Friday, 30 January 2015

Turnabout Musical: This is what happens when you hang around with a group of friends who like Ace Attorney

Over the years, as one uses the internet more and more, you start to become less and less surprised at thing. More and more glitches in Sonic 06: meh. People discovering a way to transfer Gen I and II Pokemon into Gen VI: its only happening now? A musical based on the Ace Attorney games: ... what? This was one of the things I genuinely went "this can't be a thing", as you can probably guess, it is a thing. Now for the purposes of this, as I haven't been able to find all the songs at time of writing (27/1/2015) nor an actual viewing of the musical itself, I'll be reviewing the Highlights CD which includes a decent portion of the songs. I will however revisit this when/ if an actual performance is shown.

With such a limited way of analyzing this, yes it does mean this review will be short (well, shorter then normal) as there's not much to talk about when what's being reviewed is 15 tracks. Based on what I can tell, (using the full track list on the site and the cast), the musical was an abridged retelling of the first Ace Attorney game, featuring some of your favorite characters like Larry Butz, Redd White, Manfred Von Karma and Jack Hammer... If you read my content, then I know who you're thinking off and no not that one from Rescue Heroes.

If this is true, then the plot's already spelled out for you. If you've played the first Ace Attorney game (which I do recommend, its a nice novel). You know where the plot twists are going to be, what evidence to use ect, this isn't meant to be a surprise. Why am I glossing over the plot? Because, while it is only my second review and could be done better, I have actually reviewed the Ace Attorney games

One of the key features of a musical are the musical numbers, songs spread out throughout the show, normally at key events in the story. For the songs in Turnabout Musical, they aren't great. They're bad but in a good way. Could it be that I'm spoiled by musicals that I've worked on (meaning that I can't get the songs out of my head as I herd them more times then the general audience will? Probably, but it could also be the fact that the two musicals I've worked on are Chicago and The Wedding Singer, both of which do have good music. One of my biggest problems with the music though is the casting, which is my big complaint with Turnabout Musical's songs. Normally with fan projects, they are completed as cheep as possible with the cast being friends and family, trust me I know. However, as a critic, I have to bring attention to the fact that, to me, I don't see hear these people as the characters they portray. I don't hear Matthew Taranto as Phoenix nor Sarah Williams as Mia Fey (at least not for The Objection Song, Justice for All negates it). While there are other characters, those are the two I can tell who they're supposed to be portraying based on the first two songs, August Day and The Objection Song. Based on what's happening in those, I can tell that its based on the first trial, the Trial of Larry Butz.

Now for the music itself, while the singers are hit and miss, which leads me to believe that they weren't written with the singers in mind, call it cruel because of the story involved, but I find these songs hilarious. Questionable lyrics? Yes, but as I said at the start, their bad in a good way. The songs do convey the story well with good instrumentals, but as a Ace Attorney fan, I wished there was some tracks or sound effects from the games, I know why there isn't, but I can dream can't I, they have the Steel Samurai theme, can we have the in game Objection theme, Cornered? I can't really describe the point I'm trying to convey so I'll use this as a case in point. This is the opening song (maybe), August Day:

(should the video not load, as it was giving me problems while writing,

The soundtrack is pretty much on par with that and for the third time, its bad but in a funny way, worth a laugh which is, I think, the intention of the musical as that is the idea of the games. Bad but in a good way, not because of quality (spell check aside), that's where the charm of the series lies and based on these highlights, I think it does that perfectly. Give it a listen if you're as curious as I was. Up next, have some more playlist fillers.

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