|Resuscitate Hope / unity
|Lisa Komine, Takeshi Sakabe, Asu
|April 27, 2011
|01. Resuscitated Hope
|Lisa Komine, Takeshi Sakabe
|Lisa Komine, Asu
|03. Resuscitated Hope (Instrumental)
|04. unity (Instrumental)
Review: Is it “Resuscitated Hope’s” opening chords that immediately grab your attention with their sense of the dramatic? Or perhaps it is Lisa Komine’s spellbinding voice that’s at work here? Both the vocals and the instrumentals are executed deftly; Lisa Komine’s delivery is distant, but the way she sings the introduction has the feel of a heartrending narrative along with a plea for better times. This approach works in immersing me in the song’s veiled melancholia as the short, beautiful piano accompaniment carries the piece to the heavily-accented section that leads into the first verse.
Here, Komine’s voice grows soft, conveying the hurt brilliantly through an intonation that is partly bitter, filled with loneliness and suffering, but nevertheless strives to find that ray of happiness. I’m especially drawn in by the mood transitions as it goes from the longing, despairing tones to the determination carried through the chorus, which gives the entire song the feel of a personal odyssey as the subject shakes off the shackles of regret to seek a brighter future through this renewal in purpose.
And if that wasn’t enjoyable enough, “Resuscitated Hope” continues to develop. The second verse is calmer as the piano accompanying Komine brings about an introspective quality to the song. Even though the lead-up to the chorus still has that dab of pain and anguish, the chorus itself carries the steadfast determination all the way to the inspiring bridge, featuring a tone of confidence borne by the strings and piano and a free-flowing electric guitar segment. The part after the bridge is light and uplifting, unveiling the most hopeful part of the song as Komine’s smooth delivery hearkens towards a glowing sort of happiness as the painful memories and emotions dissolve away, allowing the seed of optimism to grow and flourish.
The second song, “unity,” packs sentiments similar to Spice and Wolf’s “Tabi no Tochuu.” When “unity” first starts, Lisa Komine’s voice is forlorn, filled with the nagging sort of wanderlust fueled by one’s longing desires, and the addition of the backup vocalist and the short Celtic motif reinforce the emotions that underlie the need to travel. As much as the desire to journey exists, the way the song trudges along hints at misfortune and despair. I’m most struck by how deliberate this song is in its progression; each step feels heavy, bringing to mind images of travelers engulfed in loneliness and burdened by the weight of the past. Unfortunately for them, there’s no end in sight; the imperious bridge evokes countless obstacles, and the anguish that Komine delivers afterwards suggests that there’s no escaping the pain and that the only comfort to be had is that the suffering is shared between the two travelers. But the all of this Komine conveys well, making it a rare B-side that succeeds in entrancing its listeners.
Prior to Resuscitated Hope / unity, my exposure to Lisa Komine’s vocals consisted of listening to the ending theme to Ristorante Paradiso. Even back then, I was struck by how effortlessly she brings a sense of cheer and whimsy to the song along with a tinge of innocence. Her aptitude for conveying emotions carries over to this single, and even if the mood is much different than what I’ve heard from her, she’s shown herself capable of delivering diverse moods to match the expressiveness required of a given piece, a skill that eludes far too many J-pop artists.
Rating: Very Good
Gosick ED1 – Resuscitated Hope
Gosick ED2 – unity