Resonance: No More What Ifs

Just how good is the Persona 5 (Royal or not) soundtrack? To my ears, it’s as excellent if not better than what I heard in Persona 3 Portable. While that soundtrack was no slouch, the sounds of P5R are exactly what I want in my life right now – cool, calm (mostly), and jazzy. That the type of music I’ve been favoring generally in and out of games, and the fact that P5R delivers on that wholeheartedly, is simply perfect. Featuring the compositions of Shin Megami Tensei/Persona regular, Shoji Meguro, who’s credits span well beyond this series, the P5R soundtrack melds rock and jazz together in a seamless manner. The music doesn’t quite feature the funk and soul elements of acid jazz, but that might be its closest comparison. The smoother, jazzier side of P5R’s soundtrack plays out mostly in the game’s less combative side, when one is carrying around as the protagonist in the “real world” at-large. There are a few songs that play when one is simply being social. A few years back, Hatm0nster covered the awesome “Beneath the Mask,” which might serve as the perfect example of the type of music that’s on the soundtrack. But my pick here is a song I’ve yet to hear in-game: “No More What Ifs.”

Video from YouTube user Tim Barry.

I’ve always been easily swayed by music of all sorts, and it’s pretty common for me to have a song stuck in my head at any given time. Not too long after I started playing P5R, I sought out its soundtrack, because the small amount of music from it I had heard was just that good. I had to hear it in its entirety, and now I can’t wait to hear this particular song in the game itself! “No More What Ifs,” an absolute bossa nova earworm, and that’s not a complaint. I feel like it’s been on a nonstop loop in the back of my mind ever since I first heard it. I hear it even when I think I’m not. It puts me to sleep; it welcomes me when I wake up. And no matter when or where, it makes me happy, even if it’s not exactly the happiest of songs. Though it’s not really sad, either. Gorgeously sung by vocalist Lyn Inaizumi, it’s an ode to believing oneself (despite the power of self-doubt) and living in the moment, which is just what the game directs players to do. Savor what’s happening, the moments large and small, because you never know what you might miss out on. (Yes, there’s a FOMO aspect to it, but there’s plenty of truth to the old saying, “stop and smell the roses.”)

While I’m still too early in the game to predict any outcomes, I can’t help but wonder about the “what if” of masks and the reveals of shadows’ “true forms.” Will they have any deeper meaning beyond good (persona users) versus evil (the shadows)? Events in the game point to the fact that there’s more at stake for the protagonist than anyone, but what if he is really just a kid who happened to stick his nose into the wrong business, and now he’s paying the consequences, because that’s life? As more bits about his past are revealed, it would seem that there’s much more to his story, but what if there isn’t? Will it matter? Will I care?? Ahem. As I said, it’s too early for analysis, and I’ve got “No More What Ifs” soothingly wafting around my head now; so, like the game says, maybe I should just “take my time” and enjoy it.

Lede image was taken by author during Xbox Series S gameplay of Persona 5 Royal Atlus).

One Comment

  1. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    The more I play Persona 5 Royal, the deeper I fall in love with its soundtrack. I mentioned in this Virtual Bastion article that I’d yet to come across this tune, “No More What Ifs,” in-game. That’s changed, and I now like it even more than just hearing it on the game’s soundtrack alone!


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