Praising Music #1: Bramble Blast (Super Smash Bros. Brawl)

Updated: Jun 10

Image from: Bramble Blast - Super Smash Bros. Brawl - YouTube

For this series, I search for songs that I believe should get their own praise and analyze them. I will break down the desired track into time frames, thus realizing how each section contributed to make it sound great!

Instead of being standard singles and Anime OPs/EDs, these songs will come in other forms of releases (soundtracks, remixes, promotional, etc.).

Before I get started, this song doesn't have any lyrics and ditches the usual pop song structure. The track really ends at 1:49. After that, it repeats the melody from the beginning. Due to it not following the usual structure and being short, I'll just highlight the time sections from start to finish- well, 1:49 technically- and give my best insight on what I've heard in these different time frames.

Note: This is inspired by The Bias List, a site I recommend checking out if you want K-POP/J-Pop reviews.

0:00-0:12- Coming right out of the gate, we hear an incredible synth loop that carries on for 59 seconds, acting as the pillar that keeps the song's momentum going. Elsewhere in the background, two different synths and a rattling percussion can be heard to give the track a bit of a head start with its amazing instrumental.

0:13-0:24- Once you're drawn into the instruments, you'll be a bit unaware that an acoustic guitar crashes into the party. What I love about this addition is how it's implemented smoothly without ruining the tempo. Sure it's a bit more frontal than the rest of the instruments, but it adheres to the sound level and rhythm that the track started out with. It blends in perfectly with the rest of the production.

0:25-0:36- Just when we heard an acoustic guitar come into play, another guitar gets added in the start of this section. This time, it has a low-pitch sound that adds an incredible dynamic to the song. It plays a beautiful melody during this time frame, maybe borrowing elements from folk music.

Also, if you listen closely, a drum can be heard when it joins with the guitar at the start of this segment, adding some teeth into the song. What I love what the track has done is gradually building its production by adding bits of different instruments along the way. Truly remarkable!

0:37-0:48- What we get here is my favorite instrumental bit ever!

The star here is undoubtedly the woodwind instrument. I can't pinpoint accurately on what kind of instrument this is, nor can I confirm 100% that this is actually from the woodwind category... but every time I listen to this part, I just get chills! It sounds so captivating!

0:49-1:00- When it comes to music, I think the most underrated aspect of it is some dialogue. I love it when either a vocalist or a couple of instruments has a spoken dialogue during a song, adding a new dimension to it, meddling between fantasy and reality, if you will.

If you listen closely here, there's a conversation going on between the woodwind instrument and guitar. Whenever the woodwind instrument stops "talking", the guitar responds back. I can't describe the whole tone of this dialogue, but I encourage you to listen to it and appreciate the arrangement that's being done here.

Right when we're about to reach the ending of this section, a specific drum rhythm comes in at 1:00, pushing out the rest of the instrumentation, as if it was saying "time to move on to the next phase". Pretty cool implementation here.

1:01-1:03- This is where the song derives from the usual pop song structure. It can be agreeable that the last several seconds is the buildup to the main melody here. To me though, I view this two second time frame as the transition from the first half of the song to the second half. We can all have our opinions, but in this case, it doesn't really matter. What the track has done with no vocals and just flawless instrumentation is quite outstanding.

1:04-1:24- The interplay between the string and crystallized "synthesizer" acts a sequel to the woodwind and guitar conversation. I really like how the track already applied two different dialogues in a span of 75 seconds.

I just the realized that the first dialogue came during the ending of the song's first half, while this dialogue starts the second half. It's like we just finished one chapter of a book, and now we're reading the next chapter. Again, pretty cool arrangement that this track has implemented.

1:25-1:30- Right here, this is the implication that the song is reaching its end. You can tell by the tone of both the string and percussions, generating a mighty will to finish the track on satisfying note.

1:31-1:42- The string takes control here, performing a bright, beautiful melody for us to listen to as we head towards the song's final moments. At 1:41, a guitar comes in as the "breaking point" here, telling the track that it's time to wrap up here.

1:43-1:49- As the song is coming to an end, it made sure to keep us entertained here, integrating a stirring string, a rousing brass-like instrument, and a thumping percussion to help end itself on a fulfilling conclusion.

Just like that, the track sadly ends there, repeating the beginning of itself once more. Due to it being short, it leaves you craving for the experience again, hoping you would replay the song just to hear the best 1:49 of your life over and over.

If any of you guys know what instruments were being played here, let me know! It was tough for me to distinguishing them all. A lot of the instruments I heard didn't sound recognizable to me, but at the end of the day, I'm really here for the execution, and boy did this song execute!

This is a prime example of a song that can be a force on its own without vocals. It's inspiring to hear a production like this that sounds unique. It makes me want to create a song without vocals, combining different instruments that would hopefully elicit the same uniqueness as Bramble Blast.

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