Triple Threat: Sonic Heroes Vocal Trax

Triple Threat: Sonic Heroes Vocal Trax. Front. Click to zoom.
Triple Threat: Sonic Heroes Vocal Trax
Front
Composed by Amir Derakh / Fumie Kumatani / Johnny Gioeli / Jun Senoue / Kenichi Tokoi
Arranged by Fumie Kumatani / Gunnar Nelson / Jun Senoue / Kenichi Tokoi
Published by Wave Master
Catalog number WWCE-31020
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 13 tracks
Release date February 4, 2004
Duration 01:11:23
Genres
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Overview

A lot changed with Sonic Heroes. Not only was Sonic Heroes the first official game to tread into other console territories outside SEGA's own after the Dreamcast, but it also marks the first time we ever get to see a more professional touch on the vocal side of the music for Sonic, with the appearance of musical celebrity guests. Granted, the artists that worked alongside Jun Senoue to bring us Triple Threat aren't huge on the mainstream section of A-List stars, but what we do have are artists that a lot of listeners may be able to recognize simply because these musicians have collaborated with bigger artists or joined up with a previous popular band. It's a partial reason as to why we now expect bigger artists with every future Sonic game that gets released. We've had Zebrahead, POWERMAN 5000, and even Marty Friedman from Megadeth in recent years. With that aside, let's have a look at how it all began, with Triple Threat - Sonic Heroes Vocal Trax.

Body

We begin with SEGA and Sonic's own band, Crush 40. Love it or hate it, they come back and kicks things off with the Sonic Heroes theme song, simply entitled "Sonic Heroes". A very heroic and hopeful anthem, it's one of the few songs from Crush 40 to actually mention Sonic of some sort. Well, only in title, "Sonic Heroes", as the rest of lyrics hardly have anything to do with Sonic in terms of personality and instead reference a tale of adventure as the hero focuses ahead with his teammates; this is what the main element of gameplay is made up for behind the game itself. As for the performance, it's very decent and enlightening. The guitars come in clear, and Johnny's vocals come in much clearer then previous songs. I do have to mention the drums, as it sounds much more authentic in a Metal sort of way. Very fast from the intro, thereare powerful hits all throughout and satisfying fills with the echoing cymbals, yet the song still manages to be light.

In following the more cheerful side of Sonic Heroes, we have "We Can" performed by both Ted Poley and Tony Harnell. Anyone who enjoyed "Escape from the City" will fit right in with this anthem behind Team Sonic. "We Can" is one of the few vocal tracks to directly mention Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in character and in proper storyline, as they go on to save the world and teach that Eggman a lesson. As I mentioned, it carries a vibe of "Escape from the City". It's a moderately fast song and a little whimsical, especially in the lyrics as the theme is all about friendship and the super power of friendship. The song in general isn't too bad. I love the rhythm guitars and the riff very much, and once again, I have to mention the drum performance. It's the instrument that starts off the song with a small hint of tropical influence. Not a bad song, but the lyrics kind of bring it down with too much "happiness" and campiness. A pure guilty pleasure for the fans who may enjoy singing this song out loud.

And now our first celebrity members. In a complete about face, we get Team Dark's theme song "This Machine" as performed by Julien-K, which features members such as Amir Derakh, previously appearing in the band Orgy. "This Machine" is a truly hardcore Heavy Metal song mixed with Techno that's very much akin to the sounds of Orgy and Rough Cutt. The guitars come in playing a strong yet simple set of chords at every chorus, while the bass plays the same melody predominantly throughout the entire song. Again, the drums are immense here, and have been given a techno dance beat core to help make song feel much more rough. The song is told from Shadow's point of view, as he sees the truth behind Rouge and Omega, while the Eggman watches him trapped in this machine. A truly epic piece and one of my more favorite songs from this soundtrack.

Next up is Amy Rose's theme song "Follow Me" as performed by another guest, Kay Hanley. She's a vocalist who performed with her band Letters to Cleo, ventured out on solo performances, and provided the singing voice behind the main character for the Josie and the Pussycats feature film. Her musical style is a sort of like a teenage girl — rebellion hard rock, all with such a very beautiful and lighthearted voice. Though the majority of her songs are what I described, she's also composed various works on the tamer side of soft rock, which is how I can safely describe "Follow Me". A song about seeking true love behind their hero, it's still pretty basic "girl rock" with a decent guitar and drums performance. The vocals ultimately dominate the entire composition. Actually, this song reminded me quite a lot of another previous song from Sonic Adventure, "Believe in Myself" which was Tails' theme. "Follow Me" is a nice song, though I really can't see the male side of the Sonic fans purely enjoying this song. It's more of a select taste if anything, but I actually enjoy it from time to time.

And now for some "real" hair metal performance, by none other then Gunnar Nelson of the Nelson Brothers fame. He provides a very sneaky, post-grunge hair metal track "Team Chaotix", the theme song for... well... Team Chaotix. Another one of my favorite songs, this track is a pure call out anthem with a very complex and fast drum performance, a nice blend of funky guitars and bass, and even a crowd to yell out the chorus, consisting only of "TEAM CHAOTIX!". I call this song a hair metal piece because it brings too much reminders of the 80's era of rock, particularly reminiscent of music by Guns n' Roses and Whitesnake... only much more cheesier because of the lyrics pertaining to that of a detective team consisting of an muscle built alligator, a ninja chameleon, and a young child-like bee as they venture out in kicking your ass. Looking past this kind of ridiculous and inevitably bad concept, the song still manages to be very decent, if nothing else.

