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DAY 6 - Music Track of the Week 1: Vocal Themes [30DOS22]

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I'm split between two particular songs, although I'd have to say what ultimately wins out for me is...

Unlike most people, I can't really say I have a particularly nostalgic reason for loving Open Your Heart so much. It wasn't my first intro to a Sonic game (that honour goes to Sonic Heroes from...well), and it certainly wasn't a Sonic game that cemented my love for the franchise, since I hadn't actually played it til way later, around Secret Rings/Unleashed.

But that said, this still remains my favourite Crush 40 track, and my favourite vocal theme, and I think it's just because it slaps. so. much. On top of the fact it's a really good representation of the game's plot itself, and sums up the battle against Sonic and Eggman/Chaos perfectly, along with just the insanely good visuals that went along with it. 

As for the runner-up:

 

One of the more underrated Sonic vocal themes, I honestly didn't even really discover and pay any mind to Un-Gravitify up until just a few years ago, despite having Zero Gravity on the PS2. It just ended up on my Discover Weekly one week on Spotify, and I've been hooked to it ever since. I'm also aware that Crush 40 did a version of this song, but I've always found myself going back to the Cashell version, specifically because the high-energy, techno beat was what gives the song it's kick to me, compared to Crush 40's slower, rock version. It just loses the charm to me a little. Same as With Me, honestly.

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INSTANTLY knew which one I had to go with:

I've loved Crush 40's themes for the Sonic series since day 1, but when SatBK came around, they completely KILLED it. They not only contributed MULTIPLE brand new vocal songs to score Sonic's Arthurian adventure, but also the game's theme, Knight of the Wind, which STILL ranks as my absolute favorite across the entire series. It's SUCH a badass theme, effectively combining the feel of a Sonic track with the scope of a medieval tale and no matter how many times I hear it, I can't get enough of it, ESPECIALLY the second verse. I can't TELL YOU how many times I've suddenly been completely amped up by Johnny singing "I WILL BRING YOU PAIN AND FEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!" Just a completely awesome theme and one of the many reasons why Black Knight has a special place in my heart to this day.

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EDIT: @Raging Cajun CC14 just beat me of a few seconds lol

Mine is probably Knight of the Wind

I never played Black Knight, but this song always sounded cool to me, and it kinda has some nostalgic tunes mixed in the score which somehow remind me of some old Master System music. Maybe the lyrics are a bit cheesy? I don't know, but it still sounds epic and exciting, just like any Sonic music should.

It's either this, or Live and Learn.

Honorable mention to Ska Cha Cha from Sonic Rush... it's a song that I find funny and kinda stupid (in a good way) and it stuck in my head for some reason. I think I like it ironically, but still.

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For me it is the Uk / JP vocal intro to Sonic CD, "you can do anything" / "Toot toot Sonic Warrior". After years of 8bit and 16bit tunes, that vocal intro was quite simply ear-meltingly awsome. The pace, the delivery, it totally sets up the stage for tge game

 

 

 

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Hello everyone! I’ve been mainly lurking on here for the past couple years, but wanted to officially start posting on SSMB by participating on the music related days for 30 Days of Sonic since I love making music myself! 

My choice for this week’s prompt would be Waking Up from Shadow the Hedgehog!

I think its got this really cool balance of encompassing this edgy early 2000s aesthetic that the game was going for, while still managing to be something that’s super bouncy and danceable. When I think of Shadow, this song always immediately comes to mind since the lyrics manage to capture his inner conflict really well. My favorite part, besides that hauntingly catchy chorus of course, has to be the awesome bridge that kicks in right after the second verse! It feels like this big dramatic climax that leaves such a strong impression on the listener, I remember it sticking out to me the first time I heard it all those years ago around the time the game came out. Overall just a fun listen that executes its ideas almost perfectly!

In general the Sonic series always manages to deliver solid vocal tracks, super excited to see other people’s responses!

