Game Music, Reviews

Hip Tanaka Finds His Voice: Tanaka Hirokazu no Uta (Review)

December 12, 2009 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Hip Tanaka Finds His Voice: Tanaka Hirokazu no Uta (Review)on Twitter

We recently posted the announcement from HearJapan that Hip Tanaka is back in town. Tanaka Hirokazu no Uta is his new single featuring a choir of Hirokazu Tanakas along with some quirky chip music reminiscent of his old days at Nintendo, and supposedly is has Tanaka in newspapers in Japan.

While the bulk of Hip Tanaka’s music was created during the early Nintendo era on titles like Metroid, Kid Icarus, Mother, Donkey Kong, and Mario Bros., he hasn’t been completely absent in recent years, creating several arrangements for Super Smash Bros. Brawl and even having a track featured in Beatmania. This is the first original track I’ve heard from him, and yes, from the description above, you can probably gather that it’s pretty strange!

Read more about Tanaka Hirokazu no Uta in our brief review after the jump.

So, when I first heard about there being 11 Hirokazu Tankas on this track, I thought they meant Hip Tanaka had recorded himself eleven times over, but no, these are all different people. It’s very silly, but it also works in a catchy and fun sort of way. I can’t imagine all of these guys are singers (or even Hip Tanaka himself for that matter), so I guess the lesson here is that you can hide your vocal inadequacies in numbers.

The music itself features chip with retro piano and percussion sounds. There are neat little NES-like sound effects, and a few of the Hirokazu Tankas even shout “Whoo hoo” in typically Mario fashion. It FEELS like something related to game music, but it’s not. It’s quite epic with its full choir sound, and I can imagine it appearing as a main theme for some retro videogame.

Well, the fun only lasts for about three minutes, and it’s over. Despite its brevity and simplicity, it’s still oddly catchy, bringing you back for more. I guess it’s not too unlike the recent singles Nobuo Uematsu has been putting out for 10 Stories. Then again, “Tanaka Hirokazu no Uta” is much less “cute.”

The single is currently available for 570 yen, or $6.59 on HearJapan. This will get you the original version of the song along with a karaoke version (great for hearing all the little intricacies and sound effects that were tucked away under the “choir”) as well as an a cappella version to let composers out there create their own back track. Since HearJapan sells tracks individually, you may just want to pick up the original version for 200 yen, but it’s up to you!  In any case, I hope this is a sign that we’ll be hearing more of Hip Tanaka in the future; It’s been much too long!

What do you make of Hirokazu Tanaka’s experiment? Do you hope he continues to write original work like this?

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