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Sonic soundtracks that have aged vs not aged

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Basically I got music on my mind, so figured this would be a interesting topic. Like the title implies, what are some Sonic soundtracks that you used to enjoy that you now feel are dated and don’t really hold up to you personally? Like, it’s hard to go back to them, or remember songs that stand out. Or, on the flipside, what are sonic soundtracks, you feel still hold up, or perhaps didn’t really care for at first, that now have become a favorite? 

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I don't think really any Sonic soundtracks have gotten better or worse with age. Good is good. I'll say I've grown less fond of SA2's lack of variety, but that's not a problem with any of the tracks themselves.

I definitely didn't fully appreciate Lost World's OST for how fucking amazing it is until a couple years out, and some other people still have to get over that hurdle, but that doesn't really answer the question.

 

I guess I've grown more baffled with how anyone thought Chronicles' music (the presentation in general, really) was okay as time has passed.

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I guess my taste in music just never changed, because the songs I liked when they were new I still like, the songs I hated back then I still hate.

18 minutes ago, Shaddy the Zaphod said:

I definitely didn't fully appreciate Lost World's OST for how fucking amazing it is until a couple years out, and some other people still have to get over that hurdle

Or you know..just accept it's not their cup of tea. That soundtrack just bores me to death.

On a bit different note, I think the older songs were better simply because they were simpler. I feel some of the newer stuff suffers from overengineering. Back then say the Mega Drive could only do so much in regards to music, but they still made some of the most memorable tunes. Now, they have full orchestras, autotune and what have you, but can still end up making the most bland and forgettable stuff.

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I suppose I should do my usual hot takes on this.

I think the classic games' soundtracks aged pretty well. Yeah there's some strange tracks like Hilltop Zone from 2 and CD in general depending on which region (not that it makes them lesser) but they don't feel dated as you'd think. Its weird because Sonic has been characterized by being the mascot with an attitude and a guitar. The music doesn't really reflect that, at least until...

The Adventure era. Ohhhh boy this where the hot takes begin. The Adventure era's music hasn't really aged too well. Yeah it shows how technology progressed and how you can get new sounds that don't sound like it came from just a keyboard. However this where 90s edge really oozed into Sonic and it shows way too much. The instrumentals are fine for the most part. Its just the vocal tracks are just cheesy and at times nonsensical. Its tone are just too 90s during a time when the rest of the world was moving on and makes it more of a product of its time. The more I think about it I just wonder how or why we got so excited for Open your Heart or Sonic Heroes when its just so cheesy at its core. I would even say some of the songs are pretty cringe. Its just hard for me describe because music doesn't have anything physical to type about.

The modern era does at least try to do different things and manages to keep away from what the Adventure was. Will it be a product of their time as well? Probably. Reach for the Stars came out during a time where more electronic music was getting popular if I recall. But again they tried to keep the soundtrack to be more timeless than it was before. I guess this is where I praise Sonic Unleashed in that regard. Time will tell so its a we will see thing.

I probably sound like a grumpy old man now which I probably am but I digress but after I branched off from Sonic music and found all sorts of bands I found what I was missing in music. Now I'm just wondering what I was thinking back then when I listened to Sonic tracks and thinking "this is the best thing ever!" It makes me kind of regret my childhood in a way. I guess its probably because I've been moving away from the series.

Maybe Sonic is destined to be a product of the time period but its something bound to happen when you're a long running series. It can't be helped at times since you want to appeal to people in the now. But its not always a bad thing. You gotta preserve things in some way. But in the long run only you like what you like and don't like. So yeah there's the CROW hot take of the day.

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A lot of Sonic soundtracks don't have the same "oomph" factor to me that they used to, but I think that's through personal listening and overfamiliarity than anything wrong with the songs themselves.  I've listened to Sonic Adventure 2's soundtrack so many times, every song feels the same level of energy to me now.  Live & Learn doesn't pump me up any more than Bright Sound.  Even one of my favourite songs in the whole franchise, Supporting Me, will only really have the same effect on me as it did the first time if I listen super loud on headphones and intentionally focus on the song while doing nothing else - otherwise it just slips into being background music for me.

But overall?  I think most Sonic music holds up.  I definitely feel Sonic Adventure and Sonic Adventure 2 have some dumb lyrical songs that I sort of handwaved at the time (when Heroes came out, it annoyed me that all but two of the vocal tracks referenced characters by name etc, without ever thinking about the fact that Knuckles and Eggman's themes did that already in SA2.