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19 minutes ago, Raging Cajun CC14 said:

INSTANTLY knew which one I had to go with:

I've loved Crush 40's themes for the Sonic series since day 1, but when SatBK came around, they completely KILLED it. They not only contributed MULTIPLE brand new vocal songs to score Sonic's Arthurian adventure, but also the game's theme, Knight of the Wind, which STILL ranks as my absolute favorite across the entire series. It's SUCH a badass theme, effectively combining the feel of a Sonic track with the scope of a medieval tale and no matter how many times I hear it, I can't get enough of it, ESPECIALLY the second verse. I can't TELL YOU how many times I've suddenly been completely amped up by Johnny singing "I WILL BRING YOU PAIN AND FEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!" Just a completely awesome theme and one of the many reasons why Black Knight has a special place in my heart to this day.

 

19 minutes ago, Iko said:

EDIT: @Raging Cajun CC14 just beat me of a few seconds lol

Mine is probably Knight of the Wind

I never played Black Knight, but this song always sounded cool to me, and it kinda has some nostalgic tunes mixed in the score which somehow remind me of some old Master System music. Maybe the lyrics are a bit cheesy? I don't know, but it still sounds epic and exciting, just like any Sonic music should.

It's either this, or Live and Learn.

Honorable mention to Ska Cha Cha from Sonic Rush... it's a song that I find funny and kinda stupid (in a good way) and it stuck in my head for some reason. I think I like it ironically, but still.

If you asked me a good five years ago, I would've been right there with Knight of the Wind, I used to love this song. Was one of the few songs I'd bought off ITunes, before they added the Sonic OSTs to Spotify, and as such, I had it set for my alarm tone and everything.

But then this had the result that I listened to it so often that it puttered out and grew thin on me. I still really like it, but I've still ended up with burn-out ever since lol.

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This was a tough choice for me, because I do truly love so many vocal themes. The Heroes theme easily gives me the most nostalgia out of any of them, but I wouldn't say it's my most favorite. I also think His World and Dreams of an Absolution are quite top tier, and I almost gave the top spot to His World, but I do enjoy the instrumental version a bit more. So I'm gonna go with Endless Possibility, as I find it to be one of the catchiest songs, and it really encapsulates Sonic the Hedgehog perfectly to me. It's just a really fun and energetic song that I find myself going back to again and again.

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Actually, I've got another honourable mention that somehow I completely forgot, but I feel like I'd be doing a disservice if I failed to mention it:

The funny thing about this was the first time I heard it - iirc, was someone suggesting it for Sonic Musical Spectacular, and upon hearing it, I ended up not only deciding to play and finish Sonic Unleashed (for the first time, as my first playthrough on PS2 ended on Eggmanland, while my PS3 run ended during the first Werehog stage in Shamar), but do the 100% journey as well. For some reason, Dear, My Friend just really spoke to me the first time I heard it, and made me really wanna experience the game that accompanied it. 

And finishing it really gave it a really good climatic feeling that summed up the story. Where after this gigantic world adventure, where you and Chip shared so many memories together, experienced so many worlds and countries together, where Chip got to truly experience the world that he now serves to protect as Light Gaia, as well as gaining a best friend in Sonic, it just climaxes the entire game so damn well. It gives it this lovely, beautiful bittersweet end, where Sonic and Chip are forced to say goodbye, and Chip in particular is forced to say goodbye to the world he'd stayed behind to protect from Dark Gaia, but with a renewed sense of purpose, now that he got to truly experience what he now spends protecting.

I just think it's great. It's a great representation of Sonic as a character, who'll go above and beyond for his friends, to help them with their problems, and the bitter note of Chip remaining in the earth's core to keep Dark Gaia at bay. The perfect note to end on for such a long journey around the world.

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Did you expect anything different from me?

