Top Ten Songs from the Album "Pokémon: 2ba Master"Martin_Canine For quite some time I didn't admit how much I adore this album.
But in a time where Dat Adam can release a cyber hip hop album full of references to Pokémon, Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Naruto and more animes, and be both critical and popular darlings and commercially successful, while one of Germany's most talented rappers became famous wearing a Spongebob costume and still holds the honorific title "God of Battle", I can as well admit that this is one of my favorite albums.
Time has changed and in my generation anime and cartoons are beyond cool and not in the slightest nerdy, no matter how "adult" you may be. At least over here.
"2 BA Master" was released specifically for Western listeners and audiences, as the "Pokémon" series went through some dubbing edits for the American and partly the European market.
The Western dub of "Pokémon" is not as butchered as the American dub of the "Digimon" series, as both the original Japanese "Pokémon" dub and the Western versions have a light hearted tone and are more kid friendly, they just altered names and signs, and some of the dialogues that were considered too inappropriate or can't be understood due to cultural differences - and the music. The score remained the same, but the pop songs were different. The most notorious edit is that three episodes weren't aired, and a few more violent scenes (nothing too graphic) were cut out. I'm not a fan of edits and censorship, but this dub is okay I guess (they slaughtered the first movie however). If you compare it to the American "Digimon" dub, which turned a gritty, dark, depressing, epic scifi/fantasy anime that would be rated PG-13 into a light hearted harmless adventure for kids, I'm fine with the "Pokémon" dub for most parts. Btw, the German dub is based on the American version, unlike "Digimon", which is based on the original Japanese version. Btw I watched the first seasons of the series in all three languages I mentioned, so this is not some second hand information.
Even though the Japanese J-Rock music was great, as the genre always is, the westernized music is cool as well. "2 BA Master" contains several songs from the western dub of the series as well as a bunch of new music that is only heard on here. The musical style is everything that was trending at the turn of the millennium in a blender: there is teen pop, eurodance, a slight touch of RnB, and pop rap. In other words: everything I like about pop. Yeah, the good old days when I was barely alive but already digged this stuff.
There is also a German language edition of this album called "Schnapp' sie dir alle!" ("Catch 'em All!"), which has the advantage of not including all those obnoxious dialogue samples over the beats (which is the album's major flaw), but therefore the performances by the singers aren't as good as on the English language release. But that's just my opinion.
The Top Ten
I should have ranked this above "My Best Friends". They have essentially the same premise: old school teen pop songs about true, honest friendship. But this here is much better produced and has a way more emotional melody and performance. And again, if not for the out of place dialogue sample in the bridge, this could have been a "real" pop hit by whoever sang this. - Martin_CanineUListen to Sample
Do you like the Backstreet Boys? Do you like old day Britkey Spears? Do you like Vitamin C? And do you like M2M? Okay, no, it's not exactly like M2M. M2M are much less electronic and are extremely gifted songwriters. But you get the idea. This is perfect teen pop. And it works as a song about true, deep and emotional friendship. - Martin_CanineUListen to Sample
If it wasn't for this for this forced and out of context dialogue sample from the show, this would pass as an amazing pop/RnB song with actually meaningful lyrics. I assume it was some sort of rejected demo for a singer's album, and since it contains the word "evolution", the guys who made this album decided to include on this record. It is the only song on the song that has not a single reference to the anime, except for the dialogue sample I mentioned before. As out of place as this song is, it is great. Lyric-wise (it's about how nothing stays the same and how things always keep on evolving), production-wise, performance-wise (who sings this? I'd buy her album if it sounds like this song) and melody-wise. - Martin_CanineUListen to Sample
This is the greatest villain song in existence. Not "Poor Unfortunate Souls", not "Intelligence", not "My Lullaby", not "Be Prepared", and not even "Hellfire", though they are all close. It is so theatralic it's amazing... this is just god-like. Those electronic guitars, opera hits, the choir in the chorus, the hip hop part, those icy synth effects, the beeps in the bridge, the melody, the over-the-top voice acting. If a producer would ask me "name me one song to demonstrate how you want your album to sound like"... it would probably be this one. - Martin_CanineUListen to Sample
Aka "Born in the 90s: The Childhood Theme"
I never realized how different its rock-ish outfit sounds from the teen pop oriented rest of the album. - Martin_Canine
"I just caught something in my eye."
"What did you catch? "
It's not a Pokémon quote, but if you know at which moment this song plays in the anime, you know why I used this quote. - Martin_Canine
I am stunned to have found this song on an American album. This is what the 90s sounded like in Europe... in a nutshell. It's like Anita from 2 Unlimited asked the producer of Magic Affair to record a song with her, then Axel Coon from Scooter came along and said "you need to put some drum and bass to that". Oh, and some dude playing basic power chords. Then, after they finished producing the song, they couldn't think of any lyrics, so they sold it to the guys who recorded this album. - Martin_CanineUListen to Sample
Olay, forget what I said about M2M on "My Best Friends". This would completely pass as an M2M song. The soft, vulnerable feel, the shy and not over the top romance, the childlike voice, the minimalistic musical outfit, the completely relatable lyrics about discovering one's emotion... it would fit right on M2M's "Shades of Purple". Which is one hell of a compliment, considering this is one of my all time favorite album and by far the best teen pop album out there (even though I gotta admit, "Misty's Song" wouldn't exactly be the most outstanding track of the album). - Martin_CanineUListen to Sample
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