"Isle of Dogs (Original Soundtrack) includes Academy Award-winning composer Alexandre Desplat's original score, compositions from acclaimed Japanese films Seven Samurai and Drunken Angel , The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band's brand of American psychedelia, and The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra's eccentric euphonies. I Won't Hurt You originally appeared as a B-side on the debut 1966 single by Los Angeles-based psychedelic group The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra's 1952 single Midnight Sleighride incorporates piccolo, xylophone, triangle, chanting, and, of course, sleigh bells. Japanese composer Fumio Hayasaka worked with legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa on many projects, including Seven Samurai (1954). Isle of Dogs (Original Soundtrack) includes a composition from Seven Samurai, performed here by the Toho Symphony Orchestra, as a cinematic nod to Kurosawa's work."
1. Shinto Shrine (Alexandre Desplat) 2. Taiko Drumming (Kaoru Watanabe) 3. The Municipal Dome (Alexandre Desplat) 4. Six Months Later Dog + Dog - Fight (Alexandre Desplat) 5. The Hero Pack (Alexandre Desplat) 6. First Crash - Landing (Alexandre Desplat) 7. Kanbei & Katsushiro Kikuchiyo's Mambo (from Seven Samurai) (Toho Symphony Orchestra) 8. Second Crash - Landing + Bath House + Beach Attack (Alexandre Desplat) 9. Nutmeg (Alexandre Desplat) 10. Kosame No Oka (from Drunken Angel) (David Mansfield) 11. I Won't Hurt You (The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band) 12. Toshiro (Alexandre Desplat) 13. Jupiter and Oracle + Aboriginal Dogs (Alexandre Desplat) 14. Sushi Scene (Alexandre Desplat) 15. Midnight Sleighride (from 'The Lieutenant Kije Suite') (The Sauter - Finegan Orchestra) 16. Pagoda Slide (Alexandre Desplat) 17. First Bath of a Stray Dog (Alexandre Desplat) 18. TV Drumming (Kaoru Watanabe) 19. Konbayashi Canine - Testing Laboratory (Alexandre Desplat) 20. Tokyo Shoe Shine Boy (Teruko Akatsuki) 21. Re - Election Night Parts 1 , XXXXXXXXXXX (Alexandre Desplat) 22. End Titles (Alexandre Desplat)
I love this score. Yes, it's much harmonically simpler than Desplat's canon but it's almost meditative. The enjoyment comes from the mixture of Japanese and Western classical instrumentation and music influences. Those who like Hayasaka's Seven Samurai will enjoy this (in fact, there is a small quote from the Samurai theme on the CD). There's also wordless male chorus very much inspired by the opening of Seven Samurai. The use of the recorders is terrific as are the contrabassoons/bari sax.
If you just like current standard film score fare, no, you won't like this. If you enjoy inventive, inspired film scores, I think this would be right up one's alley. I've been playing it non-stop and I just totally dig it. Like I said, it's almost meditative because of the repeating figures, though you could say it has a bit of that Herrmann aesthetic insofar as how cells are built up.
I liked the film and the score. A lot of dry, observational humor--i.e., the world as observed by dogs--if dogs had human personalities and speech. The score works well in the film. I'll have to check out some samples to see how it holds up on its own.
I like it a lot too, but who exactly is the actual narrator?
The cast list credits Courtney B. Vance as "Narrator," but the first thing we see in the film is F. Murray Abraham's dog avatar "Jupiter" beginning the narration which he continues through the remainder of the movie!