This wasn't Robotnik's first vocal theme, per se (that would arguably go to the boss theme or Metallic Madness Bad Future from the Japanese Sonic CD soundtrack), but I feel like E.G.G.M.A.N. nails the Doc's character. It's upbeat, catchy, and spells out in no uncertain terms that Eggman is a genius who'll stop at nothing to rule the world!

This theme has come back many times - from its remix in Shadow the Hedgehog to its hub arrangement in Generations to its frequent use as a powerup theme for Eggman in the Sumo Digital games. It's easily Eggman's most iconic theme to date, and for good reason.

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For me, it's gotta be Supporting Me by Fumie Kumatani and Everett Bradly from Sonic Adventure 2.

It's hard to put my finger on exactly what makes this song so special to me.  It has this really interesting "warm" feel to it throughout that I really like despite having a lot of instrument choices that reflect the Biolizard's more chilling nature, and it perfectly balances this driving energy that suits the action on screen, with the melancholy of the narrative meaning of the fight and Shadow's conflicting feelings at the time.  It's strange that it has this very heavy beat and guitars for a lot of it and yet when I think of it in my memory, I think of the overall scene as being very calm and focused.  The icing on the cake are the subtle references to Live & Learn throughout the song, making it a perfect penultimate boss theme that feels like a calm before the storm, with a unique sound that totally beats out all the generic dramatic orchestra tracks that would dominate the penultimate boss themes for pretty much every main series game that followed (not to disrespect the Hidaeki Kobayashi's fine work on those, the way he continued to churn those out even after PSO2 started getting like two a year out of him as well for that game's big boss fights is kind of incredible).

My only point of contention for the song is what a disappointment it was that the OST treats it as video game background music rather than having it feel like a standalone vocal song, in the fact that it rather boringly just fades out during the opening lyrics again after playing a single loop. 

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1 hour ago, Ryannumber1gamer said:

Unlike most people, I can't really say I have a particularly nostalgic reason for loving Open Your Heart so much. It wasn't my first intro to a Sonic game (that honour goes to Sonic Heroes from...well), and it certainly wasn't a Sonic game that cemented my love for the franchise, since I hadn't actually played it til way later, around Secret Rings/Unleashed.

But that said, this still remains my favourite Crush 40 track, and my favourite vocal theme, and I think it's just because it slaps. so. much. On top of the fact it's a really good representation of the game's plot itself, and sums up the battle against Sonic and Eggman/Chaos perfectly, along with just the insanely good visuals that went along with it. 

Before I get to my choice, just wanted to add that my introduction to Open Your Heart was the History of Sonic video in Mega Collection. The immediate contrast of the jaunty Saturn soundchip to that blasting guitar chord leaping into the chorus...damn what an impact that made to teenage me.

 

Lots of great choices above. This is a tough choice, I'm already dreading the rest of the music questions after this...

What I'm Made Of has a great tempo, Johnny's vocals are on point and I love Jun's guitar work. I know that description fits a lot of Crush 40 songs, but with music sometimes a song just hits that sweetspot above others and this is a great example for me.

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Not since live and learn had we had as powerful a final boss track as Black Knights IMO. The clash of ideals is really driven home in the lyrics. Massive power indeed. 

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Honourable mentions:

Dear My Friend

Endless Possibility

His World - Zebrahead remix

Live and Learn (of course, with the Symphony version pushing it soooo close!)

 

Winner:

What's not to love! Sonic Heroes provides the Crush 40 rock and vocals while being upbeat and providing similar tone and charm of the 90's vocal tracks.

NateWantsToBattle made a fantastic cover.

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Am I really going to be the first one to pick this one...? Huh. Okay.

This has been my alarm clock music for the last 15 years or so. The opening sound now sends a jolt of panic through my body! In hindsight, I wouldn't have done that if I realized that would happen!

But I still love this theme. It's the perfect complement for one of the most dramatic finales in the entire series. Possibly the most dramatic finale! It kind of reminds me of the old Power Rangers music, but, like... maybe taking itself a bit more seriously? I love the mix of the dramatic flair and melancholy tension hanging over the entire piece.

