Music & Video Games: Bayonetta, between angels, witches and synthjazz

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Follow us on a crazy journey as we analyze the Bayonetta soundtrack in this new Music & Videogames event

With the highly anticipated third chapter now in the pipeline, Platinum Games is preparing to release the one that has all the credentials to be a new pearl of the action genre. Since the beginning, in fact, Bayonetta has imposed itself on the public thanks to a frenetic and satisfying gameplay, but above all to an unmistakable style that has immediately become the trademark of the series. We could talk for hours about the eccentric stylistic choices that permeate the various aspects of the game, and now that Bayonetta is back among us we have decided to dedicate this Music & Video Games right to the soundtrack that accompanies the deeds of the witch of Umbra.

For those of you who have never tried the series, let’s clear one thing straight away: Bayonetta and Madness. The titles of the saga tell a plot that, despite the massive doses of humor, is absolutely determined to take itself seriously. Over the course of the titles we often witness exaggerated, absurd situations and often full of strong self-irony, but in any case undeniably memorable. In a context in which madness reaches such heights as to transform itself into an entirely personal concept of epicmusic cannot and must not be outdone.

Violence is the question. And the answer is Synth Pop!

In the face of the foregoing, it is obvious how necessary an accompaniment capable of underlining and amplifying the bittersweet contrast between the countless menacing figures determined to slaughter us, and the provocative, as well as lethal, movements of the protagonist. While it may seem like the first choice for a story based on the apocalyptic clash between heaven and hell, the grandiloquent orchestrations and pompous Hans Zimmer-style themes so dear to today’s Western composers, everything would have emphasized except glorious madness intrinsic to the game.

Of course, it should be noted that more canonical pieces are not lacking, with choirs and orchestrations with dramatic tones to remind the player that what is being told on the screen is not a frivolous tale, but the tragic and serious war between the forces of the universe. Nevertheless, at the end of a scene full of drama and pathos, it is precisely when our protagonist unleashes her full potential that a complete and unexpected change of style takes place.

Indeed, the music that accompanies Bayonetta’s provocative choreography and demonic evocations is nothing less than a very tasty mix of Jazz, Fusion and Synth Pop, with here and there sprinkles of Bossa Nova and Swing (genres so dear to many composers of the Rising Sun, as we can also appreciate in other popular video game series, and not only). The quality of the arrangements is such as to be immediately characteristic and full of a style that exudes “Japaneseness” from every single note. The final result is therefore a climax that breaks the ordinary schemes and engages a charge of adrenaline wonderfully in contrast with the drama of the scenes shown.

Music & Video Games: Bayonetta, between angels, witches and synthjazz

Fly Me To The Moon – Music & Video Games: Bayonetta, between angels, witches and synthjazz

The first song that we are going to present in this Music & Video Games is taken from the original Bayonetta. In all likelihood most of you the title Fly Me To The Moon it will not be new. In fact, the piece is nothing more than a remake of one of the most famous jazz standards in historyalso included in the Real Book, the most popular collection of transcriptions of famous jazz songs (in jargon called Fake Book) among musicians of the genre. The popularity of this song, originally written by Barth Howard in 1954 (you can listen to the original below, played by the American actress and singer Kaye Ballard) has grown dramatically, thanks also to the numerous artists who, over the years, have recorded their own interpretation, among which certainly stands out Frank Sinatra.

Fly Me To The Moon has also been mentioned in numerous cinematographic works, and it is not even the first time that it appears in a work of the Rising Sun. In fact, fans of anime will already know the song as it is already present in the famous series Neon Genesis Evangelion (and it is not unlikely that the latter was a source of inspiration for the works of Platinum Games, also in other respects besides the musical one). The version in the game is energetic, with strong electronic elements, a vocal with sensual traits (and how can you expect anything else?) And an almost hit dance rhythmperfect to accompany the lethal movements of the witch of Umbra.