But Sonic music has always been of a certain high quality that means, with most games, if I'm craving a playthrough of a game but don't have time/energy to access it, simply listening to the soundtrack front to back will fill that void for me to a certain degree.  I don't have many game franchises that I can say the same of at all.  Even my other big favourites like Mario/Zelda have a lot of music that is very "background music" and isn't really enjoyable out-of-context, and most of my favourite modern games have carefully crafted dynamic scores that may be fantastic but were never designed to hold up on their own as much (Portal, BioShock, The Last of Us etc).  Sonic music somehow avoids all these things.  I think it helps that the soundtracks tend to have the same structure as the games themselves, rarely having music that is used for multiple different contexts.  Listening to a Sonic soundtrack from start to finish really lets you relive the game (assuming you tinker around with the track order a bit in terms of some official releases) and I think that's a part of why I still enjoy doing so.

I guess an exception would be the 16-bit, 8-bit, GBA, DS soundtracks etc - anything midi.  As a kid I would've listened to these casually no problem, but for whatever reason I've "outgrown" low quality synthesised music like that.  Whatever "lack of oomph" I mentioned before from overlistening to music, times that by a hundred for midi music.  They can evoke nostalgia in me greatly, but not much more.  They sound very flat and uninteresting and make me just crave a live remake or remix of said songs.

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Recently, i've been appreciating the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and Saturn Sonic 3D Blast OSTs a lot. I don't like both original games that much (the Director's Cut Rom Hack is very good, though. It changes some annoying things and adds nice options) but their music is so good! The more upbeat Genesis soundtrack is my favorite, with Diamond Dust Act 1 being the most listened to.

Sonic Free Riders' OST is slowly growing on me as well.

Now, about those that didn't age very well...Sonic Heroes' music used to be much better in my childhood. Nowadays, "Generic" is the only adjective I can give to most tracks saving Lost Jungle. I'm not a native english speaker so most "cringy" or nonsensical vocal songs in this language can get a free pass from me if they sound good enough, but ever those from Heroes (which are very loved by the fanbase, if I remember well) fail to impress me as an adult.

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Hmm now that I think about it, any of the renditions of “His World” I’ve really lately come to appreciate. Before I could really only enjoy the Instrumental/Brawl version, but for whatever reason, the lyrical ones have really grown on me. But yeah, 06’s soundtrack in general I’m actually starting to appreciate more and more and not just because it’s the only good thing I find out of the game. I really do appreciate the effort that was put into it from an atmospheric angle. Unleashed still has it beat, but 06 is definitely place in my top 5.

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Lately, I’ve been finding two particular Crush 40 versions of songs pretty meh, which is strange as I usually love their music. Those songs being His World, and Un-Gravitify. I don’t know what’s the case with His World but I really find myself preferring the Zebrahead version of the song. As for Un Gravitify, while it’s not bad per say, I love the original intro version and I don’t think it fits quite as well when it’s turned into a rock song with slower moments since a lot of the appeal is how energetic and high-speed it is.

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16 minutes ago, Ryannumber1Scarer said:

Lately, I’ve been finding two particular Crush 40 versions of songs pretty meh, which is strange as I usually love their music. Those songs being His World, and Un-Gravitify. I don’t know what’s the case with His World but I really find myself preferring the Zebrahead version of the song. As for Un Gravitify, while it’s not bad per say, I love the original intro version and I don’t think it fits quite as well when it’s turned into a rock song with slower moments since a lot of the appeal is how energetic and high-speed it is.

Strange as I find those are 2 of their better covers. A really dark version of His World just sounds epic and appealing to me. Un-Gravitify just has a totally different mood/feel to their usual songs which for me is a welcome addition. That, and those guitar solos are just still epic IMO.

For me, their worst cover definitely has to be 'Free' from Sonic Free Riders. That I was disappointed by even when it came out.

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I don't really know hoe to reply to this topic all that well to be honest as writing out my opinion on music usually just doesn't work. That said, I can perpetually listen to the Sonic 1 and CD (both of them) sound tracks ad infinitum. I also still to this day enjoy the Saturn OST for 3D Blast/Flicky Island as I just love the atmospheric distinction it has.

As for the no longer like side, definitely going to have to go with the Adventure games. No fault of the music itself, but I mostly find electric guitar rifts and the "noisy" solos that defined that music as annoying these days. Even without my distaste of such even City Escape just annoys me these days when I used to have lyrics memorized back in the day and wouldn't stop singing the song. Still, I don't think it's necessarily anything wrong with the music so much as that my tastes change pretty frequently.

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It's really hard for music to become "dated" to me. Even the original 16 bit compositions are still effective to me because the hardware constraints and sound quality are just part of what made them what they are to me. Cheesy lyrics don't bother me either since...it kind of comes with the territory of "kids series". 

But I guess one OST that's grown on me a little bit is Lost World. It's still on the lower end for me, but I've come to like how the sort of "cutesy" vibe differentiates it from the rest of the series. 
 


 

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I made a huge review of Sonic Musics a few months ago, so that's an interesting topic.

