Monday, January 13, 2020

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 31-Pokemon Pinball/Adam Elk

In the first segment (1:10-40:50), Anne from Pikapi Podcast helps me discuss the music of Pokemon Pinball for the Game Boy Color. The soundtrack for this one has a variety of sources, so we had some interesting things to talk about. To find out what we thought of the game, keep listening after the outro.

The second segment (42:05-47:50) is an archival interview with Adam Elk, who performed “We Will Carry On” back in 2010. We talk about his work on that song, as well as doing music for commercials, Yu-gi-oh, and a few other things.



Links:
Pikapi Podcast
Poke Casters Network

Monday, December 23, 2019

Why it Works: Lullaby

No, you're not mistaken, the "Bad Girl of Pop" really did a Pokemon song before evolving (?) into her current form. The track she contributed, "Lullaby", very clearly indicates which character it's intended for, but I decided to dive a bit deeper:


Transcript:

“Lullaby” by Willa Fo-er, I mean Mandah, probably didn’t need those Jigglypuff samples to indicate what character prompted its inclusion, as the lyrics match quite well. The puffball isn’t the largest, strongest, or most intimidating Pokémon out there, but it does have another trick up its sleeves that it’s more than willing to share, and the first verse summarizes that pretty accurately. As for the second verse, the primary Jigglypuff from the anime does appear many times throughout the series, making the term “déjà vu” very appropriate.  Even the chorus manages to provide a good parallel, as the repeated use of the song’s title mimics how most Pokémon say their name when talking. Finally, the inclusion of the word “capture” in the bridge hints-unintentionally of course-that sleeping Pokémon are easier to catch. As for the musical aspects, while the Latin influence might seem more appropriate for a singing and dancing mythical Pokémon that would come many years later, it is still fitting for our cheery pink balloon. In any event, what do you think of this adopted character song? Be sure to let us know. Thanks.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Poke Press Digest Podcast: Episode 30-The Music of "Hoopa and the Clash of Ages"

In this episode, Anne from Pikapi Podcast comes over to talk about the music of the 18th Pokemon film, "Hoopa and the Clash of Ages". We compare "Tweedia" and "Every Side Of Me" as end themes, and also do a fair bit of discussion on the movie's scores. If you want to know what we thought of the film itself, be sure to listen after the outro:



Links:
Pikapi Podcast
Gated Reverb Information

Monday, October 21, 2019

Why It Works: Happy Together

A late-60’s pop hit might have seemed like an unusual choice for the first Detective Pikachu trailer, but “Happy Together” does have some interesting connections to the movie, albeit mostly in tone:


Transcript:

As far as I can tell, “Happy Together”’s use in the first Detective Pikachu trailer wasn’t because of any super-specific lyrical parallel with the plot of the film. Sure, Tim whips out his phone a few times, and occasionally acts a little crazy, but really, it seems like the song was meant to highlight the “buddy cop” aspect of the movie, and perhaps to suggest that Tim and Detective Pikachu might have wound up with each other for a reason. Musically, the song’s melancholic verses and incredibly bright chorus parallel the film’s “darker but not too dark” tone and to a certain extent, the personalities of the main characters, with Tim being more low-key and Detective Pikachu more energetic. With all that said, however, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this isn’t the first time the song has come into Pokémon’s orbit-fans of the original N64 Smash Bros. will remember that ads for that game also used this tune, adding another level of nostalgia to the mix. Anyway, do you have your own thoughts on any of this? Feel free to let us know. Thanks.

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.


Links:
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.


Transcript:

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:



Links:
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:


Transcript:


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.