I actually have a whole big list of albums I wanted to include in this one but since it’s so late, I figured I should post it right away. Maybe I’ll have more free time next month to work on it and I can include them all? Haha, probably not. I can dream though, right?
totokoko label – totokoko christmas compilation 3
Most of the tracks are really simple: some with a more ambient feel, a few piano heavy tracks and a few with some vocals. Of the piano tracks, Makoto Tanaka’s W.N and sonicbrat’s invisible snow are particularly enjoyable.
He Died While Hunting’s Mak is pretty melancholy throughout but the tone changes a bit to the end and kind of gives off the effect of winter really well. It’s kind of hard to imagine if you haven’t lived in a place with a lot of snow but even though it gets dark earlier, winter is always really bright at night. That’s the feeling I got from this song and I was pretty impressed with such imagery.
There are a few tracks with vocals but michikusa’s anemone is my favourite. The vocals are really understated and play a background role to the overwhelming acoustics. Normally this is a thing that kind of bothers me but her vocals are so soft that it’s a really nice effect rather than an annoying one.
There are two other christmas compilations (as well as whole bunch of other great releases) on the site where this album is available.
MARiA – MaBLE SYNDROMe
I come across a lot of albums like this even though I don’t really keep up to date on Utaite at all. That being said, I had never heard of MARiA before. I simply looked at the album because there were a few tracks I liked on it. Boy was I pleasantly surprised! As well as few of the tracks I do know and enjoy, she managed to pull off the songs I didn’t know as well and I ended up loving them equally.
A few such tracks are Wave, ブリキノダンスand 脳漿炸裂ガール. Though Glow gets a special mention because while I think she sounds great against most tracks, this slower, rock track really works for her.
And of the songs I did know beforehand? She’s got a bit of a rougher but still feminine sound that fits 夜咄ディセイブ surprisingly well. There’s a bit of added bits to it that sound great too. I wouldn’t call it my favourite cover of the song but she manages to make it sound almost a bit more jazzy than the original and I think that’s impressive.
Obviously the same could be said of 炉心融解 -melt down- JunK Arrange which is a really interesting arrangement of, well, Melt Down. Again, it has a laidback jazz sound to it that she just totally owns. It’s neat to see a kind of older, classic track still getting arrangements like this as well.
And the piece la resistance? Her heartfelt ブラック★ロックシューター cover. Black Rock Shooter is probably my favourite Vocaloid track so it’s always really important to me if an artist can cover it well and just knocks it out of the park. Her 夜咄ディセイブ cover may not be my favourite but this is certainly in the running for favourite BRS cover and winning by a long shot.
mamenoi – Tachyon
Mamenoi is a group formed by MANYO and yanaginagi. And, well, I’m a sucker for some yanaginagi. So I might normally warn that I’m biased before stating that every track on this album is amazing and wonderful but really, it’s just that good.
To try and pick out a few favourites though? Vocalless tracks phaetone and Lacunarity are both pretty good. The first is a quiet, ambient-like track while the second is a more energetic and rockish song that goes through a few different phases but only gets better and better. Sh,57.101 is like a mixture of the two calm with minimal vocals but constantly changing and becoming a bit more fast-paced before calming again. With nagi in the back, it’s pretty mesmerizing.
yanaginagi is at her yanaginagi-est (yanaginagi now a synonym for perfect) throughout. Picking some favourites out though… Kleinchen has a really nice ‘chorus’ and the break down near the end is really fantastic. Tabi no Owari is playful and fun. There’s a bit of a wub that sounds awkward and out of place at times but for the most part it kinda works with the song.
The album title track, Tachyon, is the star of the show though. Though compared to a lot of the other tracks, there’s a lot less experimenting with her vocals that sounds cool it is instead replaced by nagi just doing her thing and coming across with emotion and energy.
I’m such a sucker for this woman that it’s ridiculous but listen to her! She’s fanastic! And this album is just as expected, great through and through.
Riyoko feat. Silent Jazz Case – Cure☆Jazz
I keep coming across albums like these lately. I meant to do the Studio Tram ones before but maybe in the future. I’m more impressed with this one anyways.
The track list features some that are standard to anime remix/arrange albums like Sousei no Aquarion or Rinbu Revolution but hearing them arranged in such a fun way makes it a little less tiring. The latter is especially lively. Well, all tracks are but compared to the orginal. Almost disappointed they didn’t throw a Cruel Angel Thesis on here for good measure!
There are a few unexpected song choices here though. Love Destiny is one. I think I’ll always remember the beginning of that dang song for the rest of my life and hearing it here was really kind of nice. The actual song is pretty mediocre so there was only so much they could do with that.
DISCOTHEQUE was another unexpected choice but damned if it didn’t work. Probably one of my favourite tracks? It’s just so much fun to listen to. Hisoku no Sora is another favourite. They manage to keep the feeling of the original while infusing it with new life and spirit and the result is just so great. Same could be said of ETERNAL BLAZE though not to the extent of Hisoku no Sora.