Thank you GameChops for the digital album for us to review!
The Sonic the Hedgehog series has been incredibly influential to the gaming community with it’s gameplay, art, and characters, but I believe that it has arguably excelled the most with its music and sound design. It has done this to the point that several music artists have taken inspiration from and made covers of the soundtracks of various installments in the series. A wonderful and quite pleasant example of this is the Sonic & Chill album by Funk Fiction and GameChops, as it adds a very unique and fun vibe to a few songs from Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic Adventure, Sonic R, and Sonic Mania. As the composers names may suggest, this album could be described as funk or synth jazz. I personally really like it, since that sort of music is right up my alley.
I previously mentioned that most of the album is funky and jazzy, but have noticed that a few songs contain some aspects of lo-fi and/or bossa nova. The cover of Welcome to the Station from Sonic Adventure is one of my favorites, as it takes on a bossa nova vibe and is quite pleasant to listen to. Chemical Plant Zone is another great one I enjoyed, and would argue that it’s one of the funkiest tracks on the album due to its dissonant harmonies and strong percussion. All of the arrangements are great in their own way, but these two stood out to me personally.
The album is comprised of various synths as well as some electric guitar used for both lead and rhythm. A lot of the MIDI instruments used are there to mimic the source material, while others, such as the synth saxophone, are used to spice it up a bit. Even if some of them are clearly fake, it doesn’t take away from the musical value of the pieces. They’re all mixed really well, and have various EQ effects put on them as well to make them truly beautiful to listen to.
Sonic & Chill is definitely something I highly recommend, as I could not help but jam the first time I heard it. It has a total of 14 tracks, which adds up to around 43 minutes of jams. The full album can be purchased on Bandcamp for $10 or streamed on most services.
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