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January 3rd, 64 replies Release Date: Tracklist Review Summary: Nearly as perfect as the film it accompanies. It always pains me when somebody says and believe it or not, there actually are people who say this that animation is lesser form of art or entertainment to live-action cinema.
If anything, animated cinema could possibly be considered even more credible when you get down to it; something about animation creates a magic of its own.
It really builds on the sort of otherworldly cinematic environments and experiences that put its audience in a different state of mind for whatever duration it has.
This leads us to the best animated film that never got such an honor, Spirited Away. With a film so deservedly legendary and revered, it would be expected for Spirited Away to have a similarly beautiful and varied score from composer Joe Hisaishi.
The soundtrack mainly contains a mix of sentimental new age piano melodies, both triumphant and playful orchestral aural backdrops, and a heavy emphasis on subtle instrumental nuances.
Even if the listener has never watched the movie, these pieces are still great standalone listens. Take the melancholic piano lines and brooding orchestral work of "The Sixth Station," for instance.
The piece serves weaves its own tale of what might be regret, or perhaps loneliness, the latter suggested by the minimalist higher-pitched piano chords illustrating the second half of its running time. Similarly, "The Empty Restaurant" makes its haunting tone clear from the very beginning, hollow tribal drums kicking off the cold tension. The orchestral work following them maintains a frantic, atonal pace as the horns start entering to further increase the tight atmosphere.
Eventually, even the bombastic climax comes with multiple dissonant orchestrations that keep your ears fully focused. The most recurring song in the movie, the piece begins with a sentimental piano chord and ends with an explosive orchestral climax; between those points resides one of the most poignant piano tunes ever recorded. After quiet, mysterious strings illustrate the background, the piano takes the forefront and Hisaishi uses Romantic-era composing to the most expressive level he can.
The only reason this soundtrack warrants a 4.
The Sixth Station
The Sixth Station
Spirited Away: III. The Sixth Station