I’m going to be real for a moment here: I am one to do things solely to commit to the bit. And that includes keeping certain songs and albums in my liked songs on Spotify. Why, you might ask? Well, when you listen to a lot of music, Spotify used to cap off your liked songs, so you had to semi-regularly go through and unlike some songs before you can start liking new ones. After a while, the habit sticks, so I still go through this pseudo-ritual once every couple of months. This means that on occasion, my past self will con my present self into bopping to something silly while half-zoned out doing work. Like Club Penguin Night Club/Igloo music. But hear me out for a second: it’s not … bad? The EP I was jumpscared by a few days ago was “Club Penguin: The Party Starts Now!” by The Penguin Band and heavily featuring Cadence and, yes, the album is distinctly 2012 electronica/pop. But honestly, some of the songs are pretty subtle.
The titular first track on the EP is definitely not a great example of subtlety, with immediate mentions of penguins, puffles and waddles. It’s also not a particularly great song, I must admit. It seems like it’s trying to play on the idea of listening to a DJ, which makes sense considering it was played every 20 minutes during the Make Your Mark: Ultimate Jam event within the game. While, according to the Club Penguin fandom wiki, this song was number one in the iTunes music store, let’s just say that it can only go uphill from this track. “Anchors Aweigh” is definitely a song I probably obsessed over when I was a kid — it’s that Disney pop with a hint of rock (read: electric guitar) that I would have thought was the coolest thing in the world. And honestly, it’s a silly song about being a pirate, so it’s infinitely better than Cadence’s track. However, I completely forgot this song existed so it’s ultimately nothing special.
Now, “Ghosts Just Wanna Dance” — I know for a fact that I could not get enough of this song. Disney had that era of dance-y Halloween music, and this song lived in my head rent-free. I could almost certainly still sing along to most of it, and I can forgive the overly synthetic autotuning they give Cadence because 1) it was 2012, and 2) the song is catchy. Also, this is one of those songs about how the monsters are actually completely chill because they just want to vibe, so please stop screaming because you’re really distracting from the dance music, thank you very much. There’s a weird little pseudo-rap segment in the middle which I always block out of my memory because I hate it, though. “Cool in the Cold” is a generic pop duet about the joys of playing outside in the winter/Club Penguin, which was a novelty because Los Angeles winter doesn’t really happen in the way the song describes. “Puffle Party (Gotta Have a Wingman)” is another rap-esque song so I’d rather pretend it doesn’t exist. And, as a final track, “Dubstep Puffle” by Dubstep Puffle (innovative, I know) is a basic dubstep song without vocals, so nothing special.
There isn’t much to say about these songs — I and everyone reading this (probably) is not the target audience, and the songs aren’t particularly meant to be deep. What I can say about the music is that I still kind of like “Ghosts Just Wanna Dance” and I would probably prefer “Cool in the Cold” to some of the modern pop music because I’m stuck in the past with some of my music taste. But this isn’t just about the music. I like to play keeping some of the songs in my Spotify library off as a bit, and it mostly is, but it’s also a bit of nostalgia I can actually enjoy. Club Penguin was a game I spent hours on, mastering the rhythm game and obsessing over the secret agency B-plot (as much as you can have a B-plot when there’s not really even an A-plot), and I think that can resonate with at least a few other people. Unless your favorite genre is 2012 Disney pop or you’re roughly 11-years-old, I don’t think this album is for you, and it isn’t meant to be. But I think you should give a song or two a listen if you played the game in the past — you might be surprised by the memories that come flooding back.