'Steven Universe' Soundtrack Vol. 1 Now Available: The Inspirations Behind The Music

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cover of steven universe #1 kaboom comics boom studios
The cover of Steven Universe #1, the new ongoing from Kaboom Comics. (c) Cartoon Network

We recently reviewed the Steven Universe soundtrack, Vol. 1. That soundtrack is now available on iTunes and Spotify for everyone’s purchasing and streaming delight. No need to worry about your favorite tracks ; odds are good your favorite Steven Universe tune is on the list.

The soundtrack has been digitally remastered by the composers Aivi Tran and Steven “Surasshu” Velema and doesn’t include any of the background music they’ve composed, which we may see at a later date (after all, if this is Vol. 1, surely a Vol. 2 will follow). The remasters remove sound effects and dialogue from the show to provide the clearest possible versions of each song.

The soundtrack does include as many of the Steven Universe songs as possible, in chronological order. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly , showrunner and creator Rebecca Sugar said:

“All of the songs from the start to episode 120 are on. All of the major songs. Some of the shortest ones we omitted. But we included all the songs in order. I really wanted you to be able to see or hear when you listen to it, the way we progress as a show. I didn’t want to re-color that experience. I wanted you to hear you Zach grow up. I want you to hear all of us evolve as songwriters.”

With all the show’s major songs available on Steven Universe Vol. 1, fans will be treated to the evolution of characters both musically and personally. “I want certain melodies to feel like codes for certain feelings once they’ve been established and I want to reintroduce them in different contexts as we introduce those characters in different contexts,” Sugar explained.

In an interview with Vox, Tran explains these musical codes further: the Crystal Gems are a jazz trio, while Steven’s 8-bit themes sneak in some of his offbeat energy. As for the lost Rose Quartz, her themes are strings which unite the overall composition.

With regard to the songs themselves, Sugar explained that their unique power comes from writing from emotion rather than for the plot. “I’m a big believer in songs that progress the characters in the story. I don’t want it there to just be a song for the sake of their being a song. I want it to be a very necessary feeling—something that can only be expressed through song,” she said in an interview with io9.

Sugar also cited classic musicals like The Music Man and Victor/Victoria as well as the Golden Age of Disney as inspirations for her work. “I love the sequences in those and how the design, animation, and the music all work together to convey a feeling,” she said.

Have you checked out the soundtrack via Spotify or iTunes? What are your favorite tracks? Are you looking forward to a Volume 2 full of the dank wub-wub that marks some of the show’s most intense moments? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below.

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