|Album Title:||Preserved Roses|
|Anime Title:||Valvrave the Liberator|
|Artist:||T.M.REVOLUTION, Nana Mizuki, Daisuke Asakura|
|Release Type:||OP/ED Single|
|Release Date:||May 15, 2013|
|Purchase at:||CDJapan, Play-Asia, iTunes, Amazon MP3|
|01. Preserved Roses||T.M.Revolution & Mizuki Nana||3:33|
|02. Preserved Roses -Anime Version-||T.M.Revolution & Mizuki Nana||1:33|
Review: One of the occupational hazards I’ll likely encounter comes when much-loved artists are subject to my glaring disapproval. And as far as fan reactions go, Nana Mizuki and T.M. Revolution are certainly much-loved and have a solid body of work to back them up – I’ve particularly enjoyed the former’s general excellence on the Nanoha franchise and White Album and know that the latter’s work on Gundam SEED has won him many fans. But just as the most promising corporate mergers can float as often as they fail, so too can artistic collaborative efforts. Nana Mizuki and T.M. Revolution’s work on Valvrave the Liberator’s, suggested that greatness was in store for this pop-rock synergy. Alas, though high on spectacle, “Preserved Roses” lacks the heart and soul that would propel it beyond anything more than your above average, run-of-the-mill electronic J-rock song.
On the surface, “Preserved Roses” bears the sort of energy you’d get from a mecha anime’s opening theme. The thumping beat in the introduction arrives on schedule to kick the action into gear, and though there’s a weird key signature difference in the transition between the introduction and Nana Mizuki’s and Takanori Nishikawa entry that sounds really off (something having to do with composer Daisuke Asakura?), the duo’s vocals come in with gusto to grab listeners’ attention. As the song goes through the verses, Mizuki and Nishikawa each alternate lines, giving us a delivery that possesses much urgency, one that only becomes even more pronounced in the chorus where the burning passion flows forth effortlessly as the two evoke a loneliness that brings a torrent of pain and anger without ever letting up, all the way to the end.
But when the last notes and vocals fade away, there’s little to compel me to hit the play button to listen to it once more. The song is so devoid of catchy hooks, so routinized, and so generic that neither artist manages to impress. Perhaps that’s what happens when the presentation is so in your face that there’s little to contrast one section from another, robbing the song of nuanced emotions and expressions.
And then there are little things that bugged me about the performance, perhaps none bigger than the delivery of the lines:
Kowagaranaide nozomanu asa wa
Azayaka dake wo kurikaeshi
Tsunagari owari kimi wa mata…
which I found suspect. There, Nana Mizuki’s vibrato is over-embellished to the point where it’s unpleasantly airy, lacking a firm vocalization that would have worked better. It’s safe to say we’re not getting Nana Mizuki at her best and this sticking point is enough to lower this song’s appeal.
So on the whole, “Preserved Roses” is passable though neither artist stands out as I feel any J-pop and any J-rock artist could have come together to make this song with the same results. In light of that, that may be its most damning aspect; in spite of the talent behind it, it fails to rise from its genericness to become one of the more memorable OP/ED themes scattered about this season.
Valvrave the Liberator OP Single – Preserved Roses