So I spent all of this weekend playing the single-player campaigns of Portal and Portal 2. They are fantastic games that I’ve become quite taken by recently.
I can probably disclose without spoiling much that at the end of each game, you are treated to a little musical number by GLaDOS, the computer mainframe who serves as the antagonist for the game.
After tearing her to pieces and burning them in an incinerator at the end of the first game, the final cinematic plays, and over the credits ‘Still Alive‘ plays.
The song is sung by the voice actress portraying GLaDOS, but the actual music is written by Jonathan Coulton, who I thought I’d never heard of before, until a little reading revealed he’s also the artist behind the really catchy song ‘Shop Vac’, which I found via Wondermark‘s post on fantastic video:
But I’m digressing.
These songs are catchy, and even in spite of the gimmick of GLaDOS singing, hold up pretty well. I need to find a name for the genre of music that isn’t outright comedy, a-la Weird Al, but still has the humor as a defining component. Iit’s a little telling that we (see:I) seem to think funny songs aren’t “real” music.
My recent discovery of the Wombats, along with these Coultan tracks, seems to be further evidence that the line is a lot blurrier than I’d previously thought.
The closing theme from Portal 2 is titled ‘Want You Gone‘.
It’s worth noting, while we’re talking about these songs, that the National, one of my favorites as of recent, also recorded a track for Portal 2. Beyond that even, the soundtrack is being released for free, so if you like moody, industrial techno, give it a shot.
And if you haven’t played the game, for heaven’s sake, get to it!