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Game music worth putting on your iPod

Hikari / Simple & Clean (Kingdom Hearts, 2002)
"Simple and clean is the way that you're making me feel" - a wonderfully innocent line from Utada Hikaru's introductory song from Kingdom Hearts on PS2. The song was originally called 'Hikari' on its Japanese release (and actually got to number one in the Japanese charts as a proper single), but the English language version fits the game perfectly on these shores. Musically, the up-tempo mix used in the game is a dance track with Chemical Bros-like synth swells, while the female vocals and compressed bass kicks work well in an All Saints'  Black Coffee kind of way.

KingdomHearts_SimpleAndClean.mp3

But while that's definitely worthy of the list, during our research for this feature we stumbled upon a live version, sung in English at Hikaru's original intended tempo... and it's simply beautiful. The proof of a good song is that it works acoustically - and this, despite a few slight imperfections, struck us as being something rather special. Watch and enjoy.



Above: "Regardless of warnings, the future doesn't scare me at all / nothing's like before..."

19 comments

  • Digidabee - December 1, 2008 4:09 p.m.

    They forgot Zeldas gr8 music.
  • ryno - November 27, 2008 4:10 p.m.

    you forgot the Golden axe music and the level music for the original Crash Bandicoot
  • Motherload - October 14, 2008 4:19 a.m.

    you missed a bunch. i've never played most of those games but i like Sonic Adventure music. infact all the music in Sonic games on the Dreamcast and up is pretty good! i haven't played Sonic for the 360 or PS3 though so i'm not sure for that.
  • troglydyte - October 9, 2008 11:52 p.m.

    if you look at the parappa the rapper picture, in the right hand corner it says "u rappin awful!"
  • tayls - October 9, 2008 11:12 p.m.

    When I was a young lad, maybe 13 or so, Soul Blade came out for the PSX. I found myself so pumped up by the intro that I called my mom and baby sister up to see "how amazing this video is." If you've ever been excited around someone who's idea of gaming is what they've gathered from sit-coms, you know: it totally doesn't get them excited and also, coincidentally, sucks ass. My mom spent the entire time laughing hysterically because it wasn't like "Toy Story" but was made using a similar technique. The idea of 3D animation being used for something other than Pixar movies was just laughable to her. I ended up going to school for 3D animation, and now she's paying my student loans back on a monthly basis. I like to think it's my way of getting back at her for that day. Anyway, awesome tune!
  • KHfan - September 24, 2008 6:40 p.m.

    ah yeah simple and clean rocks
  • Cynwyddon - September 17, 2008 11:15 p.m.

    OH SNAP! Master Onion was the shit.
  • rasty - September 8, 2008 8:39 p.m.

    Diablo's OST was AWESOME.It had music form evreything-from peaceful desert towns to the swampy jungle.Unfortunately Matt Ulemen left Blizzard and now Diablo 3 will sound like crap.Even the music from the trailer and gameplay reminds me of that.
  • Gavo - November 29, 2008 2:17 a.m.

    Metroid Prime 2 and Snake Eater. Amazing. No Fire Emblem though...that had good music.
  • Weasel - October 10, 2008 5:26 a.m.

    What, no Gitaroo Man? Travesty! That whole game is worth tracking down the soundtrack for! Well, maybe not that song vs. the giant shark mech thing, but the rest is awesome!
  • tayls - October 9, 2008 11:10 p.m.

    When I was a young lad, maybe 13 or so, Soul Blade came out for the PSX. I found myself so pumped up by the intro that I called my mom and baby sister up to see "how amazing this video is." If you've ever been excited around someone who's idea of gaming is what they've gathered from sit-coms, you know: it totally doesn't get them excited and also, coincidentally, sucks ass. My mom spent the entire time laughing hysterically because it wasn't like "Toy Story" but was made using a similar technique. The idea of 3D animation being used for something other than Pixar movies was just laughable to her. I ended up going to school to be a 3D animator, and now she's paying my student loans back. I like to think it's my way of getting back at her for that day. Anyway, awesome tune!
  • jackf-11 - October 9, 2008 9:56 p.m.

    Still Alive is possibly the greatist video game song ever, but when I got my friend to download it on rock band (ps3) and his dad sung it horribly.
  • GR_JustinTowell - September 18, 2008 2:27 p.m.

    @smallberry - there's a poorly-synched version still on YouTube. Try http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RefdhRjRSM It's well worth it - what an amazing performance :)
  • smallberry - September 18, 2008 8:09 a.m.

    Huzzah! For Hikaru Utada. Wish that video was still available.
  • Curtis_Stone - September 17, 2008 6:17 p.m.

    Utada Hikaru rocks out loud!! And i am so glad to see others appreciate Jet Set/Grind Radio. I was able to find the OST for those games and i am in live all over again with that series and am begging Sega to make a sequel for PS3 or Wii or something...
  • Arachidus - July 20, 2009 3:05 p.m.

    You must be kidding.. what kind of a list is this without FF music? (I consider Uematsu to be a god of composing catchy stuff right next to Morricone) AND an honourable mention to THPS series and Road Rash Jailbreak that had the most awesome OST composed of unknown demo bands.. Yeah, and one of my favorite cheesy J-electro/rock music is from Bloody Roar 2...
  • Kaz993 - April 12, 2009 4:58 a.m.

    Ive had the song "you're not here" for quite awhile now. I love SH3 :). good article.
  • helloimgaydo - April 6, 2009 5:48 p.m.

    I remember buying the jet set soundtrack when the game came out, I still listen to it on a regular basis. Its one of very very few soundtracks that has genuine musical integrity outside of the game it was written for.
  • earthvampire - April 6, 2009 5:08 p.m.

    @Digidabee i know they bring all the awesome music out and forget zelda -_- hopefully it makes it next time im going to be singing master onions rap all day now XD

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