|Album Title:||Dramatic Market Ride|
|Anime Title:||Tamako Market|
|Artist:||Tamako Kitashirakawa (Aya Suzaki)|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||January 25, 2013|
|01. Dramatic Market Ride||Tamako Kitashirakawa (Aya Suzaki)||4:20|
|02. Tomorou||Tamako Kitashirakawa (Aya Suzaki)||2:44|
|03. Dramatic Market Ride (Instrumental)||Tamako Kitashirakawa (Aya Suzaki)||4:19|
|04. Tomorou (Instrumental)||Tamako Kitashirakawa (Aya Suzaki)||2:41|
Review: Let’s be upfront with something. Seiyuu are awful singers. They usually manage to barely hobble along, but their limited vocal ranges and iffy pitch accuracy palpably put constraints on the scope of music productions. It’s just a bit of a gamble, really – putting green voice actors in front of the mic has pinched off more than a few stinkers (see this season’s GJ-bu OP, either of YuruYuri‘s themes), but occasionally produces surprisingly good results (Haruhi’s “Bouken Desho Desho?” or either of Asami Seto’s Chihayafuru ED’s).
Regardless, I approach seiyuu-staffed tracks with the same skepticism I have for payday loans from the mafia. Tamako Market’s OP was no exception; it had all the makings of a disaster. A newcomer to the scene? A slice of life anime? Singing in character? My apathy for this track was rivaled only by that of Korean ladies for other drivers on the road.
But much like when a Korean woman uses a turn signal or makes a full stop at a stop sign, my assumptions were rocked to the core. When I heard “Dramatic Market Ride,” everything I had come to know was challenged. I was forced to come to a startling, earth-shaking conclusion:
This song is pretty all right, I guess.
That may come off as a bit extreme, I know, but it warrants the praise. The Broadway-esque showtune-style execution of the piece ranks solidly somewhere between “decent” and “not bad.” The tune’s arrangement and orchestration falls in the midst of “permissible” to “satisfactory.” Aya Suzaki’s singing stacks up in the stellar range from “good enough” to “fine.”
In all seriousness, there is nothing wrong with “Dramatic Market Ride.” It’s wholly competent. Satisfactory. Sufficiently pleasant. I’m not damning with faint praise; I’m trying to make a broader point. Why is adequacy the admirable exception? Aya Suzaki’s vocals are dead-on pitch-accurate, but sound plain, almost dry, and go without a hint of vibrato or emotional impact. Her vocal range is impressive, but at a price. Though her execution is effortless and unstrained even at higher octaves, she often sounds rough, untrained, and almost harsh as she reaches for the upper limits of her tessitura. Not to disrespect Suzaki, but I lament that merely being “good at singing” warrants praise in this industry. Tamako Market’s OP illustrates how low the bar is set in the world of seiyuu musical performances.
That’s not a good thing or a bad thing for this single, only a litmus test. “Dramatic Market Ride,” on its own merits, is still very enjoyable. Well, enjoyable enough.
(The B-side? I assure you, the B-side exists. Only listen to it if you’re the kind of person that finds nail-clipping exciting.)
Tamako Market OP – Dramatic Market Ride