The Borrower Arrietty Soundtrack
International Title
 The Secret World of Arrietty
Music By: Cecile Corbel
Record Label: Tokuma
Running Time: 59:56 Discs: 1
Release: July 2010 CD Number: TKCA-73537
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

While Cecile Corbel submitting a CD to Studio Ghibli and getting selected to do music for one of their films is nothing abnormal, the company did the same thing for the song "Always With Me" by Yumi Kimura for Spirited Away (2001), what is different is that the Studio Ghibli opted to have Corbel create the entire score, granting a rather lofty position for an artist with no past soundtrack experience. The result, while not matching the heights of composers like Joe Hisaishi, is whimsical, sometimes soothing and frankly just an enjoyable soundtrack with a slightly different flavor than what one is accustomed to with anime.

The disc is split between vocal and instrumental tracks, with strong examples in both categories. In terms of vocal work, the best track off the disc is "Arrietty's Song", which in this case is the Japanese version of the song. As mentioned in the review of the single, Arrietty's Song (YCCW-30024), the Japanese version is quite as enjoyable as the English or French versions, but is none the less soothing. On the opposite end is the very upbeat song "Our House Below (Movie Version)", which has a slight folk beat and is quite unique for mixing a slight hint of orchestration with the Celtic styling of Corbel.

In terms of instrumental tracks, the disc has a number to choose from. A highlight is the energetic "Sho's Song (Instrumental Version)", which walks the fine line of violin work with harps and yet the result is slightly action oriented and a real treat. "The Doll House (Instrumental Version)" is also interesting, giving off a regal sense with its heavy harp work. Sadly, there are a few instrumental tracks which fall short. "Precious Memories" is an example of this, being just a little too slow paced to even meet the qualification for being a soothing track, sadly.

As a side note, the disc has fairly odd track titles. The reason for this is that the many instrumental versions found here, like "Spiller (Instrumental Version)", have their vocal cousins located exclusively on the Image Album (YCCW-10109), or Songbook as it's also called. This makes the naming look a little strange, since almost half the disc is noted as an instrumental version without the accompanying vocal one found on this release.

Overall, this is an enjoyable score that is far from the best Studio Ghibli has been associated with, but is a little different and provides a nice spice of variety in contrast to past soundtracks for their releases.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. The Neglected Garden
  2. Our House Below (Movie Version)
  3. Our House Below (Instrumental Version)
  4. The Doll House (Instrumental Version)
  5. Sho's Lament (Instrumental Version)
  6. Arrietty's Song (Instrumental Version)
  7. The Neglected Garden (Instrumental Version)
  8. Sho's Waltz
  9. Spiller (Instrumental Version)
  10. Rain (Instrumental Version)
  11. The Wild Waltz
  12. Sho's Lament (Instrumental Version)
  13. An Uneasy Feeling
  14. With You
  15. The House is in Silence
  16. Sho's Song (Instrumental Version)
  17. Precious Memories
  18. Goodbye My Friend (Instrumental Version)
  19. I Will Never Forget You
  20. Arrietty's Song

    Bonus Tracks
  21. Tears in My Eyes
  22. Goodbye My Friend