CD Shopping List: May 2012

It has been forever since I did one of these. So, just a list of things to talk about–some I ordered, some I physically have, some I am thinking about of ordering. Some links with CDJ affiliated codes.

Third Planet – One thing that I like a lot about Sphere is their ability to put out an okay-sounding album despite being a gaggle of seiyuu idols that on paper didn’t seem like that they could. The two previous releases were so-so on average but they do grow on you, as opposed to a lot of the idol stuff that I just find outright repulsive and at best indifferent. I haven’t been excited about any Sphere singles since Now Loading Sky, so I’m going into it with a lot of caution. Hazy is probably the only bright spot for me. And just like last time, I’m going for the middle-tier instead of those crazy expensive sets.

The iDOLM@STER crap – Speaking of repulsive… I’m probably equally repulsed at my desire to purchase them and the quality of the music itself. I am able to keep my spending at bay largely because the two forces balance out each other. It’s not like there aren’t any iM@S music that is worth listening to, it’s just by and large this is not the case. If broducers out there think otherwise, I apologize, but I have no illusions. That said, comparatively speaking, the iM@S stuff at least have good production value. Between the DLCs and the sparse amount of music for purchase (often packaged in that low-value, suck-you-dry methods) I’ll probably buy very little. Also, I’m not really hooked into the marketing train for this and I don’t really keep track what is coming out besides the G4U discs and the DLCs.

Sakamichi no Apollon OST – I love the soundtrack. This is like what I wished Bebop would have been. White people jazz, man. The real question is, given how Watanabe and Kanno obviously know they can make good scratch from the music (and half of it are just improvs of existing songs!), how will they do it? A splashy web site just for the soundtracks? It’s really telling when they barely have that info in the “music” tab, leaving you to ponder if it’s worth buying Yuki’s single, more because of the trumpet solo and being penned by Kanno, instead of her signature screech. At least they’re giving some props to the drummer and pianist responsible for the in-anime pieces, which is great. I think the breakdown is that Kanno plays the keys for her compositions and Matsunaga Takashi plays the jazz standards. And what is up with that outtakes thing?

Red Planet – So from earth we go to mars, and Akino Arai is always a trustworthy source of moody stuff. This one reaches way back to Aria S3? I was never a fan of hers but I always thought highly of her music, so this is like, the one opportunity for purchase I probably shouldn’t pass up.

Owari no Wakusei no Love Song – Anyone like this? On paper this sounds like audio gold, but when I tried out the PVs none of them were particularly interesting. Seemed pretty much a waste of Nagi’s big guns. Nonetheless I am still kind of interested.

IA/01 – BIRTH – Speaking of weird things, I picked up that IA album. I mean, just in general: LIA in a can? That’s like, a chicken that lays golden goose eggs. And now you get this 4-disc set with a set of 2-disc IA mixes (half of it is just like your average vocaloid dance pump), a demo of IA, and then a disc of data from that delicious PV from Hosogane Takuya? This is good bang for the buck.

Birthday – ClariS’s first real album is just mostly a singles collection. Out of the new tracks there was one that I liked. But overall this is pretty solid dancy pop stuff that I can listen to for a long time. I like to think of tiny hats, partly because of this man, but more because it sums up the feeling when you listen to this crap. I think this album marks a precious moment in time in which this perfectly 2.5D mystery 2-person group captures the imagination of a bunch of people despite being nothing really extraordinary in themselves. Things can only go downhill from here, I think.

Aquarion EVOL OST – This is on the horizon, and it reads like the same Macross Frontier nonsense that Kanno and Kawamori cooked up back then–a bunch of vocal songs along with background tracks here and there. BLESS4 should provide eerie equivalence in terms of the approach to vocals as Mamegu and May’n–the FULL POWER TO ENGINES approach–except that there are dudes in the group, and that would be pretty cool for a change.

Petit Pas – This is more like a semi-mini-album with its play time, but it’s surprisingly good. I guess I went into it expecting the abyss, and it ended up being okay. It’s still a case where the voice is holding back the music more often than it is helping the music, I’m afraid. Maybe next time Aoi-chan. Actually this is kind of how I feel about both Hoshizora Destination and Sinfonia Sinfonia, except the former has pretty decent sounds thanks to Round Table-ness, working well with that sweet moe koe.

That Tell Your World single? It’s actually pretty good, which would explain how well it sold, Google ad not withstanding.

The two Chihayafuru OSTs are terrific. On one hand the tracks run the range necessary for a show that is quite exaggerated with both comedy and tension, on the other hand there’s this classy feel that the sound tries to maintain, making you feel all… 100 poets and what not the whole time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s still pretty good. It’s definitely one of the best, among solid, traditionally themed anime soundtrack available that I liked, in recent years.

Perhaps the most disappointed thing I heard lately is Artery Vein. In a way I didn’t expected much about it going in, as someone who never was quite wowed by Mingosu’s vocals; I didn’t come out with a better impression. I think KitaEri did admirably but the two together did not scratch any kind of itch. To put it in perspective though, it is still quite good for “seiyuu music.” I think the potential is there, they just need to get someone to write something good.

That’s it for now. There are probably some stuff that I left out, but oh well.

5 Responses to “CD Shopping List: May 2012”

  • chikorita157

    Talking about Idolmaster CDs, I brought three of them several months ago, in particular the Animation Master ones. Most of the songs are good, but there are so many CDs they release that it’s hard to keep track. Now they are apparently releasing the Specials for the Animation Masters… Not sure I’m going to get them since I haven’t gotten SP Missing Moon yet and I spent money on Pokemon Back 2.

    As for the Cinderella Girls CDs, they aren’t my thing… but I can’t let spending drain my wallet though.

    • omo

      There are way too many, yea. The Animation Master CDs are good buys if they released a trim-down version and just bundle them together, but I guess it works as a complete collection sort of thing as well as is.

    • DiGiKerot

      Yeah, the Cinderella Girls CDs dive a little too far into the generic Akiba-kei/anisong for my tastes, to the point where you can pretty much tell which artists/producers they were intending to mimick for each CD. They sold well due to the Cinderella Girls unlock codes more than the actual quality of the music.

      I don’t actually think the Animation Master CDs are that bad in terms of value, though at the same time, there’s generally only three or four songs I like on each one. Well, maybe that’d be more if I didn’t already have the character CDs they pulled a lot of the tracks from, though that’s a problem in itself – for the 765Pro Allstars tracks, the older releases tend to have far better vocal arrangements than the versions used in the show. I kind of think they killed i by throwing too many simultaneous voicetracks on it compared to the version on the old Kotori single.

      The Animation Master Special CDs are really just stealth character singles based around the fact that they’ve not released any of the iM@S2 DLC songs on CD yet, as opposed to anything from the actual show. They might be a bit more interesting if they pick good cover songs, though.

      (This post makes me feel bad about the fact that about 80% of what I listen to at the moment is iM@S music, though even then my general playlist is only about 50 tracks long…)

  • dm00

    For Sakamichi no Apollon just cut out the middleman.

    Didn’t catch episode two. And I’m only just starting episode four now. Ah, doesn’t have the song, but has the critical cover (for the song, just look for “Bill Evans But not for me” — a good title for the situation in the show, I think). Also.

    • omo

      I think there are no reason why you can’t get those along with the soundtracks. Jazz standards also go on sale at various places all the time, and you can score them used for even less. For the record all the tracks I like off the OST are “originals.” A couple of them are improvs–coon music and all.

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