|The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
|Jul 22, 2009
|1. Super Driver
|3. Super Driver (off vocal)
|4. Aishite! (off vocal)
Review: Given the whole Endless Eight fiasco (just as planned?), this album just has so much going against it, mostly in terms of its association with what’s currently airing and to Aya Hirano’s inability to sing well. While I’d like to be able to get into “Super Driver’s” upbeat atmosphere, I simply cannot because for all the energy that both the singer and the background instruments try to inject into the song, the whole process feels forced, resulting in a performance that is neither compelling nor enjoyable.
The main issue I have with “Super Driver” is that Aya Hirano’s expressiveness as she sings it feels manufactured. From the lyrics, it looks as though she is aiming to convey the excitement of exploring new opportunities on one’s own terms, but I’m not buying it at all. The song itself feels too formulaic and mechanical; while the drums and bass in the beginning do an adequate job of catching one’s attention with its beat and the electric guitars infuse some energy into the song decently, all of that is written off because Hirano’s approach to the song is suspect. Her expressiveness appears muted. For example, when she sings the lines:
jibun de mitsuketa myself
suki ni natte touzen
kudaranai yarikata kette
subete wa atashi ga kimeru!
I had expected a forceful delivery so as to demonstrate how resolute she is on seizing the day as she builds the song up to the chorus section. Unfortunately, her delivery falls flat, sounding as if Hirano was going through the singing motions rather than giving it her all by putting in some genuine emotion into the song. When the chorus does come, it just comes off as being unsatisfying as all that energy that’s supposed to be present fails to materialize. I didn’t feel a rush of adrenaline or a sense of excitement while listening to “Super Driver” and when you amplify the sense of lethargy that I derived from the first verse and chorus by stretching it to over four minutes, the song really becomes grating as it overstays its welcome.
“Aishite!” isn’t really all that much better, but at least it isn’t worse than “Super Driver.” The song is underwhelming because its melody is best described as bland, but inoffensive J-Pop. There really isn’t much in this song that stands out aside from the call and response section that sounds just a bit campy (especially when you hear the female voices respond) but once you finish listening to it, you’ll not likely remember much of anything about it, good or bad. As such, “Aishite!” cements its role as a throwaway song.
There really isn’t anything positive that can be said about this single and the most negative thing is that it’s just boring overall. I’m not sure whether the excessive amount of studio editing or Aya Hirano’s delivery is at fault in this instance, but it never quite recaptures the amount of energy and excitement that I had derived from “Bouken Desho Desho?.” This single, like the rest of the current Haruhi airing, only makes us want to go back to a time where the franchise was still fresh and enjoyable.
Rating: Not Good