My favorite part is the second verse!

Can you feel life tangle you up inside?
Yeah, now you're face down on the floor
But you can't tame your sorrow
You've paid in trade
While you can't help but follow
It puts you right back where you came

These lyrics still haven't worn off on me after like 20 years. Wow! The "now you're face down on the floor" part struck me as a little weird when I was younger, considering the final battle takes place in space. That has no bearing on anything, I just think it's a little funny.

I'll of course listen to other vocal tracks frequently depending on my mood. But when I think of Sonic vocal music, this is still the first track to come to mind.

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Sonic Rush was a rare bright spot for the series in the mid-2000s. The boost mechanic made it's (proper) debut in 2005's Sonic Rush. At the time the boost was a fresh innovation for the series, something that brought quick-twitch elements to otherwise familiar Sonic gameplay. Hideki Naganuma's hyperactive soundtrack was the perfect compliment for boosting everywhere, flying off of springs and ramps mashing buttons to pull off countless tricks to keep the boost meter full. Wrapped in Black, the final boss theme, was an epic finale to one of Sonic's best, and definitely most distinct, soundtracks.

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This is so HYPE. I always felt that this was the true theme of the Sonic series, the strong chorus melody and the lyrics about surpassing any obstacle is just pure SONIC.

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Gotta go with City Escape. Honestly probably my favorite video game track period.

This song is embedded in my earliest memories of being a Sonic fan. The feeling I had watching Sonic rush down the streets of San Francisco to this tune as a kid is something I'll never forget. It's such an iconic song that I've been able to enjoy singing this song along with multiple people I know who aren't Sonic fans. The song itself is all around really solid, and the lyrics are very fitting for Sonic's character. 

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Honestly, I had trouble trying to decide between "Open Your Heart," "It Doesn't Matter" and "Live and Learn."  But, I ultimately went with "Open Your Heart." This song is just so nostalgic to me.  I remembered when I first played the Sega Dreamcast and whenever I played Sonic Adventure, this song always stayed with me whenever I played this game and it's like the song that pretty much signifies Sonic's official transition to 3D gaming.  I also loved the fact that this song was used for Super Sonic's battle against Perfect Chaos and the song has a very adventurous and final feel to it that stayed with me to this day.

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Why mine is a speciffic version of a beloved theme.

The Sonic Symphony version of Endless Possibility. The original was almost perfect, catchy lyrics, great guitar work and a feel that really elevates the idea of running all over the world. Now this one adds in the orchestra backing it and elevates it so much higher. It screams high speed adventure to me and I love it.

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The themes in Sonic are typically real good.

I feel like one of my bigger favorites is... Dreams of an Absolution, the LB vs JS remix in particular.

I have a hard time saying what about it I like. Silver's theme just freaking slaps here, and for some reason, I feel like this remix in particular just captures his personality.

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I already posted a song, but I want to mention another one for the sake of it.

I'm not a big fan of Sonic Forces' soundtrack, but I like this specific song:

I don't know, I think it creates a nice atmosphere with the environment and all, not much else to say.

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It's not exactly what I'd call a favorite (that'd be Knight of the Wind, but it's already mentioned), but it's up there. There's something about the sheer high-octane energy this one gives out. Really keeps me going, but I just wish it'd be a teensy bit longer. Maybe some other time, I'd hope?

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Sonic Riders has this really cool, techno futuristic vibe going on with its everything; just super sleek and stylish as hell. Sonic has never really shied away from doing similar level themes if needs be, but Riders just hits different. Sure Sonic can probably outrun all of these hooligans on their hoverboards, but the rule of cool is what dominates these races and hoverboards are just really cool. It's not just a race, it's a special race.

Anyways, Un-Gravitify is from a godawful sequel to Sonic Riders, but it slaps and is basically a musical representation of everything that's cool about the original game. I wish Zero Gravity was half as good as this theme.

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