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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'Isle Of Dogs (Original Soundtrack)' [Vinyl LP]
Artist - Various

For those not in the know, Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots.

Starring Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton and Bryan Cranston, amongst others, the ABKCO Records-released 'Isle of Dogs (Original Soundtrack)' album (being reviewed here on a rather delightful 180 gram vinyl album), 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.

Side A:
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

Side B:
1) "Sushi Scene" – Alexandre Desplat
2) "Midnight Sleighride" (from “The Lieutenant Kije Suite”) – The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra
3) "Pagoda Slide" – Alexandre Desplat
4) "First Bath of a Stray Dog" – Alexandre Desplat
5) "TV Drumming" – Kaoru Watanabe
6) "Konbayashi Canine-Testing Laboratory" – Alexandre Desplat
7) "Tokyo Shoe Shine Boy" – Teruko Akatsuki
8) "Re-Election Night Parts 1-3" – Alexandre Desplat
9) "End Titles" – Alexandre Desplat

The soundtrack, produced by Wes Anderson and his longtime collaborator Randall Poster, is an Alexandre Desplat masterclass of compositions throughout. Interspersed with the odd newity, such as "Taiko Drumming" and "TV Drumming" by Brooklyn based composer and musician, Kaoru Watanabe (who specializes in the Japanese taiko drum and shinobue flutes), it's Desplat's work that both grips you and mesmerizes you at the very same time.

Another stand out track is the reinvigorated "Kanbei & Katsushiro–Kikuchiyo’s Mambo" (from Seven Samurai) by Toho Symphony Orchestra. More commonly known today as the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, their work may well only be .52 seconds long, but my goodness, does it pack an orchestral punch for that particular momentous scene.

Much like The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band on their inclusion on this wondrous album, "I Won’t Hurt You." A gentle sway of a track that showcases all that the American psychedelic rock band from the '60s were known for, I love that people will now start to look deeper into this bands back catalog because of their inclusion here on the OST.

The Sauter-Finegan Orchestra is yet another example of a band whose song perfectly fits the cinematic mold here for Anderson and Desplat, for their dismantled and frenetic, at times, "Midnight Sleighride" (from “The Lieutenant Kije Suite”) may not sound like it fits into the theme of the film, but watching the movie you'll instantly get it trust me.

In truth, and with Desplat having won his first Oscar for this work on 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' (his second came recently for 'The Shape of water'), it’s no surprise to anyone to see him return to collaborate with Anderson again on this film.

They just work so damn well together, especially, in my humble opinion on tracks such as the stirring march of "The Municipal Dome," the short, but sweetly metallic ticking down of "The Hero Pack," and both the cultural underworld chanting of "Jupiter And Oracle + Aboriginal Dogs," and then string lite, illuminating gem "Kobayashi Canine-Testing Laboratory."

Vinyl LP Purchase Link