One of the few pioneer music games that was released a little under ten years ago, Bust A Move (or as it's contemporary is called in the United States, Bust A Groove) did exactly what a game in the music genre is suppose to have: Good music. The musical ranges are great and wide on this collection, as we have old-school R&B as well as rap, 70's disco inferno type music and, of course, some nice pop coming from Japan.
"Smile, Bon" or "Warrette Pon" (depending on what version you have) is a great song, being Shorty's theme song. The English version is great, but the Japanese version is even better. The singer actually sounds like a kid, which is what the song is trying to convey. Being a kid and the want to do what she wishes. "The Natural Playboy" is one of the most blatant songs I've heard in a long while, with the singer bragging about how wonderful he is. "Cause I look like a star/ When I'm smoking my cigar./ They wanna be just like me./ It's true, my gold ring is beautiful/ And everyone wants one./ Everyone wants to have my style." You can't get more blatant than that. And it doesn't stop from there. But it's so funny, since that's how the John Travolta wannabees tried to be. The music on this set is great, as well as the background vocals. The little funk guitar solo in the middle of the set is also wonderfully done as the sax (tenor I believe) follows up the set in a natural way.
Since this is the Japanese version I'm reviewing, I'm happy to say that nothing was edited in any of the songs, especially in "I Luv Hamburgers". It's supposed to be a black guy talking about how he loves his hamburgers even more than his girl and, at several points, he's talking to his girl, and after he expresses his love for the hamburgers, she says, "Don't you even try to choose a cheeseburger over me. You gotta be crazy nigga." Unfortunately they edited that last word out of the American version — I guess thinking my "kind" would be offended or something. But it makes the whole skit they have even more realistic and funnier at the same time. And for this, I applaud the Japanese. The raps present in "I Luv Hamburgers" and "2Bad" are pretty good, but of course they're not the best as well. The closest one that has a really decent rap is "Chemical Love", though half of the rap is distorted. Musically, this is a wonderful techno infused feast, with big sounds and big beats leading it the whole way.
"Sky, Sea and Rainbow of Dream" or "Sora to Umi to Akai no Yume" is Frida's song. It was great in the game and even better on the soundtrack, getting to hear the full version. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find ANY kind of decent translator to translate the Japanese text (on a FAQ for the music, they have the lyrics in Japanese). So I really don't know what to think of this song. The character, Frida, is a free spirit who respects life and only wants good things to happen to her artwork and the environment. But then the guy who that starts rapping to her is trying to hook up! So I don't know what to think of this song. It's good, nonetheless.
Of course, there are some pretty bad songs on this set. "You Have Power", which is Strike's theme, would be better if it weren't so dang gone long. The rap is repeated over and over again, which tires quickly. The song sounds like Michael Jackson trying to be tough. And that's a pretty funny and, at the same time, scary thought. "I Know" is also a pretty annoying song. The opening rap may sound familiar because they used a snippet from Dance Dance Revolution's song "Put Your Faith In Me". I wished this song was more of that song than what it turned out to be as the beat was quickly shaken up and changed around to make room for the mess that I Know is. The lyrics are pretty bad and the singing, while realizing the lady can sing, just seems too overbearing for my senses.
"Fly Into Your Soul" is a song that should be bad, but isn't even though it's a 5+ minute song. Usually these type of songs tend to suck royally. This is the end boss music, and it didn't do it for me while I was playing the game but got better after I heard the original version. By mixing up various little elements here and there, they were able to stretch it out for such a long time without boring us. Something they should have doen to Strike's song. (Pinky's song, "I Know", had no chance from the get-go.)
This is really a good soundtrack with only a few forgettable mentions. Otherwise, nothing can stop the fun and catchy music but the end of the CD.