Monday, October 07, 2019

New Pokemon Anime Composer In Japan

Turns out the Pokemon anime is getting a new composer in Japan, as Shinji Miyazaki is being replaced by Yuki Hayashi in the next season. Here's some more information and analysis:

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 29-Diancie Movie Music/John Loeffler Part 2

In the first segment (1:10-39:10), Anne from Pikapi Podcast drops by to help me discuss the music of the initial X&Y Pokémon movie, "Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction". Scandal's "Daybreak Meteor Shower" gets compared to Dani Marcus's "Open My Eyes", as do the opening themes and scores from each version. For our thoughts on the movie itself, be sure to listen after the outro.

The second segment (40:27-50:31) is an archival interview with John Loeffler. In this follow-up to an earlier discussion, we talk about his role working on music for the first two Pokémon movies, including both the pop soundtracks and the scores. You'll find out about the genesis of "Brother My Brother", and how the music for these films came together overall.

Pikapi Podcast
Pam Sheyne Interview

Monday, September 16, 2019

Unboxing the Vinyl Soundtrack for "Pokemon: Detective Pikachu"

Last month, the "At the Movies" division of Music on Vinyl released the score to "Pokemon: Detective Pikachu" on a 2-LP set. This marks the first official vinyl release of Pokemon music in nearly 20 years. I ordered a copy of this limited-edition release and unbox the contents to show what you get. Be sure to stay to the end for a bonus unboxing:

Monday, September 09, 2019

Why it Works: The Extra Mile

Laura Pausini's "The Extra Mile" started as a submission for the 2000 Summer Olympics, but wound up working surprisingly well when re-purposed for the Pokemon 2000 soundtrack (also, as some of the screen captures in this video hint, it might have worked for another Pokemon movie). Find out what I think makes this combination work so well.


Originally written for the 2000 Olympics, “The Extra Mile” predictably includes a large number a sports-related phrases, including references to races, archery, and recognition for one’s personal feats. While Sydney wasn’t in the cards for this song, it did manage to find a home on the Pokemon 2000 soundtrack, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to the events of the movie drawing a large amount of attention, Ash is required to traverse rocky terrain, put his faith in a pair of wings, and perform other feats in order to fulfill his role. You could even consider the shrine where the ritual takes place to be a podium of sorts, or the artifact where the stones are put to be some sort of trophy case. The song doesn’t solely focus on the hero, though, as during the second verse (assuming I’m interpreting it correctly), the lyrics acknowledge the contributions of others that allowed the leader to achieve their goals. In the original use case, that was probably coaches, teammates, and family members, but in the movie, you could certainly apply it to Ash’s Pokemon and traveling companions. No “Chosen One” does it alone, after all. Anyway, if you’d like to know more about this song, I have an interview with co-writer Pam Sheyne linked in the video description. Thanks.

Pam Sheyne Interview

Monday, August 12, 2019

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 28-The Music of "Pokemon: Detective Pikachu"

In this episode, Anne from Pikapi Podcast helps me discuss the music of Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. There’s a variety of tunes to cover, with multiple ending themes, a score, and promotional material. Be sure to listen after the outro to get all of it, including our opinions on the movie itself:

Pikapi Podcast
"Carry On" music video
Detective Pikachu Score

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Why it (Kinda) Works: Don't Say You Love Me

Admittedly, M2M’s contribution to the Pokemon: The First Movie soundtrack doesn’t have the most obvious connection to the film. When viewed from a certain perspective, however, there are some things about “Don't Say You Love Me” that make sense:


Admittedly, “Don’t Say You Love Me” doesn’t have much relation to the plot of Pokémon: The First Movie. At best, you could relate it to Brock, but perhaps that’s better left unexplored. Anyway, this debut single from M2M was likely intended to serve as more of a bridge that would raise awareness about the band for the movie audience, and the movie for the music audience. If nothing else, it probably generated buzz for the movie in M2M’s native Norway. As for the song itself, the assertive tone does wind up being a good fit for the franchise, representing the “stand up for yourself” theme of the series without sounding excessively angry. This tone carries into the music video, whose drive-in theater setting gives it a more casual feel, and of course provides a convenient opportunity to work in scenes from the movie. Speaking of the movie, have you ever noticed that the names of the two featured Pokémon line up neatly with the name of the band? Nice bonus, I suppose, but it’s obviously not the only reason they were selected. Anyway, do you have any thoughts about this song? Be sure to let us know. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 27-Live Pokemon Music Discussion

In the latest episode, I team up with Anne from Pikapi Podcast to talk about live versions of six Pokemon songs. Our selections include performances from an Australian TV show, New York City, and a hockey arena. If you have any suggestions for a future live music discussion, be sure to let us know.

Pikapi Podcast
Don't Say You Love Me (Acoustic)
Flying Without Wings (Live)
Brother My Brother (Live)

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Unboxing the Detective Pikachu "Carry On" Single

Wish you could get a physical copy of the ending theme song to Pokemon: Detective Pikachu? Well, there is a way, but perhaps owing to how much the music industry has changed, you'll have to pick up a promotional CD. Is it worth it? Check out this unboxing to find out:

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 26-The Music of "Genesect and the Legend Awakened"

Anne from Pikapi Podcast joins me to analyze the music of the 16th Pokemon movie, "Genesect and the Legend Awakened", in which the Japanese song "Smiling Face" goes up against the English version’s "We’re Coming Home". These songs are different in both tone and approach, making for an interesting comparison. If you want our take on the movie itself, be sure to listen after the outro.

Pikapi Podcast
Jess Domain Interview
Jess Domain "Draw My Life" Video
Neal Coomer Interview

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Why It Works: Flying Without Wings

At first, "Flying Without Wings" seems like an odd fit for Pokemon 2000, but if you look at it from the right perspective, it actually works quite well:

Need more Westlife? We discussed a live version of Flying Without Wings during a recent livestream: