Sonic Mania has recently released and has garnered rave reviews, with many complementing its throwback style and a return to the classic game play which made the series so popular during the 16-bit generation.
Classic Sonic the Hedgehog games always had great music and Sonic Mania, which has a mix of new and remixed songs, carries this tradition forward proudly.
Data Discs announced the Sonic Mania LP a few months ago and whilst I was conscious of the many missteps in the series along the way I took the plunge and pre-ordered the record as the music has, on the whole, been pretty solid.
So what of this new album? Well the record features 16 new tracks selected by composer Tee Lopes, which provides an overall flavour of the diverse music in the game.
The cover is suitably 90s with classic Sonic front and centre and random colourful shapes thrown around, reminiscent of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or Saved by the Bell introduction credits. The record comes as a single 180 g LP which is available in 3 colours; blue, black or red, orange, white and blue splatter. I ordered the splattered vinyl and was pleased with how it looked, it does look very smart indeed.
On the vinyl the tracks are:
- Discovery (Title Screen Theme)
- Lights, Camera, Action! (Studiopolis Act 1)
- Wildstyle Pistolero (Mirage Saloon Act 1 K Mix)
- Tabloid Jargon (Press Garden Act 1)
- Danger on the Dance Floor (Mini Boss Theme)
- Built to Rule (Titanic Monarch Act 1)
- Dimension Heist (Special Stage)
- Ruby Delusions (Eggman Boss Theme 1)
- Comfort Zone (Main Menu)
- Prime Time (Studiopolis Act 2)
- Blossom Haze (Press Garden Act 2)
- Rogues Gallery (Mirage Saloon Act 2)
- Hi-Spec Robo Go! (Hard Boiled Heavies Theme)
- Skyway Octane (Mirage Saloon Act 1 St Mix)
- Steel Cortex (Titanic Monarch Act 2)
- Ruby Illusions (Final Boss Theme)
The tracks are very good with a tinge of nostalgia but also are uniquely modern. They just fit right in the world of classic Sonic with upbeat chiptune music but with added trumpets, drums, epic electric guitar solos and super fast boogie woogie piano. For fan of the original series this record is a must have as it feels like a natural progression musically to what had gone before in Sonic and Knuckles. Current standout tracks for me include Studiopolis Act 1: Lights, Camera, Action! and Mirage Saloon Act 2: Rogues Gallery, which sounds like a modern rendition of Morricone's Spaghetti Westerns mixed with an upbeat chiptune. Other tracks may come to the fore but these two are the ones that appeal to me out of the 16 at the moment.
The soundtrack is a triumph and I would recommend it highly to anyone with even a passing interest in the original 4 games from the days of the Megadrive.