Monday, 27 May 2013

Lost in the Music: Top Ten Songs of Summer.

After several long, dark and cold months, Summer is finally here. The time of camping, hiking, boating and late night campfires has final returned and I couldn't be happier. One of my favourite memories when I was a child was going up to the family cabin where my parents, brother and I would swim in the lake, go fishing and sit by the fire and relax. To me that is what summer is.

So today, I will be doing a top 10 songs for summer. This is music that has get ready for the season and helps invokes those days of relaxing in the yard with a cold drink in one hand, and a book in the other hand.

10: Yoshi Island: Title Screen ~ Koji Kondo

Specifically for this list is the World 6 variant. The Title Theme to the original Yoshi''s Island. Whereas the original version of song had only the sound of crashing waves, this track has a more tropical island feel. The usage of woodwinds and steel drums makes this song perfect for exploring a tropical island.

How that makes this a summer song is that it invokes the feeling of exploration. While songs like David Wise's In A Snow-Bound Land is more suited for those cold winter days, songs like this are for those days where you can imagine yourself jetted away to a uninhabitable island in the tropics, and explore the strange new land.

9: Legend of Zelda; A Link to the Past: Kakariko Village ~ Koji Kondo

This track makes an appearance because it is more like summer in a small town. The music makes one feel relaxed refreshed and safe. You don't need to care what is going on outside your town borders.

When I listen to this song, I think back to my own childhood and reflect on how simple life was back then. During the summer months, all I had to worry about was making sure my brother and I had our chores done before we could play Nintendo. A far more simpler time.

8: Chrono Trigger: Memories of Green ~ Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Matsuda

A common theme on this list is the feeling of walking in a field on a warm day. Memories of Green evokes those feelings as well as the feelings of loneliness. In a way that's not entirely a bad thing. Being around friends is a wonderful thing, but there are times where you simply wish to be alone to bask in the glory of nature.

Memories of Green allows you to slip into a near meditative state and simply relax. This is a great tune for people to simply get lost in when they need time to be alone.

7: Ukelele de Chocobo ~ Nobuo Uematsu

Instant tropical paradise, just add a Ukelele. This track, like many others on the list, evokes the feeling of being at a tropical resort. I enjoy these songs because it has me visualize standing on the beach of some resort overlooking the ocean. Being from a landlocked province with my only access to water is the local lake, I am envious to those who live on the coast and is able visit the ocean anytime.

Like the other tropical songs on this list, this track mentally sends me to some island paradise to embrace the sun kissed water and beach. It's great to listen to when you are relaxing by the pool while lying in the sun.

6: Xenoblade Chronicles: Guar Plains ~ ACE+

Guar Plains is the more dynamic cousin to Chrono Trigger's Memories of Green. While the latter song is more for getting lost in your thoughts while hiking, the latter is more suited for going on adventure and turning your back yard into your own world to explore.

When my brother and I were younger, we'd have our own pretend adventures

5: Final Fantasy VII: Costa Del Sol ~ Nobuo Uematsu

When I first played Final Fantasy VII, I was taken back by the gloomy graphics. The world was so drab and lifeless. Some people had lost the will to live, only to eke out a pitiful survival, while others became powerful ganglords who ruled the slums.

But the entire world was not dirty. Costa Del Sol was one such a place. A land of sun kissed beaches, eye candy for both genders. A perfect place that even scientists who commit atrocities can find comfort.

Costa Del Sol's track is one of those of complete beach side relaxation.

4: Super Mario Kart: Koopa Troopa Beach ~ Soyo Oka and Taro Bando

Another track with a tropical feeling, this one is more suited for walking along the streets of some small town taking in the local colour and see how life differs from your own. Unlike the other tropical themes on this list, this one is not as relaxing as the others. This has more energy to the song, more suited for exploring the small towns, surfing the waves or even skateboarding through the crowds.

Koopa Troopa Beach is defiantly more suited to those who are looking for more excitement on their holiday, and not wanting to sit around at the beach.

3: Sonic the Hedgehog: Green Hill Zone ~ Masato Nakamura

Growing up I was in the Nintendo camp during the original console wars. While I was crushing Bowser's foes who stood in my way to save Princess Peach, my friends with the Sega were busy ripping through the levels as a blue hedgehog.

Green Hill Zone is the track you listen to when you want to sprint through the fields. This is the song for kids to listen to once school is out for the summer. They are now free from educational obligations

2: The Image of Cool: Crusin~ nickelPUNK feat. Ryn

I touched on Crusin last Friday so I will keep it brief.

This song is the very essence of the summer roadtrip. Be it a trip across the country, or heading to the lake for the weekend, the roadtrip is a summer classic.

As cliche as it is, one thing I loved about going to the family cabin was the trip itself. While the trip itself was mostly uneventful, there was usually one or two events that would be the highlight of the actual drive itself. It's those memories that make me smile and reflect on the family vacations.

1: Super Mario Sunshine Track ~ Koji Kondo

I am not a fan of Super Mario Sunshine. While I enjoyed the new location, the cut-scenes and the gameplay mechanics, there were somethings that irked me such as the level design and the repetitive missions. I know that Super Mario 64 itself had a fair share of repeat missions, but given that it was Nintendo's first foray into 3D (Mario RPG doesn't count), I am willing to cut it some slack. The same cannot be said about Super Mario Sunshine, but that is for another day.

What I do appreciate about the game is the soundtrack. Koji Kondo and his team did a fantastic job emulating the sounds expected of a tropical paradise. The usage of Ukelele's as well as Steel Drums truly add to the atmosphere of the game.

When I listen to the sound track, I do feel I am walking along the beach of some tropical destination. The soundtrack had me wish I was on Isle Delfino, sitting back on the beach, soaking up the suns rays.

Summer is a season of outdoor fun, be it swimming, hiking, or camping, summer is the season of fun.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

As a side note, I would like to apologize for being tardy on today's update.

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