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P-Vock's Music Box: Wahoo!

Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box.

Friends, summer is almost officially here. The warm days, long nights, and endless opportunities of the months beginning with J have arrived. Some of us enjoy chilling in a makeshift pool at home. Others rev up the engines and take on the world. Some, much like myself, have to work because being an adult sucks . . .

I'm sorry, that was a depressing opener. Luckily, I have the perfect thing to make it up to you.

What do you say we usher in the warm days by joining our favourite plumber on a trip around the world?

Super Mario Odyssey was an instant classic when it launched in 2017 (what do you mean that was six sparking years ago??). The new mechanics were wonderful. The locations were full of charming set pieces and memorable characters. The globe-trotting aesthetic was infinitely fun and whimsical.

But come on, you know why I'm here. How was the music?

The dinosaur-filled Cascade Kingdom is the first real world you explore after getting a grasp of Mario's fun new moveset, and what an introduction it is. That introduction mimics a lightning-fast take-off full of excitement. The melody is breezy and light, perfect for running around this world completely free. That pan flute is just utterly delicious.

A good opening world captures you as the player, and Cascade Kingdom is one of the best examples. How can you not want to keep playing and see what other worlds are waiting??

I bet you had no idea what to expect from that track's intro, even if you read the track title and learned that this jam graces your ears in the Steam Gardens. Steam Gardens, and the whole Wooded Kingdom from which it hails, is a kind of weird almost Frankenstein's monster of a world, throwing steampunk aesthetics into a weird juxtaposition with natural landscapes and this interesting skybox making it feel as if you're in some weird mishmash of worlds that shouldn't make sense, but it all weirdly does.

That's all perfectly reflected in this weird piece of music that has electronic synth, drums that are hit so fast you'd think its Animal from the Muppets playing, and this guitar motif that sounds like it was ripped from a damn Spongebob episode.

None of this should work and yet, it just kind of does.

That's why this is my personal favourite track in the game (minus the snow world, but I'll save the snow world themes for six months).

That being said, it isn't the track this game is most known for . . .

You reach the sprawling city of New Donk City. You're met with bright lights and tons of references to Mario's origins as Jumpman in Donkey Kong. You soon meet the original video game damsel in Pauline, who is now a silky-voiced boss-ass queen that holds the title of mayor of this wild city.

After you help her solve a couple of problems, she treats you to a total classic tune in Jump Up Super Star.

The lyrics are wonderfully self-indulgent and cheesy. The vocalist has the pipes of a deity. That big bang is so hot it could burn down half of Alberta.

I honestly can't offer much more to this. It's the perfect blend of a cheesy or goofy little diddy and a truly wonderful composition that absolutely nails the vibe of Super Mario Odyssey and stands as a beloved tune for a reason.

I won't complain too much about the heat this year. I understand why folks love the summer.

Instead, I'm going to try to bask in the good vibes and spread them to anyone I can, and what better series to share good vibes with than the one everyone and their grandma knows of? There aren't many characters in media who provide more joy than Jumpman Mario (well maybe Luigi, but it's not called Luigi Odyssey).

I hope these tunes get you set for your weekend and the upcoming summer. Thank you, as always, for checking out my content and I hope to catch you here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.

Stay Brutal!

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