CD: Metropolis - Original Soundtrack


Metropolis - Original Soundtrack

English CD Title

Metropolis - Original Soundtrack

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Toshiyuki Honda
Domo Records
February 2002

Based On:




By: Anthony Romero

Kudos goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review.

Issued by Domo Records in the US, timed with Tristar's North America release of the movie, this CD contains the soundtrack to the 2001 animated production. Composed by Gunhed (1989) alum Toshiyuki Honda, the score is a jazz infused body of work that sounds dated, echoing back to the roaring 1920's style of music. In fact, if the listener stops at the first track, they will liable to be pretty impressed by the score... unfortunately it keeps going and other tracks don't fare so well, although as a whole it's an okay soundtrack. However, Honda continues to show his weakness for beat repetition within the same song on this release.

As mentioned, the CD opens strong with the track "Metropolis". The theme is New Orleans, Dixie style jazz that would feel right at home in New Orleans Square in Disneyland. It's got that lively, big band feeling with trumpets and drums. A variant of this motif, called "After All", is included as well. This version is done with a banjo and, while not as memorable, is an uplifting and enjoyable styling of the theme. Another enjoyable piece is "Run", a jazz chase tune. It's got some nice bass and trumpets, although the piano feels really out of place when it kicks in. Sadly the tune is repetitive and overstays its welcome a bit at the two minute mark. Honda has also created a reoccurring motif in the form of "Ziggurat". In its initial appearance on the score, it's a booming track, a bit more classical in focus than the jazz pieces here. It shows up again on the theme "Hide Out" with a more sinister side to it. It appears one more time in "Chase", which is a sped up version and the worst of the three. Another nice theme off the disc, and one more sinister in nature, is the "Judgement" track. It's on the shorter side, with violins and horn work, although swells at the end in a lackluster way.

On the negative side, you have tracks like "El Bombero", aka the song I'm banned from playing in the household. It's got a shrill, distinctive swell in the audio track... that's played over and over again while drums back it up. It's not pleasant to hear, but due to repetition and sounding unique, it's easy to get the theme stuck in your head. The latter is why I have been banned from playing it, as the girlfriend woke up with it stuck in her head one day. Moving on, the vocal song "St James Infirmary" also misses the mark slightly. It feels like classic jazz, with a very slow tempo and mumbly lyrics. However, the song feels more like 'classic jazz filler' that fits into a scene without much fanfare, and as a result makes for a poor stand alone experience.

Overall, this isn't a great soundtrack, and is pretty mixed. You have good to okay themes mixed with bad, leading toward an experience that is probably better suited to a compilation sampling than a full score. Still, fans of the movie or those that enjoy jazz infused scores should enjoy this release.

As a side note, if one watched the movie: what was the most iconic music moment from the film? For many it will be the pitch perfect use of "I Can't Stop Loving You" during the climax. The Ray Charles song leaves an immediate impression on the viewer and really elevates the scene... possibly more than it deserves. Unfortunately, the song is not found on this CD or the Japanese release of the soundtrack, for those curious.

Rating: Star Rating


  1. Metropolis
  2. Foreboding
  3. Ziggurat
  4. Going to "Zone"
  5. Sniper
  6. El Bombero
  7. Three-Faced of "Zone"
  8. "Zone" Rhapsody
  9. Hide Out
  10. Run
  11. St James Infirmary
    By: Atsuki Kimura
  12. Sympathy
  13. Snow
  14. Propaganda
  15. Chase
  16. Judgment
  17. Awakening
  18. Fury
  19. After All
  20. There'll Never Be Good-bye --The Theme of Metropolis--
    By: Minako Obata