coloUrs and mayhem: Universe B, by Various Artists

70-coloursandmayhemuniverseb

Released April 13, 2012

1 hr, 40 min, 21 sec

By nature, Universe B‘s core track list is much shorter than Universe A, providing theme songs for eight characters as opposed to twenty-four. To make up for this, the vast majority of the album consists of the also-rans in “Additional Mayhem,” with a whopping 21 additional songs.

There’s really not much to say here – like Universe A, the songs chosen for each character accurately reflects that character’s personality in a musical form, with “Orchid Horror” being an overwrought orchestral track and “Blue Atom” being an upbeat jazz-influenced romp, while “Cyan Beast” merges aggressive guitar lines with lighthearted chorus sections. Universe B is compiled from the same contest as Universe A, and there’s a lot of overlap in terms of musical themes.

There are some gems in the Additional Mayhem, though, like “Squiddle Song,” a fully vocal ukelele track that’s absolutely adorable, even with the same sort of subversion in its hilariously disturbing lyrics that Homestuck itself often employs. “Pipeorgankind,” the closing track for the album, calls back to early themes for John, the central character (as central as any character in Homestuck could be, anyway), going back as far as the very first song played in Homestuck, rendered in a gorgeous echo-chamber of organ sounds. The song’s importance was further elevated with its use in a pivotal Flash panel in Act 6 Act 6 Intermission 4.

And that’s all there is to it. coloUrs and mayhem is a great two-part set, and the tracks included – even the ones that didn’t quite make it onto the “primary” track list – demonstrate the wide range of talent and depth to the Homestuck fan community. It’s a fanbase that (rightfully) gets its fair share of flak for being creepy, or overly obsessive, but there are people like that in any fanbase. You just have to find the good ones in the pack.

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