Friday, 12 December 2014

Top 20 MLP: FiM songs

This is something I've had planned for a while. At this point in time I have a schedule of posts for both Blaster's Projects and in particular, Blaster's Reviews. The reason for this is because, while I am open to doing requested content, I do need something to fill in the gaps for when there aren't any requests and at the time of writing, there wasn't any requests. When I reviewed the four seasons of the show and the two films, I wanted to do a list of my favorite songs from the series as a whole because more often then not, they are great songs. Seeing as I didn't even mention the songs for the reviews, its only fitting to see which ones were the best songs now. I'm not putting in any rules for this list but I ask that you respect my opinions on these because, from the research I collected while writing the reviews, I know that there are songs on here that... got mixed opinions.  You can pretty much figure out what I think of the shows's music based on this list, without further ado...

20: What happens when you give Q a musical number?

No, not that Q Mr Bond

I don't care what Michael bay says, that's Wheeljack and not Que (though I wish it wasn't...). NOW PLEASE DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT, YOUR FACE IS NIGHTMARE FUEL!

No matter how many times you show that, I'm not referring to a Transformer, let alone a Quintesson. And when that thing looks better then a Autobot, you really need to get new designers Bay.

Right franchise, wrong gender, wrong Q

Getting warmer

There we go, that Q. So what do you get?

You get Glass of Water (Season 4, Episode Title: Three's a Crowd), one of the funniest songs I've seen in a TV show, period. I'll admit that the singing isn't good, but this is what Ursala's Poor Unfortunate Souls would be like if it was comical. The instrumental sounds like a snake charmer has access to a orchestra and it just adds to the scene chewing that the visuals are producing. Speaking of scene chewing, this could be thanks to the words of the song, but am I the only one who is reminded of The Cat in the Hat by this? Sadly I wish I was referring to the books but in this case I'm referring to the live action film. I'm not saying go watch the movie, its awful, but for those who have seen it, you can see the connection to right? No? ... I'm going to go get a glass of water while you listen to...

19: Becoming Popular (The Pony Every Pony Should Know) (Season 2, Episode Title: Sweet and Elite):

 This is one of the songs where I hear a fair bit of hate. It's not that bad people. It's not the best song I've herd but it still has its merits. The singing voices for the main characters sound beautiful. Kazumi Evans is the singing voice for Rarity and it fits the character perfectly. Is it Rarity's best solo song? No but it still has its benefits. The instrumental in this song is beautiful and sounds much nicer then other songs that use the trope as a base. It's that beautiful use of the Piano that makes me remember this song because most of the lyrics are forgettable, but considering its competition, its still a great song.

18 Shake your Tail Feather (The Blues Brothers):

Wrong movie, but its still a good song (seriously, watch The Blues Brothers)
The actual spot goes to Shake your Tail (Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks):
Yes, I know this isn't the video from the movie, no I don't care as I think this is better then the one in the movie as it has a better animation to go along side it. Don't believe me?

One thing that you pick up on when it comes to music is emotion. When the band is into the song, it easy for the fans to be as well. This is the exact same song, but as the crowd shows, one has more emotion in it, more excitement where as the other is... well, boring. Even if the actual stage parts of the first one don't make up half the video, there's a lot more excitement in it. While it makes sense that the one in the movie is more bland, at the end of the day it's still bland.

17: The Super Dooper Party Pony and Cheese Confesses (Season 4, Episode Title: Pinkie Pride):

The Super Dooper Party Pony:

Cheese Confesses:

  Yes, that's Weird Al Yankovic. No he did not write that first song but its reasonable to assume that he did. It has all the usual items a Weird Al song has,perfect instrumental for Weird Al, crazy, yet comical visuals, random reference to mayonnaise. The Super Duper Party Pony has everything and its beyond Cheesy, but there's a good cheesy and this is it.

As for Cheese Confesses, its much more somber. It starts off slow but picks up the pace as it leads up to how Cheese really became The Super Duper Party Pony. The reason why I group the two together is because both have the one thing I love in animation, over the top visuals. You can get away with a lot in animation and both songs have the kind of visuals that can only be done in stylized animation.

16: Let the Rainbow Remind you (Season 4, Episode Title: Twilight's Kingdom Part II):

This one wasn't going to make it on the main list for a long time, but its grown on me (for several reasons). At time of writing, this is the last song in the episodes released (the finale of Season 4) and its a beautiful song to close on. I love the instrumentals used and each of the singers sing their parts in perfect harmony for it. Its a soft ending to close on (considering what happened in the two episodes). There's another reason why this went up the list though...

