Nuggets of Wisdom

Monday, May 23, 2016

VGM Monday: What U Need

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise. So to celebrate, from now and throughout Sonic’s birthday this June, I’m going to be highlighting some of my favorite Sonic music for VGM Monday.

Sonic Rush is my absolute favorite Sonic game, if for no other reason than it has my favorite soundtrack of all time. Unlike previous Sonic games, the music for Sonic Rush has a very grungey techno discopunk sound to it, almost like something you would hear at a rave or night club.

The music is very reminiscent of that of another Sega franchise, Jet Set Radio. In fact, the composer for that game, Hideki Naganuma, had collaborated with the composer for this game, Teruhiko Nakagawa. So it only makes sense that there’s some cross-pollination between the soundtrack of those two games.

Like Jet Set Radio, Sonic Rush’s music sampled and remixed other media within their songs, with samples from at least 14 other creations. This includes “Back 2 Back” sampling the melody for “Louie Louie”, and, more interestingly enough, “Wrapped in Black” sampling audio from a Malcolm X speech.

Since this is one of my favorite Sonic soundtracks, picking one song as my favorite seems almost impossible. Pretty much every track is a winner. "Right There, Right On". "Jeh Jeh Rocket". "Metal Scratchin". "Vela-Nova". All of them are awesome in their own right. But if I had to pick one that’s my absolute favorite, it would be "What U Need":