When I’m not glued to the TV playing Tetris Effect, I’m pumping the game’s soundtrack into my ears every chance I get. Even pulled out of context from the game, I’m enamored with the vibes that the music provides. Until we get the official soundtrack, YouTube user Nazo No Hito has done the world a favour and uploaded the entire soundtrack running in theatre mode. I tried to make a top 5, but I couldn’t in my heart of hearts cut the list any shorter. Here’s my top 7 songs from the Tetris Effect soundtrack!
7. Ritual Passion: Flames
An ominous tone is accented with wind chimes and the sound of fire whooshing about before this track kicks into high gear. One of the few songs that’s straight-up rave ready, it keeps my head nodding with its pulsing drum beat and East Indian sounding vocals. In the game’s Journey mode, the song’s frenetic pace is only amplified by the burning Tetris blocks and the fire that engulfs the background.
6. Balloon High: Look Up
“We embark on this ride to find out who we are” are the words sung in this late-game track. By this point, they’re emblematic of the journey your mind and body have gone through from playing Tetris Effect. The song builds into a beautiful electro pop with positive lyrics about being able to achieve anything. The mix of a rolling bass line, droning synth stabs, acoustic guitar, and cascading synth notes at the upper end of the register make for a smooth moment to reflect on your experience moments before taking on the game’s final level.
5. Mermaid Cove: World of Colors
The soundtrack’s most conventional power ballad. A marching band style snare keeps the tempo, while a touch of acoustic guitar, pianos, and ambient synths breeze you away. Of the songs on the album, this is one that relies the least on electronic sounds and is a refreshing change of pace. The song builds to a crescendo with a powerful Sia-like chorus.
4. Pharoah’s Code: Next Chapter
This track has the most hip-hop influence to it. Most notably, there’s a few bars from a rapper who sounds a lot like Kendrick Lamar. After the verse, the boom bap beat kicks in and a surging synth line carries the track. I managed to not get tired of this song while listening to it on loop for two straight hours during my endless marathon run, so that’s gotta count for something!
3. The Deep (I’m Yours Forever)
The song most used in its promotional material is also the first track in the game. Easing players into the experience is a steady kick drum and alternating snare sounds. Ambient synths and techno whale sounds compliment the beautiful and romantic female vocals as she coos:
I’m yours forever
There is no end sight for us
Nothing could measure
The kind of strength inside our hearts
It’s all connected
We’re all together in this life
Don’t you forget it
The mix of positive ambiance with a touch of romance in the lyrics shoots this one near the top of my list.
Tetris Effect toys with nostalgia in a huge way with this hidden level. Starting out with the classic Type A music from the Gameboy game, it revs up and bursts its way into modern times with a sizzling remix. Adding a drum beat with swing, gritty synthesizers to punch the main melody through, and high-speed synth stabs during the bridge, this could probably set a dance floor on fire anywhere in the world right now.
A few things keep it out of the #1 spot. One, as amazing of a remix as it is, it doesn’t necessarily fit the vibe of the soundtrack as a whole. This song also has a huge leg-up on the others for its heavy nostalgia play. The biggest offense though, is that it messed up one note in the main melody. If you’ve played Tetris on the Gameboy, one listen to the melody and you can instantly spot the difference your humming falls out of tone with this new version. Why go so far to recreate the song and change/screw up that one note?! It doesn’t sound bad, but it certainly doesn’t sound right.
1. Metamorphosis: Always Been But Never Dreamed
“What could you be afraid of if I’m right here with you?”
You might expect the final song in a Tetris game to run at breakneck speed to keep pace with the blocks that are dropping at an anvil’s pace. Instead, the final track is a mid-tempo climb into euphoria. Drawn out cello notes start the song while underscoring beautiful vocals singing about going on a spiritual journey. The song builds with plucked strings, trap drums, and airy synths before crashing down with a euphoric drop. For being the song that perfectly fits the ethos of this game while also being a hot track in its own right, this clumsily named track is my favourite on the soundtrack.