|Hangari Made It Te Rekodingu Shi Ta BGM &
Rajio Bangumi ‘Nichijou No Rajio’ No Daiji…
|Nomi Yuji, Hyadain, Various
|June 6, 2011
|01. Nichijou No Taitoru Kyoku
|02. Nonbiri Seikatsu
|03. Ooki Sugiru Shokku
|04. Fukkatsu No Yukko
|05. O Namida Choudai
|06. Choushiduku Yukko
|07. Kore Ha Ochi Desu
|08. Shinonome Kenkyuujo No Mainichi
|09. Nonbiri To Kaisou Shi Te Miru
|10. Komikaru Ni Sekkyou
|11. Sabishiku Te Sukoshi Setsunai Toki
|12. Nichijou No Sakusen Kaishi
|13. Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo
|14. Nichijou No Bokka Teki Ongaku
|15. Nichijou No Yuuga
|16. Nichijou 0 Wa Endingu Tema – Sasaki Sayaka
|17. Nichijou No Toukou
|18. Kigen No Yoi Hakase
|19. Nakanojou No Tema
|20. Kawairashii Dokidoki Kan
|21. Igo Sakka Bu No Nichijou
|22. Na No No Neji Mawashi Rapusodi
|23. Nichijou No Rajio Daijesuto
A car without tires is merely an aesthetic novelty. Tires put the power from the engine to the asphalt, steer the car in the proper direction, and protect and grip in dangerous conditions. On a car, tires are essential, simply indispensable.
But, they are also one of the most egregious examples of uni-taskers in today’s spectrum of ubiquitous technology. Tires excel at a single, solitary objective and are frankly meaningless to use in any other application, but perhaps the most beautiful part about them is that they were never intended to.
In that vein, the tracks that comprise the Nichijou OST Disc 1 are the tires of the soundtrack world. Nichijou and its soundtrack are so utterly dependent on the other to succeed that each cannot reasonably stand as a complete product on its own, the way four tires and a bare-wheeled car cannot be considered whole. The soundtrack is so boldly obvious in its snippety shortness, oblique quirkiness and bald-faced irony that it leaves little room for itself to say much else, and, indeed, it seems its greatest asset is that it never really was supposed to.
At the end of the day, though, the story is that, due to their short length, most of the tunes here need to be crutched up with some familiarity with the show to be truly appreciated, and that, in my mind, is a telltale sign of a weak score.
It leaves me oddly conflicted, then, that I simply adore this soundtrack to death.
While my general rule is to favor soundtracks that can stand on their own merits as well as augment the show they’re featured in, this score does the latter so well that its dubious value as a standalone proposition does not bother me at all.
From the very first full-length track, “Nonbiri Seikatsu,” the disc does not pull any punches on what it plans to be: a tongue-in-cheek, audaciously simplistic, slightly repetitive, densely harmonized frolic with little in the way of true tension or denouement.
What’s striking, though, is that, despite the entire soundtrack being rather tonally homogenous, every track sounds profoundly distinct. The reason behind this is the simply incredible use of voice; what you’ll begin to notice is that, within the individual tracks, there’s not much variation in the melody, harmony, or rhythm. In that sense, they’re very repetitive. Rather, where these tracks really shine is in that often ignored fourth dimension of music: texture. Basically, meticulous detail is paid to which instruments are playing the melody in each repetition as opposed to what they’re playing. The double reeds, specifically the bassoon, are particularly well used. What many first-year composition students are taught is that if you are writing for 10 different instruments, you aren’t writing for 10 different voices, you’re writing for as many voices as there are combinations of instruments. A flute playing a melody with a trumpet sounds totally different from a trombone playing the same thing with an oboe which is totally different from a viola playing with a bassoon playing with a tuba. From a technical standpoint, this may be this soundtrack’s single greatest merit.
Fukkatsu No Yukko[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/fukkatsu.mp3]
Consider “Fukkatsu No Yukko,” a lighthearted march with a steady heartbeat in the snare drum. The melodies themselves don’t vary much, but note how repetitions of lines are passed between instruments. The opening line by itself features clarinet, strings, and bassoon, and later sections are passed between the flute, muted trumpet, and finally, the two combined. It’s not one of the more exciting tracks, but is a paragon of the strong suits of the disc.
Nonbiri to Kaishou Shi Te Miru[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/nobiri-to-kaishou.mp3]
Numbers such as “Nonbiri To Kaisou Shi Te Miru” prove that the disc isn’t all just fanfare and bubbles as they attempt something a bit more melancholy and thoughtful, and nearly pulls it off. The gentle orgel melody backed by the strings is echoed beautifully by the piano, and it really is almost touching.
Notice the “nearly” and “almost,” though, because this album’s most critical shortcoming lies in its insubstantiality. No track ever amounts to anything to really chew on. Instead of songs, they seem more like short previews of something much greater; curious vignettes of a much greater landscape. Granted, the album in its entirety is delightful, but it’s the difference between stuffing yourself with fancy hors d’oeuvres and enjoying a gourmet full-course meal. It’s less about the quality of the material than it is the pacing of it, something the disc doesn’t do all that well.
Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/happi.mp3]
And it’s a shame, really, because tracks like “Happi Shinonome Kenkyuujo” push all the right buttons. It’s great fun, offering a near-perfect blend of quirkiness and depth. The use of texture is one of the best on the disc, and the orchestration in general is exemplary. But it’s so fleeting and short that it seems to end just as it feels like it’s truly beginning. It’s over as soon as it almost amounts to saying something.
Nichijou no Yuuga[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/yuuga.mp3]
Though this means no number ever overstays its welcome, it also means that there’s potential in pretty much every track that’s never quite realized. As much as I want to acclaim “Nichijou no Yuuga,” as much as I loved “Nichijou No Toukou” or “Nakanojou No Tema,” as much as I can say that “Kigen No Yoi Hakase” is the best song on the disc, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend this soundtrack because it fails to be musically substantial.
Nichijou No Toukou[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/toukou.mp3]
Nakanojou No Tema[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/nakanojo.mp3]
Kigen No Yoi Hakase[audio:https://blog.animeinstrumentality.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/kigen-no-yoi.mp3]
But, boy, do I love this soundtrack.
Rating: Very Good