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Come Listen to One of Steven Universe's Best Songs Since 'Stronger Than You'

Illustration for article titled Come Listen to One of iSteven Universe/is Best Songs Since Stronger Than You

Aside from its thematic strengths and its delightful characters, if there’s one thing Steven Universe is known for, it’s having a killer soundtrack, jam-packed with powerful, toe-tapping songs. Last night’s episode was no exception, with a chill track that rivals some of the show’s very best musical moments.

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Illustration for article titled Come Listen to One of iSteven Universe/is Best Songs Since Stronger Than You

Last night’s “Mindful Education” was all about Steven and Connie learning how to deal with their emotions while they train together as their fusion, Stevonnie. The importance of any fusion in Steven Universe is emotional cohesion and focus—something the duo were struggling with, as Connie was distraught over a bad incident that had happened to her at school.

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This is unrelated, I just wanted to put a gif of Stevonnie fighting in here because it’s *rad*.

Enter Garnet, the show’s sensei for all things fusion, to teach the kids about the importance of acknowledging the thoughts and emotions you feel while also being able to move them aside and focus on the task at hand. Naturally, she did it through song—and “Here Comes a Thought,” featuring the vocal talents of British R&B star Estelle as Garnet and AJ Michalka as Stevonnie, stands right up there with the Steven Universe ballad to judge all other Steven Universe ballads by: “Stronger Than You.”

It makes sense to draw comparisons, considering “Stronger Than You” was another Garnet song. Both songs are emotionally resonant with the character’s nature as a bonding between two individuals into a new self, but they speak to that relationship in fundamentally different ways.

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“Stronger Than You” is about a declaration of feelings: it’s a triumphant rallying cry for everything Garnet is and stands for as a character—championing her self-worth as a relationship defined by romantic love. It’s high-tempo, high-emotion, loud and bold and proud.

“Here Comes a Thought” on the other hand, is much more about inner reflection, and has a more calming tempo. It’s still about openly accepting the emotions you feel—“the little things that matter so much”—but it’s about tempering those emotions with focus so they can be channelled healthily, a theme that sits at the core of Steven Universe. It might not be as anthemic as “Stronger Than You,” but it’s equally potent and important for the show, thematically.

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And like all of Steven Universe’s songs, it’s a damn good foot-tapper. When the hell is this show getting a soundtrack release?

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

turbotastic
Turbotastic

This song isn’t just beautiful, it’s a fantastic message for people of any age. Garnet’s advice is actually based on real therapy techniques used to threat people suffering from PTSD and mental illnesses.

Steven is such a relentless optimist, and so used to being able to befriend and forgive his enemies, that he’s vulnerable of falling into the trap of thinking that it’s not okay to feel negative emotions, and he’s feeling that a lot lately since season 3's big recurring theme was Steven trying, and failing, to make peace with his enemies (and in one case, he was forced to leave one to die.)

I’m glad the series is showing how much those choices are weighing on Steven. He’s got a lot to process, and devoting an entire episode to his and Connie’s emotional fallout is not just smart, it’s a beautiful choice that very few shows would bother to make.