Saturday, January 22, 2011

In Defense of Video Game Music

I remember in the past laughing at the people that said they would listen to video game music. There are levels of nerdiness, I thought, that just seem far beyond my reach.

Well, that wall was shattered today, as I just listened to an album of 100% video game music. Not only video game music, but 8-bit music in the style of classic video games of yesteryear. In my defense, though, it was by Anamaguchi, which by all accounts is the best of its genre, and it was the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game Soundtrack (that's a mouthful, isn't it?). I was a bit reluctant at first, but there's several factors that convinced me...

1 - They are usually instrumental, or at least with very little in terms of lyrics, which means that it worked great as background music that doesn't distract you too much when you are doing other tasks like writing and reading.

2 - They are short. I have a short attention span for music. Songs better be entertaining, catchy, and above all, they must not overstay their welcome. Which is not to say that I dislike old songs, but if you repeat the same verse/chorus more than three times AND you are not The Ramones, you better have a damn good reason for making me listen to your song for five minutes. 

3 - Unifying themes. I'm a sucker for themes and movements across different songs, as they give unity to an album (something lost on many artists), and work perfectly to transition from one song to the other. I understand this is probably a side effect from video games when they have recurring characters with their own theme song.

In any case, I'll probably sample a few other albums of this kind, see how much I enjoy it, or if this was just a fluke.

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