Apologies for the thoroughly conventional song choice, but there was no other way for any other song to take up the final day of this holiday week series: A statement of hope that the holidays for us will be holly. And jolly. Plus, it’s a pretty great little tune.
It is exceptionally hard in the modern day for brand new, original songs to get added to the holiday music canon. This one, which is among my favorite Christmas songs ever, deserves to have a place in it.
An original Christmas song from a nearly two decade-old quasi-harem anime series—where said “harem” is a dozen siblings—is probably the thing anyone might ever expect to be solid, let alone a highlight. But ours is the strangest timeline in which we live.
I’m one of those people who will go to bat for Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime”. That will not be happening here, however. As enjoyable as that song is, there is still something far greater in the tradition of synth-tastic holiday songs.
Ask little me, and my excitable self would have have given the honor to “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" with nary a second thought. These days, however, this song is my favorite from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra catalog, a distillation of everything they do right.
So you collect three or more stars, enter the door that leads you to the first snow-themed world, and jump into the painting. The first thing you see is a little house-looking structure topped off by a large chimney. Five coins tantalizingly hover above it. Most likely, you’re going to follow them down.
Post-Thanksgiving and post-Black Friday, the holiday season is officially in full swing. Hardly for better and most assuredly for worse, that means a daily over-saturation of Christmas music everywhere, too much even for someone like me who genuinely likes the holiday and the music. Well, some of the music, at least.
An anime series about high school girls driving tanks has no right being as excellent as it ended up. Turns out that inspired creative decisions and masterful execution can take even the most trainwreck-sounding concepts far. A military march-inflected soundtrack certainly helps that out plenty.
The Hotline Miami series, with its synthwave/retrowave-drenched soundtrack, has served as a potent musical discovery engine for me, as well as undoubtedly many others. Remarkably, that extends to songs and artists that never even appeared in the games.
Just as true in 2017 as it was in 2013, check the YouTube comments to any video of thing song, and one thing you’re guaranteed to see is some variation of “OH YEAH this was my jam in Hot Wheels Turbo Racing!!!” And yup, just like them, that’s how I first heard of this one.
Back in the plastic instrument glory days of music gaming, DJ Hero was a boldly weird experiment that focused on multi-song mashups and scratching routines. The first game, with a mix that does the latter, gave rise to one of its genre’s best boss battles.
When I was really young, I absolutely loved playing Bomberman Hero, and that love especially extended to Jun Chiki Chikuma’s soundtrack. It was yet another example of video games foreshadowing and cultivating my love for electronic music—drum ‘n bass and jungle in this specific case—with one particular song maybe…
Of all the instruments that grace music, the bass guitar may be the one that gets the least love. Such impropriety extends to its role in rhythm games as well. But occasionally, you get those few songs where the bass gets to act as the centerpiece, and at least one of them made sure to milk the opportunity for all it…
SimCity seems to always fit in some breathtaking soundtracks, and so even if I’ve never played some of the games (such as, at the original time this was written out, 4), I’ll still happily hear and enjoy its music.
Sure, one COULD simply soundtrack a video game featuring cyborg demons armed with jetpacks and shoulder-mounted rocket launchers the same way they soundtrack other video games. But where the hell is the fun in that?
Cromartie High School? Simply hilarious. The opening credits capture the series’ absurdity perfectly, including its eccentric choice of song.
Naoki Maeda was the longtime prime original musical architect for Dance Dance Revolution. On occasion, however, one of Bemani’s other in-house musicians, Yuichi Asami, would contribute reinterpretations of some of Naoki’s tracks. This is one of the highlights.
I am a big fan of Azumanga Daioh, and that extends to its soundtrack, because it too is wonderful. And out of a whole album’s worth of miniature toy orchestra gems, this song stands atop it all as my favorite piece.
Considering how my first two exposures to the main theme of a video game series were a digital flatulence mess and an improved though still not stellar electro-symphonic version, imagine my surprise at finding out that the original from which they spawned is pretty fantastic.
DJ SHARPNEL’s brand of otaku J-core is very hit-and-miss for me; depending on the song, it could be either noisy useless clunker or a brilliantly loopy endorphin rush. Given the context, should be no surprise where I think this one right here falls...