A Silent Voice is a two-disc soundtrack for the anime film of the same name. which was composed by Kensuke Ushio.

A Silent Voice Soundtrack
Publisher: Anime Limited
Release Date: September 1, 2020

The first disc of this set is made up of the background score for the film. There were pieces that I recognized from hearing them in the film, and others I didn’t. Just because I didn’t recognize some of the pieces, that doesn’t make it a bad score. It shows to me that the music did its job, because in some of the scenes, it’s supposed to be more in the background and not standing out to the viewer.

Sonically, the pieces are piano heavy, although there were at least one or two pieces where they were a little fuller because they included some more instruments. Much of the score is slower in tempo, which makes sense when you think about the tone and feel of the overall film. A Silent Voice has a dramatic enough story that the background music really needs to be slower and low-key.

The first disc has a total of 39 tracks, and many of them seem to be less than three minutes in length. What’s interesting to notice, though, is that these tracks don’t have actual titles per se. Many of then are three letters (for example, “tre,” “roh,” “thn,” etc.) While these designations likely made sense to Kensuke Ushio, they are basically gobbledygook to the average listener. While I heard the pieces on the disc, these titles really don’t help me to identify them. Because of that, it really makes it harder for me to comment on specific pieces of score on the disc by just looking at the titles. And I really don’t have the patience to go back through the disc to try to find any particular score pieces to comment on. Maybe I’m just being lazy, but I tend to have an easier time talking about songs and music if I have concrete titles to work with. All I can really say here is that when I put this disc on to listen to it while doing other things, it was easy for it to become background music while I worked.

The second disc is labeled as “Extra Sound Track,” and it contains 22 tracks. From what I’ve read, this is supposed to be music that didn’t make it into the film. I can buy that for some of the songs on this second disc, but others I have a much harder time figuring out how they would have fit in. There were two particular songs that stood out to me on this disc in that regard. “Is Your Hair Real?” almost has an “8-bit” feel to it and is among one of the more uptempo songs on this release. The sonic sound, as well as the title, really don’’ fit with A Silent Voice. “Laser” sounds like it came straight out of the 1980’s, and this feel is amplified by the use of vocoder on what vocals do appear on the track. Seriously, this is a song that probably could have been played in dance clubs around the mid-1980’s. “Laser” is a cool song, but again, I can’t see how this could have possibly fit in with the film. There are a couple of other more uptempo tracks on this disc as well, but I could at least potentially hear how they might have worked for the film. However, it was a little disappointing to me that the ending theme song for the film didn’t appear on either disc in this set, but that was likely due to rights issues.

The only real complaint that I have regarding this soundtrack is the design choices used for the tracklist on the back cover. It has small, thin text on top of a bright white background. I admit that I found myself having to squint at times in order to read the print to find out what the titles of the tracks are. I know the text had to be on the smaller side due to how many tracks are on each disc, but I wish either the background wasn’t quite so bright or that the text was a little darker.

When all is said and done, I find that these two discs complement each other. After listening to the first disc, which is made up of a lot of slower, almost ethereal music, the second disc combines several different tempos and sounds to its music.

If you’re a fan of A Silent Voice and its background score, I would definitely recommend picking up this release to add to your anime soundtrack library. When it comes to this release, I look at it as getting the score for the film as well some bonuses.

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