ReMix: Super Mario Bros. "The 2-2 Blues" 3:40

By brentalfloss

Artist Links
Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Game Over", "Swimming BGM"

Primary Game: Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985, NES), music by Koji Kondo

Posted 2010-05-06, evaluated by djpretzel


And now for something completely different... many of you are no doubt already familiar with one Brent Black, aka brentalfloss, who's been kicking ass and running out of bubblegum for a while now with his unique brand of VGM "WITH LYRICS" videos. I actually chatted with him about nostalgia & retrogaming for a solid ten minutes at MAG without even realizing who he was, so I can also add that he's a cool dude. Now, there are plenty of folks doing musical parody on the Internet who are good at parody, and plenty who are good at music, but Brent's pretty damn good at both, so I'm not surprised to be posting something of his here. That being said, many of his releases are mostly about the lyrics, which are hilarious, and not necessarily the types of tracks that would jive 100% with what we're about at OCR. In this case, however, he's deviated a bit from his usual motif and put together a bluesy ballad that, gasp, actually sorta connects on an emotional level and isn't all about the lolz - not that there's anything wrong with that. Bb writes:

"Not much of a story here; After a mellow night of sitting around, I bellied up to the keys and started playing whatever came to mind. I've always enjoyed tinkering with The Super Mario Bros. "Underwater" theme; making it a Jazz waltz, usually. But I'd never taken a 6/8 approach. A little bit of experimenting led to an immediate and urgent need to attach lyrics. Being in a mellow mood, I wrote what felt right and suddenly I had a song that seemed more about the universal human search for our own princess or prince and less about avoiding bloopers and cheep cheeps. The end."

So, I gotta be honest, while obviously YouTube has changed the world and allows artists like Brent to do their thing and reach a huge audience, often the comments there are... I can't even think of an appropriate adjective. Let's go with "demoralzingly devoid of substance," as a kindness. Nevertheless, here and there some folks chime in with some genuine insight, and after listening to this track myself several times, I checked the video comments and noticed that someone else heard the same thing I did - a striking similarity to Randy Newman. Maybe it's because I just watched Toy Story again (Anna had somehow never seen it), but the Newman-o-meter was off the charts, in a good way, when listening to this piece. Vocals, lyrics, and bluesy piano playing - all well-executed in their own right - really combined into a singer-songwriter piece that I could easily see being used in a Pixar Mario movie. Man, Nintendo & Pixar, doing movies together... "Video Game Story"... it could be beautiful!

...But I digress; the piano part & playing here are good enough that this really could float sans vocal as a solo piano mix, and - I might add - contributes some sorely-needed blues piano work to the site. Solo pianists take note - we've got tons of classical piano, a good deal of jazz piano, but I think the bluesy style Brent employs here could really be explored & applied successfully to more VGM, vocals or not. And about those vocals - the singing's great and the lyrics are perfect, period. The only thing holding the vocal track back just a bit is the recording - mic distance sounds a bit off and the overall character is a little metallic. That's my only complaint, though, and it doesn't hold me back from enjoying the arrangement, the awesome original writing, and Brent's charismatic performance. This is a unique mix that belongs on OCR in every way; I dig all of Brent's stuff, but I'd love to see him wax serious and/or poetic more often, if this piece is any indication. Great, classy, completely unique debut - check out the rest of brentalfloss on his YouTube channel.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
urdailywater
on 2013-04-28 19:01:08

Man I really like this song but that vocal recording is just killin' me. :( I guess it won't be a bother on iPod headphones, but on a nice set it's hard not to notice. Maybe the vocals could be a bit more reverby too, but more than anything it needs a better recording.

Regardless.. this arrangement rocks and brings a creative approach to the source. A very memorable song on OCR and worth downloading. Nice job.

avatar
KyleJCrb
on 2012-09-19 19:32:43
Perhaps it's just because of my life experiences, but this song brought tears to my eyes. If I tried to write my own parody songs, I'd strive to be this good. brentalfloss, you are an inspiration and are wonderful at your craft.

The Randy Newman comments seem valid; I enjoyed the light layering of instruments, especially the rotary organ. The vocal flourishes were a nice touch, and the lyrics made Mario seem like he was full of integrity and hope, constantly marching on despite not having an assured goal. Beautiful!

EDIT: I realized that I was not listening to the version posted on OCRemix - I was listening to it on Spotify. The Spotify version (from the album Bits of Me) does not have the sound quality issues mentioned in the initial review of this mix. So definitely listen to the album version - and buy it (like I will!) if you like it. Is there a reason the OCRemix version is different?

The OCReMix version is much older, and Brent recorded it on his own at home. The 'Bits of Me' version was recorded well after this was posted and I presume it was done in a studio.

avatar
SirLouie
on 2012-09-19 16:10:33

Perhaps it's just because of my life experiences, but this song brought tears to my eyes. If I tried to write my own parody songs, I'd strive to be this good. brentalfloss, you are an inspiration and are wonderful at your craft.

