Sunday, April 13, 2014

My Ten Favorite Dance Dance Revolution Songs

I was in the throes of a strange adolescence when I fell in love with these songs, and I do not have the musical vocabulary to reason through my choices with anything other than free association and reactionary sentimentality. Proceed with caution.

10) Jenny - Do You Remember Me
Original: Not sure - I read many years ago that this is a cover of a Japanese pop song from the 1970s, but I've since learned that the Internet isn't always a trustworthy place.
First appeared in: DDR MAX (6th Mix)

My friend and I played this at our joint 16th birthday party and my mom told me that I should turn it off or people would start leaving. WHATEVER. For some reason, this song always stuck out amidst the deluge of generic Eurobeat that slammed DDR some time around 5th Mix. It may be Jenny's subtle ESL cadence ("I am gonna g'you a start"???), or that her vocals are tender in a way that the genre rarely manages, or its ridiculously fun Heavy stepcharts, but Do You Remember Me has a lot of personality. I think most people skipped over this song because it was super girly and Dance Dance Revolution is all about looking as cool as possible.

9) Jennifer - If You Were Here
Original: None
First appeared in: 2nd Mix

For better or worse, this song screams DDR. Most people familiar with the game would probably cite's Butterfly as the franchise's most notable contribution to popular music, but let's be real - Butterfly is annoying as hell. If You Were Here serves up twice the synthesized Italo Disco goodness with only half of the shrill vocalizations and none of the dubious Orientalism; it's a perfect little encapsulation of the cool-uncool divide that Dance Dance Revolution spent so long trying to navigate. Strange that (if you choose to believe the online whispers of yesterdecade) the opening 13 seconds of this song inspired Naoki Maeda to write MAX 300, the series' first definitive step away from its dance game pretensions.