Steamboy - Original Sound Track
International Title
Music By: Steve Jablonsky
Record Label: Victor
Running Time: 60:52 Discs: 1
Release: July 2004 CD Number: VICL-61445
Anthony Romero

First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan, the ever completest, for sending this in for review!

This is the first and original soundtrack to the 2004 anime Steamboy. Composed by Steve Jablonsky, a few years before he would become the poster boy composer for Michael Bay's Transformers, this score is undeniably good. It invokes a great sense of the era the film takes place in, while displaying both a great range of themes that shift from the carefree to action packed.

Being only the second soundtrack of Hans Zimmer protégé Jablonsky, his first work being the 2003 remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, this score is quite remarkable. It's very consistent, being enjoyable from start to finish. It excels most often with it's numerous action motifs, heard in cues such as "The Chase" and "Raid by the Airship" which do a great job of increasing the adrenaline. Other tracks, like "Ray's Theme", do a good job of expressing a more triumphant and heroic tone. Making use of the period element of the production, Jablonsky also offers a few carefree tracks. This include stuff like "Scarlet" and the appropriately named "Crystal Palace Waltz", the latter of which fits it's track title perfectly.

While the score does most often evoke a carefree or action like-sentiment, there are a few outside of this range. "The Sortie of Scotland Yard" and "Fight in the Exposition Ground" are two examples, which evoke a slightly more evil tone. All the same, the two tracks are still energetic at points. In fact, even the most evil track, "Collapse and Rescue", contains a more upbeat portion of it.

Overall, I would strongly recommend this soundtrack. It helps to demonstrate that, even out of the gate, Jablonsky has been a highly talented composer. Being more action oriented in structure helps the soundtrack to work very well as a stand alone experience that, for soundtrack nuts, has a lot of what I would consider "iPod worthy" tracks. The score also stands out as it's not often that a composer works on a Toho soundtrack who would later become a well known Hollywood composer, although None But the Brave (1965) is of course another exception there.

Now, oddly enough given it's the original release, this is the third time I have reviewed this score. The first was the bootleg version out of Taiwan (KO-88393) while the second was the US release by Domo Records (73045-2). Of the three, I would recommend the US release followed by the Japanese one and finally the bootleg coming in last. Quality wise the US and Japanese versions are about the same, but the US one is vastly cheaper.

Rating: Star Rating
  1. Manchester 1866
  2. The Chase
  3. Unexpected Meeting
  4. Scarlet
  5. Raid by the Airship
  6. London World Exposition
  7. The Atelier of Ray
  8. Crystal Palace Waltz
  9. Ray's Dilemma
  10. The Sortie of Scotland Yard
  11. Fight in the Exposition Ground
  12. Launch!
  13. Temptation
  14. Fly in the Sky
  15. Two Delusions
  16. Collapse and Rescue
  17. Ray's Theme