Kurayami Monogatari

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Nana Mizuki – CANNONBALL RUNNING May 12, 2020

Filed under: Nana Mizuki — solarblade @ 4:14 am

cannonballrunning

Track Listing

  1. Higher Dimension
  2. Carpe Diem
  3. Love Fight!
  4. DAYBREAKERS
  5. Knock U down
  6. BLUE ROSE
  7. Sweet Dealer
  8. WHAT YOU WANT
  9. Margaret
  10. METANOIA -Aufwachen Form-
  11. glitch
  12. NEVER SURRENDER
  13. Light Births Shadow
  14. REBELLION
  15. UPSETTER
  16. ALL FOR LOVE
  17. FINAL COMMANDER -Aufwachen Form-
  18. METANOIA (Hi-Res edition only)
  19. FINAL COMMANDER (Hi-Res edition only)

1. Higher Dimension

Something about a marching band opening up Nana’s album just seems right, but I think I wasn’t ready for the song to be rather cute and not as epic as her previous albums had been for sure.  Though I’m kind of surprised Higher Dimension is more of like an intro piece as it’s 2:30 in length.  I really love that Nana is able to have this much space to really showcase her vocal talent and she hits some really sweet high notes in this track, short but sweet and makes me curious to where this album is going.

2. Carpe Diem

Moving to the first full track, Carpe Diem starts off like a fighting game (like Street Fighter) but then really kicks things up with a pretty anime-esque sound but very quickly paced and interesting.  Of course Nana really owns the song because she’s just gives such a great performance and it’s nothing less in this track!  I think I’m really enjoying this track a lot after the first listen which is nice!

3. Love Fight!

Am I getting a Halloween vibe out of the next track here?  I’m also hearing a continuation of the marching sound that was in “Higher Dimension” and wonder why this wasn’t in front of “Carpe Diem” as I feel like it could’ve worked with the intro motif.  I don’t think I’ve heard Nana tackle a style like this and I really dig this kind of darker, hypnotic feel of the song.  It’s another winner here that’s for sure!

4. DAYBREAKERS

So while she did release 3 singles before the album, she also released 6 digital singles (only one of them didn’t make the album cut).  DAYBREAKERS was the 3rd released (and was also on the digital single (6th) that was used as a preview for the album) and wondered why it was a popular song.  Luckily, the song is more along the lines of her synth/anison tracks that I always tend to love so it immediately struck a chord in me!  I’m loving the arrangement of course and the chorus is wide and open as it is.  Really dope song and I wonder what the other digital singles are like now!

5. Knock U down

Changing the tone of the album, Knock U down is more of rockin’ Nana here and I’m not surprised we get something like this, but I don’t know what to think about this song because it’s kind of that old-timey rock’n’roll.  Though I will say that I’m humored by the song with that ~everybody clap your hands, uhhuh, uhhuh~, also the fact there’s like a double voice especially in the verses where Nana sings much lower and it’s strange.  Odd song and I feel like I hear a bit of Ai Otsuka here looool.  Also, odd choice to promote the album honestly…

6. BLUE ROSE

The first of the digital singles released, BLUE ROSE may be a 2018 song, but I kind of hear the sounds of this era in it too (the singles).  It really kind of comes off as your typical Nana Mizuki anison track with those dramatic strings and chords.  Normally I wouldn’t expect this to be on an album as it sounds like immediate B-side work…but I suppose it had to be here?  Not really impressed with this one.

7. Sweet Dealer

It’s been a while since I’ve heard Nana tackle something funky and Sweet Dealer fills the gap really nicely here!  I’m really loving the arrangement and the bass line being so funky and groovy on top of Nana’s more sultry and silky vocals adding that mood with the track.  I just have to say, this definitely is another awesome track for Nana and shows off her cooler vibes!

8. WHAT YOU WANT

It took me a while to remember this one, but it was the good track from the “WONDER QUEST EP” so it’s nice to see this on the album as it was a surprisingly good rock track which immediately went over “Knock U down”.  I really like the ominous intro and then Nana just gets all badass and yelling before the song really lights off.  I’m loving the energy and the chorus is really in your face and just yeah!  Impressive A-side that’s for sure!

9. Margaret

Which makes the next track probably the biggest drop off of the album switching from something hard hitting into Margaret which is a light and airy acoustic track which kind of just caught me off guard because of the mood shift.  I’m not exactly sure why it’s placed in the middle of two exploding songs on the album and it’s not totally all that great making its simplicity rather out of place smack dab in the middle of the album.

