Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude
Catch and Go!
Donna ni…Dore Kurai…
Opening the album is the duo’s third A-side and final single in the era and Soukyuu is by far the best of the three but it definitely took time for me to appreciate it. Like I said on the single review, it does feel like a more hyper version of “Spiral” with the energy and how atsuko is flying through the song with her vocals. I didn’t like them when I first heard them, but they’ve seem to have grown on me since December. However, the song still feels a little off and the arrangement sometimes gets a bit out of shape…but still out of the other two A-sides, this is pretty good.
It’s fitting with how the art cover is shown off so….title track maybe? mirrorballs is pretty funky because unlike the previous song, this one is more eurotrance and I’m kind of falling for it. I love the fact that atsuko toned down her dramatic vocals a little bit because whatever she did here was so epic and I loved this since it’s just right for me. I know I’m bound to say this a little bit…but this feels like a slower version of “Spiral”.
Then we get into the era’s first A-side and I still despise Alternative quite a bit. The beginning starts off pretty slow with atsuko and some other small instrumentation to back her up. After a little bit, the dance beats and typical angela stuff comes in and it’s alright up to the chorus where it’s unbelievibly fast-paced and I barely could follow the lyrics to the track. I mean there’s parts that I enjoy about the song, but I think it’s in the middle between “Soukyuu” and “Aoi Haru”.
4. “Real” wa…
I really loved the piano that opened up our next new song on the album. KATSU does very well with arrangements (for the most part) and since it marks as the album’s first ballad, “Real” wa… is a surprise. atsuko does these kind of songs quite amazingly and this one is no exception since she moves the song very gracefully and the strings also do a great job. I am slightly disappointed that almost halfway, drums enter the arrangement and it kind of dashes the mood of almost being vulnerable. It’s still a good song though overall.
5. Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude
Why this and later song “FORTUNE” is bolded is because it was previously released on the “Soukyuu no Fafner” mini-album that had songs used in the series (which I didn’t review). The first one that comes up does come as a surprise because I get a folkish/latin vibe from this song and it kind of moves quite smoothly through the entire track and I liked it. I’m a little shocked that I missed this song because I like the groove of it VERY WELL.
Is this track the song’s cute song? I don’t know why, but the title really makes me think so. I doesn’t have a lot in instrumentation going on like previous songs but the simplicity and the fact atsuko is trying to be cute with the song makes an interesting twist after “Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude”. It doesn’t exactly grow in the arrangement, but it’s a nice little relaxing tune.
7. Catch and Go!
Since it is the summer and all, I’m not surprised in the least that the duo would put at least one summer song here. I love hearing brass instruments, baritone sax, and steel drums and it works to give this lighthearted and tropical feel. To me it does seem to borrow the genki elements that were present in “Aoi Haru” and I felt this was handled a lot better. Strange but props to KATSU for pulling something out of left field.
8. Donna ni…Dore Kurai…
Is this still angela?!? Unlike the summery vibes of the previous track, Donna ni…Dore Kurai… keeps the brass instruments and works around a funky vibe that I kind of found myself enjoying. I also noticed atsuko is singing in a deeper tone and she sounds quite good from what I hear and when she goes into her normal tone, she puts it out there and I loved that. This is probably my favorite song off the album hands down.
9. Wonderful World
As the longest song and only song that goes past the 6 minute mark, I was pretty interested to see how it would turn out. I wasn’t expecting harps and this kind of Final Fantasy-like atmosphere to come outta this track and I thought the beginning with atsuko was beautiful. Once the chorus comes around KATSU and his guitar + drums and strings enter and gives this powerful punch. What I didn’t expecting either is that there’s a synth solo near the middle of the tune. This is an unexpected song, but this was handled so much more strongly than “Real” wa…”
The other Soukyuu no Fafner image song appears next and unlike the slow “Rikai to Hakai e no Prelude” this has more of a anime-ish glow about but you can hear things that might be similar to each track. To me, FORTUNES might be the best out of the anime songs on the album and that’s a good thing because it’s way better than “Soukyuu” IMO.
11. Aoi Haru
Unfortunately we have to listen to my least favorite of the A-sides released, Aoi Haru. I did like it when it was released because it was uncharacteristic of the duo to do something so positive and genki with kids being in the background with ~YEAH!~. It isn’t so bad I guess…maybe it is even with “Alternative” but this is still an odd song from the duo (as much as it fits on this album no less).
Closing the album, Kirafuwa kind of reminds me of their song “Galactic material” off their previous album (at least in the beginning). It’s one of the more mid-tempo songs but it has bounce and it doesn’t really ask for too much from atsuko. It doesn’t leave much of an impression besides the fact it’s the final song sadly.
Song of Avoidance
Besides the mini-album and that concept album, angela has been off their game in the A-sides for the era. None of them really spoke to me and honestly I rather would’ve wanted them to be replaced by “Kanata no delight”, “Tsunaga Room” and “Sayonara no Toki Kurai Hohoende” all made better A-side compared the actual ones. Now mirror☆ge (minus the A-side issue) was a pretty amazing release with all the songs giving them a great and fresh feel after the more serious “Land Ho!”. It’s pretty good and I hope they bring it altogether for the next era!