Steven Universe

About Steven Universe

There are cinematic universes, and then there’s Steven Universe, the Cartoon Network series named after its adolescent protagonist. As part of a band of benevolent aliens, the Crystal Gems, Steven has incredible powers: He can fly, heal injuries, and even fuse his body with another’s. And thanks to the goodness of his heart, he might just save the world. Launched in 2013 by ex-Adventure Time author Rebecca Sugar, Steven Universe was the first Cartoon Network program created solely by a woman, and over its five-season run, it blazed trails for kids’ TV. The show’s musical universe is just as expansive as its imaginative one, thanks, in part, to the fact that Steven’s father is an ex-rock star himself. Virtually every song featured on the series leads to a new world: “Steven and the Stevens” harnesses classic girl-group harmonies; “Cookie Cat” is a Beastie Boys-style rap over 8-bit bleeps; and “Big Fat Zucchini” is a surprisingly authentic take on vintage hardcore. While individual songs were compiled on 2017’s Steven Universe, Vol. 1 and 2019’s Steven Universe, Vol. 2, all five seasons’ scores are available as standalone volumes, and feature a vivid array of instrumentals that are by turns quirky, psychedelic, and sentimental. In 2019, the show came to the big screen with Steven Universe: The Movie, and the songwriting got even more ambitious, thanks to input from Chance the Rapper, Aimee Mann, and Ted Leo, among others. It’s the musical universe that listeners won’t ever want to leave.

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