Various Artists

Studio Ghibli Songs

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AllMusic Review by

The Ghibli studio has been behind some of the more classic (and cross-culturally recognized) pieces of anime film over the years, from early entries like My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service up to more modern releases such as Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. Along the way, they built up a strong following for the music included in the various movies. At the beginning of the album, the songs seem immediately dated, stuck in the children's shows of the 1970s. Indeed, that was the original intent and the mood is clearly more child-based and the music more simplistic. As the album moves along, the music becomes somewhat more mature, developing as the market for the films themselves developed. There's a piece of light opera in the theme to "Grave of the Fireflies" by Amelita Galli, there's some more singer/songwriter based music courtesy of Yumi Arai's (later Yumi Matsutoya) music for Kiki's Delivery Service, and there are elements of some of the founders of modern Japanese music with Chage & Aska's "On Your Mark." There's even a cover of John Denver's "Country Roads." Most of the songs here may have a more modern pop basis, but the vocals are almost entirely performed in a more traditional format, with the breathiness of a female voice being a major factor in the sound, and a stately delivery style mixed in. The music itself is unlikely to gain too many fans aside from karaoke pop traditionalists. However, the associations with the films pushed the album to the Oricon Top 10 upon its release.