Video Game Music Styles + Pop Music
If you like these video game songs-- you may like these other popular records too.
Today I’d like to share a few of my favorite songs from Video Games. In contrast with each of them, I’ll be sharing a song from popular culture that reminds me of the video game track.
These comparisons are loose and just for fun— but maybe in reading this you’ll find some new grooves to listen to.
1) Donkey Kong Country Returns - Aquatic Ambience Returns (2010) (Composers: Kenji Yamamoto, Minako Hamano, Masaru Tajima, Shinji Ushiroda, and Daisuke Matsuoka)
The DK track is a masterful remake of a throwback track of the same name. The song is filled with lush pads, ambiance, and synthesizers. It even features a beautiful use of conga drums (which originate from Cuba).
The song in comparison is “When I call A Name” from “Me and You and Everyone We Know” OST (2005)
The song differs in many ways but the stirring atmospheric nature of the song does conjure some memories to many game soundtracks.
2) Tekken Tag Tournament OST : Ogre (2000)
This track is an iconic, upbeat song featuring a hip-hop drum beat and violins that really make this song epic (110 BPM) Jamiroquai’s “Canned Heat” (1999-128 BPM) has a very similar use of string instruments as well. Two classics. Maybe you’ve heard them both already. I do think that Jamiroquai had an influence on Tekken’s producers in some other songs as well. Jamiroquai really pioneered the sound of Acid Jazz in the early 2000s— I think it’s a safe to say that their global influence impacted Japan. I was actually wondered into a TV store in Akihabara,Japan recently and I saw this very music video playing on the display monitors.
3) Kong Jungle- Super Smash Bros (1999)
I do think the second half of Kong Jungle is eerily similar to the main groove in Peter Gabriel’s “Shock The Monkey” (1982) — I think the use of similar instruments is one aspect of its similarity, but also the songs are both given a dark and sinister tone. They appear to sound like the jungle at night. Peter Gabriel’s track is of course more upbeat.
4) Braid- Lullaby Set (2009)
You could probably think of a few singer-songwriters who’s albums sound similar to that of the game “Braid” (2009). What I’m first reminded of is Norah Jones’, “Wish I Could” (2007). Much of her first couple albums were definitely Lullabys in their own way. Love both of these songs.
5) Resident Evil - Rebecca’s Theme (1996)
Another Gem from the Ps1 era is from Resident Evil (1996)— I think that a lot of Ps1s moody music could be very similar to that of “Me and You and Everyone We Know” composed by Michael Andrews
The movie’s soundtrack was composed with a modified Casio SK-1! — A small sampling keyboard from 1985…
6) Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee - “Free-Fire Zone" (1997)
I love music like this! Atmospheric, sampling natural sounds from the earth. 2814’s Voyage/Embrace (2020) songs are very similar, maybe 2814 even sampled the 1997 Ps1 game? Either way, enjoy these tracks while you decompress, meditate, or handle chores around the house.