Music composed and conducted by Joe Hisaishi

Label: Milan
Catalog: 35999
Year: 2002

1. One Summer's Day 
2. Road to Somewhere 
3. Empty Restaurant 
4. Nighttime Coming 
5. Dragon Boy 
6. Sootballs 
7. Procession of the Spirits 
8. Yubaba 
9. Bathhouse Morning 
10. Day of the River 
11. It's Hard Work 
12. Stink Spirit 
13. Sen's Courage 
14. Bottomless Pit 
15. Kaonashi (No Face) 
16. Sixth Station 
17. Yubaba's Panic 
18. House at Swamp Bottom 
19. Reprise 
20. Return 
21. Always With Me 

Total Time: 60:00

Reviewed by
Mariano J. Sister

Winner of the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film, Spirited Away tell us the story of Chihiro, a ten years old girl that moves with her parents to the suburbs. During the trip the family stops at a ghost town and, ignoring Chiriho warnings, the parents decide to make a quick meal. As a result of this they fall under the spell of an evil witch called Yubaba, and are turned into pigs. Desperate, Chihiro will be under the orders of the witch and will begin a quest to return her parents to their human form, facing the dark forces and allying herself to an army of fantastic creatures. With this movie Chihiro joins the large gallery of heroins created by Japanese producer Hayao Mizayaki (something like an Eastern version of Walt Disney), found in titles like Princess Mononoke, Kiki Delivery´s Service or My Neighbor Totoro.

For this effort Mizayaki has contracted again the services of his habitual composer, Joe Hishaishi, who created a score as good as the film and which possesses great poetic value. This wonderful Joe Hishaishi´s work is constructed over the basis of gorgeous melodies, where a melancholic piano invites us to join the hallucinating trip, shaping in a perfec way the oniric world proposed by Miyazaki.

In "One Summer´s Day", the track that opens the disc, we listen to the main theme for the first time, a splendid melody played on piano which has the particularitity to be fixed in our minds immediately. "Road To Somewhere" and "Empty Restaurant" are some of the smoothest and most delicate passages, that will be complemented by another moments of vigorous orquestral quality at the most dramatic moments of the film, like "Kaonashi (No Face)" or "Dragon Boy", managing to transmit the epic spirit of the story. Hishaishi does not forget to include synthezyzers in the orchestration, giving an almost comedy effect like the animated phrase heard in "Processions of The Spirits", plus the children choir and instruments with strong Eastern accent.

As a valuable bonus we also have a gorgeous song by Youmi Kimura "Always With Me". Spirited Away delivers an attractive and powerful score that will bring us the fascinating images from the film, turning its listening a great musical experience. Once again, Joe Hishaishi elevates himself as the ideal composer in the world of animé.