Game That Tune

de Blob

Do You See What I Hear?

You can feel the positive vibes in the many colors of de Blob’s soundtrack.

By Derrick Sanskrit • March 28, 2013

Game music has the power to earworm its way into your heart long after you put the controller down. Each week in Game That Tune, we highlight a great tune from a great game (or a great tune from a just-okay game).

2008’s de Blob focused on a totalitarian military dictatorship that enslaves a population by stripping them of all color and song. The player, as a member of “The Color Underground” steals back the color and paints the town, with each splash of pigment bringing another voice back to the world’s music. Dynamic soundtracks are cool and all, but they don’t add that much to the experience if the tunes aren’t something you’re eager to hear. Thankfully, John Guscott’s funk-inspired original score is full of inspirational grooves that keep players wanting more. The signature touch here is that each song in de Blob is representative of an emotion, and players can choose their own vibe before each stage begins.

This mood, “Blissful,” lives up to its title. A gentle surf guitar flitters out the melody like a garden of roses popping open in rapid succession. The warm hum of the rhodes organ and relaxed pitter-patter of conga drums evoke a tropical paradise vacation. Gentle maracas and a soft round bass build space so that the horns, flutes, and cooed vocals can climb high into the salty air, dancing in the breeze. Its the kind of music that Birkenstocks were made for: functional and down-to-earth, yet relaxed and flighty. There is a lack of urgency or judgment. de Blob wants you to settle in, make yourself comfortable, and refrain from harshing anybody’s mellow. You could just as easily dance the samba to this smooth beat as you could toast up marshmallows for s’mores. Either way, things are about to get hot and sticky in delightful ways.

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  • ChicaneryTheYounger

    Could never get into deBlob, and the soundtrack sure didn’t help. Far too lift music for my tastes.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

      I thought the music was the best part, along with the visuals. The way it built up as you colored more stuff was really fun. By far the worst thing about it was the control scheme. Who in the world thought waggle to jump was a good idea?

      • ChicaneryTheYounger

        A lot of Wii games just don’t work for me. Even the ones I like would work better with a pad. I felt that deBlob needed an old school Mega Drive style chiptune soundtrack, but I doubt that would have helped me get over the general “do whatever” gameplay and the move to move controls.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000590707081 Chris Ingersoll

         Nobody, which is why they removed it for the sequel (oh, and the fact that they ported it to the other systems too).

    • http://twitter.com/roundthewheel RTW

      This game might have literally my favorite game soundtrack of all time.

      This song in the article is okay, but it doesn’t really touch on the main strength of the soundtrack, which is when it gets deep in the pocket and lays down some solid funk, which is when Guscott is really in his element, being as he is a member of Australian funk band The Bamboos. In that regard, I’d say the best tracks are “D.B. 606 (Euphoric)”, “Splashback (Defiant)”, and the boss theme, “Victorious”.

  • George_Liquor

    Thank you for calling Gameological Society. Your call is very important to us, but due to an unusually high call volume…

  • http://twitter.com/tapirman Kyle O’Reilly

    I never played this game but this soundtrack is right up my alley.  Bossa Nova should be in every game in my personal opinion.

    I especially love it in that wacky 10-minute story explosion, Thirty Flights of Loving.  

  • Captain Internet

    This reminds me a lot of the album ‘High Havoc’ by Corduroy, in particular the title track and the now-that-I-listen-to-it-somewhat-out-of-tune-single ‘Something In My Eye‘. 

    It was written as a soundtrack to an imaginary 60s / 70s film- I think there’s a lot of frustrated Acid Jazz fans working in the game industry, because Space Channel 5, Interstate ’76, No-One Lives Forever, and Driver San Francisco have all done similar things.