|Anime Title:||Macross Frontier|
|Artist:||May’n; Megumi Nakajima; Yoko Kanno|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||Aug 20, 2008|
|1. Lion||May’n; Megumi Nakajima||5:06|
|2. Northern Cross||May’n||5:18|
|3. Lion (without vocal)||Yoko Kanno||5:06|
|4. Northern Cross (without vocal)||Yoko Kanno||5:12|
Review: Those who have read my review for the Macross Frontier Original Soundtrack will have noted my discontent with May’n’s vocal talents. The major issues that I had with her performances is that her voice doesn’t catch my attention because she doesn’t really convey much in the way of emotion through her singing and her songs tend to have this generic bland pop feel to it. While this single does not assuage my opinions about her, it is a touch better than the songs that she performed on the soundtrack, making this album enjoyable even if doesn’t blow you away.
Thankfully, “Lion” does an excellent job of grabbing your attention right off the bat with an elegantly-written exposition that sets the tone for the introduction of the electric guitars which charge to set forth the forceful rhythm and tempo that remains for the rest of the song. May’n’s voice is clear as she comes through and already, the amount of energy and emotion that she’s putting into the piece is an improvement over most of her songs on the first soundtrack even if that doesn’t really mean all that much. Megumi Nakajima entrance around 0:42 gives her more soothing and enjoyable voice a chance to shine before she and May’n combine their efforts. If there’s anything that’s readily apparent with “Lion,” it’s that May’n and Megumi Nakajima complement each other really well because May’n’s deeper voice contrasts really well with Megumi Nakajima’s lighter tone. It also helps that the melody is fairly catchy and enjoyable for the whole way through with its jamming guitars that set the song in motion in a fast-paced manner that will hold the listener’s attention. Although it’s not the absolute best OP ever, “Lion” manages to be enjoyable all the same by showcasing one of May’n’s better performances.
“Northern Cross’s” introduction carries with it a harder edge provided by the electric guitars, an electronic rhythm in the back, and a full percussion set to carry the rhythm and harmony. This piece presents May’n on her own and here, she starts off with a light ballad-like introduction before speeding up the pace at which she sings, which piques the listener’s interest through her ability to go through the lyrics at a rapid pace without slurring the lyrics. As you keep on listening to this piece, it sounds mostly like an effort to showcase May’n’s ability to sing the lyrics without really showing off her ability to fuse much emotion into the music itself. In fact, that’s probably the biggest issue that I had with this piece is that its emphasis on vocal virtuosity comes without the emotional connection that makes songs generally enjoyable. While this song is, on the whole, a good listen because of May’n’s performance, I’m just not seeing this one hold up to multiple listens on its own.
May’n’s performance in both tracks continue to demonstrate that she still has difficulty making that connection with the listener and because of that, her music tends to require more enhanced effects to keep the audience interested rather than being strong based on the strength of her vocal talents. Megumi Nakajima’s performance also doesn’t bring anything new to the table in that we know she’s not quite an experienced singer as May’n, but is certainly willing to put in a solid effort which shines even more in conjunction with May’n. Their performances aren’t good enough to single this album out as being excellent, but at least it’s passable and fits in with the show.
Opening – Lion
Ending – Northern Cross