CD: Innocence - Original Soundtrack

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Innocence - Original Soundtrack


Japanese CD Title

イノセンス オリジナル・サウンドトラック
[Inosensu Orijinaru Saundotorakku]

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Kenji Kawai
Victor
March 2004
47:24
VICL-61294

Based On:

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence

CD

Review

By: Anthony Romero

I've listened to a number of Kenji Kawai soundtracks at this point. The composer typically excels at horror or suspense, shining on projects like Ring (1998) or especially Dark Water (2002). In my experience where the composer has struggled is outside of that genre, and this soundtrack does little to change my mind.

At less than 48 minutes, this score is on the shorter side. What it suffers from is a lack of highlights. What does stand out from Kawai feels like it would have been more at home in a horror movie, which perhaps isn't that surprising. Creepy themes like "Type 2052 Hadaly" or "Purgatory" are very slow paced, and fit in this more horror oriented style. When Kawai does try to break out of his mold, with action themes like "Attack of the Wakabayashi", the results don't generate much excitement. As a reoccurring motif, a few of the themes contain chorus or singing work. This is more on the unnerving side, and while these tracks stand out, they are repetitive. The first two "The Ballad of Puppets" tracks sound very similar for example. The third, for the climax, is a little better and a little more action oriented at least. The chorus work doesn't end there, though, as it rears up again in the final score track, "A Distant God's Gift", with not stellar results although it's a short track.

Now the disc contains two songs by singer Kimiko Itoh. Active since the early 1980's, Itoh has established herself as a jazz singer in both Japan and the United States. As one might expect, her work here has a jazz flavor to it, harking back to lounge music from the 1930's although with a slightly more dour touch to it. The two songs are okay, being more memorable than Kawai's work for the movie. They feel completely at odds with the score, though, and don't gel well with the soundtrack as a whole.

Overall, this isn't a very memorable soundtrack and doesn't work very well as an isolated experience away from the film. If one is a fan of the movie or really enjoys Kawai's work, this can be a worthy addition to a fan's collection. Otherwise, though, there are better CDs to hunt out.

As a side note, the track titles are a combination of English and Japanese. "Dungeon" for example is presented in English only, while "The Ballad of Puppets" tracks are in Japanese. Furthermore, the three Puppet track titles are very artistic, while not tying greatly into the events of the movie. As a result, you could translate these in a huge number of ways so keep that in mind.

Rating: Star Rating

Tracks

  1. Dungeon
  2. The Ballad of Puppets: The Resentment of Falling Flowers
  3. Type 2052 "Hadaly"
  4. River of Crystals
    By: Kimiko Itoh
  5. Attack of the Wakabayashi
  6. Purgatory
  7. The Ballad of Puppets: Gods Descending in the New World
  8. The Doll House I
  9. The Doll House II
  10. The Ballad of Puppets: The Ghost Awaits in the Afterlife
  11. A Distant God's Gift
  12. Follow Me
    By: Kimiko Itoh