Someone make a Rainbow Road for this. This is to good not to use.

15: Awesome as I wanna be (Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks):

Yeah, just the audio, why?

Because the song doesn't finish in the movie itself. Aside from it suffering from the same problems as Shake your Tail (though much worse in terms of the movie version) it also suffers from the audio problems found in several of the songs movie versions. It mainly exists to give Rainbow a theme song though and it does its job... as long as you don't listen to the movie version.

14: Art of the Dress (Season 1, Episode Title: Suited for Success):

Rarity's first solo song and for me, her best so far. Only problem is that her solo songs aren't that good. Art of the Dress is the better of the two that I recall, with the other one being in the 5 honorable mentions. Art of the Dress is a bit forgettable overall but, for an early song in the series, I can forgive it.

13: I'll make a Man out of you (Mulan):

Sorry about that, I get the two confused. The actual number 13 is Hearts as Strong as Horses (Season 4, Episode Title: Flight to the Finish)

I've already made the joke, Hearts as Strong as Horses is a parody of I'll make a man out of you, but done so well. There's nothing more to say.

12: Find a Pet (Season 2, Episode Title: May the Pest Pet Win):

I love duets... when they're done right. A duet should have the two singers working off each other with the music working off of them. But when done right, it can be absolutely perfect and Find a Pet is an example of when its done right. Just listen to the instrumental and how it flows throughout the song.
(Should note, again, I'm a sucker for full orchestras... what do you want from me?)

11: The World Famous Flim Flam Brothers (Season 2, Episode Title: Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000):

People would argue that these guys put the Micro Machine man to shame, and you know what, I agree to a extent. The Flim Flam Brothers know how to sell themselves and their product, and their debut is glorious. I'm not a particular fan of their second song (to which the name escapes me, Flim Flam Curative Tonic should give you the song) but dam this song is catchy... If you excuse me, I'm going to go get some Apple Cider, and I don't even drink Apple Cider...

10: Ballad of the Crystal Empire (Season 3, Episode Title: The Crystal Empire Part I):

 1. Why is this song not longer?
2. Why is this song not longer?
This song is absolutely beautiful, everything about it I love, but its length... the length kills it. Episode limitations, fine, but why is there no "full version" Hasbro?

9: Winter Wrap Up (Season 1, Episode Title: Winter Wrap Up):

The first ever group song and regarded as one of the best by most. Purely because I've never actually seen real snow (never been to the snow) so I find a lot of enjoyment in winter/ festive songs (that and it helps me "kinda" cool down, its summer here at time of writing...). The song itself is joyfully over the top which is one of the things I like about most of the songs in the main series, when they want a laugh, they go for a laugh. Speaking of which...

8: Apples to the Core (Season 4, Episode Title: Pinkie Apple Pie):

This is another case of doing what stylized animation does best, over the top joy. Everything about this is in perfect sync, every little thing moves in time with the music and you can feel the joy in the way the characters sound and move. It's just a joy to listen to.

7: Welcome to the Show (Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks):
Hands down, no questions asked, best animation in any of the songs in the series to date. When I think of a musical battle in this universe, this is what I'd come up with. While this looks like it suffers from pacing problems, it's actually just the editing, and even with that slight audio problem, this just looks awesome and, as with Apples to the Core, synced so well to the music. If there is one fault, its with the movie itself. When I herd this as just the audio (I've been working on this list for a while) for the first time, I just thought it was Twilight singing again. Sunset Shimmer and Twilight have the same singing voice actor and while there are enough differences (kinda) to pull it off, they still should have gotten another Voice actor... But still, amazing visuals and this would be higher... if it wasn't based on the music itself...

6: Stop the Bats (Season 4, Episode Title: Bats!):

Tim Berton? Where did you come from? And why'd you bring Batman with you? Everything I said for Find a Pet applies here as well but now the visuals are getting in on it. When Applejack is singing, not only is the instrumental more bombastic, but the visuals become much darker, whereas when Fluttershy is singing, the opposite is true, the music becomes much softer, the animation brighter, hell even the bats look more adorable. As I said, a duet is meant to have the singers work off each other and the music working off of them, and Stop the Bats is another example on when its done spectacularly.

