Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Yoko Kanno Reviews: Kamikaze Girls OST

Kamikaze Girls is a live-action Japanese film that I must say that I know little about. I've heard nothing but good things about it and I've been interested in seeing it even before finding out that Yoko Kanno had something to do with it. After listening to the soundtrack, however, I think I may have to track down this film at a video store that actually stocks some foreign films.

Similar to the soundtracks for Sousei no Aquarion, the soundtrack to Kamikaze Girls is not entirely composed/produced by Yoko Kanno. Most of the songs are done by Kanno, although about eight or nine songs (by my count anyway) are done by other artists. Despite this, the soundtrack has a very consistent feel to it.

The music on the Kamikaze Girls soundtrack is light, breezy, and most importantly, retro. The songs harken back to many older styles of music. Old-time piano ragtime is brought back on songs such as three versions of “Momoko, The Stars Shine Bright” and “Sweet Home Ryugasaki.” “Punch Permafunk” is a burst of 1960's style soul. “Honey You” is a nice little piece of 1950's style pop while tracks like “Meatballs” (a song by The Fogs) and “Negligee Mary Jane” are throwbacks to the earliest rock and roll.

Many of the vocal tracks on the album were not done by Yoko Kanno. However, they continue the retro feel found on much of the soundtrack. Dany Vasnier's “Hola Hola” is summertime 1950's style pop fun. “Lucie Est Amoreuse” by Valerie Hohn, on the other hand, feels like a light pop song from the 1960's. I also enjoyed the power pop of Cecil on the song “Super Gshomin's Car.”

Not every song on the Kamikaze Girls OST sounds like it came from 40 or 50 years ago. “Flashback Waltz,” an instrumental string piece that opens the album, feels classical and a bit modern as well. “She Said” is a more modern sounding pop ballad that reminds me of similar songs Kanno has done. “Oikaze Fukumichi” is another string-driven piece that takes some themes from the more retro sounding songs on the album. “Television Killed The Shine Stars” is a short, melancholy piano piece.

Overall, the Kamikaze Girls OST is a good listen. It's a bit different from other soundtracks that Kanno has done, in part because much of it is really a tribute to older styles of music more than anything. She tackles some styles of music I've never heard her tackle (1950's pop, old-time ragtime/jazz) and comes out pretty good. Actual music from the various time periods referenced is probably better than what Kanno does but considering the type of music she's imitating/paying tribute to, this soundtrack is not that bad.

1 comment:

  1. chichi_whatah10:52 AM

    I'm glad you agree that the OST is interesting to listen to.

    I'm wondering where you got your hands on one, as I'm in Canada and I'm trying to get a legit CD, import or otherwise.