Hiroyuki Sawano "Attack on Titan"

I have seen many recently reach the “I need more new music to listen to” stage of sitting inside all day, and on that front anime has a lot of great stuff to provide. Last semester, I wrote an article about anime soundtracks that are worth listening to, and today I want to provide a few more that are absolutely worth a listen.

“Attack on Titan” - Music by Hiroyuki Sawano

If Hiroyuki Sawano has ever made a bad soundtrack, then someone needs to point it out for me because honestly it does not appear to exist whatsoever. Sawano has been responsible for a number of amazing anime soundtracks, including making music for anime like “Re:Creators” and “Blue Exorcist,” just to name a few.

Much like his other work, “Attack on Titan’s” soundtrack is filled with synths, bass and a lot of bombastic production that fits within the context of the show’s story. 

A good example of this comes from the track “The Reluctant Heroes” which features the artist mpi. The song has a very slow, emotional buildup which features lyrics describing a person who wants to become stronger than they currently are and dedicates the track to those who want to help but are unable to do so out of fear, ending with an incredible drop that features synths and a very prominent drumline.

However, Sawano is not all about bombast. In fact, there are plenty of quieter moments throughout the soundtrack, such as “Vogel im Kafig (Bird in a Cage)” featuring Cyua, who describes in rather beautiful German, the feeling of being trapped from a place one cannot escape, a theme that comes up many times in “Attack on Titan.”

Overall, “Attack on Titan’s” soundtrack has a lot of great moments and enough diversity that it can belong to a number of playlists

“Terror in Resonance” - Music by Yoko Kanno

If the name Yoko Kanno also sounds familiar, well, it really should. She is responsible for some of best anime soundtracks of the last few decades, including “Cowboy Bebop,” “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex” and “Kids on the Slope.”

However, “Terror in Resonance” is rather different in its subject matter, being the story of two teenage boys turned terrorists wanting their revenge on the world, and, as such, its soundtrack is much different in tone.

Unlike in Sawano’s work on “Attack on Titan,” “Terror in Resonance’s” sountrack does not feature much bombast, quite the opposite in fact. Rather, the score features soft, melodic tracks which are lead by quieter guitars, such as in the song “is” featuring Pop Etc. 

The soundtrack also has a strong Icelandic influence, featuring a number of native vocalists such as Hanna Berglind and Arnor Dan of Agent Fresco and even bleads over into a number of the song titles, such as with “Von.”

Kanno’s work here is nothing short of incredible, managing to blend all of the feelings of the show itself into musical form. This is one not worth missing out on.

“Samurai Champloo” - Music by Nujabes, Tsutchie, Fat Jon, Force of Nature

Alright, so maybe EDM-inspired bangers and melodic rock are not everyone’s cup of tea, and that is totally understandable. So instead maybe try a bit of hip-hop

“Samurai Champloo” is one of those shows that is much more about the experience than the actual substance of the show, though it definitely is not lacking in that department either. One of the things that adds to the incredible experience is the mix of a feudal Japan samurai story with a soundtrack of almost nothing but Japanese style Boom-Bap straight out of the 90s and early 2000s.

The soundtrack comes through with an incredible energy, one that blends these seemingly bizarre genres into something emblematic of both. There is of course the opening theme “Battlecry” featuring Shing02, as well as “Aruarian Dance,” both of which showcase the skill and talent of Japanese hip-hop and Jazz producer Nujabes.

The contributions of Tsutchie, Fat Jon and Force of Nature are more atmospheric, creating the ambience and tension for the the show’s lighter and darker moments, respectively. However, these contributions are by no means less important, as it would certainly not be the same experience without them.

Fans of any kind of old-school hip-hop should definitely should give this one a listen.

That, my lovely tourists, is another few soundtracks worth listening to. It is unlikely that all of them will exactly fit everyone’s musical taste, but there is enough diversity within the soundtracks here that most should find at least one new thing they like.

Jack Scheibelein is a Junior majoring in English. He can be reached atsgx199@vols.utk.edu.

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