Sketchbook ~full color’S~ Soundtrack – Sound Sketch Book – Review

Album Title: Sound Sketch Book
Anime Title: Sketchbook ~full color’s~
Artist: Ken Muramatsu, Natsumi Kiyoura, Yui Makino
Catalog Number: VTCL-60005
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: November 21, 2007
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

Tracklist:

Show »

Track Title Artist Time
01. Toomawari Shite Kaero Muramatsu Ken 1:48
02. Kaze Sagashi -TV SIZE- Kiyoura Natsumi 1:32
03. Hitomishiri Na Mama de ~Deai Gashira~ Muramatsu Ken 0:06
04. Hitomishiri na Mama de Muramatsu Ken 2:51
05. Maigo no Koneko Muramatsu Ken 1:48
06. Chiisana Shiawase Muramatsu Ken 2:16
07. Balloon Mode ~Yume Kara Samete mo~ Muramatsu Ken 3:03
08. Hohoemi no Moto Muramatsu Ken 1:31
09. Yuuyake wo Aruita ne Muramatsu Ken 1:51
10. Harukaze no Okurimono Muramatsu Ken 2:17
11. Speed 2 Muramatsu Ken 2:46
12. Watashi no Jikan Muramatsu Ken 2:05
13. Watashi no Jikan ~Mata Ashita Muramatsu Ken 2:19
14. Kusatsumi no Uta Muramatsu Ken 0:55
15. Ochoushimono no Uta Muramatsu Ken 1:42
16. Akichi no Sora ~Neko tachi no Jiyuu Muramatsu Ken 2:52
17. Bokura no Bouken Muramatsu Ken 2:52
18. Bokura no Bouken ~Kaerimichi Muramatsu Ken 1:56
19. Kibou no Hesaki Muramatsu Ken 2:09
20. Happy Hour Muramatsu Ken 2:04
21. Kumo no Rei wo Iku Muramatsu Ken 3:25
22. Yuumagure no Kuni Muramatsu Ken 5:08
23. Balloon Mode ~Piano Solo Muramatsu Ken 1:40
24. Sketchbook wo Motta Mama ~TV SIZE~ Muramatsu Ken 2:03
25. Kibou no Hesaki ~Mirai Hen Muramatsu Ken 0:31

Review: Bigger isn’t necessarily better. In the midst of a month dedicated to a composer who takes everything to the extreme, this review focuses on an entirely different approach. Ken Muramatsu does not sit down and write the music for Sketchbook ~full color’S~ inspired by the movements of the planets, the human condition, or god knows what else. That’s just not the way he swings.

He does, however, infuse Sketchbook’s tracks with a laid back and jazzy style that’s just as enjoyable in its own right. “Hitomishiri Na Mama de” is an iconic example of his music. Instead of more ostensible trumpets and saxophones, Muramatsu favors quieter instruments, most notably the piano. The melody, while slow, isn’t boring or bland. What we get is a nonchalant and catchy piece that doesn’t demand recognition and yet isn’t difficult to pay attention to – perhaps an apt summary of almost any Muramatsu work. His style slowly and smoothly draws one into the mood, a quality which makes it so appropriate for a slice-of-life series.

Hitomishiri Na Mama de

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True to his aforementioned style, even the more upbeat tracks in Sketchbook don’t digress from the leisurely pace set in “Hitomishiri Na Mama de.” “Speed 2,” despite its name, isn’t rushed in the slightest. After the catchy opening rhythm, it’s reminiscent of the times spent unhurriedly hanging around and chatting with friends with nowhere specific to go and nothing pressing to do. “Kibou no Hesaki” also has a lively theme that induces a cheerful attitude. The characters in Sketchbook could be eating lunch, painting, or attending school, but they’re guaranteed to be doing it in a good mood.

Speed 2

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Kibou no Hesaki

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But a slice of life about a group of girls only sketching giddily 24/7 would make for a boring show and repetitive music. Fortunately, Sketchbook delves more into the friendships and interactions between the eccentric cast, and Muramatsu gives us a smattering of tracks appropriately nuanced to reflect that. There is a feeling of hesitancy in the light and staccato notes in “Maigo Koneko.” The almost bashful atmosphere the piece creates recalls the painfully shy main character, Sora, and her timid communications (if they can even be called that) with her peers. “Ochoushimono no Uta” and its energetic recorder in draws the focus away from Sora’s retiring nature and concentrates on the animated antics of the enthusiastic members of the art club while they enjoy their afternoons together.

Maigo Koneko

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Nevertheless, as with all slice-of-life shows, there’s some bittersweet feeling as the good times come to an end. “Bokura no Bouken~ Kaermichi” is one of several piano solo renditions of themes presented in the album. In its melancholy melody, one hears the wistful feelings of nostalgia and the wishes to relive fond memories once again. Unfortunately, time can’t be rewound, but the bonds forged and the lessons learned remain, regardless.

Bokura no Bouken~ Kaermichi

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As I’ve said before, the relaxing vibes of this soundtrack don’t evoke images or feelings of epic proportions, but that’s exactly what makes it so pleasant and fitting for a slice of life show. Sketchbook ~full color’S~ isn’t my favorite Muramatsu score, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

Rating: Very Good

Yu

A musician with a fondness for anime, I love listening and talking about the music accompanying the shows I watch. I'm fond of classical styled music, but any piece regardless of genre can tickle my fancy. On the other hand, I'm awful at discussing anime because I'm so terribly easy to please.

6 thoughts on “Sketchbook ~full color’S~ Soundtrack – Sound Sketch Book – Review

  • March 24, 2011 at 11:53 am
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    What a wonderfully soothing soundtrack~

    This has continued to stick at the top of my favorites because I just love the dreamy atmosphere that Muramatsu conjures up through tracks like Balloon Mode, which just puts me in a state of drifty, euphoric bliss. Though you didn’t mention it, the works in which he blends traditional Japanese instrumentation with his brand of smooth jazz is equally fantastic and it’s what makes Muramatsu’s works so engaging to return to time after time.

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  • March 26, 2011 at 10:33 am
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    Perfect music for a lackadaisical day. Muramatsu’s stuff is so understated, and it’s really relaxing to just sit back and have them quietly pleasant tunes do their thing. I want to chill to this CD so bad!

    Though I have to ask, why that description of Kanno? Subtlety-wise I’ve heard far worse IMO, with the prime example being Sawano (as much as I like his stuff, he’s almost always so loud in his efforts to rile up the mood of the listener).

    Reply
  • March 26, 2011 at 11:33 am
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    @ zzeroparticle
    I do love his Shamisen/ukulele (I think) duets. Unfortunately they only come once per album.

    @ ottcycle
    Maybe “everything” was too vague. I wasn’t trying to imply that Kanno isn’t subtle, but I feel that her music usually attempts to capture some sort of extreme, whether it be emotional or stylistic. It’s not the kind of stuff you’d imagine playing in the background as you pick up the mail and greet your neighbor and other such daily occurrences 😛

    Then again, I’m no Kanno expert, so my experience is based on a relatively small sampling of her work.

    Reply
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