Avalon no Oukan
Get my drift?
Synchrogazer -Aufwachen Form-
Kiseki no Melodia
Sacred Force -Extended Mix-
1. Avalon no Oukan
I guess Nana is playing up her strengths right from the start because the first song, Avalon no Oukan is a very grandiose opening for the album with all that fanfare-ness. As the song goes on, it sounds like something that would’ve been epic to open Final Fantasy XII because it has that medieval, but also powerful setting. The interesting thing though is that Nana sounds like she’s singing in a cathedral (you know, all the echoing that’s present). It’s definitely a VERY impressive way to open the album for sure…such production and effort went into this one!
2. Naked Soldier
I was curious to what she’d put after such an epic song and Naked Soldier comes in next and has a much more heavier sound for Nana. I kind of like the gritty rock feel out of this song and she tackles the vocals so effortlessly that it’s just impressive. Some of the song might be a little too loud, but this was a good rock track (not one of her bests but still quite good).
3. Get my drift?
Third track in and we get the shortest track with Get my drift? which follows suit after “Naked Soldier” by being a bit more rock-oriented but with a little more from the electronic side of her as well. It’s an energetic piece and I actually enjoyed this a bit more than the previous track as well…It’s a lot less in your face and louuuud.
4. Lovely Fruit
As the album’s promotional track, Lovely Fruit caters to more of the cute side of Nana’s sound and in a way it reminds me of “DISCOTHEQUE” with the amount of brass and lively energy coming from Nana’s performance of the song. It might bother some people being more of a high-pitched fest, but I like its charm, plus Nana is cute in the song lol.
5. Darling Plastic
I feel like Darling Plastic is kind of the throwaway song on the album for me so far since it feels like a bunch of her previous tracks but done again here. It feels like it’s supposed to be a mix of the previous two tracks, but it didn’t seem to work and I was slightly annoyed with the synths here. Plus, I don’t think Nana sounded very interested in the song either >.> She just sounded like she phoned this one in.
6. BRIGHT STREAM
Moving onto the first of the A-sides on the album, BRIGHT STREAM was the last to come out and while I still feel like it’s you’re normal Nana A-side with strings and an overall anison feel, it is a bit brighter of a song and Nana’s vocals are on spot with this song. The guitar solo though was definitely something that impressed me however…it’s all right, but nothing too special.
7. Hoshikuzu Symphony
I honestly feel that because this album came out on December, Nana wanted to do a track for the holidays and Hoshikuzu Symphony really has that tone about it because there’s a lot of jingle bells and other sparkly wintry sounds present. I’m not against it though because the song is a really pretty song, but I feel as if there was more instruments, it would’ve been just a plain anison Nana track. It’s a pleasant song though, I can’t deny that.
Which is why LINKAGE probably came after because it has a lot of synths and guitars present (weird that it didn’t come after “BRIGHT STREAM” to be honest. I will say that I really liked it because it’s got a lot of punch about it and Nana is really pushing herself in this song (almost similar to how wild she was singing in “Synchrogazer”). It’s a very busy song in the arrangement and I still can’t really tell what’s going there, I’m just enjoying Nana’s epic performance!
9. STAR ROAD
It’s so strange that Nana would follow up something so high-energy with something like STAR ROAD which is the first ballad of the album. I really liked Nana’s vocals as she gives a lot of emotional value to the song but the arrangement is once again a tad bland for me (minus the strings melodies). I do like how later in the song, tries to be somewhat folkish…this actually might grow on me a lot since it’s a lot better in the later half ^_^
10. Synchrogazer -Aufwachen Form-
I was sooo worried that Synchrogazer was going to be changed entirely, but it didn’t!!! All that happened was that Synchrogazer got a extra minute-long intro which was actually kind of awesome and it led into the main track which is mostly unchanged (if there was, it’s really small). As the single that started the era (sorry “MUSEUM II” singles), Synchrogazer just blew me away with how edgy and epic and how so much synths were present and add Nana’s awesome performance…it’s just a song that really made me 2012 and it was one of the earliest releases as well! SUCH A BADASS SONG!…though the intro could’ve been left off, but it was a nice inclusion, I suppose XD.
11. Crescent Child
After all that awesomeness, we calm back down again with Crescent Child which is kind of like what-if “STAR ROAD” was upbeat. It does slightly remind me of a school food punishment song (“futuristic imagination” is the closest for me”). Though a lot of this song has a lot of piano, it’s still really cool. I’d say it’s in the middle of where I love it and like it. It’s not that bad of a song and Nana sounds great here as well.
12. Kiseki no Melodia
Ooooh, pipe organ in an upbeat track? At first I wasn’t sure how to take the song because it’s so different and kind of clashes because the pipe organ is a dark instrument and it’s in a upbeat track…kind of a strange paradox. One the chorus comes in, it’s like “BRIGHT STREAM” 2 which is a bit disappointing for me. At least I know the song as the pipe organ track.
13. METRO BAROQUE
As the only song added to the album from her “TIME SPACE EP”, METRO BAROQUE impressed me initially because it had a more broader sound and combined the good things in Nana’s music. On the album, it’s slightly grown more because it’s different from the other anison tracks here and I felt like Nana made the song work because otherwise this would’ve been a bore. So props here!
With a title like that, I was wondering if we were getting another cute song but Happy☆Go-Round! actually sounds like a mix of “Lovely Fruit” and the rock tracks in the first half of the album. The song can be catchy. It’s a bit loud and busy as well, so if you don’t mind the banging of the drums then this song might be something to listen to!
15. Sacred Force -Extended Mix-
Adding about an extra minute and a half to the track, the B-side from “BRIGHT STREAM” gets added to the album as the only B-side as well (something Nana always does). Though unlike “Synchrogazer” the song goes through a lot of changes like the arrangement is a bit more busy and louder and Nana (I think, resung the song?). Add in that the solo section is stretched out a lot longer as well and you get our new Sacred Force. I kind of like this version more since it’s more energetic and less of a clone anison track, made this song a lot more unique ^_^
Closing the album out, Yakusoku (like “7-gatsu 7-oka” from her last album) is the ballad that wraps things up. It has a bit more going on in the arrangement, but at the same time, if it wasn’t Nana singing the song, the arrangement would be a TOTAL bore because it’s rather uniform and typical for a piano/strings ballad. With Nana added, it managed to pull it out of boredom, but it’s still not quite as good as other songs are.
Song of Avoidance
It’s been quite a while since Nana released her last studio album with “IMPACT EXCITER” and that album was good but had problems in it. 6 singles and a best-album later, we finally get ROCKBOUND NEIGHBORS and I have to say, this might be her best album yet. It felt a lot more cohesive and Nana worked her strengths in majority of the songs, yeah some were a bit meh, but it didn’t very like Nana was trying to be more experimentive…she was just doing what she did well in and in the end, it worked! A lot of great tracks here, *RECOMMENDED*