Monday, 24 June 2013

Crowning Music of Awesome: Stickerbrush Symphony by David Wise

Of all the songs in the Donkey Kong Country series, Stickerbush Symphony is by far the best song from all three games. It is routinely the most lauded on many top ten lists and I cannot explain why it is, but if I were to venture a guess, it is because the Bramble levels are so notoriously difficult, that the developers decided that the music should be calming and more relaxed. They thought that the calming music would not incite the player into a rage when they got their third consecutive game over.

They were right.

Stickerbrush Symphony goes against Video Game Music convention where a frantic and tough music should have a more upbeat, more inspiring track. Instead, the music is much slower and more insightful, making the player relax and think what his next move should be.

So why is Stickerbrush Symphony a Crowning Music of Awesome? It is because composer David Wise tricks the player. Instead of making a frantic soundtrack, he opted for a more subdued approach. Stickerbrush Symphony tricks the player into thinking the level is easier. The music acts as a cover to how difficult the levels can be and through listening to the music, you are more focused on the levels themselves and not the music. It helps keep the player calm, diffusing any thoughts on anger.

Of all the songs in all the albums of the Donkey Kong Country Trilogy, Stickerbrush Symphony is the number 1 spot, followed close by Rockface Rumble from Donkey Kong Country 3. While the music from the original Donkey Kong Country is nostalgic, it doesn't have the same force behind it the way Rockface Rumble and Stickerbrush Symphony does. The former is more awe inspiring while the latter is more thought provocative.

David Wise's work on the Donkey Kong Country series is nothing short of phenomenal. Like his Japanese counterparts, Wise knew how to work within the system's limit and used the limitations to its advantage. He also knew how to make the music fit the environment which back then seemed to be a rarity among composers.

When Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze was announced, I was excited. I had enjoyed the first game and the composers had done a wonderful job emulating Wise's work from the original trilogy. When it was announced that Wise was returning, I was ecstatic and knew that Donkey Kong Country Returns: Tropical Freeze will be the game that gets me the Wii U.

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

Also as of note, I will be moving to the summer update schedule which is Tuesday, Thursday and Friday starting next week.

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