|Album Title:||Macross Frontier Original Soundtrack – Nyan Furo|
|Anime Title:||Macross Frontier|
|Artist:||Yoko Kanno; May’n; Maaya Sakamoto; Megumi Nakajima; SMS Squad|
|Release Date:||June 4, 2008|
|1. Frontier 2059||Yoko Kanno||3:01|
|2. Welcome To My FanClub’s Night! (Sheryl On Stage)||May’n||3:45|
|3. What ’bout my star? (Sheryl On Stage)||May’n||5:02|
|4. Iteza – Gogo 9ji – Don’t be late (Sheryl On Stage)||May’n||6:02|
|5. Vital Force||Yoko Kanno||2:47|
|6. Triangular||Maaya Sakamoto||4:39|
|7. Zero Hour||Yoko Kanno||3:05|
|8. What ’bout my star?@Formo||Megumi Nakajima||4:47|
|9. Innocent green||Yoko Kanno||2:48|
|10. Aimo||Megumi Nakajima||1:33|
|11. Big Boys||Yoko Kanno||1:19|
|12. Private Army||Yoko Kanno||2:31|
|13. SMS Shoutai no Uta ~ Ano Musume wa Alian||SMS Squad||1:01|
|14. Ninji-n Loves you yeah!||Megumi Nakajima||1:03|
|15. “Chou Jikuu Hanten Nyan Nyan” CM Song (Ranka Version)||Megumi Nakajima||0:23|
|16. Alto’s Theme||Yoko Kanno||2:04|
|17. TALLY HO!||Yoko Kanno||4:33|
|18. The Target||Yoko Kanno||5:53|
|19. Bajura||Yoko Kanno||2:13|
|20. Kira Kira||Yoko Kanno||2:37|
|21. Aimo ~ Tori no Hito||Megumi Nakajima||3:36|
|22. Take Off||Yoko Kanno||1:49|
|24. Diamond Crevasse||May’n||5:58|
Review: Yoko Kanno’s latest effort into the realm of soundtracks is another winner with many pieces that succeed at sweeping me off my feet with their sheer force and intensity. This is among the grandest works I’ve ever listened to in the world of anime soundtracks and the epic feel that many of the orchestral tracks carry with them can be seen as a tribute to the best that movie soundtracks have to offer. As you listen, you can hear a smattering of Hans Zimmer, John Williams, and even Bruce Broughton (who worked on Rescuers Down Under) throughout this album. Although the orchestrated and instrumental pieces are all excellent, the vocal tracks are generally mediocre and leave the listener wanting, which brings down the overall quality of the album.
As befits a Macross Soundtrack, many of the tracks have a militaristic and space opera bent to them. The opening track “Frontier 2059” does just that with an opening dominated by drums and trumpet before moving into a sweeping orchestrated fanfare which evokes the image of spaceships embarking upon a grand journey. “Vital Force” is also an epic piece with its fanfares that would fit just fine serving as theme for the Olympic Games.
Spread throughout the album are some other interesting tracks such as “Private Army” which has a Latino flavor to it with the guitar work and “Alto’s Theme” which is fairly solemn. There are also some soothing piano pieces like “Innocent Green” and “Kira Kira,” both of which consist of a repeating melody. They don’t particularly push any bounds, but that’s OK since they serve their role more as introspective pieces.
It’s only a matter of time before the orchestral tracks return in full force, and return it does with the likes of “Tally Ho,” which has all the feel of a battle preparation theme as the lines are being drawn. I’m awed by the sheer emotions presented as the moments of discordant chords which increase the tension. It’s definitely a grand, epic, and powerful piece that will carry you through fortunes and misfortunes until the piece resolves by closing on an optimistic note.
However, “Tally Ho” just really does not compare to “The Target” which may be one of the best action pieces ever. It opens very much with a mood that screams of an intense space battle that draws comparisons to the music played during the Battle of Yavin from the original Star Wars. Of all the superb pieces scattered throughout this album, this track is probably the best of the lot.
The main problems with this soundtrack lie in the vocal tracks, many of which have decent background music and production values but are saddled with terrible vocalists. While the various renditions of “Aimo” are calming and enjoyable, the rest of the vocal tracks that don’t involve Megumi Nakajima are terrible. I often found myself skipping through May’n’s tracks because her voice is just terrible and the melody was never all that interesting to because of how utterly generic it was. Maaya Sakamoto’s poor performance with Triangular was also a shame since her work has been a lot better in the past. Listening to her sing that opening was painful.
The majestic melodies in the orchestral and instrumental tracks just cannot be understated for they represent the pinnacle of anime music. Few soundtracks are able to match the degree of intensity and awesomeness contained here. Although, the vocal tracks by and large are washouts, the Macross Frontier soundtrack delivers a solid performance and is definitely worth your time.
Rating: Very Good