|Album Title:||Rally Go Round|
|Anime Title:||NISEKOI: -False Love-|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||May 27, 2015|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, iTunes|
|01. Rally Go Round||LiSA||4:38|
|02. Orange Cider||LiSA||4:30|
|03. Wake up! Sloth||LiSA||3:45|
|04. Rally Go Round -Instrumental-||LiSA||4:36|
Review: LiSA’s latest single, “Rally Go Round”, is emblematic of LiSA’s fires and faults as an artist. For the former aspect, her fiery vocals are adept in unlocking the song’s latent energy. When “Rally Go Round’s” opening guitar rift barrels in, LiSA’s delivery rises to the occasion. She carries an upbeat, playful tone that meshes with the song’s extroverted atmosphere and in doing so, imparts a favorable impression during the stanzas which come complete with a call and response that is as engaging as it is fun.
With all that buildup, the tepid, by-the-numbers power pop chorus is disappointing because it does not provide us with the catchy payoff that the stanzas lead us to expect. Furthermore, this song, like all of LiSA’s work to date (including the two B-sides on this album) lack the dynamic intonations that would keep me rapt at attention. Her volume is set to a constant loud. While this doesn’t hurt the song initially, repeated listens leave me weary, effectively placing “Rally Go Round” squarely into the J-pop zeitgeist, one that leaves it with a typical short shelf life.
With the first B-side, “Orange Cider”, I find myself being drawn in by its piano introduction, and the promise of a more restrained song isn’t completely dashed with the electric guitar’s arrival. LiSA’s delivery is surprisingly measured accompanied by a catchy rhythm that, all together, treads a safe path. While inoffensive, the song’s uniformity means that it doesn’t inspire. Its saving grace is a LiSA performance that’s softer and has dabs of nuance to set it apart from the A-side.
The second B-side, “Wake up! Sloth”, is obnoxiousness personified. The unpleasant call and response section which makes up the stanzas go back to LiSA’s punk-ish roots, but the delivery is too heavy-handed. This general reaction runs through the remainder of the song, from the stanzas which annoy in their attempt to stir up fun, to the chorus which LiSA navigates emphatically, and, finally, to the gimmicky bridge which raises the level of obnoxiousness just one more step. The ending can’t come fast enough, and until it does, LiSA’s vocals ram their way through the song, demonstrating her proficiency with power pop but making me wish she’d work with better composers.
In ranking her with other still-active power-pop vocalists, LiSA’s pipped by the likes of Nana Mizuki. Even MMay’n, whose prowess on the Macross Frontier songs shines, has a bit of an edge. What holds LiSA back is that in spite of her clear appeal and incredible stage presence, she’s yet to resonate with me. Blame it on my general distaste towards all-loud-all-the-time power pop or my apathy with the composers she works with. Whichever aspect it is, like with LiSA’s past singles, there’s little to rally around “Rally Go Round”.
NISEKOI: -False Love- OP Single – Rally Go Round[audio:Rally Go Round.mp3]