|Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku
|September 27, 2010
|2. I miss you (Lia Ver.)
|Lia, Yagi Yuuichi
|3. kizunairo (Inst.)
|4. I miss you (Inst.)
Review: In evaluating “Kizunairo,” it is best to approach it in terms of what this song doesn’t do rather than what it does.
First off, the song’s technical demands tend towards the low side; the passages themselves aren’t difficult since the melody never fluctuates so wildly that it requires the singer to exercise firm control over her voice so that she hits the notes spot-on. It’s not much of a negative, but “Kizunairo” should compensate for that through other attributes like having a catchy melody or being able to convey the scope of the song’s sentiments. I’m sorry to say that it does neither aspect all too well. The melody is marginally catchy at best, and at the rate it’s going, it’s not one I’ll remember six months from now. Furthermore, the subject isn’t anything I haven’t seen or heard before, and so, would not be able to form a strong association with it either way. To shine at all, this song, moreso than many others, requires that its execution be decent.
I’m convinced that her vocal presence alone is sufficient to elevate the most vanilla-y J-pop song into something that’s enjoyable at worst. She certainly does so in “Kizunairo” where the clarity of her expression succeeds in drawing me into the song, especially during the verses, where I experience the urgency through Lia’s delivery. The verses hold my attention, even if it’s short-lived, and the fast tempo carries me along all the way to the chorus. It’s just a shame that once there, my attention wanders elsewhere since the sentiment it expresses doesn’t mesh too well with the melody. As pleasant as the whole package is, “Kizunairo” is a wasted opportunity because it doesn’t make good use of Lia’s vocals to deliver a truly memorable, heartrending experience.
“I Miss You” is better as it takes the form of a slow-paced ballad accompanied by a gentle violin and piano that evokes a soothing, heartfelt sound that, as you might expect from its title, treasures those joyous times long past. Based on the music, I thought for a second that this was the work of Hajime Kikuchi of eufonius fame since the relaxing, nostalgic tones that it offers up matches well with his style. But no, Yagi Yuuichi is responsible for its composition and he does a good job nailing the song’s sentiments in a way that I can empathize with the singer’s regrets. The song is a bit too simple though, and I’d peg it as a poor man’s “Natsukage” since it doesn’t have the brilliant melody or delivery to set it apart. If nothing else, it’s not as forgettable as “Kizunairo” as the repetition of the song’s title in the chorus reinforces the message that is easy to identify with.
It’s a shame that neither song is musically compelling, since it means that Lia’s voice isn’t used to its fullest potential. At her best, she’s capable of conveying unto us a deep sense of emotional pain or buoying our spirits by imbuing it with hope and doing it in such a way that it stays with us forever. With Kizunairo, I’ll be surprised if I can recall this single in a month. It doesn’t contain a song engraved by time, that’s for sure.