Oh, the pain that songs-that-would-have-gone-better-without-lyrics cause.
#70 The Supernatural (Sonic Adventure 2)
You all know the drill by now: main beat is awesome, lyrics stink. Actually, I need to rephrase that, that's not entirely true. Main beat is awesome, lyrics are pretty good (if you can hear them), random scats in the song stink (and by scat I mean the vocal impersonations, not the term for feces. This is a PG countdown, after all). Honestly, even if the rest of the lyrics were kept, it would have a pretty decent spot on this list if it wasn't for those noises. I don't have much else to say about this song, so let's move on.
And now for something completely different.
#69 Worth a Chance (Sonic and the Secret Rings)
When most people think of different types of Sonic music, a love song is not the type of song that comes to mind first. It's also not the type of music I'd suggest for Runblebee's future. The band, known for creating some bombastic tunes for the Sonic Riders games as well as Secret Rings, almost seems as though they were made a bet that they couldn't write and perform a song outside heir comfort zone due to this completely huge change of pace. It's like if Tom Brady suddenly became a golf star. If somebody else had done this (like Bentley Jones), it probably would have worked better, and to be honest, it's not flat out bad. It's sweet, it fits the mood of Secret Ring's ending nicely, and it's got some encouraging lyrics. It's just not done by the right people.
Fair heads up: these next few entries are all going to be from the same game. Nothing you aren't used too already, but I wanted to make something clear: I actually like Secret Rings's music overall, it's just these select tracks that I mind, starting with this one.
#68 Poison Spear (Sonic and the Secret Rings)
A trend that I've noticed with Secret Rings is that, with a few exceptions, the level themes tend to be better than the boss themes. This song established the trend perfectly. The vocals sound way too much like a combination of rap and screamo (two of my least favorite music genres), that electric-piano-or-whatever-the-heck-that-is-supposed-to-be solo doesn't fit at all, and it just doesn't get you hyped up for the boss battle. I do like the fading in/out scream towards the beginning, but it isn't enough to save the song from a lackluster spot. There is a plus side however: if you hate this song, you won't hear it much over the loudness of the fight with the Sand Scorpion.
There are exactly two results that can come out of soundtrack dissonance: comedy and bad direction. I don't think that this song was written for comedic purposes.
#67 Unawakening Float (Sonic and the Secret Rings)
Normally, this song wouldn't make it into a lackluster spot such as this. It's soothing to listen to, the lyrics are somber and even a little sad at times, and the main instruments blend together perfectly. Unfortunately, there is one problem. This song plays during the final level of the game. This is the main fortress of the evil mastermind who's ruined your life and nearly destroyed a universe, both of the protagonists are going through some psychological trauma, the castle loves to mess with your mind - and this song symbolizes NONE OF THAT. Runblebee had so much potential to create this awesome song, and they just didn't do it. It's especially jarring since, for the last four levels or so, the music has been awesome, so I don't know why they messed up here.
What a coincidence. This numerical placement is one six short of being the Number of the Beast. It just so happens that this song plays where there are lots of beasts. (Yes, I know they're not the same thing, I just stink at creating intros).
#66 The Wicked Wild (Sonic and the Secret Rings)
I know that I haven't had much to say about certain songs on this list, and I have been trying to improve on my speechlessness, but I am completely stumped on what to say for this song. The best thing that I can say about this song is that it is adequate. The main beat isn't the worst thing I've ever heard, and there are some really cool parts scattered throughout the song, but most of the time, it just feels average. The lyrics don't say much aside from "you are in a jungle now", and while I don't normally mind songs with lyrics in this style, it isn't done well here.
Wow. I did pretty good considering my writer's block.
I'll be honest, when I first heard this next song in-game, I thought that the only vocals were the howler monkey noises in the background. I bet that you can guess what I'll say to that.
#65 Rhythm and Balance (Sonic Adventure 2)
This song consists of two parts, the aforementioned howler monkey segment followed by the synthesizer segment (starts around 0:38 in the video). Honestly, both parts are pretty awesome. The first part does a really good job of capturing the essence of the jungle, while the second part reminds you that said jungle is about to blow up with you on it. I remember hearing somebody else say that the vocals showed that Shadow's memory is messing with him in this song, and it's not only easy to see that, but it works to the song's advantage. Even though they don't have much verbal appeal, the vocals still manage to make up the deficit.
Heh. Two EDGE songs in a row. Us Shadow fans must be having a good day.
#64 Almost Dead (Shadow the Hedgehog)
I'm not usually a big fan of heavy metal or screamo, so I'm being completely honest when I say that I was a little skeptical when I first heard this song (ok, a lot skeptical). Fortunately for the song, it's nothing like traditional songs in these genres, thanks in part to it having actually intelligent music and lyrics. The lyrics here symbolize that everybody views him as "dead", fitting as he has officially either sided with one of the most evil Sonic characters ever or betrayed one of his closet allies, the aforementioned evil character. The only real reason this song ranks so low is, simply put, I like our next entries better.
I'm honestly surprised how many Sonic songs are named after certain phrases that could also serve as advice. You have Open Your Heart, Live and Learn, Speak With Your Heart, and many others. What better time to talk about this trend then with the song that set it off?
#63 Cosmis Enernity - Believe in Yourself (Sonic CD)
I'm not against the trend of Sonic songs with morals (frankly, it's what most of them are all about), and this song is no exception. Admittedly, there are some times where it does sound a bit corny, and to be honest, the main singer still can't hit those high notes, but those two problems don't keep this from being a good song. The synthesizer style works well with the vocals, the song is catchy as all get out, and it takes many different looks at the old adage so that the song isn't unoriginal. It actually reminds me of one or two other songs from more recent games in this style, just not quite as good as those.
Well, we've reached the inevitable. At some point or another, we had to get to these songs. If I ever get comments, they're going to be either hating me for putting these songs this low, this high, or both. Oh well. Sonic R, everybody!
#62 Back in Time (Sonic R)
I've never actually played Sonic R, so I can't vouch for how well this song fits into its respective stage. However, that doesn't mean that I can't judge the song in its own right. And with that, it's actually pretty good. There's the traditional 90s corniness that we've all grown to know and love present, it's an actually successful take on a Sonic style love song, and the vocals come off as kind of sweet. If there is one negative thing that I would take from this, it would be that sometimes, the main singer either songs a little too high or stretches out the words a little too much. Think of it as a similar problem with the previous entry.
When you think about it, the Biolizard is something of a Big Lipped Alligator Moment in SA2. There's little to no alluding to it beforehand, it's unlike anything you've fought before in design, and while it is impactful to the overall Sonic continuity, the whole "giant enemy lizard" thing is never mentioned again. Oh well, at least we got this awesome song out of the deal.
#61 Supporting Me (Sonic Adventure 2)
Unfortunately, no, we're not quite into the god-tier level of Sonic songs yet, that's coming in a while. However, we do have this song to tide us over for a while. In my mind, there is both an upside and a downside to the song being as laid back as it is. On one hand, it helps to reflect what's going on in Shadow's mind as the fight is going on, and it does a good job of doing it. On the other hand, it's pretty hard to justify a song being somewhat laid back when you're fighting a giant, mutant, artificially created lizard thing. Ultimately, however, the good stuff wins out.
If you still have PTSD from the Biolizard/Finalhazard, then stay here recovering. The rest of us will move on to the Top 60.