|By Andrew Raub||Wednesday, 4 Nov 2009|
XOC got his big break with the release of his Super Mario World album. Out of nowhere came this wacky dude covering a beloved soundtrack in a menagerie of styles and instrumentation, creating a VGM album that was unlike any other.
With albums like What’s Pink and Sucks? and the G2EP, he’s continued to impress over and over. All has been quiet on the XOC front for a while, but with the release of XOC Plays III he has once again come out of nowhere to blow everyone away.
The Super Mario Bros. 3 soundtrack is tricky. Nearly every song is either whimsical and lighthearted or dark and heavy. These stark differences in the songs make it a strange listen because the dynamics sway from one end to the other like a koopa shell stuck between two unbreakable blocks.
What is most enjoyable about XOC Plays III is that he has embellished in both ends of the P-gauge. The whimsical songs are made even more kooky with lots of diverse instruments. The darker songs are simpler but retain that XOC magic.
At 20 tracks, pretty much every track from SMB3 is covered with a few bonuses. The arrangements are interesting in that many of the tracks are composed of songs that are unrelated in the game, but here XOC makes them work together. Several of the tracks also feature Chunkstyle, the mad bassist from Metroid Metal.
All in all XOC Plays III is a short but worthwhile listen. I don’t think anyone else could capture the magic of the SMB3 soundtrack as well as he could (and I’ve tried my self!). Head over to his mushroom house and donate a few bucks to hear this wonderful masterpiece.