST’s of all time. I listen to it all the time on my MP3 player and I’ve really come to love the music. I find that Shoji Meguro’s compositions (more specifically Persona 3 & 4) are repetitive and catchy and I’ve noticed that he would use the same base tune/melody for a lot of songs in the soundtrack, but using different lyrics, instruments, and even tempos for each one. He’s quickly become one of my favorite composers of all time, Shoji Meguro is up there with Yuki Kajiura (Madoka Magica, Fate/Zero) and Hiroyuki Sawano (Guilty Crown, Attack on Titan). So I have some questions:

    1. Where does the Persona series rank in your favorite video game OST’s?
    2. Do you have any other favorite video game composers?
    3. What is something different that you want to see from Meguro’s future work?
    4. How about you favorite composers in general?
    5. Out of all of his work, what is your favorite song from Shoji Meguro?
    6. How do you feel about the Persona Reincarnation albums?
    7. Who is your favorite singer that has contributed to the Persona games?
    8. Do you like the new music Meguro composed for Persona 4: The Animation and, to an extent, Persona Trinity Soul
    9. What is your least favorite song from Shoji Meguro?

    Side note: If you guys are looking for another person in the podcast, there may or may not be a big persona fan on Twitter that may or may not have the username, The42gamer. *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge* (Don’t take that seriously)

  7. Persona 1’s schooldays theme is epic as hell. Check it out guys. Especially you Levito.

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