- REALISM (Instrumental)
Through the series, Valvrave’s tie-in songs have been flamboyant, to say the least. REALISM is the craziest of them all so far. It starts with chanting, in a similar vein to Soba ni Iru yo. Great flourishes of violins and emphatic beats then erupt forth, with the barest amount of electronic effects to remind us of the spacey setting. After these moments of madness, the verse begins quietly, mild synthage accompanying ELISA’s airy voice. Following this, there’s another impressive breakdown with chanting and some brass chucked in to make it even more grand. A calm section precedes the chorus, which is surprisingly normal given all that’s happened before. It’s made up of heavy beats with strong vocal backing, and a key change to keep things interesting. The next part features quick semi-operatic notes, which do sound a bit weak when you take into account the style she’s trying to emulate. The verse that continues from this has a bit more going on in the arrangement than the previous, most noticeably the wailing violin and orchestral strikes. And after this, there’s yet another change – this time, a gothic waltz passage. I’m happy enough with the other changes, but not this one. It breaks the flow of the song too much, and the Engrish is ehhh. There’s an ascending vocal line following this that isn’t the best either. The low notes of her vocals sound like she’s got cotton wool in her mouth. But mostly, the vocals throughout the songs are high quality, as is the arrangement. I want to mention there’s a cool guitar solo to top things off. Pity about the still weak vocals at the end though. Overall, apart from a few relatively minor niggles, a strong ED.
Puraana is the child you get when you breed a typical anison track with a spazzy piece like REALISM. It uses an electronic dance beat and retains the strings and chorus chanting, but subtracts the big orchestral moments. A piano opens alongside sweeps of a harp, and then the atmospheric choir and dazzling violin line create a heavenly ambience. The verse goes through different dynamic and tempo changes, beginning muted and slow, then speeding up with beats, and finally slowing down again. Like REALISM, the choruses are less experimental than the rest of the song, but I do like it how it provides so normalcy to the track. The dual violin/harpsichord solo in the bridge is awesome, and is a great addition before the last chorus and the choir-filled close. I do prefer REALISM a little more, but Puraana doesn’t feel as all-over-the-place as the title track. It’s another great piece.
Wherever, the third track from the single, is a ballad. The instrumentation is based around the piano, but many other instruments such as strings, nylon guitar and percussion can also be found. ELISA’s voice perfectly fits this type of gentle song, so no problems in the vocal section. However, I think that the track is over-arranged. Many great ballads have simple arrangements, and a problem with too many instruments and things going on is that it lessens the emotional impact. Now, this isn’t a problem restricted to ELISA – lots of (boring) anison ballads have this issue. Just thought I’d mention it here. In this case, the vocals almost single-handedly lift this song up, so Wherever is rescued from typical dull ballad B-side syndrome. The ideas behind the arrangement aren’t too bad, but the song could have done with lessened instrumentation. It’s all right though, and fine for a listen now and then.
ELISA has done it again. REALISM was wild and entertaining, and Puraana was less wild but still very good. Wherever, while better than the usual B-side throw-on, unfortunately wasn’t at the same standard as the two other tracks. Don’t let that stop you from listening to this though. Like Soba ni Iru yo, I’m most impressed with this single.
Rating: 4 stars