MM25: Mega Man Rocks

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MM25: Mega Man Rocks

Postby Kip Shades » Thu Nov 07, 2013 4:25 am

Soooooo, five different Mega Man fan remix bands (and The Protomen) got together to produce a collaboration album that has been officially endorsed by Capcom.

And I'm gonna be giving my summed up thoughts on each song.

1) "Hi, I'm Mark Spandrill" - Armcannon: I usually overlook this one while listening to the album (or skip it entirely), but it's actually a good start to the album. It's a medley of Spark Mandrill and Spark Man's themes, in a variety of styles, focusing on a blend of chiptune and rock, though with some occasional changes in style, shifting from dark and grim to light and whimsical at the drop of the hat. Somewhat forgettable, but definitely a good listen.

2) "Man On Fire" - The Megas: Now, I absolutely love the original, and this version starts off amazing, with a vibe similar to the Full Moon Shadow theme from Persona 3, of all things, and the verse maintains the same basic feel, but the chorus falls flat somewhat, especially the last couple of lines. It has this very cheery, overly-autotuned sound to it that doesn't really suit the grim and menacing vibe that the lyrics give off.

3) "Wily" - Mega Ran: This is one of my favorite songs from the album, but I really don't have much to say about it, other than the fact that it's a villain rap from Dr. Wily's perspective, backed with the Wily Stage 1 theme from Mega Man 2. And it's surprisingly good.

4) "X-Hunters Stage" - X-Hunters: Another one I really don't have much to say about. It's a metal cover of... some song that I don't recognize. I'm not too familiar with the Mega Man X series.

5) "The Will of One (2013 Edit)" - The Protomen: This is one of my favorite songs by The Protomen, and, despite my initial thoughts on this remastered version, I've come to accept it just as much as the original. Surprisingly, the clearer vocals actually give it more of the "old, ruined recording" vibe that The Protomen were going for with their original recording. The whole thing is just as memorable as the original, and actually improves on it a bit. And that "We are in control" bit at the end gets me every time.

6) "Borrow Mega Nuke" - Armcannon: My favorite Armcannon song off this album. It has a nice blend of techno and rock, and it's short but sweet. Another that I honestly don't have much to say about, but it's definitely a good listen.

7) "Full Outro" - Bit Brigade: A simple rock take on the title screen theme from Mega Man 2, but it's still a good listen, and breathes new life into a classic piece of video game music.

8) "Built To Last" - The Protomen: My number one favorite song. The most notable thing is the dichotomy between the two voices, one with a vocoder effect, and one normal voice. This one's one of their few songs that's ambiguous as to what it's about, and where it fits into the band's canon, and there's tons of theories abound for what it's about, from being about one of the band members to being sung from the point of view from a pre-Hope Rides Alone version of Protoman. All we can really know is that the singer is a machine of a man, and baby he was built to last. And, honestly, that's all I really need to know.

9) "The Quick and the Blue" - The Megas: Another personal favorite of mine. It's not as good as the acoustic version of the song, but the intro is absolutely amazing, and, unlike Man on Fire, maintains the general vibe of the original song.

10) "X vs. Zero" - X-Hunters: Yet again, something that's completely out of my wheelhouse. It's a nice hard rock instrumental piece, but, again, not too familiar with the Mega Man X-related stuff.

11) "20XX" - Mega Ran: Not too big on the intro, but the rest is pretty good. Honestly, this is another one that I don't have much to say about it, but I kind of like the fact that it's sort of calling out a lot of the crappy mainstream rappers, and the chorus is sort of lampooning how simplistic and repetitive it is.

12) "MM9 Medley" - X-Hunters: I should also mention I'm not that familiar with Mega Man 9. But the muscial style of that one is closer to what I'm familiar with than the X series is, so I can get behind this one a bit more easily than the X series remixes on the album, but, all in all, I'm just not that much of a fan of X-Hunters' stuff.

13) "Can't Stop the Top" - The Megas: This seems to just be the album version of the song, since I can't hear any real difference between this and the version from History Repeating: Blue. It's pretty good. Not my favorite song from History Repeating: Blue (that honor goes to Continue), but it's up there.

14) "Air Man Stage" - Bit Brigade: Another simple rock cover of the classic song from Mega Man 2. Again, it breathes life into the song, and it also seems to have a similar style to "Annihilation of Monsteropolis" by The Megas. This one's definitely a good listen.

15) "Dr. Wily Stage 1" - Bit Brigade: Okay, Bit Brigade's whole schtick is just simple rock covers of songs from old video games, isn't it? Not that it's a bad thing, since they do a really good job of it, this being another case of it.

16) "Splash Woman" - Mega Ran: This one's on par with "Wily", but you can definitely hear sort of an evolution of Mega Ran's style if you listen to them side-by-side. The lyrics actually tell a pretty interesting story, about Mega Man falling for Splash Woman, who at first insists on staying loyal to Dr. Wily, but later throws the fight with Mega Man, and allows him to gain her weapon.

17) "Mangnet Mang" - Armcannon: Armcannon and Mega Ran are probably the two artists that I've gained interest in the most from this album. I'm liking their light and upbeat take on Magnet Man's theme, and their shift to a somewhat harder style partway through.

18) "Breaking Out" - The Protomen: One of the best possible finales they could have had for this album, the only better choice I could think of being Magnet Mang. However, this song order works, with Mangnet Mang acting as a grand finale, with Breaking Out as the epilogue of sorts. This version is based on the one from the B-side of their cassette-only "Drove All Night" single from around last Christmas. This is also one of my favorite songs by The Protomen, but I honestly have a lot of trouble putting why I love this song so much into words. Maybe it's just that whole youthful rebellion vibe it gives off. Maybe it's the lyrics. Maybe it's dat synth. The world may never know.

In conclusion, if you like Mega Man music, check this album out. If you don't, at least give the stuff by The Protomen a try.
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Kip Shades
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