10. METANOIA -Aufwachen Form-

So two of the tracks on the album got the “Aufwachen” touch meaning an extended introduction and one of them was the 3rd A-side released for the album and I definitely remembered METANOIA being something similar to “Vitalization” which was also a really awesome song too!  The additional intro is quite elusive and mysterious to me and really gave me some extreme synth feels which is awesome!  Though it does let up into the guitar-centric intro of METANOIA and I really love the mix and makes the song even more memorable to me!  Still cool, heavy, and just totally Nana…great song!

11. glitch

Those guitars would follow into the next new track and glitch is once again not like “Knock U down” isn’t quite strange and felt like it suits more after something like “METANOIA” that’s for sure.  I really like the song’s Western feel and Nana’s wailing is just awesome to listen to.  Pretty good track!

12. NEVER SURRENDER

I also seemed to forget about the 2nd A-side released making its appearance and after reading the single review, I guess I apparantly wasn’t really all the impressed by it because it suffered a bit like “BLUE MOON” in where it sounds like the usual stuff she’d put out like “SCARLET KNIGHT”, “Silent Bible” and even “Destiny’s Prelude”.  The plus is that it’s not bogged down by its single, but regardless it’s pretty much the same ole’, same ole’.

13. Light Births Shadow

Oh well then, I’m surprised we’re getting a technopop track out of Nana on this album and it’s giving me some of the FFXIII vibes with the happier and ethereal flow of synths throughout and I’m enjoying the mood it’s putting me in that’s for sure.  It’s a different kind of feel of a song and it’s really unique in that way and its crystalline sound definitely left a mark on me.

14. REBELLION

Released as the 2nd digital single, REBELLION was a theme for an online RPG and I was kind of not surprised that it like songs like “BLUE MOON” and “NEVER SURRENDER” was going to kind of fit together.  Though I do think REBELLION does a bit more to stand out more than the two aforementioned tracks with its verses and the melody of its chorus being really powerful and tight!  So I guess it’s the best of the 3 anison tracks?

15. UPSETTER

So as we enter the last of the new tracks, I had assumed UPSETTER was going to be another edgy rock tune from Nana, but instead feels like a song that’s more of a cheer track for live tours & performances.  It’s energetic and loud and happy-go-lucky as it should be but it isn’t the final track which makes it slightly strange to me.  Still, a pretty nice track overall and makes for a good closer to lives!

16. ALL FOR LOVE

Yeah, it was part of the 6th digital single (alongside “DAYBREAKERS”) and was curious to see what this song was about.  Though I shouldn’t have been surprised since the other track was upbeat and wild while ALL FOR LOVE was kind of the ballad part of the release.  Well, it does start off like a ballad with the piano, but once the chorus enters, the song opens up with strings and percussion/guitar/bass and it’s an interesting song, but considering the album was lacking ballads, ALL FOR LOVE wanted to be that, but not fully, strange right?  It’s not really all the memorable to me, but since it’s towards the end of the album, I suppose it works?

17. FINAL COMMANDER -Aufwachen Form-

Which brings us to our final track on the album which is another digital single, but unlike the other 4 tracks, FINAL COMMANDER has an extended intro here which once again piqued my curiosity of why it did.  Just like in “METANOIA”, synths open up the new intro, but this feels more like something I’d hear out of “Synchrogazer”, but it’s a lot more shorter before the main track enters the fray and FINAL COMMANDER is that kind of epic song that I was kind of expecting opening the album.  Not bad though and really sounds nice overall and ended the album with a bang!

18. METANOIA

So the album was also released as a High-Resolution release (meaning better sounding?, better than FLAC?) I didn’t grasp the reasoning for a release like that, but more importantly it came with two bonus tracks in METANOIA & “FINAL COMMANDER” without the intros.  I really can’t say too much that I haven’t said in the Aufwachen Form reviews.  METANOIA is still pretty damn good even without the intro.

19. FINAL COMMANDER

Though I had not heard FINAL COMMANDER prior to the album so that’s a thing, but since it is without the album specific intro, FINAL COMMANDER is still pretty decent without it and just feels just as grand and epic as it should.

Tracks Recommended

  • Love Fight!
  • METANOIA -Aufwachen Form-
  • WHAT YOU WANT
  • DAYBREAKERS
  • Light Births Shadow

Song of Avoidance

  • BLUE MOON

Wow, I came into CANNONBALL RUNNING curious, but slightly worried that the album wasn’t going to be much for me considering it has a pattern of new song, old song, new song which meant album flow wasn’t on anyone’s mind (especially with WHAT YOU WANT, Margaret, and METANOIA in that line being awkward).  Still, a LOT of the album was surprisingly great though and stuck out a LOT MORE than “NEOGENE CREATION” did luckily.  Can’t wait to see what’s next!

 

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