I know I'm going to be rejected and likely everyone will disagree, I don't fell Open Your Heart still being a good song, Live & Learn is quite better, but Crush 40 tracks don't make my taste anymore.

Aside main songs, I still appreciate things like the Unleashed and Colors level tracks.

Talking about tracks which I like now and wasn't appreciating in like 5 years ago, I would mention Un-Gravitify (The Cashell version) and the theme of E-102γ, likely because I first liked Waking Up and This Machine years ago, I went to an electro side of my musical taste.

And well, that's all, likely I should thank Julien-K for making Waking Up and This Machine to bring me to that Electro side of my life (And bought their albums and became a follower), and later on, bring me to a Trance side where I stay now.

May I mention things like the Sonic R tracks, which I liked a few and now are kinda neutral, so I think that's quite dispensable.

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I stil enjoy many Sonic soundtrack, though I will admit, at first I didn't care much for the Genesis tracks outside a select few. Now I love them.

The more rock heavy ones in the late 90s/early to mid 2000s? They're still enjoyable tracks to me, but I can see why others might think time may not have been kind to them; personal enjoyment aside, they are very much products of their time. Okay, technically, everything is a product of its time, but this is especially noticeable. I'd say Sonic Adventure's soundtrack aged the best out of the bunch, but that's just me.

And the soundtracks from Unleashed to today? Can't help but love them. Unleashed's tracks were unique among Sonic sountracks at the time, and while others have taken at least a few cues from it since then, I think it still holds up on its own even today.

Sonic Mania's songs deliberately emulate the sound of the Sega CD/Sega Saturn games, and it does so fantastically. I can actually see this one holding up, but it's hard to tell.

As for the cartoons, if we can include those? The SatAM theme song is a product of its time as well, but it's so 90s, I love it. The Sonic OVA, I'm a sucker for 90s anime songs, but others may disagree. Sonic X had the soundtrack from the games...unless you're watching the 4kids version, in which case it had the Gotta Go Fast theme and 4kids generic orchestra that wouldn't sound out of place in other 4kids dubs. The generic orchestra on its own is acceptable if forgettable, but it was a symptom of dubbing practices of the day.

But from a purely objective standpoint, there is a lot that, personal feelings aside, do kinda show their age, and whether that's for good or ill, I'm not sure. For myself, however, that's part of the fun of most of these, and I'm gonna stand by that.

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Admittedly, Adventure 2's soundtrack has become a bit downgraded in recent years for me. I still love the OST when I'm playing through the game, and quite a few of the melodies are still pretty catchy, especially Knuckles' themes, but I honestly cannot really listen to the soundtrack as normal listening music outside of playing the game, bar a few songs like Rhythm and Balance, Metal Harbour or Won't Stop, Just Go. I don't know why, but it just feels like a lot of them have become just "in the moment" OSTs for me, unfortunately, which is a shame because I used to love listening to the SA2 soundtrack, but it's just fallen down completely as I began listening more to the likes of Unleashed, Colours, and the more recent soundtracks.

On that note, my "hot take" I suppose is that I still do not like Lost World's soundtrack. There's about 5 songs I can think of off the top of my head from it, those being Dragon Dance (which I love for giving off serious Dragon Road vibes), Desert Ruins 1, Sea Bottom Segue, Eggman Showdown, and Desert Ruins 2. I guess the honest problem for me is that a lot of Lost World's soundtrack feels too generic. Like background noise you'd find in a Mario stage or something. You play years of Sonic games, getting used to these distinct, memorable and energetic songs and then you end up getting songs that aren't bad, per say, but aren't really memorable or catchy either. It's easily the most forgettable soundtrack in the mainline series in the past decade, at least in my opinion.

On a side note, I actually would say another unpopular one would probably be I like Forces' OST. I don't think it's amazing or anything, and I wouldn't say it's up to the quality of Unleashed, Colours, or even Generations, but quite a few of the songs for Modern and Avatar are actually pretty memorable and catchy IMO. I especially love the second version of Modern's Chemical Plant where it goes from energetic and punchy to quiet and jazzy. 

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I'm going to echo what other people have said here and say I don't really think any of the music has gotten significantly better or worse either way; I don't think music really can age like other art forms.

 

I still think the Genesis, Adventure, '06 and Unleashed OSTs are absolutely incredible and I've warmed up a lot to Forces' soundtrack, if that's what you're asking.

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Sonic CD OST has aged the best for me. I mean it never has felt bland and I still love it. It would sound even better with the surround / bass boost that Mania tracks have. Unleashed still has my favorite 3D Sonic OST but I never really got into the rest of 3D Sonic music. I always disliked the vocal tracks in 3D games. I would say Forces theme was somewhat decent. I can see Mania OST keep me listening to it for a long time.

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