- Kimi no Gin no Niwa
- Kimi no Gin no Niwa (instrumental)
1. Kimi no Gin no Niwa
An accordion welcomes you to Paris – Kalafina style. Also, Yuki Kajiura has stumbled upon the Golden Rule Of Music – tuba makes any song awesome (unless it’s not actually tuba, in which case I shall go cry in the corner). Kimi no Gin no Niwa is a light and fluffy song from the group, Hikaru starting on the vocals. She sings with a bright and cheery tone, and though it suits the mood of the song, her voice is a little nasal. Wakana takes over soon after, also using a higher tone, infused with the slightest tinge of cuteness. Hikaru and Wakana exchange lead roles in the verses, and the chorus goes to Wakana. She sings brilliantly in the chorus, hitting the high notes with aplomb, topping it off with her characteristic fluttering vibrato. Keiko takes a break from backing in time for a cameo in the bridge, which is a good place for a vocal change-up. The instrumentation is lovely, featuring a heartfelt performance by the strings section, festive accordion, subtle bells in the chorus, and a music box-like instrument. The only instrument not at the same standard was the right-panned electric guitar with its dull, clean sound. All in all, a big improvement from Alleluia!
This song might as well be called Mirai Version Two. It frustrates me when Kalafina do filler-ish stuff like this – sure, it sounds nice, but there isn’t any depth in the track. Wanna do a rock song? Then do it, instead of in-between pop-rock. Misterioso is a moderately fast-paced track, using distorted guitars and a strings section for the bulk of its instrumentation. There’s also a wobbling, Inner Universe-esque digital percussion clattering away in the background. The percussion is one of the places that should have been arranged better. It’s off-putting that the pace, set by the bass drum, is fast, yet the snare is nowhere to be seen. There’s something satisfying in a solid beat to a song, and Misterioso is lacking this (except for right at the end). The track doesn’t have much form as well, but that’s not particularly high on my priority list. Arrangement gripes aside, the Wakana-led vocals are heavenly. I especially love the major 7th harmony (I think XD) on “sekai”, from the line “sekai wa kimi wo matteru” about one-third of the way in. Overall, while it is a poppy piece, it’s a nice listen, and I prefer it to Mirai btw.
The final track, Tsuioku, is a darker piece than the previous two. I have read various people’s work where they compare this song to previous Kalafina tracks, but the one Tsuioku reminds me of is ARIA. Mostly because of the clinking, left-side guitar sound lifted straight from the aforementioned track. Tsuioku begins with yet another spectacular Wakana/Keiko harmony. The low, powerful cello provides a strong backbone to the track, with the energy getting a kick in the behind as Hikaru’s deep, aggressive tone enters, timed with the arrival of gritty, distorted guitars. The bells in the vocal breaks add that dramatic touch, and there’s also a whirling guitar solo. Keiko gets her lead part in the bridge and sounds fiercer than usual, meaning all three vocalists get their time in the spotlight. Woo, it’s the best song out of the three!
Kimi no Gin no Niwa was a big lift from last time. It was on the experimental side too, which was a nice change! Misterioso was B-side material, but still good despite its flaws. And of course, Tsuioku was a throwback to some of Kalafina’s older, darker material. Great job Kajiura + Kalafina!
Rating: 4.5 stars
Side note: The last two tracks and conclusion have been updated in the Alleluia single review.