OVER THE BORDER
Tsukiakari no Michishirube
Never Look Back
Tomodachi no Koibito
1. OVER THE BORDER
Opening the album with a bang, OVER THE BORDER does open with a loud boom from the band but it shortly dies down for AIMI’s entrance in the song. It’s funny how a song like this opens the album because it perfectly sounds like a final song. AIMI’s vocals are pretty strong like it has been for the era and for the most part is a good song.
2. Tsukiakari no Michishirube
If there was a song that rivals last era’s “Hitohira no Hanabira” and “Namida no Mukou” in epic status, this would be it. While I wasn’t too big of a fan when it was first released, it quickly became one of my favorites from Stereopony. It does have that anime background to it, so clearly it means it has a pretty straightfoward hook and that’s what caught me in its grasp. DAMN YOU GIRLS!!! Amazing tune here.
Which is difficult to listen to this song because this was an early favorite in the era (hell, it was the first A-side of the era). Smilife was the first happy A-side and the enjoyment coming from the girls emanate is pretty wicked. AIMI’s vocals arent as interesting as it was in the last track, but still passable.
4. happy ‘A’
I guess with the happiness, comes our next new track. While I’ve never been fully into their peppier stuff because AIMI takes her vocals in the uber cute side and that doesn’t really work for me. I don’t know why but this song feels so not finished and somewhat sloppy for me.
5. Never Look Back
I actually love the guitar hook for our next song and Never Look Back sounded pretty kickass from the girls. It’s sung pretty quickly and AIMI is pushing her limits throughout the song but I did love the energy of the song a lot more. It might be 3:24, but it feels like it goes faster because of the relentless hooks found throughout the song.
6. Tomodachi no Koibito
Our first actual “slow” song off the album, Tomodachi no Koibito also brings in the violin into the song which is a good idea, but the rather empty arrangement in the verses didn’t make AIMI sound that good…it’s only when NOHANA and SHIHO appear to make the song pop out a little more. For a ballad, it wasn’t exactly bad, but they could’ve done some fine-tuning.
7. Mousou Jet
Getting back to some fun songs, Mousou Jet is what Stereopony should go for because this song is lively and great to listen to. I mean yeah the darker Stereopony is nice, but Mousou Jet is how light I’d want them to go. So many strong guitar hooks from AIMI. The other gals show off too so it’s great all-around. However, I can’t defend that scream near the final chorus…
8. cherry my…
As the only B-side of the album (coming from “Hanbunko”), cherry my… was a great choice to have added on the album since it was the best the single had to offer. I like their serious stuff as I said and cherry my… showed that off pretty nicely since it sounds like one of those songs that tell you to move on. Funny how it’s one of the best songs on the album to be honest.
I guess it’s not surprising they’d place the 3rd A-side right after it’s corresponding B-side. It sort of reminds me of “Never Look Back” with the quick paced vocals coming from AIMI, but it sounds somewhat boring when she’s speeding across the song like it’s nothing. I’ll admit that I did enjoy this song as well, but “cherry my…” to me is still a smidge better. It’s still pretty good though.
10. Hoshikuzu Kandelaar
Out of all the new tracks, Hoshikuzu Kandelaar is probably my favorite amongst them because it’s the right amound ot poppyness and rock just like “Tsukiakari no Michishirube” but this one went the opposite direction and it more happier. There’s even a small auto-tune part with AIMI XD It’s simple but that’s why I like it alot.
11. 100 Pararhythm
I’m not sure what to make of 100 Pararhythm because it’s just lowkey and sounds way westernized. Though it’s clearly more focused on being a catchy song that sounds better when ur drunk or something because I get that feeling with this tune. Not really a memorable tune, but I guess it has its positives. Totally, seems fillerish.
12. OVER DRIVE
Of the singles released, I think I was least impressed with OVER DRIVE. It still reminds me of “Smilife”, but perhaps a little more serious than said song. Though I think vocally it’s kind of meh when compared to the other singles in the era. Some parts are pretty coo, but I kind of think it’s just a single rushed so hahaha oh well.
Why is Sakine almost 13 minutes long??? The final song off the album calms things down again and for most of it, it’s led by acoustic guitar played by AIMI and she sounds nice but kind of scratches once in a while. It’s a pretty soothing song to listen to and the added strings once again gave the song color so that’s good…but…
Once the song ends we get almost 8 minutes of silence before we get an untitled acoustic tune. I’m surprised at AIMI’s singing in the song since it’s nice. It’s still rather kind of random and I think was sung live, if I’m not mistaken.
Song of Avoidance
Stereopony’s sophomore album barely is better than “Hydrangea ga Saiteiru”. The thing is that the singles for the most part own the album tracks and the new songs really didn’t stretch anything new this time. I was surprised there was a lack of really hard tracks like some of those interludes in their previous album. I guess it’s alright for right now…