- Kimi wa Mou, Hitori Janai
- Utakata no Hana
- Kimi wa Mou, Hitori Janai (off vocal)
- Utakata no Hana (off vocal)
1. Kimi wa Mou, Hitori Janai
Ooh, they’re teasing us at the beginning, hinting at metal with distorted guitars, but keeping them in the background. How infuriating! The introduction of the song is a creepy experience, with marina chanting in a strange and irregularly timed manner, along with bursts of guitars and unsettling synths which remind me of ALI PROJECT. Continuing on, the verse moves in a similar fashion to the introduction, going slowly and softly. This resembles the intro/verse of marina’s previous A-side Kimi Tsunagu, which also has a “different” sound earlier on. However, as the track fills out with percussion, more guitars and synths, it follows Kimi Tsunagu‘s path of J-Poppiness. The pre-chorus and chorus just can’t match up with the experimental verses and instrumental breaks. While the instrumentation is great for the most part, the drums bug me. I think they’re using real drums, but the bass drum sounds too much like a dance beat. Either that or they’re just programmed. In any case, it’s my opinion that songs which attempt to be serious should have a solid, real percussion backing, which this song is lacking. The vocals are pretty good, and I’m impressed by the chanting gymnastics, but it would be nice to use a fraction of vibrato to add spice to her singing. All in all, Kimi wa Mou, Hitori Janai has its flaws, but I’m happy with it.
2. Utakata no Hana
The second track is an ending theme and a ballad, which is such a surprise because EDs are NEVER ballads. To be fair, Utakata no Hana isn’t nap-inducing, but it’s not at the same level as the A-side. The instrumentation is okay, I guess. It’s typical anison ballad stuff, but done well; the strings are lovely and the drums aren’t overused in the verse. Occasional lines by some Asian-sounding instrument don’t hurt at all. The vocals are fine, though a couple of aspects could be improved upon. First, her voice is a little hoarse at times. This isn’t as much of an issue in a rock song, but it doesn’t work as well in a ballad. Second, her constant sliding to the upper notes in the chorus gets tiresome. Utakata no Hana is an average ballad, not unpleasant but not great either.
marina’s second single was good, but inferior to her debut. The first track started off really interesting, but got bogged down by a pretty normal chorus. The second track was fine, but wasn’t a glowing example of a ballad. Nevertheless, I’m still excited about marina. Her composers show flashes of excellence, now they just need to put them into one coherent track, instead of stuffing J-Pop into the chorus when they run out of ideas.
Rating: 3 stars