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Swath Me in Honey Cowboy Bebop
Swath me in honey cowboy bebop
For two decades, I’ve been enthralled by Spike Spiegel and his motley crew of bounty hunters as they traverse far-off locales on their mission to track down Earth’s most notorious criminals. The show blends science fiction with spaghetti western grit and noir elegance.
Fans of the original series may be familiar with Yoko Kanno’s eclectic score, which encompasses genres as diverse as big band jazz, acoustic ballads, hard rock music, electronica and avant-garde art. It creates a stunning blend of styles that often blend together seamlessly to give viewers the illusion of an entire world contained within one frame.
The original system associated songs with scenes, giving music the power to serve as a powerful metaphor. It could convey inner turmoil, spur action or even be the catalyst for discovery.
It also deserves credit for some of the show’s most iconic moments, like “Cowboy Blues” and the wordless asteroid closing ceremony. Unfortunately, the soundtrack cannot compare to these memorable pieces.
There’s a reason Yoko Kanno is considered the mother of all anime composers: not only can she craft complex musical pieces that fit the context perfectly, but she’s an exceptional lyricist as well.
She has an uncanny ability to bring out the best in each song. She’s not afraid to use even the most expensive instrument in a scene or reinvent an iconic piece with inventive arrangements that let it sing on its own.
Unfortunately, live-action doesn’t quite capture the same respect for her work as its fictional counterpart does. It tries to mimic what she did but lacks an intimate knowledge of its inner workings.
The music department is the star of this production, with Yoko Kanno’s original soundtrack standing out above all else. Her original was an elegant montage of memorable songs that fit the atmosphere perfectly and kept things moving along smoothly. Unfortunately, live-action attempts to jam too many pieces into a single scene, leading to awkward cuts and lack of cohesion.