Still Alive, as Stephen Totilo points out in his latest article, may be an anomaly: An original video game song that people like as much as or more than the game. And it looks like soon it will be available for purchase as part of The Orange Box soundtrack on Steam.
It is sublime, but I'm not sure how well it will stand on its own feet. The thing is, as much as I love that song, I know full well that I love it because of what I attach to it: The emotions I felt while playing Portal. And then that song hits at the end of a sublime experience and, at least for me, it pulls the whole thing together.
It's sort of like some movie soundtracks. When I was younger I would rush from a movie, sometimes, floating on the high of a story well told and go out and buy the soundtrack only to find that I hated the song when it wasn't connected directly with the experience.
That isn't to say that Jonathan Coulton's song isn't wondrous, or fun, but it's not something I think I'd want to listen to while jogging, or sitting on a train, or eating dinner or, well, doing anything other than soaking in the pleasure of a game well played.
I never again want to live through the embarrassment of carrying around a taped copy of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life from the Life of Brian only to discover that the song wasn't really meant for listening to in public.
But maybe it's just me.