|Album Title:||Bravely You/Yake Ochinai Tsubasa|
|Artist:||Jun Maeda, Lia, Aoi Tada|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||August 26, 2015|
|01. Bravely You||Lia||5:29|
|02. Yake Ochinai Tsubasa||Tada Aoi||5:16|
|03. Bravely You (TV Size)||Lia||1:33|
|04. Yake Ochinai Tsubasa (TV Size)||Tada Aoi||1:36|
|05. Bravely You (Inst)||Lia||5:29|
|06. Yake Ochinai Tsubasa (Inst)||Tada Aoi||5:14|
Review: Listening to Charlotte‘s opening theme, “Bravely You”, vacillated between being a puzzle and a chore. Its charged rocking introduction treads a ground not commonly seen in the partnership between composer Jun Maeda and the singer Lia. Nothing wrong with trying out something new, at least, if “Bravely You” wasn’t so frustrating to listen to.
“Bravely You” might simply be Maeda’s compositions for Angel Beats‘ Girls Dead Monster taken too far. Those compositions, including Crow Song and Thousand Enemies, weren’t the pinnacle of what Maeda can do with music. But back then, the vocalists on those songs were virtual unknowns; no one expected much out of them anyway.
When he’s paired with longtime singer partner Lia, the expectations rise considerably. Her reputation dates back to the mesmerizing “Tori no Uta” from Air before collaborating with Maeda. Once the two began working together, they’ve brought forth such classics as the emphatic chorus in Angel Beats‘ “My Soul, Your Beats” and the heartfelt performance of Clannad ~After Story~‘s “Toki wo Kizamu Uta”.
Unfortunately, “Bravely You’s” overall package never lives up to what’s come before. The song charges forward with much energy but falls flat when Lia jumps in. Her initial urgent delivery transitions over to a monotonous echoing section and, later on, a dull recitation of the lyrics which offer little in the way of intricacy or passion. Furthermore, “Bravely You’s” structure is nonexistent. Maeda’s composition shifts in all sorts of odd directions, so much so that it’s hard to make heads or tails of what he’s trying to do. “Bravely You’s” musical fabric becomes a haphazard melodic stitch which, combined with Lia’s delivery, results in a piece that is bland at best, vexing at worst. Not the kind of brilliance you’d expect from a Maeda x Lia collaboration.
In a sharp contrast, the other A-side, “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa,” is far simpler than “Bravely You’s” incoherency. Aoi Tada’s delivery is reminiscent of her work on Angel Beats‘ “Brave Song” in that there’s a sense of optimism that serves as the song’s foundation, even if it’s less subtle in its execution this time around. But where it falls in its subtlety, it succeeds in being enjoyable. The bubbly opening is a welcome respite and Maeda’s simple structure makes it a cinch for him to convey the mood of the piece. In “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa,” I had little difficulty conjuring the ephemeral loneliness that Aoi Tada mentions and I enjoyed how the song builds up its optimism for a brighter future through its intense chorus. Sometimes, Maeda just needs to realize that less is more as Aoi Tada’s heartfelt delivery made “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa” a pleasant experience.
In most cases, Jun Maeda collaborating with Lia is cause for much fanfare, but in “Bravely You’s” instance, the lack of passion, much less its lack of poetry becomes the song’s undoing, turning it into an insufferable listening experience. It is in “Yake Ochinai Tsubasa” where the simplicity shines. Enough to leave a lingering tenderness behind even if it doesn’t completely eclipse the blandness that came before.
Rating: Not Good
Charlotte OP – Bravely You
Charlotte ED- Yake Ochinai Tsubasa