Moon River – Music & Video Games: Bayonetta, between angels, witches and synthjazz

We continue this Music & Video Games with the main theme of Bayonetta 2: Moon River. Once again the guys at Platinum Games opt for a song whose title mentions the Moon, thus resulting perfectly in the plot of the game. The similarities between this and the passage described in the previous paragraph are manifold. We always talk first of all about a remix of a famous songthis time written in 1961 by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini and featured in the film Breakfast At Tiffany’s (if you are curious, at the end of the paragraph you will find the original song sung by the actress Audrey Hepburn). From Frank Sinatra to Paul Anka, from Elton John (live version) to REM, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of the remakes of this poignant song, distinguished, among other things, by the Oscar for best song in 1962.

As for Fly Me To The Moon, also in this case, having to accompany some fights, the song was necessarily rearranged, going from being a poignant and delicate ballad to a song with a lively groove. In place of the sweet piano arpeggios we find fast keyboardist phrases with a Blues / Jazz flavor; a section of winds with a clear swing matrix plays here and there in a question and answer with the singing, and the melody, without being distorted, plays here with a wild style, perfectly in line with the mood of the game.

Let’s Dance, Boys! – Music & Video Games: Bayonetta, between angels, witches and synthjazz

The third song of this Music & Video Games comes once again from the first chapter of Bayonetta and bears a title that is already a program in itself. Let’s Dance, Boys! it’s exactly what you’d expect to hear: a quirky, danceable instrumental piece with plenty of character. We are sure that listening to this track, more than any other, it will be difficult not to find yourself moving your head or stamping your foot in time with the enveloping groove.

Unlike the previous ones, this time we are faced with an unreleased track, written specifically for the game. The track opens with an intro dominated by a piano riff that soon explodes into an energetic dance attack. Being, as mentioned, a piece without a sung, the protagonist part is entrusted to Saxophone, which dominates verse and chorus dictating a galvanizing melody and helping to give a decidedly characteristic and unusual trait to the piece. Contextualized with on-screen action, this is, in my opinion, one of the songs that most manages to underline the seductive and lethal style of the witch of Umbraas he dances gracefully, dispensing death and slaughter among the hordes of enemies.

Whispers Of Destiny – Music & Video Games: Bayonetta, between angels, witches and synthjazz

The last song that we will see in this Music & Video Games is the main theme of the brand new Bayonetta 3. Whispers Of Destiny, this is the title of the track that accompanied, last summer, the trailer in which the release date of the new chapter was officially revealed (you can find it at the bottom of the paragraph), is a song able to stand out from the others mentioned above. The synth pop vein is still omnipresent, as well as the groove and the sound as a whole is still clearly anchored to the style of the saga, but everything now seems to have a kind of more melancholy tip.

The sung melody is supported by an accompaniment that certainly does not deprive itself of some somewhat exotic harmonic choices (and also makes an interesting use of the violin, with fast phrases that accompany the sung at certain moments of the piece), but everything tends to vertere even more on catchiness than in the past. This is certainly not a negative note, as the excellent workmanship of the piece is as always undeniable, but rather a slightly different flavor for the series. We are eager to immerse ourselves in the latest title of the saga to find out if what has been said will only concern the main theme, or the entire soundtrack, and whether or not this is linked to the fold of the new plot, which promises to be very interesting.

The music of the witches

Here we are at the end of this Music & Videogames event dedicated to Bayonetta. The songs cited are among those that I consider most representative of the unmistakable musical style of the saga. Obviously though in it there are many other noteworthy piecesso if you haven’t done it yet, the advice is to go and listen to the entire soundtrack, or, better still, to enjoy it directly in game. In this regard, we remind you that, although the second and third chapter are exclusive to Nintendo Switch, the original has been remastered and is also available for Xbox One and PS4, bundled with Vanquish.

What do you think of the saga and its characteristic musical style? Will you play the brand new third installment? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to TechGameWorld.com for all the news dedicated to the world of video games. To buy video games at a discounted price, we recommend that you take a look at the Instant Gaming catalog.