2012Spark <PANORAMA ver.>
Suteki Sugite Shimatta
One More Time
Cassiopeia no Koukai
Kimi wa 100%
Yuki no Iro
Merry Go Round
Hikari no Story
1. 2012Spark <PANORAMA ver.>
Interesting that they would begin the album with a new version of their 5th & final A-side released in the era. Also it’s new version as seen in the title lol. The new version has an extended opening which actually sounds nice but I still do dislike Akihito repeating ~spark~ because it sounds like spack or smack…weird. Otherwise there’s small changes in the arrangement, nothing noteworthy but it’s still a pretty good song and I enjoyed the fact that it was the first tune on the album.
Tons of new tracks sprayed along the album and I’m liking that for once (as a lot of album I’ve reviewed haven’t really had a lot). Unlike, the first song, Measure is a lot lighter in presentation but it does have a lot of things that “2012Spark” had minus the synths and electric guitar. It’s funny that I remember the ad-libbing more than the song itself but I like how it flows along for some reason. Like good background music almost.
I wonder why they had to place “Measure” early in the album since it kind of does break the flow (even though it’s the second track) but it feels like it was an odd place since it’s so mid-tempo. FLAG is mid-tempo too but it has a certain edge with the added electric guitar…almost has a lot more power behind it than the previous song. I like this track a little bit more oddly enough.
Getting into the 2nd A-side released, EXIT continues this wave of heavy to light flow. EXIT wasn’t remarkable as an A-side because the rest of the era turned out to be way better (except “Yuki no Iro”) for me. EXIT doesn’t really pop out to me as a slower song, but I don’t think they’ve had amazing ballads for a long time. This just kind of bored me the entire time.
I will say that their upbeat and edgier songs are a lot more compelling and attention-grabbing. Denkousekka is an interesting song because it has a unleashed kind of feeling with its arrangement and style. There’s just a lot of different ideas going on and I like the combination and Akihito enthusiastic singing (even when put on light auto-tune) is quite awesome. It’s probably my favorite song of the album haha.
The weirdness carries to Hoshikyuu which begins with only synthetic sounds and beats which totally caught me off guard. It’s kind of unusual and yet stands out because of the sheer amount of experimentation going on. You still hear Haruichi in the song but his stuff is like in the background against all the synths floating around. Very new to me but something new xD
7. Suteki Sugite Shimatta
After those two synth-forward songs, we calm down a bit again with Suteki Sugite Shimatta which in presentation reminds me of “EXIT” which is not good because I really felt bored by that tune. Sadly, it follows through into this song because I remember this song LESS than the A-side. I mean the backup vocals is cute but I just can’t remember this tune for the life of me.
8. One More Time
Why must you break the flow with this meh slow songs PG? I mean One More Time is definitely my favorite A-side released in the era because it had a lot of energy and mixed their current rock sound with the newer synths. It’s like the album’s “Koyoi, Tsuki ga Miezu Tomo”, it’s just that awesome and put the flame back in me to enjoy the duo again!
9. Cassiopeia no Koukai
That’s a pretty intro, but Cassiopeia no Koukai takes a lot of interesting twists like “Hoshikyuu” did. Though it is more in the realm of their usual style, they throw in some disc-scratching and deep synths to give it some extra variety for the album and for the song itself. I will say I was impressed with this one though because Akihito sounds into this song all the way. Loved this song too!
10. Kimi wa 100%
It’s been a long time since I’ve heard this one last (seeing as it was the first A-side released for the era). I like the brighter side to the song since this one sounds happy and not like pure upbeat music like the others. However it does seem to get lost in the album because after the songs prior, Kimi wa 100% just feels like album fodder (especially after the last few songs). I’ll say, it’s in the middle of the A-sides releases for good reason. Better than the ballads basically. Though I will say that high note that Akihito tries to go for at the ending area…WAS TERRIBLE…why would you go for that….>.<
I found it pretty funny that they had a guitar solo interlude put into the album. Haruichi’s solo track, Truly is quite a nice break from the action if only for a short bit. There’s also some synths laying in the background as well so it mixes quite nicely.
12. Yuki no Iro
Then we move into the duo’s winter song and 4th A-side, Yuki no Iro. I’m surprised they let a guitar solo come before this but it’s not my worry I guess hahaha. I will say that it’s a nice ballad for what it is…but I still didn’t find it remotely interesting in the long run (even as an A-side). It just kind of floats on the album as the dramatic winter ballad.
Getting out of that ZZZ zone, Hanamuke comes in and it’s just as peppy and upbeat as “Kimi wa 100%” which isn’t too bad since it’s really those two that represent the happy-go-lucky side of the duo. It’s not too bad but the synth horns really take me out of the song unfortunately lol…it’s just cheesy and a bit too cheery (even for them).
14. Merry Go Round
I was wondering when we would get another straightforward rock track from PG and it seems Merry Go Round is that last hurrah on the album. I do like how normal and regular it sounds for them. I mean I can’t say too much otherwise, but it’s a solid piece and nothing bad comes up in the song for me.
15. Hikari no Story
And finally, we get to the final track (which is also the longest the album has to offer at 6 and a half minutes) with Hikari no Story. Even though it was appropriate as the album’s closing number, it just bored me the entire time once again. Ballads I don’t think have been their strong point for a while and it comes to a head with this one…TOO LONG….
Song of Avoidance
As this is the second Porno Graffitti album I reviewed, I have to say that this album was a little more easier to me than “∠TRIGGER” did and that’s because of they worked a little more on variety this time around and for the most part got it right. I will say currently their ballads to me are their weakest links and none of them seem to really stand out…even Yuki no Iro was hard to get into. Still beyond that, this was a solid album from them.