DKN Podcast: Episode 100
"The Return of Godzilla" Blu Ray Review

“Godzilla Resurgence” Score Review

by KentAugust 18, 2016

I was able to finally sit down and listen to the “Godzilla Resurgence” score by Shiro Sagisu.

Sagisu’s score of this particular Godzilla movie has more of a Hollywood-style to it than just about any previous Toho Godzilla movie; and I believe, on some level, that may be intentional. I got flashes of Brian Tyler’s “The Expendables” and “The Expendables 2” scores during some of the tracks.

Sagisu has some real talent as he is able to capture the magnitude of chaos within the movie (or so I’m assuming as I’ve yet to see the movie). Some of the tracks are somber and majestic while others bring in a march-like beat–most likely signifying action sequences.

However, his inability to stay within a particular style (read also: vibe) makes the stand-alone listening experience a bit disjointed. Every maestro for every Godzilla score, including David Arnold and Alexandre Desplat, set the tone and theme early and work within those parameters. Sagisu doesn’t stay within those parameters and that’s cause for some of the disjointedness. Another factor in the listening experience being disjointed is the placement of nine Ifukube tracks throughout the score. I’m not saying the Ifukube tracks are the cause, but, rather, their placement is: They’re intertwined with Sagisu’s music. Typically, anyone scoring a Godzilla movie, who is not Ifukube, and uses some of his music in the score, has it placed towards the end of the score.

Speaking of Ifukube, out of the nine tracks that are included, four are iterations of his famous “Godzilla Theme.” Two are variations of “The Great Monster March;” one in which, I believe, was slightly reworked by Sagisu. The “Main Title” for “Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster” is here as well as the “Main Title” from 1993’s “Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla.” While I love these tracks, I’m very curious as to why these particular selections were made as they seem different enough from each other that they don’t quite fit together. But I’ll have to wait and see how all of this will work within the context of the actual movie. It did, though, feel as if I was listening to an Ifukube’s Greatest Hits disc during these moments.

My favorite tracks of Sagisu’s include a choir that includes English language lyrics. The CD booklet includes those lyrics and are very haunting and appropriate for this particular Godzilla movie. Another great part about some of Sagisu’s music is that certain motifs remind me of Hattori’s “Godzilla 2000” and Ooshima’s “Godzilla X Megaguirus” scores.

Some of his tracks, though, just don’t mesh. As stated earlier, Sagisu doesn’t stay within the parameters he sets for himself early on in the score. A couple of jazz tracks show up and four rock-style tracks are sprinkled into the score. There are a few other tracks that don’t seem to fit either. That’s not to say the music is bad, just that it doesn’t match with what he sets up earlier in the score and for the vibe this Godzilla movie is, seemingly, wanting to set.

In conclusion, I enjoyed some of Sagisu’s music and not so much some of the other tracks. The inclusion of some of Ifukube’s work is nice, but I scratch my head as to why some of the particular tracks were chosen; not to mention their placing in the score makes the listening experience disjointed as Sagisu’s music pales to Ifukube’s. Sagisu’s not working within parameters makes for a disjointed listening experience as well.

I think some will enjoy it while others will not. Personally, it’s an all right score that won’t get many repeated listenings out of me. But I suggest checking it out for yourself.

5 out of 10

Kent is a lifelong fan of Godzilla, daikaiju, and other weird creatures. His love of Godzilla was initially stemmed from his love of dinosaurs. Kent thoroughly enjoys helping to put together the DKN podcasts to share his love of this genre. In his spare time, Kent enjoys spending time with his wife, drawing, writing, reading (he's also a huge comics fan), and watching sporting events.
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