|Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
|Kalafina, Yuki Kajiura
|February 16, 2011
|3. Magia (Instrumental)
Review: Those who found “Kagayaku Sora no Shijima ni wa” too bland, too lackluster, or simply too Kajiura for their tastes can rejoice in Kalafina’s comeback in “Magia.” While the Arabic style is far from masking the overwhelming scent of Kajiura, it is nonetheless in a class of its own, set apart from all the singles released by Kalafina thus far. (Though it may feel right at home in the album Red Moon)
The most commendable aspect is the fusion of folk and rock, which I confess is my favourite genre, and with that, the likelihood for a biased review. Still, who can argue that the A-side is unbelievably refreshing, with an uncharacteristically energetic and almost aggressive performance from the girls? Though Hikaru’s performance is still a little rough around the edges, the mood she puts forward fits in perfectly with the instrumentals. Keiko’s entrance also provides an excellent contrast to the intense delivery earlier, and is probably one of the few times where her stanza actually adds to the overall enjoyment rather than providing mindless fanservice for her large fanbase.
The B-side, unfortunately, does not deserve much praise. The last few B-sides have generally been sorely lacking, either due to the failure in delivery (“Adore” comes to mind) or a half-hearted effort from Kajiura’s compositions (“Sapphire” and “Utsukushisa” anyone?). “Snow Falling” encompasses both faults; it’s a victim of both poor composition and an even worse delivery which actually gives the composition something to be proud of.
I can think of only a small handful of artists who can bring across the theme of winter properly, given that it requires great gentleness of expression. Here, Wakana’s delivery is too overpowering, Keiko’s is far too harsh, and Hikaru’s is overtly cute. The only one who seemed to capture the feeling of snow is, oddly enough, the accompanying vocalist. The great differences with the way the song is performed further add to the overall messiness, making “Snow Falling” a poor complement to the marvel of “Magia.”
But for “Magia’s” sheer audacity, this single is worth it. Though by all means, skip the B-side. There is nothing there which captures the usual goodness of Kalafina.
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica ED – Magia