Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

My first OST review….I just know I’m going to come back and re-edit this someday. Ohwell…for now-

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex OST I
Composer: Yoko Kanno

1 Run Rabbit Junk (vocal: HIDE) (4:32)
– At first I didnt’ even know there were lyrics to this song…but turns out there is. And after listening to it for a few times…it’s pretty cool, really, and even musical. The ending of the bridge is totally kickarse as is the entire song, really….
Verdict: repeat

02 YAKITORI (7:09)– If you ever thought that ’80s rock guitars screaming away could never ever sound musical, you need to hear this. It’s creative but the thing is too long as well as mostly repetitive with many of the same progressions played over and over again and so all the creativity wears off after a bit.
Verdict: play

03 STAMINA ROSE (vocal: Gabriela Robin) (2:51)
– Gabriela Robin/Yoko Kanno collaboration at some of its best. The harmonies used are delightful and the beats sound “earth-y”, but fast paced and heart-racing. It doesn’t get better than this.
Verdict: repeat…over and over and over

04 Surf (3:00)– This piece feels like you’ve just walked into a rainforest. Earth-y sounding over an ostinato bass…tribal…nature…waterfalls…*falls asleep*
Verdict: play

05 Where Does the Ocean Go? (vocal: Ilaria Graziano)
– Unlike Graziano’s later performance, this one, though her voice is still just so unbearably pretty, comes off a rather childish. Either that or it’s the increasingly weird lyrics. There’s no progression to the song and stays rather flat. Nonetheless, this song is calming and makes me want to hug a kitty.
Verdict: play

06 Train Search (1:58 )
– Very rockish and fast paced. I can almost swear I’vee heard the guitar chord progressions before somewhere before (I think prolly from “The Real Man” off one of the Cowboy Bebop OSTs…). Gives an image of a person running through some long hallway in pursuit of something (Thus, train search? Maybe?). But it doesn’t get much further than that.
Verdict: play

07 CYBERIAN DOLL HOUSE (vocal: Gabriela Robin) (3:50)
– A New Age echo-y guitar that suddenly becomes some weird, weird echo-y…somethings that play over Gabriela Robin unintelligible vocals and strings. Eerie and I don’t get all this randomness.
Verdict: skip

08 Velveteen (vocal: Ilaria Graziano) (5:05)
– One of Kanno’s most unique songs to date. Graziano’s voice is absolutely gorgeous and it floats over the tech beeps/string mix effortlessly. The lyrics are strange but the overall effect is mesmerizing and it haunts you well past the end of the song.
Verdict: repeat

09 Lithium Flower (vocal: Scott Matthew) (3:25)
– I had never heard of or heard Scott Matthew sing before I heard this song. He has an interesting voice that definitely contributes to the overall mood of this song. I can’t help but think of Naoto from Dogs when I listen to this piece (though, of course, the title and lyrics are referring to Kusanagi…)…the lyrics are beyond perfect, though undoubtably weird…as usual. The rhythm is catchy and it moves – grooves, and is as mellow as mellow gets. Though the chorus still bothers me…
Verdict: repeat

10 Home Stay (3:57)
– Repetitive bop-bass over guitar riffs that becomes even more boppy guitars and bass over strings. The beginning gets boring but when the strings join in, the piece begins to take on variety, colourful lines, and some very nicely written rhythms for both the strings and guitars. Exciting and fast paced, though the opening bore brings the overall mood of the piece down quite a bit.
Verdict: play

11 Inner Universe (vocal: Origa) (4:54)
– Very unique and rather rough opening that smoothly morphs into a sort of chant-like line that continues to play throughout the piece behind Origa’s floaty vocals. It’s a beautiful piece, though the changes between the rockish lines and the smoother, more choral-like ones tend to be a little rough and empty feeling.
Verdict: repeat

12 Fish ~ Silent Cruise (7:30)
– This piece is the epitome of gorgeous/mixed writing. The opening vocal gives a feeling of a church and frightful creepiness but fades into a flurry of tech noises that are joined by a full symphony orchestra playing some of the most haunting lines and harmonies that I have ever been blessed to hear. (I have an amusing story about this one. When I was vising my relatives in Maryland, I had this habit of going to sleep later than everyone else because I’d sit in the guest room w. my headphones on and reading. Well I was listening to the GITS: SAC OST (I had just gotten it and had no idea what track was what or what) and not really paying attention to tracks or anything, but suddenly I heard something over my headphones that was just so gorgeous and wonderful that enchanted me so much that I forgot to hit repeat or check the track number.

This was about 2 days before I left MD to return home and for those 2 days kept trying to find out which track it was by listening to the beginning of each track. The melody played by the low brass at the end of the second section just refused to leave me alone. It haunted me, as it is quite a haunting theme in itself. Anyways, me being the silly I am didn’t realize that the vocal part was the first part of this track and the pause in between totally threw me off. I forgot how I figured out what track it was, but it obviously involved listening to the whole thing w.o touching any buttons but the volume…and I obviously killed myself over how dumb I was that I didn’t realize that it was all the same piece. )
Verdict: repeat over and over…if you can stand listening to the same 7minute piece forever heh

13 Some Other Time (vocal: Gabriela Robin) (4:07)
– The perfect piece to accompany you as you sit and look outside at a sunshower coming down – or when you’re in the sunshower yourself…thinking about days long gone. Downright angelic…it makes me want to cry sometimes.
Verdict: repeat

14 Beauty is Within Us (vocal: Scott Matthew) (6:08 )
– Scott Matthew’s voice again sets the tone for this gorgeous song (How can one OST have so many great compositions?!). It’s so comforting, especially the harmonies, and it fits perfectly with the lyrics. There’s no other way to describe this song other than wonderful.
Verdict: repeat

15 We’re the Great (1:33)
– Very reminiscent of “Elm” from Cowboy Bebop: A melancholy voice over guitar riffs. It’s quite beautiful, really, but in the short time that it’s given, it fails to really catch my attention.

16 MONOCHROME (vocal: Ilaria Graziano) (5:10)
– Graziano outdoes herself again. I can’t get over how beautifully she sings. Her voice contrasts beautifully with the tech stuff going on in the back like feathers on machinery. Sadly, the piece doesn’t go anywhere, roots itself in one spot, and gets a little boring.
Verdict: play

17 GET9 [TV size] (vocal: Jillmax) (1:16)
– Upbeat and fun rap/dance track. Whoever JillMAX is certainly does a good job vocalizing and keeping the listener into the song. There are intermittent bursts of English that don’t make too much sense, but that’s Japanese rap for you. Nonetheless, it’s a very listenable song.
Verdict: repeat

18 Rise [TV size] (vocal: Origa) (1:30)
– Again, Origa shocks, rocks, stuns and goes all out amazing. I find this track more appealing than Inner Universe, and it moves more. Origa is again using the Russian/English singing format, but these lyrics are striking and so bluntly sincere. Everything in this song just comes together to form a work of absolute perfection.
Verdict: repeat

very well composed and very much recommended. Some of Kanno’s best work to date and she’s getting better and better with no signs of slowing down. Is this lady a genius or what? Much credit, thanks, and hats off to her….again.

By kiyo-chan


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