Steven Universe Soundtrack Vol 1 Delivers Cool Jams and Good (Gay) Messages

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If you haven’t seen Cartoon Network’s Emmy nominated children’s series Steven Universe, you haven’t seen one of the best designed, animated, acted and written shows ever on television, and possibly the queerest. Focusing on a young boy who sings about wanting to be a giant woman, performs onstage in a crop top, skirt, heels and makeup, and fuses with his best friend to form a non-binary person, as well as his friends and adoptive moms, the Crystal Gems, Steven Universe is constantly opening audiences’ eyes to new ways of thinking about gender, love, queerness, family and self image. Now you can enjoy another integral part of the show whenever you want by buying the Steven Universe Soundtrack Volume One. With songs composed by musical duo Aivi & Surasshu and Steven Universe creator Rebecca Sugar, this soundtrack features 37 songs from the show featuring all the main voice actors, and can be purchased through online retailers like iTunes or Amazon or streamed on sites like Spotify.

Steven Universe isn’t just one of the best made shows on TV today, it’s also one of the most important. Because of that I’ve talked before about the amazing characters and storylines and relationships, but I’ve never focused on the music even though it’s absolutely one of the things that makes this show everything it is. While not every episode is a musical one, many episodes do incorporate the characters singing songs and it’s never a waste of the show’s time. Instead, the music reveals things about the relationships, thoughts and feelings of the characters and gives listeners a brilliant new way to think about the things the show is talking about. In a summer where we’re constantly facing tough times and tough news, this soundtrack is delivering songs full of love and hope and happiness and healthy ways to deal with emotions, and that’s exactly what we need.

Many of the songs on this volume are some of my favorites. Of course it includes the theme song (both regular and extended editions), which we all love, and other great songs like “Cookie Cat,” and “Let Me Drive My Van into Your Heart,” but you’re at Autostraddle. Let’s talk about the queer songs for a bit. I think we all remember where we where the first time we heard “Stronger Than You,” which may be the ultimate gay love song of all time. Seriously, when Ruby and Sapphire fuse back into Garnet and create the ultimate being of lesbian love and relationships and strength and then she sings a song about it, it’s amazing. I mean, come on, “I am made of love and it’s stronger than you,” that’s perfect. Ugh, and “Something Entirely New,” the song Ruby and Sapphire sing after the first time they fuse? I love how cute it is!!! If your queerness is more along the lines of Steven getting femmed up, they’ve got the pop version of “Haven’t You Noticed (I’m a Star)” sung by Marceline voice actor Olivia Olsen, so that way you too can practice for the big talent show. If you’re a sad lesbian or bisexual trying to move on from the last love of your life, what better song to sing than “It’s Over Isn’t It?”

Other songs that deliver important messages include “Be Wherever You Are,” “Do It for Her,” “Peace and Love on the Planet Earth” and the brilliant song “Here Comes a Thought,” where we finally get to hear what Stevonnie’s singing voice sounds like. “Be Wherever You Are,” a song Steven sings to Sadie and Lars, his two human friends, is ostensibly a song about him wanting the two of them to become closer and fall in love while they’re all trapped on an island, but it’s also a song about being mindful and present in the place you are. “Do It for Her” is a song that, when paired with another Pearl-singing-about-her-love-for-Rose song, “It’s Over Isn’t It,” shows how you can go from an obsessive relationship to developing healthy feelings and boundaries. “Peace and Love on the Planet Earth,” the first song Peridot sings when she joins the Crystal Gems, is all about learning how to be a person and a good guy. It’s about opening up your heart to new experiences and feelings. One of the most important songs on the soundtrack is “Here Comes a Thought,” the song that Garnet has Stevonnie sing to practice mindfulness, which I know is something I need to work on, and maybe you’re interested in it too.

Steven Universe continues to be one of the best and queerest shows on television and this soundtrack does a great job of showing off many of the reasons why. The soundtrack ends the way the show does, with the song “Love Like You” — a song that encompasses the entire show’s themes, all about love and learning and trying to become a better, healthier person and learning to love yourself and your friends and family. This show is doing good and vital work. I’m so thankful for this show, these songs and the people who made this music.


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Mey Valdivia Rude is a bisexual Latina trans woman living in Los Angeles. She's a writer, comic consultant and a trans activist. She's a bruja, a femme, a pop princess and she loves comic books, witches, dinosaurs and crying. She has a cat named Sawyer and a very successful twitter.

Mey has written 507 articles for us.

10 Comments

  1. The only thing I don’t like about this is that I already bought the soundtrack so I can’t use the autostraddle links to give back to my fave site!
    That and the fact that the Big Donut song is not included– I wanted a full version of that song so bad. This should tell you something about my priorities.

  2. I’m so excited that this album is finally out! Most of these songs are now on heavy rotation via my queer summer playlist. I also know most of these songs by heart because my wife and I sing them together while she plays ukulele. It’s part of our relaxing late-evening wind-down routine, so these songs are doubly meaningful in our household.

    Also: Mey, this article hits all the right notes about the soundtrack 😉. I have a LOT of feelings about SU and its music, and now I can point people to this article to explain why!

  3. “Here Comes A Thought” is literally the best song ever for people with intrusive/obsessive thoughts. Honestly, this show is a blessing. The sheer amount of queer representation… like, not just one gay character who somehow seems to have no gay friends. Pearl is me and I am Pearl, and I so identify with her insecurity and jealousy and putting Rose before herself in everything.

    Let me talk about Pearl for a second. She’s a pearl, an “inherently” subservient gem on Homeworld, so she’s clearly been told her entire life that she’s not worth shit. Then Rose comes along and treats her like an equal. Of course she’s going to fall in love with this magical, compassionate, brave woman. Then the love of her life falls for someone else – a human man, of all beings – and suddenly Pearl is back to being lesser, unloved and unworthy. She keeps holding onto Rainbow Quartz because it’s all she has left with Rose when Greg is around, and then she doesn’t even have that and Rose is gone. But Steven depends on her, and that matters, even though she feels like she’s the weakest of the team. The part with Sugilite and Sardonyx (and how Pearl is clearly somewhat attracted to Garnet but also likes feeling powerful by fusing with a fusion) is so telling, too, and how she’s willing to deceive her family to hold on to that feeling.

    Like, her attraction to people stronger than her who pay attention to her and treat her well is just so ME and I’m betting it’s common for people who have been abused or devalued all their lives. It’s hard not to put people on pedestals when you’re like Pearl, who’s been told to stay in her place and serve others, and suddenly someone better than you thinks you’re great and you don’t know how to react and you feel like you don’t deserve it. Pearl’s journey is so important and I’m so so glad she has so many songs because she reveals so much about herself in the music of the show and it’s so moving and I just really love Pearl, okay?

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