|Don’t Say “Lazy”
|Sakurakou K-ON Bu: Aki Toyasaki, Youko Hisaka,
Satomi Satou, Minako Kotobuki
|April 22, 2009
|CDJapan or Play-Asia
|1. Don’t Say “Lazy”
|Sakurakou K-ON Bu
|2. Sweet Bitter Beauty Song
|Sakurakou K-ON Bu
|3. Don’t Say “Lazy” (Instrumental)
|4. Sweet Bitter Beauty Song (Instrumental)
Review: People have been generally favorable with regards to K-ON!’s OP/ED singles with the prevailing opinion being that Don’t Say “Lazy” is far better than Cagayake! Girls. After listening to “Don’t Say ‘Lazy,'” Youko Hisaka’s delivery immediately stands out as being stronger than Aki Toyasaki’s performance on “Cagayake! Girls,” but the caveat here is that while both pieces on this album are enjoyable, there are still lingering questions about their longevity because they do not leave any sort of lasting impact.
Right away, Youko Hisaka’s performance is reminiscent of Aya Hirano’s on “God Knows,” particularly in the way Hisaka’s voice sounds really close to Hirano’s Haruhi voice. Hisaka’s delivery is really what people are concentrating upon because she sounds confident. While a lot of anime OP/EDs are more whimsical or focus on universal themes like lost love, Hisaka exudes a sense of confidence as though to say that she’s unafraid to face failure as she sings her heart out like the way Haruhi did in that school concert episode. Of course, it also helps that Hisaka’s voice fits that edgy rock feel set by the guitar and drum set. I especially liked the way she sang the
mienai koto de BATAashi surundesu
part because its intonation is done rather well and is followed by an intense delivery of the first verse. Hisaka continues with alternating between verse and chorus until 2:52 to 3:20 which gives her a nice break before she comes in again to bring the song to a close. The music itself might not be first-rate, but she certainly knows how to sing rock and her voice is what makes all the difference.
And if you thought “Don’t Say ‘Lazy,'” was packed with confidence, give “Sweet Bitter Beauty Song” a listen. This song comes off as being aggressive because Hisaka’s delivery carries an attitude that seems to care little about how others perceive her, making her come off as being independent-minded. Like with “Don’t Say ‘Lazy,'” the melody isn’t particularly outstanding with most of the focus being placed on Hisaka’s expressive delivery, especially in the way she conveys her confidence. The way she expresses herself is why I find “Sweet Bitter Beauty Song” to be the more enjoyable of the two tracks on this album, even if it’s just a slight preference over “Don’t Say ‘Lazy.'”
Youko Hisaka’s performance on both pieces are pretty solid and while I enjoyed them, a part of me still questions as to how long their lifespan will be since neither of these songs struck me as being particularly memorable. The contrast between the songs on this album and the best-known Kyoto Animation rock song becomes readily apparent: “God Knows” was an absolutely unforgettable experience both in the way it was presented within the anime series and through Hirano’s stirring delivery with most of the impact coming from the latter aspect. While “Don’t Say ‘Lazy'” comes close to it in terms of enjoyability, it’s still a far cry from “God Knows.” “Sweet Bitter Beauty Song,” despite edging out “Don’t Say ‘Lazy'” slightly, doesn’t have quite the same level of flair either. Because of this, I’d say give both pieces a listen and enjoy them for what they’re worth, but like the comment I made in my review of Cagayake! Girls, just don’t expect people to remember this six months down the line.
Ending – Don’t Say “Lazy”
(Note: While this is totally unrelated to music, does anyone else think that the ending animation is overrated? While I can understand the music grabbing people’s attention, everything else about the ED sequence leaves me feeling indifferent for the same reasons that a certain friendly neighborhood blogosaur points out in his post.)