The Randy Newman comments seem valid; I enjoyed the light layering of instruments, especially the rotary organ. The vocal flourishes were a nice touch, and the lyrics made Mario seem like he was full of integrity and hope, constantly marching on despite not having an assured goal. Beautiful!

EDIT: I realized that I was not listening to the version posted on OCRemix - I was listening to it on Spotify. The Spotify version (from the album Bits of Me) does not have the sound quality issues mentioned in the initial review of this mix. So definitely listen to the album version - and buy it (like I will!) if you like it. Is there a reason the OCRemix version is different?

avatar
JenZ
on 2011-01-21 01:08:23

This is a very powerful song. Extremely different, which is the best part about it. Brought tears to my eyes. :-(

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sicnarf
on 2010-09-06 14:00:28

Hey guys, this may interest you. Here's Brent performing the 2-2 Blues "live" (in his room :P):

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Vortaka
on 2010-06-15 10:42:00

I'm not really a blues fan myself but this goes to say, never judge a song only by it's "style"... And the mix between the music and the lyrics just makes it all worth while! Pleasure to my ears!

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Level 99
on 2010-06-01 09:42:08

This was such a pleasant surprise to see on the site! A pleasure to listen to, and shows incredible character ingrained into the piano and vocals.

The piano playing is smooth, but that's not really what this mix is about. It's about the lyrics and singing. This song has clever lyrics with great execution.

Needless to say, this song was awesome. 3 it.

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Mtlbro
on 2010-05-27 20:32:50

Me likes the piano playing

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Master_Yoshi
on 2010-05-26 19:17:27
This is a bit different from Brent's usual works. If you want to hear stuff more along the lines of what he usually does, you need this. http://brentalfloss.bandcamp.com/

Ah, sweet. I actually really dig the rest of his work. Kind of feeling a Johnathan Coulton vibe in it.

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Martin Penwald
on 2010-05-26 12:09:45

Definitely hearing Randy Newman in there.

The piano performance is wonderful, the vocals are good (though a bit quiet), and the lyrics are just pure awesome. Lines like "you're in someone else's castle" and "it's-a-me" are perfect.

And I agree with djp; we need more blues piano in here.

avatar
KyleJCrb
on 2010-05-26 04:14:05

This is a bit different from Brent's usual works. If you want to hear stuff more along the lines of what he usually does, you need this. http://brentalfloss.bandcamp.com/

avatar
Master_Yoshi
on 2010-05-26 03:12:35

For the record: I dislike Randy Newman. He's got talent, and is creative enough, I just don't like the music he makes for the most part. Even if it is emotionally stirring.

Thus, I have an innate dislike of this track from a perspective of taste. Still, this is well executed, thoughtful, creative, and you are a really good singer for what you are doing! So it's not going on any of my playlists, but I still liked it enough to listen through, and feel a little bit warmer and fuzzier.

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Less Ashamed Of Self
on 2010-05-23 18:01:32

'It's a me' made me go 'awwww...' Similar to the kind of video game cover I'd like to make.

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Dafydd
on 2010-05-18 05:40:06

Vocals are too dry and cold. Dunno if it's noise reduction, but the recording sounds like it's made inside a tin can. Which is a shame, because I think I would have really enjoyed this piece otherwise. There's nothing wrong with the perfomance or the piano. Some EQ and reverb on the vocals would have done it, I think.

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PROTO·DOME
on 2010-05-13 15:10:10

Love the alternative harmonies and the IV-iv's. Very nice- lyrics pay perfect homeage to Mario and are pretty clever-funny.

Instant fave.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)


Primary Game:
Super Mario Bros. (Nintendo, 1985, NES)
Music by Koji Kondo
Songs:
"Game Over"
"Swimming BGM"

Tags (5)


Genre:
Blues
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Piano, Singing, Vocals: Male
Additional:
Lyrics > Lyrics: Original

File Information


Name:
Super_Mario_Bros_The_2-2_Blues_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
5,369,025 bytes
MD5:
20674085691d744af9262973468eaa12
Bitrate:
192Kbps
Duration:
3:40
I float towards you
It's deep and its blue
Sink or swim
Baby don't go lovin' him
Wait for me
I'll come and set you free
But until then
I'll keep on swimming in the sea

Now baby I swim all day
Fish in my way
My baby, aw, my little Peach
Always just out of reach
Wait for me,
Baby I'm comin', comin' to set you free
But until then
I'll keep on swimming in the sea

Now, every man needs a princess
A woman to call his own
But after looking high and low in this kingdom
I still go to bed alone

And I promise, baby I promise you
You're worth every bit of the hassle
But every time, every time I think I've found you, baby girl
You're in someone else's castle,
why you do this to me, baby?

I'm diving down
I'll try not to drown
I know it seems
My quest is just a pipe dream
But wait and see
There's a prince for you, and its-a-me
But until then
I'll keep on swimming in the sea

(Yeah...)

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