Thursday, March 24, 2011

Top Five Yoko Kanno Soundtracks

Last Thursday I listed Yoko Kanno as my personal favorite composer out of a list of five. Now we take her works and put those in a top five. There's many of her soundtracks to choose from, so which five will be the bee's knees? Pardon the old-timer expression, by the way. Anywho, let's find out.

5) Visions of Escaflowne

When you put on the track, Dance of Curse, you're in for a wild ride. The theme is a chorus-based affair that will have you getting goosebumps on all parts of your body. The anime itself is set in medieval times. Instead of fighting it out with swords and shields, humongous robots are used. Yoko Kanno shows her stuff yet again on this our first entry of the top five.

4) Brain Powerd

From one show about medieval mechanical fighting robots to another, Brain Powerd (note the missing "e" in Powerd) is a show about Gundam-like robots duking it out for supremacy. The soundtrack itself has a whimsical feel to it, mostly made up of orchestral and symphonic pieces. My favorite of which is Power of the Light as shown in the examples.

3) Wolf's Rain

Gravity is one of Yoko Kanno's most popular themes, and for good reason-- it's a wholly beautiful piece performed by Maaya Sakamoto. There's a slew of wonderful pieces to be mentioned, but I could only choose three to represent the soundtrack as a whole. From Run, Wolf Warrior, Run to Cloud 9, there's something for everybody in the Wolf's Rain score.

2) Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

In the all digital world of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, ghosts can switch in and out between bodies or shells with a simple link-up. The music is heavily computerized featuring excellent rock riffs, ballads, and jazz pieces. As you can hear from the three examples provided, there's plenty of variety in the GitS soundtrack.

1) Cowboy Bebop

My first run-in with Yoko Kanno's music was Cowboy Bebop, but that's not the reason this soundtrack is number one. It flawlessly mixes a multitude of genres and styles for one essential soundtrack. There's the token jazz, but there's also funk, heavy metal, country, blues, rock, pop, and much more.

Too Good Too Bad
The EGG and YOU
Slipper Sleaze


And there you have it-- my top five favorite soundtracks from my favorite composer, Yoko Kanno. Have anything you'd like to share with me? Give me a ring in the comments section!

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