If there's one thing that every Sonic fan can agree on (and there probably is only one thing), it's that his music is AWESOME! It almost always fits the mood of the scene and it's just a blast to listen to. So to celebrate his big 25th birthday, I'm going to cover a massive countdown of the best vocal songs in the franchise.
Now, before we actually get started, there are some rules that I would like to state.
1. I am only counting songs from the games. So, while there are some good songs from some of the tv shows, they won't be anywhere on here.
2. While I will be listening to multiple versions of certain songs, there will only be one version of each song on this list. In addition, I have only listened to official covers; no fan versions.
3. This is probably the most important rule: just because a song is in a lackluster spot does not mean that I dislike it. Honestly, the entire top half of this list is completely awesome, so don't take it to heart if a song that you love isn't particularly high.
4. This list is entirely opinion based. This is not a definite ranking, and should not be taken as fact.
With everything said, let's rock and roll!
One of many "unique" opinions that you'll see on this list is that I'm not a particularly big fan of Knuckles. I'm don't appreciate his character, his stages are some of the less enjoyable in the games (particularly the Adventure games), and his music is consistently worse than the average character theme. That can be seen in quite possibly the most boring Sonic song out there: Kick the Rock.
#80 Kick the Rock (Sonic Adventure 2)
One lesson that can be derived from this song is that not all genres of music mix together well. In this case, we see that attempts to blend rap music with classical Egyptian themes are...unsuccessful. On top of that, the vocals feel lackluster, uninspired, and ultimately forgettable. It's not terrible, just very, very bland. If there's one good thing that can be derived from this, however, it's the thought that if this is the worst that Sonic's music can offer, then we are in for a lot of treats.
I think I've figured out the main reason that I'm not that into the Knuckles songs. They're way too mellow considering the intense beats that the series is known for, and they seem boring because of it. By themselves, I don't even dislike them that much. Unfortunately, since this a list of Sonic songs, they need to be judged accordingly.
#79 Dive Into the Mellow (Sonic Adventure 2)
I do admit, the main melody is pretty relaxing and soothing, and I could imagine somebody falling asleep to this. Not that the stinking drowning music will let you. (You have five seconds to get out, ominous beats!) Unfortunately, the cheesy lyrics do get in the way of the beat, bringing this song lower on the list.
At least I like this stage better than Wild Canyon.
Finally! We're almost into the "at least half decent" section of this countdown!
#78 Fly in the Freedom (Sonic Adventure 2)
As somebody who really doesn't care too much about Rouge, I had a pretty hard time thinking of stuff to say about this song. In truth, the reason it suffers from a poor spot on the list is because, simply put, there's really nothing too special about this song. It sounds very basic and not too fun, to be honest. Luckily, the vocals are nice to listen to, if a little "out of place" at times. In the end, the best thing that I can say about this song is "it exists." Now let's move on to more entertaining ear food.
Ok, I'm going to make this joke before it gets milked to death in the comments section (if I ever get one):
Spooky scary skeletons tried to approach me and got Larry.
There, you happy?
#77 A Ghost's Pumpkin Soup (Sonic Adventure 2)
In a manner similar to the previous entries on this list (how could that ever happen, he said sarcastically), this track is pretty bland overall. The main beat is catchy and fitting for the spooky setting of Pumpkin Hill, but the vocals still remain cheesy, and not in a good way. I feel like if Knuckles's songs didn't have lyrics in them (or at least if they weren't rap), I would like them a lot better. But then they wouldn't be on this list, and the people who do like them now would be depressed. I don't like where this train of thought is going, I'm moving on.
I have the feeling that this is going to be the first of many contested entires on this list. So why stop ripping Knuckles a new one?
#76 Unknown from M. E. (Sonic Adventure 1)
I will admit, the reason that this song scores higher than most other Knuckles songs (spoiler alert) is because the main melody is awesome. Normally, I'm not a fan of the saxophone or jazz, but the blend of those two and the traditional rap rhythm here is certainly a sound to behold. If there is one area of the song that suffers, it's (you guessed it) the lyrics. Yeah. They stink. There's no getting around it. It is a shame though. If the lyrics and/or singer were better, this song would have a very good shot of being in my top 20 or maybe even top 10 Sonic songs. And since I have said before that the top half of this list is my "god tier", that's saying a lot.
Don't worry, fellers! We're almost out of the rut of boring Knuckles raps!
#75 Deeper (Sonic Adventure 2)
I must say, making a narrative out of a rap/jazz blend was a pretty bold move for the songwriters, and the main melody, while not quite as good as, say, Unknown from M. E.'s, is still a joy to listen to. Unfortunately, even if the idea of something is good, it means nothing if the execution falls flat. (Oh how that could be used against Sonic). The lyrics here are quite possibly the cheesiest out of all the songs in SA2, and instead of a somewhat funny conversation between Knuckles and Sonic, it comes off as more like Knuckles talking to himself. As I demonstrate:
Say, what should we have for dinner?
Well, chicken is always good, right?
You dang right!
My point exactly.
There's something to be said about the "first" in something. The first movie in an acclaimed series, the first episode of a TV show, the first video game in a series, or, in this case, the first Sonic song. No matter the quality of the work, there is a sort of obligation to respect the first in something.
#74 You Can Do Anything (Sonic CD)
Not only do I respect this song, I actually find it to be pretty dang good. This is one of the first songs here where I actually like the lyrics, the vocals are nice and upbeat, and the main melody is catchy as all get-out. The only problem? The lead singer has a bit of a problem (i.e. a humongous problem) hitting those high notes. It's kind of a milder example of Unknown's problem. It doesn't completely ruin the song, but there are still some pretty cringeworthy moments here.
I was afraid of this day.
#73 Lazy Days (Sonic Adventure 1)
Yes. You are reading that right. Big the Flipping Cat's theme song is higher up on the list than You Can Do Anything and even Unknown. But I do have to say, even though I hate Big the Flipping Cat (yes, I have to call him that), his theme isn't half bad. It does a good job of symbolizing the relationship between BFC and Froggy, and it's pretty catchy to boot. And I hope that you haven't put those torches and pitchforks away, because I actually find this song to be better than most Jimmy Buffett songs. At least it's different than the usual Sonic fare.
Dang it! Why do I always think of the Winter Soldier when I think of this song? I mean, I know that Captain America 2 is essentially Captain America Adventure 2 Battle, but come on!
#72 Throw it All Away (Sonic Adventure 2)
Anyway, if you haven't had your mind irreversibly tainted by this point, let's move on to the song. The easiest way for me to describe this song would be to call it the EDGE version of You Can Do Anything. Mostly, it's a great song, the main beat is terrific, it captures the essence of Shadow's character, and there are some pretty awesome lyrics within. Unfortunately, not only does the main singer stink at singing this, but mixing the main chorus with the melody the way it did was not a good idea. In short, you get a wonderful song ruined by a painful chorus. But don't worry, we still have quite a few Shadow themes to go, especially once we get higher up.
#71 Space Trip Steps (Sonic Adventure 2)
Is it a bad thing that the Knuckles song with the least organized lyrics is my favorite? I hope not, because we've finally reached an awesome Knuckles rap! I don't automatically go for a synthesizer beat when I try out new music, but done right, it can lead to some pretty cool music. And it's definitely done right here. The lyrics may be the least organized, but they're also the least cheesy, at least in my opinion. Now, I at least have some respect for Hunnid-P, as he has definitely saved the best for last.
Now, anybody who was just here for the Knuckles songs may exit to your left, while the rest of us will move on to the Top 70.