Yoko Kanno – Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

Release Date: January 22, 2003
Label: Victor Entertainment/Bandai


  1. run rabbit junk
  2. ヤキトリ – YAKITORI
  3. スタミナ・ローズ- Stamina Rose
  4. surf
  5. where does this ocean go?
  6. train search
  7. シベリアン・ドール・ハウス – Siberian Doll House
  8. velveteen
  9. lithium flower
  10. home stay
  11. inner universe
  12. fish ~ silent cruise
  13. some other time
  14. beauty is within us
  15. we’re the great
  16. モノクローム- Monochrome

With Stand Alone Complex, Yoko Kanno is able to blend the beat driven intimacy of electronica with the technical musicality of jazz and give listeners something vibrant and alive. The music creates a universe far beyond this one. The entire soundtrack is marvellous; however, as with most biased critics, I’ve got my favourites and those tracks that I believe you should all listen to in order to fully understand what the show and, indeed, Yoko Kanno herself is all about.

Monochrome – It’s got a dissected groove (that we in the house universe call “broken beat”) that’s quirky and frightening. The lyrics (sang beautifully throughout the entire album by Italian beauty Ilaria Graziano) are graceful and simple –speaking of emotion and preserving the moment in, what else, monochrome.

Where Does this Ocean Go? – Let me just state the obvious. The song is an overt tribute to Björk’s Hyperballad. Obviously, the vocal styling is totally different; however, the lyrical pattern is practically the same. The song itself is still incredibly brilliant and soft.

Home Stay – Another scorcher of a track, it’s probably the funkiest track on the album, reminiscent of the work that Kanno did for Cowboy Bebop. It’s fresh, multi-dimensional, and is pure groove.

Inner Universe – I couldn’t go without mentioning the theme song. It’s a perfect opening to a show that’s as abstract as anything anime has ever produced. The entire song is in Latin, but the refrain stays with the listener throughout the entire show.

Stand Alone Complex is as it says it is: a piece of work that stands alone in the stratosphere of soundtrack music.

Rating: ★★★★¾ 

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As unexpected as my path was to loving all things weird, more unexpected is my ability to get attention for writing about the stuff.

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