5: Under Our Spell and Lets have a Battle (Battle of the Bands) (Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks):

Under our Spell:

Lets have a Battle (Battle of the Bands):

"We say jump, you say how high?"
In case you couldn't tell, I love Rainbow Rocks' soundtrack. The music is great overall and with two exceptions, none of the songs are of poor quality (bad songs). While the way they move might be... questionable for a kids movie, the Dazzlings can sing, I struggle to think of anyone who could argue otherwise. I do prefer Under Our Spell just a bit more then Lets have a Battle, but both of them sound great and Lets have a Battle is the example of the little audio touches making the song better. Adagio, Aria and Sonata sing in perfect sync and with a slightly eerie instrumental accompanying them for their songs, it makes for some great music. One final thing, exclusive for Under Our Spell, I love how the the harsh words at the start are actually in time with the music itself. "Blind Sided By the Beat, clapPing you hands stomPing your feet"... it makes the song more catchy for me...

4: Shine Like Rainbows (Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks):
But before I show you the song, watch the two videos in order (trust me)

CD version:

One used in the actual movie: 

This is an example of those little audio touches killing the song. I don't care if this is the credits theme, it should still have the same quality as the other songs, especially if you want people to stay for your post credits scene. So why then do I have this higher then the song that does these little touches so perfectly? Because as I said before, I've been working on this for a while and I used the Rainbow Rocks CD to pick out songs from RR to put here. The CD version of Shine Like Rainbows sounds great, the characters are in harmony, no one is to loud or to soft, it sounds great. But man does the one in the movie sound awful. But I will give the movie version props, what they use as the visuals while the credits role looks great and the sketches of each of the characters are beautiful.

3: The Smile Song (Smile Smile Smile) (Season 2, Episode Title: A Friend in Deed):

This is how you do a character theme song. You could play this song, no context at all, and know Pinkie's character (and seeing as I'm willing to bet a decent chunk of the people who read my content don't know who the character is, well... time to put that to the test). On top of that, it is a cheerful song with cheerful visuals (like Pinkie), it uses stylized animation to show off only what stylized animation can do (which I love) and, as the characters show, it does actually cheer me up. I've listened to this on days where I've been a bit down while working on this and it has cheered me up, and all of this keeps with the character, Pinkie is a cheerful character.

2: So what happens when they go Disney? Well...

This Day (Season 2, Episode Title: A Canterlot Wedding Part 2)... There's nothing I can say to this, especially when you compare it to any of the Disney villain songs on my Top 10 Disney Villain list. This is MLP's Hellfire. Don't believe me, watch this then re watch This Day.

Still don't believe me? I'll elaborate. The instrumental for This Day, while not having the Latin Choir, still packs that punch Hellfire has, as shown here: 

To add to that, the way the music flows with the animation is beautiful. Like with the best Disney songs, you could hear them for the first time away and not have any context and still know what was happening (probably not why its happening but...). The vocals are beautiful as well and it adds to that music "battle" that is the song as a whole. As with the last two duets, the music flows with the singers, adding to that battle along with animation that looks gorgeous. One final note, there's a funny story that I have in regards to This Day, not going to post it here, but if you're curious, you can ask (there's a link in the "About Me" back at the top of the page) People often have this as their number 1 and for good reason, but there's another that I think, thanks to outside help, is a bit better.

Before my number 1, as per usual now, the 5 honorable mentions in no particular order

1: Time to come together (My Little Pony: Equestria Girls):

2: Tricks up my Sleeve (Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks):

The song gets played in chunks in the movie, that's why.

3: Rainbow Rocks (Do I need to say it? Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks):

4: A True True Friend (Season 3, Episode Title: Magical Mystery Cure):

5: Generosity (Season 4, Episode Title: Rarity Takes Manehattan): (Spot all the references to Broadway)

And for Number 1...

1: Equestria Girls/ Cafeteria Song/ Helping Twilight Win the Crown (My Little Pony: Equestria Girls):

HOLD IT. Before I get swamped with hate, hear me out. Listen to this:
This song was actually the final push for me to investigate the series. This video appeared in my Recommendations on Youtube one day, as a Sonic fan I gave it a shot. This is why I like Helping Twilight Win the Crown (that's what I prefer to call the song). While Equestria Girls's music is, in comparison to the show, meh at best. Even Helping Twilight's instrumental isn't great. But this remix makes the song better in my opinion. The vocals are great, but it didn't have a instrumental to back it. This orchestral version makes it so much better and the way it works of Endless Possibilities from Sonic Unleashed (it was no coincidence I posted that review the week before Equestria Girls) is amazing. Should this be higher then some of the other songs on this list, probably not. But thanks to this new instrumental track, it makes the song so much better. A good instrumental can and will make or break a song.

As I said on Twitter, there won't be a review at all next week, I'm working as Sound Operator for a theater company's performance of The Wind in the Willows. There will be two reviews the following week though and maybe a Hidden review of the show itself. Until then, the next review is Rescue Heroes Seasons 1-3

... I swear I am actually 19...

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