Kurayami Monogatari

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Annabel – miniascape December 3, 2012

Filed under: Annabel — solarblade @ 7:23 am

miniascape

Track Listing

  1. sensonia
  2. My heaven
  3. Signal Graph
  4. Light of Dawn
  5. STEP AHEAD
  6. Akashi
  7. Seiro Koukou
  8. abysmal noise
  9. Hello Mellow
  10. Sayonara no Tsuzuki e
  11. torus
  12. anamnesis
  13. Kineorama
  14. Above your hand

1. sensonia

A nice strings intro opens the album with sensonia and it’s kind of different since it starts lightly with Annabel and then has these hard hits of (bells?).  I like the mysterious nature of the song since it’s nothing you really expect.  I like it though, it’s different and has a strong impact and sets the tone of the album nicely!

2. My heaven

After the very impressive “sensonia” we move back to her debut A-side, My heaven and for a song that was released in 2009, it fits quite snuggly on the album.  It doesn’t have the splashes of color like the previous tracks do, but when it adds synthetic elements and gains a beat, the song just becomes a lot prettier to me.  I just find myself being drawn into space with this song and I love it for that.  Great song!

3. Signal Graph

As the 5th and final A-side released, Signal Graph pops up after “My heaven” and the change of atmospheres is a bit strange to me, but this song suits the entire album.  I love the piano melodies and the synths playing around in the arrangement as well.  Annabel just sounds so good and she stood out to me.  Unlike most of the songs, this really has an obvious anison sound to it, but I’m good with that.  Great song as well!

4. Light of Dawn

Then again without her second A-side, I don’t think she would’ve succeeded with “Signal Graph” (though it could be my bias coming out).  Light of Dawn is definitely my favorite of the A-sides for sure!  It’s got a lot of the same elements, but this doesn’t sound very anison to me which is a bit strange.  I just think Annabel did a much better job in this song and whoever arranged this is a genius!  It’s just a really awesome song and so very happy it made the cut despite being also a 2009 single.

5. STEP AHEAD

Also there were some B-sides included like STEP AHEAD from “Signal Graph”.  When I first reviewed it, I praised the edgier arrangement but also felt Annabel sung too softly which did make the song cover her voice a lot.  I like it, but once again I felt if they raised the volume of her voice a little bit, I think the song would’ve been up there.  I still do approve of the arrangement though.

6. Akashi

At this point of the album, there are songs that were used in various tie-ins and on some OSTs (kind of like faylan’s debut album).  Akashi comes first and it changes the playfield a lot.  I feel like this song has a strange ethereal glow to it like “filum” and “sensonia” do.  Annabel’s vocals are very light here and it moves quite slowly until later where it gains a beat which adds to the intricate atmosphere.  It’s definitely a unique song on the album…AND I LOVE IT!

7. Seiro Koukou

After “Akashi” I wasn’t expecting acoustic guitars to fill my speakers up at the beginning of our next track.  It feels like I’ve heard this track somewhere before like in an RPG or something similar to that nature.  It’s adventurous and has a floaty feel to it which I love about the song.  Strong song!

8. abysmal noise

I kind of hoped that this song was going to be Annabel’s hardcore song and in some ways it slightly is.  It does have a darker arrangement when compared to the other songs off the album and Annabel’s whispy vocals really suited the song’s melodies.  It’s not as edgy as I would’ve wanted it, but it’s a good track regardless and the chorus is really good…^_^

9. Hello Mellow

I don’t know why, but Hello Mellow is like the antithesis to “abysmal noise” because this is bright and Annabel’s vocals are higher-pitched which is a surprising choice for the tracklist.  Maybe it’s the wacky transition, but I’m just not liking this song much because Annabel sounds a bit off and the song does come off as a little cheesy.

10. Sayonara no Tsuzuki e

Acoustic guitar again?  Ok…well Sayonara no Tsuzuki e is definitely the quietest song I’ve ran into yet which is a nice change of pace after all the upbeat tracks I’ve heard.  Sometimes it sounds like “Seiro Koukou” but the softer parts are really pleasant to the ears IMO.  Not bad of a song and I like it a lot too

11. torus

Seems like another B-side made the cut with “Light of Dawn’s” torus.  Even though I haven’t had a lot of time to listen to it, the song still doesn’t really resonate with me because it’s just a little too quiet and a little too empty for me to digest.  I tried to get into this, but I’m just zoning out even before the halfway point.

12. anamnesis

Which boggles my mind why they put this song back-to-back with “torus” because I also felt this song was lacking when I reviewed it back in February.  As the song that reintroduced Annabel in the major label land, anamnesis is a bit more natural sounding than the previous track with strings and piano, but this song is just lacking.  I mean it does grow and the song pops out but it’s short and it’s like why couldn’t it be the whole track that has the strings? 

13. Kineorama

The last of the new songs (or basically the songs that weren’t on the singles), Kineorama has a lovely intro that kind of has this kind of folkish feel to it (not like Kajiura/Shimotsuki) but the movement is slightly similar.  The song though does really go on to really stand out past that and it’s leaving me a bit bored.

14. Above your hand

I’m surprised she chose to end the album with the 4th A-side considering it’s back to ballad land.  When I first reviewed it, the song’s first half was VERY uneventful and I barely paid attention to it.  Once the drums are added, the song has new life and hearing electric guitars was cool as well.  I don’t know, but this song is still trying to decide whether if it fits on the good parts of the album or the bad…meeeh

Tracks Recommended

  • Akashi
  • Light of Dawn
  • Seiro Koukou
  • sensonia
  • Signal Graph

Song of Avoidance

  • Hello Mellow

For someone that’s well-known in the anison world, Annabel’s debut album is really good for what it’s worth.  Even though it’s been 3-4 years in the making, miniascape is actually a pretty solid album with the only problems were in the last stretch of the album where it was ballad after ballad.  I hope it doesn’t take as long for her second album…still…great anison album (actually might be my favorite of the anison artists this year). 

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