Pocket Mine Soundtrack, Big Giant Circles, 2013
As much fun as it can be to analyse a piece of music, drill down into what things make it work or not, explore its sources of inspiration and so forth, there’s also the simple joy of getting caught up in a song that is just so irresistibly fun that all critical thinking takes a backseat for a moment. Big Giant Circle’s Pocket Mine soundtrack delivers precisely that sort of feeling with the aptly titled “That Diamond Smile”. The track also perfectly demonstrates how this soundtrack manages to draw upon the strengths derived from its 8-bit influences and enhances them by mixing in contemporary elements.
All that “That Diamond Smile” requires for success is the catchy little chiptunes ditty that opens the track. In what feels like the blink of an eye, things escalate, harmonies start building up, the tempo increases and what we then hear is a much broader, full-bodied rendition of the initial tune on soaring chiptunes synths. Suddenly, it’s one of the most memorable, joyful melodies ever written for a retro video game. Throughout the cue, the melody pushes higher and higher, until it returns for one final, fantastically joyful appearance. The insidiously catchy tune is a testament to Big Giant Circles’ (aka Jimmy Hinson) stature as a master tune smith.