With Steven Universe: The Movie premiering tonight, let’s finish our top 20 list as we look back at the music of Steven Universe!
One of the last songs of season 5, Familiar deals with Steven’s struggle as he comes to grips with having some of the memories of Pink Diamond. With the Diamonds continuing to call him Pink and wanting him to be Pink, he struggles with his sense of self and his own identity. While the song is show-specific, its message is one many of us have related to with our own personal struggles separating our own identities with what others have wanted us to become.
9. Don’t Cost Nothing
When Greg gets an unexpected windfall, he doesn’t know what to do with it, he has everything he needs. With Steven pointing out all the things Greg could buy, Greg points he doesn’t need or want those things. That the things he enjoys, a light summer breeze, singing a song, and best of all, spending time with Steven, “Don’t cost nothing”. It’s a beautiful reminder that the best things in life truly cannot be bought.
8. That Distant Shore
After 5 seasons of Lapis Lazuli, we finally get a Lapis song towards the end of season 5. While talking about how she felt about her time on earth, it’s made clear that while she wants to believe that she is safe on earth, she is still afraid and waiting for the inevitable backlash.
This is one of the songs on this show that has real-world applications, as it quite accurately describes the experience of trauma victims as they try to function after the trauma. The talk of colors coming back into their world, but then fading as the fear returns is an accurate portrayal of what it’s like recovering from trauma and has helped many fans cope with their own trauma experience.
7. Change Your Mind
At only 54 seconds and seven very short lines, it is definitely one of the shorter songs on the Steven Universe soundtrack. Yet somehow, it holds one of the heaviest messages of the show. As Steven finally embraces himself as his own person and asserts to himself and everyone else that he is himself and not Pink Diamond, he writes one of the most powerful messages: I don’t need you to respect me or love me, I already love and respect myself, but you could know me as me if you just change your mind.
Interestingly enough, this song was never intended to be in the show. Rebecca Sugar shared on the Steven Universe Podcast that the song was actually written about her fighting to include the Ruby and Sapphire wedding in the show.
6. It’s Over Isn’t It
As Pearl’s first solo song, this one hits it out of the park. As she sings about losing Rose, the emotion pours through with every note. Her pain is felt as she tries to make sense of life without Rose. As she works through her pain, it becomes clear that Greg was not the first human that Rose had had around and that Pearl didn’t expect him to stay. She echoes the sentiment that many of us have felt in life: why can’t I move on?
5. We Are the Crystal Gems (Full Theme)
The main theme for the show has multiple versions, but our favorite will always be little Steven sitting in the back of a van with a ukulele. While not actually featured on the show, it’s known and loved by fans everywhere. As our Crystal Gems declare what they are fighting for we gain insight into our characters: Pearl who is fighting for Rose, Garnet who is fighting to exist freely, Amethyst who is simply fighting for her home, and Steven who is fighting to be what everyone expects of him. It’s wonderful to watch the characters grow from this version to the “Change Your Mind” version of the song, where they no longer have to fight. As great as the newer version is though, the image of a young Steven holding the ukulele will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans.
4. Be Wherever You Are
A sweet and simple song from “Island Adventure”, Steven sings to Lars and Sadie about enjoying just being wherever you are. While it is one of the more literal songs in the series, its message is still a sweet one, as well as a popular one for fans to learn to play on the ukulele.
3. Love Like You
The end credits song is a fan favorite. It’s purposely ambiguous lyrics leave the song up to the interpretation of the listener. It’s lyrics point to different gems, sometimes pointing to Pearl(“If I could begin to be half of what you think of me), sometimes Rose(“When I see the way you act wondering when I’m coming back”), even Ruby(“‘cause I think you’re so good and I’m nothing like you”). It’s a beautiful song that gets fans talking and leaves them guessing.
The song has also evolved over time with respect to how the fans know it. During the entirety of the first season, each episode had a slightly different version of the song, or used a different segment of it for the end credits. It wasn’t until the end of the first season that we got the complete picture.
2. Stronger Than You
One of the most popular songs from the show, Garnet sings about her strength as a fusion as she fights Jasper who believes her fusion is an abomination. Many fans relate to this song, and Garnet in general, as she sings about being made of a love that is stronger than anything Jasper can throw at her.
1. Here Comes a Thought
When Stevonnie breaks down after Connie has problems at school, Garnet takes a moment to teach them an important fusion lesson. What came of it was a song that perfectly talks about dealing with anxiety and negative thoughts. It describes anxiety in a way for younger audiences to understand (“Here comes a thought that might alarm you”), what an anxiety attack may feel like (“Oh, I’m losing sight, I’m losing touch”), and how to bring yourself back down from anxiety (“Take a moment. Remind yourself to take a moment and find yourself”). It’s a song that has gone a long way in helping its fans, young and old, deal with depression and anxiety, earning it the number 1 spot on our list.
Think we missed something? Have another Top 20 you’d like to see? Discuss in the comments below and come back tomorrow for our review of Steven Universe: The Movie!