|Album Title:||Thousand Enemies|
|Anime Title:||Angel Beats!|
|Artist:||Jun Maeda; Girls Dead Monster: LiSA, Hikarisyuyo,
AMG MUSIC SCHOOL
|Release Type:||Insert Song|
|Release Date:||May 12, 2010|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, Play-Asia|
|1. Thousand Enemies||Girls Dead Monster||4:49|
|2. Rain Song||Girls Dead Monster||5:01|
|3. Highest Life||Girls Dead Monster||6:26|
Review: LiSA’s entry into Angel Beats! comes with above average expectations. Having heard her performance of “My Soul, Your Beats!” as Yui-nyan’s singing voice, I knew she’d bring more to the table than marina by sheer virtue of singings with emotion to engage listeners. Even with that positive step, Thousand Enemies still lacks polish; you can find plenty of areas in which LiSA could improve upon. I’ll take it though. Anything that can erase Crow Song’s bland singing from my memory is worthy of some attention.
“Thousand Enemies” has the generic rock sound that has become a staple of the anime high school band scenes, at least, if K-ON’s Houkago Tea Time’s music is of any indication. The introduction is promising enough through its effort at grabbing the audience’s attention with its energy, but once LiSA’s voice makes its entrance, it doesn’t take long to see where the performance falls short.
Not unexpectedly, one problem is that she sings oh so slightly out of tune. This isn’t something too noticeable in the lower registers, but once she aims high, she comes out of it sounding rather flat. Furthermore, those registers aren’t a range that she sounds too comfortable with, especially during the chorus, which feels rushed. It’s as though she’s doing her best to keep up with the music and while doing so she’s barely hanging on. LiSA is straining to nail it perfectly and unfortunately, we can hear her work at expressing the song’s sentiments through her intonation. And we shouldn’t hear her efforts; good singers make it even the most difficult parts of a song sound easy. That she’s unable to smoothly deliver means she’s got a ways to go even if I can commend her for making an attempt at being expressive.
“Rain Song” seemingly confirms the lower registers as an area in which she’s more comfortable. It also helps that the song isn’t a difficult one to perform because the tempo is a lot slower and its relaxing tones propelled through the acoustic guitars is much easier for her to navigate. But beyond the few sections where her voice undulates, it’s a generic, unremarkable piece that lacks any real “oomph” to compel listeners to stand up and take notice.
Rounding out the album is “Highest Life,” a song that starts out on a comparatively melancholy note that is thick with regret, though she does express some hope at being able to rise up despite the circumstances. There really isn’t much more to say here that hasn’t already been said before except for maybe the ending section, which repeats the lines,
LaLaLaLaLaLaLa Happy life! Go!
LaLaLaLaLaLaLa Take me with you!
LaLaLaLaLaLaLa Highest life! Go!
LaLaLaLaLaLaLa Go with me!
for over two minutes straight as they add a chorus to the mix. It’s not so bad if you were doing other things while listening to this song since you can easily tune it out since it works well enough as filler music, but it does become just a bit annoying if you’re listening carefully and was expecting some diversity.
Knowing where LiSA is in her singing career, many of the faults I highlighted above are understandable and I do hope that she manages to iron out the wrinkles. That she is not afraid to convey her emotions already gives her a leg up amongst other singers, and with patience and a bit more practice (or some studio editing), her performances will improve. She might not evolve to the point of hitting the upper echelons of J-pop/rock, but at least her singing will be more polished and enjoyable down the road.