To top the entire soundtrack off, Crush 40 returns with a much more darker tune then their first track, entitled "What I'm Made Of...". The song deals with Metal Sonic as he confronts the original Sonic, and as the title may suggest, wants to prove he is the better Sonic. The song itself is one of Crush 40's most memorable, and one of my top favorites as well. It's very elaborate in the guitar side of the tune, expanding on a wide variety of sections for the rhythm guitar and the lead. It's all very well combined and it even has one of Jun Senoue's best guitar solos I've heard among all the songs Crush 40 has done. I also love the drums to this song. It's got plenty of fillers that helps define this song pretty unique and giving it a darker more metalcore feeling. Next to "Live and Learn", it's one of my top favorite Crush 40 tunes out there.

The Triple Threat album also contains bonus songs, all consisting of the vocal songs originally heard on Sonic Adventure. There's really not much I can say here that might not have already been said, but for those who missed out on grabbing the Sonic Adventure vocal album, the bonus songs are a really nice complement to go along with the main feature on this disc. I still can't understand why an entire album is now featured nothing more than a bonus on the same disc as the main one here, but it's there for those who want to add more to their library. Since this album pertains more to Sonic Heroes, I won't go into detail on the bonus songs.

Summary

Overall, Triple Threat - Sonic Heroes Vocal Trax does a nice job showing off what Sonic music can accomplish with the collaboration of various well known artists throughout. Although some choices may feel pretty random, such as Gunnar Nelson, in the end,the vocal tracks for Sonic Heroes are definitely some of the more memorable ones out there. I also have to give it to Sonic Heroes for being the stepping stone in allowing bigger artists to come in to work with Jun Senoue or any other music director behind Sonic the Hedgehog. It not only helps improve the quality of the music in various areas, but it also allows for listeners to be curious and give a listen to the other materials these artists may have also worked on, and possibly find new songs to enjoy for many years to come. As always, the hard rock we've come to expect out of Sonic may not be a style that many people may relate to, but for those who can appreciate it, there are plenty of good choices around here to give a listen to. A nice album for Sonic fans to own.



Album
8/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Rafael Orantes

SONIC HEROES ...main theme of "SONIC HEROES"
Music & Arrangement: Jun Senoue
Lyrics: Johnny Gioeli
Performed by: Crush 40

WE CAN ...theme of "TEAM SONIC"
Music & Arrangement: Jun Senoue
Lyrics: Ted Poley
Performed by: Ted Poley & Tony Harnell

THIS MACHINE ...theme of "TEAM DARK"
Music: Jun Senoue & Amir Derakh
Arrangement: Amir Derakh
Lyrics: Ryan Shuck
Performed by: Julien-K

FOLLOW ME ...theme of "TEAM ROSE"
Music & Arrangement: Jun Senoue
Lyrics: Mathilde O'Rourke
Performed by: Kay Hanley

TEAM CHAOTIX ...theme of "TEAM CHAOTIX"
Music: Jun Senoue & Gunnar Nelson
Arrangement: Gunnar Nelson
Lyrics: Gunnar Nelson
Performed by: Gunnar Nelson

WHAT I'M MADE OF... ...song for the final battle
Music & Arrangement: Jun Senoue
Lyrics: Johnny Gioeli
Performed by: Crush 40

[BONUS TRACKS from SONIC ADVENTURE DX]

MY SWEET PASSION ...theme of "Amy"
Music & Arrangement: Fumie Kumatani
Words: Fumie Kumatani
Lyrics Translation: Takahiro Fukuda
Performed by: Nikki Gregoroff

LAZY DAYS... Livin' In Paradise ...theme of "BIG"
Music & Arrangement: Jun Senoue
Words: Fumie Kumatani & Jun Senoue
Lyrics Translation: Takahiro Fukuda
Performed by: Ted Poley

UNKNOWN FROM M.E. ...theme of "KNUCKLES"
Music & Arrangement: Kenichi Tokoi
Words: Kenichi Tokoi
Lyrics Translation: Takahiro Fukuda
Performed by: Marlon Saunders & Dread Fox

BELIEVE IN MYSELF ...theme of "TAILS"
Music & Arrangement: Jun Senoue
Words: Jun Senoue & Takahiro Fukuda
Performed by: Karen Brake

IT DOESN'T MATTER ...theme of "SONIC"
Music & Arrangement: Jun Senoue
Words: Jun Senoue & Takahiro Fukuda
Performed by: Tony Harnell

OPEN YOUR HEART ...main theme of "SONIC ADVENTURE DX"
Music: Jun Senoue & Kenichi Tokoi
Arrangement: Jun Senoue
Words: Jun Senoue & Takahiro Fukuda
Performed by: Johnny Gioeli (Crush 40)
Album was composed by Amir Derakh / Fumie Kumatani / Johnny Gioeli / Jun Senoue / Kenichi Tokoi and was released on February 4, 2004. Soundtrack consists of 13 tracks tracks with duration over more than hour. Album was released by Wave Master.

CD 1

1
Sonic Heroes
03:29
2
We Can
03:19
3
This Machine
04:23
4
Follow Me
03:34
5
Team Chaotix
03:41
6
What I'm Made of...
03:44
7
My Sweet Passion
05:08
8
Lazy Days... Livin' in Paradise
04:03
9
Unknown from M.E.
04:28
10
Believe in Myself
03:52
11
It Doesn't Matter
04:29
12
Open Your Heart
05:14
13
Data Track
21:59
30.04.12
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