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Bacon Bebop: Stickerbrush Symphony – Donkey Kong Country 2

Bacon Bebop: Stickerbrush Symphony – Donkey Kong Country 2

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donkey kong country 2 ost stickerbrush symphonySong Title: Stickerbrush Symphony

Composer: David Wise

Game: Donkey Kong Country 2 (SNES, 1995)

Length: 2:23

 

 

 

 

The Donkey Kong Country series has composer David Wise to thank for its wonderfully atmospheric soundtrack, and it’s impossible to think of the franchise without a few of his songs suddenly stuck in your head. Thanks to a fateful encounter in a music shop between Wise and Rare’s Stamper brothers, we have memorable songs like Aquatic Ambiance and Forest Interlude. Though no song will ever come close to being as ingrained in pop culture as the Super Mario Bros. theme, Island Swing is Donkey Kong Country‘s just-as-catchy anthem.

Even in Wise’s strong body of work, Stickerbrush Symphony is a standout track for many reasons. The song appears on a level titled Bramble Scramble. It’s a dense labyrinth of vines covered in spiny spikes and stickers. Players must avoid tons of bees, dragonflies, and Kremlings while being careful not to touch the spikes that surround Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong for the majority of the level. Most would argue that this is one of the hardest stages in Donkey Kong Country 2; it’s a real controller-breaker. Normally you’d expect a high-energy, up-tempo track full of guitars to be background music for a perilous level to convey urgency and danger. So where does this beautiful, slow-building melody fit in? While Stickerbrush Symphony doesn’t exactly sound relaxed, it definitely possesses a calming quality. Though the song is subdued, it does convey a sense of hope and perhaps triumph. I’m not sure exactly what it is about this beat, but it just feels emotional. Very fitting for a high stakes climb along killer thorns into the sky, clouds barely visible through the thick brush, on the way to save your best friend and hero, Donkey Kong.

While most tracks in the Donkey Kong Country trilogy work in atmospheric noises from the setting and match the way the level plays in tone, Stickerbrush Symphony seems to be there for the player, instead of simply to dress the game. After the difficult Bramble Scramble has popped many of the player’s life balloons and things are looking bleak, Stickerbrush Symphony soothes and reassures the player that beating this level is possible. A high energy track would become abrasive and lose its punch and theme of urgency after the sixth or sixtieth attempt at completing the stage. But Stickerbrush Symphony does the opposite in alleviating frustration, and is never any less enjoyable to listen to.

Having only owned the first Donkey Kong Country game in my youth, I didn’t discover Stickerbrush Symphony until watching a YouTube video just a few years ago. It was one of the many “top 10” or “top 100” videos that was listing the greatest video game songs of all time. Listening along without much surprise as many familiar Final Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, and Castlevania songs appeared, I was taken aback when the list finally revealed the number one song, and it was from Donkey Kong Country 2. Though I wouldn’t be bold enough to say Stickerbrush Symphony is the single greatest piece of music in all of video games, there is no denying that it belongs near the top in any list of the best compositions.

Excellent Stickerbrush Symphony Remixes:

Try Hard – Doni

Bramble Reprise – Joshua Morse

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Written by ChronoSloth

ChronoSloth


Video game reviewer with a specific love for the fourth and fifth generation of consoles. In an exclusive polygamist relationship with Nintendo and PlayStation. Fluent in Al Bhed and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 combo notation. Follow him on Instagram to see lots of pictures of video games.

 
 

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot, Rhutsczar 😀

     
  2. Nice column Chrono! When I heard Bebop I immediately jumped to something else…yet I like it so far. Keep it up.

     

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