Hacking to the Gate
Kono Sora no Kanata ni
Kizuna no Mirai
Hateshinai Soukyuu e
Eien no Vector
Fly to the sky
Sky Clad no Kansokusha -Remix-
Sugao no Mama de
1. Hacking to the Gate
Kanako’s album begins with the 4th A-side, Hacking to the Gate which didn’t really stand out to me when it was first released. Even though it’s once again the first track, it somehow suits the placing quite nicely. To me, the song is alright but it’s kind of awkward in the chorus at first and it seems pretty basic to me when compared to most of the other A-sides in the era.
2. Fetishism Ark
Moving on to the first single representing the era, I haven’t listened to Fetishism Ark in a long time and coming back around to it was a new experience. I love that it starts out quietly with piano and then opens to a more mid-tempo kind of song. It isn’t as epic as I once thought it was but Kanako sounds much better and the song has a cool vibe throughout.
3. Kono Sora no Kanata ni
Fitting that the next track was actually the B-side to “Fetishism Ark”. I still do think the song is weaker than a couple of songs in the era but I just think it’s from the rather lackluster arrangement with acoustic guitar and strings (with a mix of anison). At least Kanako’s vocals sound great in the context of the song so that’s a plus. It does strike me as a ballad but with a little more spark…iono but this wasn’t my kind of song.
The next two songs were both A-sides on her second single released in the era starting with A.R. which is actually the first great song on the album in my opinion. Like “Hacking to the Gate”, it has a lot of synths and has a pretty quick-paced style to it that worked a lot better here than in said other song. It’s just powerful in a good way.
The other A-side, Star-Crossed is the album’s first ballad and to be honest I don’t like this song very much because of the fact that Kanako sung this song entirely in English and most of the time I’m not sure what she’s exactly saying. I actually wished she stuck on the “Ryuusei no Tameiki wo” version of the song since she sounded more comfortable in her natural language. The melody and arrangement though was pretty solid though, but perhaps a bit more could’ve been done here as well.
6. Kizuna no Mirai
Now I’m sure the non-bolded tracks aren’t brand spankin’ new, but they are un-bolded because they weren’t represented on singles. It’s a little surprising that the first of them, Kizuna no Mirai sounds bright and not like anything like the singles. Kanako’s vocals are quite nasally not gonna lie here and it just doesn’t seem like this song really fits her much. At least she tried and it’s something different.
7. Hateshinai Soukyuu e
Which is weird that our next song is just the same song but a different melody. What I mean it’s the same ole strings-based anison tune. It’s a little unusual to see them two one after another but it’s whatever. I guess I like the strings and Kanako’s vocals are a little better here…but this might be the song that I should’ve heard before “Kizuna no Mirai”.
8. Eien no Vector
Seeing that the B-side from “Uchuu Engineer” was before the lead the A-side in the album is interesting but it makes a nice bridge from the happier anison songs to well more serious stuff. The mood is quite different from the last two tracks so that’s good, but there’s just something about the song that still hasn’t pleased me. It’s like “Kono Sora no Kanata ni” but less guitar-based.
9. Uchuu Engineer
Like I said, “Eien no Vector” does a nice job moving away from the bright stuff to Uchuu Engineer which was pretty dark (at least in the intro). It does move into a faster arrangement which is a good move for the song since it’s a lot more stronger of a song. It’s definitely my favorite amongst the A-sides for such a fast arrangement yet strong vocals from Kanako.
“Hacking to the Gate’s” B-side comes up next and I feel that for the most part I enjoy this more than both “Star-Crossed” and “Amaranthine” which are both A-side funny enough. I like the dark movement with the song and Kanako is singing this pretty smoothly. Luckily the chorus really made the song listenable since it’s loud and powerful! Good song overall and unlike the other two ballads, this one is sung in Japanese.
11. Fly to the sky
I will say that of the four new tracks, I think I was the most impressed with Fly to the sky which sounds nothing like any of the other songs of the album and didn’t feel jarring coming after “Reliance”. It does seem to follow a similar route with quiet verses and the bridge/chorus being powerful. I hear a synths being used as well which is such a plus as well. Yeah my favorite of the new ones though strange as I’ve been told it was the B-side from “F.D.D”…random seeing this song here. >.<
12. Sky Clad no Kansokusha -Remix-
Moving from the best new song to the best song on the damn album, it’s the remix of Sky Clad no Kansokusha (which was the A-side before “Fetishism Ark”). It’s just took the already awesome song and just added another layer of it. The beats are heavy, the tempo is pretty fast and Kanako’s vocals/melody fits with the new arrangement. Yeah, it’s definitely a song that’ll leave mark on you (especially with this album is turning out).
While this is the 3rd A-side released, it was really hard listening to Amaranthine simply because it shares the same problem with “Star-Crossed” in being all English. However, it gets another problem with it’s 6 minute length which might kill some listeners. The good thing about the song though is that the arrangement is really pretty and has this ending theme style that would seriously capture my attention. Now if only we shortened it and have Kanako resing it in Japanese, then we’re set.
14. Sugao no Mama de
Closing the album up, Sugao no Mama de kind of places itself like both “Kizuna no Mirai” and “Hateshinai Soukyuu e” in the fact that it’s a brighter tune but this one has acoustic guitar and strings. That being said, I kind of just shrugged this one off since it didn’t leave a mark (kind of like the mentioned tracks above). “Amaranthine” would’ve made for a better closing.
Song of Avoidance
It’s hard to call this album mostly a best-of because all the songs have tie-ins and 11/14 were songs previously found on the era’s singles so it’s kind of bummer that there wasn’t more new songs. For the most part the album is kind of average at best. There were good songs and there were some stinkers. Fact is, is that she doesn’t need to do English (especially in ballads) it just sounds icky.