- Tatakae Balcony
- Odore Balcony
- Juliet no Paradox (SAWA Sakushi ver.)
- Oishikute Kyoumi Motteru by Idol Renaissance
- Chinese wa Totsuzen ni
- LastSnowFlakes -Album ver.-
- Gizagiza na KOTO to Sasaki Kissa
- Gizagiza no Lonely Night
1. Tatakae Balcony
Interesting way to open the mini-album with some computer clicking and then some cybernetic melody to kind of introduce us to the album. After a little bit the song adds some clapping beats and SAWA doing some ad-libbing? I’m not entirely sure, but the song is quite a shift after stuff from her last mini.
2. Odore Balcony
Though I wasn’t exactly liking the fade-away at the end of the introduction because Odore Balcony felt a little weird that it shifted from the intro to this tune. I do like the addition of guitars (mixed with the electronics) and the song is much more progressive than previous lead-in songs of recent times. SAWA still does sound nasal here and there, but I think it won’t be fixed anytime soon. I think I’m enjoying this the most since her departure from DefSTAR.
3. Juliet no Paradox (SAWA Sakushi ver.)
I found it amusing that SAWA would actually cover a Yufu Terashima song of recent times (if the name looks familiar, Yufu was a member of BiS a couple years back before their disbandment). With this song being a really recent song to cover (early 2015), SAWA’s vocals versus Yufu’s is a BIG difference and that’s kind of why I wasn’t too much into this take. What I will say, I do like the pop/rock feel of the tune, but SAWA’s vocals blocked the enjoyment. Time to move on!
4. Oishikute Kyoumi Motteru by Idol Renaissance
Now like previous mini-albums it seems SAWA has gotten into throwing in some odd interludes and I feel like this one takes the cake currently. Another 50 second track, all we have is the idol group, Idol Renaissance introducing themselves and just having an MC. I’m not sure of the importance of this on the mini-album (did SAWA do the music?)…
5. Chinese wa Totsuzen ni
Weird it’d take so long for this mini-album to release because this song was released back in May of last year! I thought it was going to be full of Chinese sounds and such, but the tone is a poppy, funky, and somewhat goofy track (like “Ai ni Iku yo”). It’s a nice reminder of things of the past for sure and the happy-go-lucky arrangement is just pleasant to the ears. Very interesting song!
6. LastSnowFlakes -Album ver.-
I suppose this is the oldest track off the mini as it was released back in February ’15. While I’m not entirely sure of the differences between the two versions. Personally, I think the arrangement is smoothed out more and some new synths added, but really I feel like those are nice changes. The song was quite memorable back then and now it’s just even sweeter, I think it’s still the best song she’s done in quite a while (and surprise, surprise, still the best on the mini-album!).
7. Gizagiza na KOTO to Sasaki Kissa
Another interlude?!? With this being another 50 second ordeal, I feel like this one is more interesting because it has a certain DDR vibe in the arrangement with KOTO (I think?) speaking with who I think is SAWA? I don’t know, but it was a catchy interlude.
8. Gizagiza no Lonely Night
Now I wouldn’t have known this, but the song is actually another cover from up and coming artist, KOTO who released this song in 2015. Starting with an upbeat piano melody that quickly becomes a lot like the interlude before this, Gizagiza no Lonely Night is definitely one of the most upbeat tracks the mini-album has to offer, but I enjoyed that as we haven’t had an edgier dance track from SAWA in a long while. After hearing the original, SAWA’s take is a lot like her “Juilet no Paradox” cover where her vocals are the weakest part of the song…regardless though, it’s my 2nd favorite here…just so heavy!
Then we enter to our final track and it’s a dropoff from the rest of the album by taking a quieter route. It begins quietly and slowly builds its arrangement a little more. It also has a lot of natural instrumentation which is also a nice, but being almost 7 minutes, that means this song is going to draaag and boy it does. Despite being a mid-tempo ballad and appropriate to close things off, I can’t help but feel bored by it especially coming after “Gizagiza no Lonely Night”. Feels like a “Soprano Rain” leftover to be quite honest.
It feels like it’s been quite a while since her last mini, “RingaRinga”, but I feel like Odore Balcony is a bit weaker as there’s some unecessary interludes and SAWA’s vocals kind of blocked my enjoyment of songs (as the originals are much better). I feel like if she just sticks to her own stuff, it’d end up better (like with LastSnowFlakes and Chinese wa Totsuzen ni). Essentially, it’s OK at best, but not her best effort.