Can you believe it? It’s been about 7 years since Steven Universe first aired on Cartoon Network. And this past Friday, it all came to a close in the Steven Universe: Future 4-Part Finale. To celebrate this fantastic animated show, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best songs from across the series. We decided to stick with the show’s songs and exclude the songs from Steven Universe: The Movie (because let’s be honest, those deserve a list of their own).
10. Cookie Cat Theme
How could we NOT include the Cookie Cat theme in our best Steven Universe songs? This is the song that bookends the series: First being sung by Steven (Zach Callison) in the premiere episode, and then sung by Garnet (Estelle), Amythest (Michaela Dietz) & Pearl (Deedee Magno) in the final episode. This charming ice cream jingle is hilarious but also features quite a lot of foreshadowing. Specifically, “a refugee of an interstellar war” not only relates to Rose Quartz (and Steven himself), but Cookie Cat’s design is pink and white, a visual representation of how Rose Quartz was also Pink Diamond. Ultimately, regardless of how deep you interpret it, “Cookie Cat” is a catchy song that like an ice cream sandwich, beautifully binds the series together.
9. What Can I Do (For You)
“What Can I Do” is arguably the most sultry song of the series, and is rightfully sung by Greg (Tom Scharpling) and Rose (Susan Egan). In this 80’s love ballad, we have Greg not only asking what he can do for this beautiful space-woman, but we also get a glimpse into Rose’s mind. A simple line like “I hadn’t planned, on finding you quite this entertaining” can seem flirtatious on the surface. However, once Pink Diamond’s backstory is known, the song’s lyrics reflect the immaturity of Pink’s actions. This beautifully daunting duet is also accompanied by the (jealous) fusion, Rainbow Quartz, rockin’ a fantastic 80’s outfit. It is Steven Universe songs like these that melodically capture us on the surface, and feature a deep well of meaning underneath.
8. Peace & Love on the Planet Earth
This charming Ukelele duet between Steven and Peridot (Shelby Rabara) shows how sweet yet powerful the music of Steven Universe is. Throughout this simple song, Peridot starts to open up and falls in love with Earth and the people she’s around. What makes this song and scene that much sweeter is the growth of Peridot from a villain, to a Crystal Gem. As each of the other gems echoes the chorus, we get a sense that our new group is united in what they are fighting for: “Peace and Love on the Planet Earth“.
This Steven solo feels like it should be in a Broadway musical. “Familiar” comes towards the climatic ending of the Steven Universe Diamond Authority plotline. Steven is finally on Homeworld and is preparing to confront Yellow, Blue, AND White Diamond. In this number, Steven relents how yes, being on Homeword is familiar to him as Pink Diamond. But what is TRULY familiar is the difficulty he feels when he tries to connect with the Diamonds; the same way he felt with Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl when the series began. Zach Callison has a wonderful voice, and it’s utterly lovely hearing Steven sing this sweet ballad before the climactic finale of the Diamond saga.
6. What’s the Use of Feeling Blue?
As the main plot of Steven Universe escalated, the Diamonds quickly became the ever-looming threat of the series. In the episode “That Will Be All“, we got to see Blue AND Yellow Diamond interact together for the first time. Additionally, this is the first musical number featuring a diamond, and Yellow (Patti LuPone) delivers a fantastic performance. Throughout the number, we see that while Yellow and Blue are opposites of each other, they both share the same remembrance and loss of Pink Diamond. With the Broadway vocals of Patti LuPone, supported up by wonderful Dedee Magno, “What’s the Use in Feeling Blue” easily earns a spot on our Top 10 list.
5. Do It for Her
This inspirational ballad is one of the best Pearl songs. In “Sworn to the Sword”, Connie feels helpless because she can’t protect Steven, and asks Pearl to teach her to fight. Throughout the song, Pearl not only instructs Connie (Grace Rolek), but also is singing about herself. As Pearl continues to slip up between “Do it for Him” and “Do it for Her“, we realize that Pearl pushed herself to become a fighter and was ready to die for Rose Quartz. We also get a look into the strength and love that Connie has as she grows throughout the song. With beautiful vocals, harmonies, and an insight into both characters, “Do it For Her” is another amazing song that highlights the Crewniverse’s impressive use of music.
4. Love Like You
This is the melodic ending song that you’ve always heard during the credits of Steven Universe. This gentle piece is sung by Rebecca Sugar herself, which makes it that much more charming. What’s interesting about this sweet song is that the POV is unknown. Is it Steven, singing about how he wishes to be more like his mother, Rose Quartz? Or is it Rose, singing about how she wishes she could be more like Steven. Regardless, this heartfelt melody is the cherry on top of the series, and we always look forward to hearing it after every episode.
3. Here Comes a Thought
Rebecca Sugar has put a lot of heart and herself into Steven Universe, and “Here Comes a Thought” is a wonderful example of that. Sugar wrote this song as a response to an anxiety attack, and it is all about practicing mindfulness. The calming and repetitive lyrics of the song are actually a great mantra to repeat in an anxious or stressful situations. Additionally, this number is a beautiful duet between Garnet and Stevonnie (AJ Michalka). While it may not have the most emotional significance, its focus on self-love and care is what makes it one of our top picks.
2. It’s Over, Isn’t It
This Pearl song remains one of the sweetest and saddest ballads in all of the show’s history. This number is the emotional climax of the “Mr. Greg” musical episode, where Pearl finally realizes that Greg has “won”. Steven is proof of Rose “choosing” Greg, but Pearl is still hung up on the fact that she can’t move on with her feelings. In addition to the heartbreaking melody, the animation for this song’s sequence is gorgeous. We even get a lovely hand-drawn 360 shot of a belting Pearl. Likewise, “It’s Over Isn’t It” is a song that a lot of us can relate to at some time in our lives. Specficially, those moment when we realize that a while a relationship may be over, we are unable to let go of our love, and move on.
1 . Stronger than You
Alright, not only is this song incredibly catchy, but it also is tied to a significant point in the show. This is the first time it is revealed that Garnet is a fusion of Ruby and Sapphire. Likewise, this song beautifully blends a (literal) power ballad with an important message: You can’t defeat Love. It not only encapsulates the power of this scene but also the magic (and mantra) of the entire series. The power of love, self-love, and acceptance are the core of Steven Universe. Add this message with the incredible vocals of Estelle, and you have one amazing anthem. And after hundreds of downloads, and a live music video, it’s no wonder why “Stronger Than You” is the best Steven Universe song.
What are your favorite Steven Universe songs? Did they line up with our list? Let us know in the comments below or on Social Media!
This article was originally posted 4/1/20