|November 24, 2010
|2. Heart Bible
|3. Shizuku (Instrumental)
|4. Heart Bible (Instrumental)
|Hideyuki ‘Daichi’ Suzuki
Review: As FictionJunction YUUKA, Nanri Yuuka has built up an excellent portfolio, being the first seiyuu to land a single at #1 on the Oricon Dailies. Her progress into a solo career, however, has not been as impressive. The first single, Tsukishirube, only showed off how hopelessly thin her voice and how limited her expression is. However, that may be attributed to “Tsukishirube’s” rather jagged melody.
Because of that, I was hoping that this single, with an instrumental part more in line with what Kajiura Yuki produces, will restore her reputation. Apparently, even that is a tad impossible. When performing under Kajiura as FJ YUUKA, Nanri generally utilises a much rounder and gentler voice for most of her works. Such a voice would have been excellent for Shizuku and its corresponding B-side, but that’s not what we get. Here, her voice gives listeners the idea that she is walking on a tightrope because her tones are very tense and unexpressive.
Just for fun, I decided to make a mental checklist of singers who I feel would do a better job on this single. By the time the songs ended, my list contained half a dozen singers. Not a positive sign.
The B-side saw Nanri with a slightly more carefree expression, though not by a wide margin. Perhaps it is because of “Heart Bible’s” more pop-ish feel that Nanri’s thinner voice did not jut out as much. Nevertheless, the track still borders on being shrill and can hardly be considered enjoyable.
“Heart Bible” instrumental’s opening somehow made me think of SID. And what do you know? This adds yet another singer to my list of artists who’d have done better, making it a waste of potential. From the instrumentals, I would have expected something light, cheerful, even playful. Unfortunately, I never got such feelings from Nanri’s vocals.
The highlight of this single is the instrumentals. “Shizuku” is absolutely amazing with its highly-effective attention-grabbing opening. But it gets better as the song progresses with a chorus section that feels almost complete on its own. This feature sets it apart from regular J-pop, whose instrumental tracks provide a backing for the vocals, but beyond that, don’t carry their own melody. The many layers of the instrumentation also enhance the overall effect of creating a highly complete and whole piece of work, making me grieve for the vocals version which wastes its potential by being unable to match the instruments.
I do not know whether it is really because Nanri’s voice fits such songs poorly or that her skills as a solo artist simply do not meet the cut, but I cannot dispel the notion that this single falls short. While I take my hat off to the composers, and highly recommend the instrumentals to all readers, neither the A-side nor B-side are really worth anyone’s time.