Persona 5 is a lot of things: an uneven story of teen rebellion that goes on for way too long, a diverting statistics manager for the anime-inclined, and, maybe above all else, really great to look at and listen to.
Its soundtrack—a mix of bouncy pop, smooth jazz, and buttrock jams—is the focus of a video by YouTube’s 8-bit Music Theory, a channel that goes deep into the composition of video game scores, new and old.
In its look at Persona 5, the video highlights the “brightness and darkness” of its music by explaining the use of mode mixture in its compositions. It’s a solid discussion of how the game’s songs are written to convey the emotions of recurring moments, like repeating battle themes and background tunes.
Using an analysis of the game’s score as a way into its themes is a great way to avoid what could’ve been a dry representation of music theory. It shows that composition and narrative are never truly separate. And it helps explain why a boss fight’s chugging guitars can make it feel so good to kick the shit out of a pervy gym teacher.