I haven’t written much about music in 2012 compared to years past, for whatever the reason. It’s kind of something in and out of my consciousness. I still listen to a fair share of it. Finally equipped with a multi-disc, mp3-capable CD player in the car, I have this rotation of music that seems to never end. It feels inadequate only if I count things by the album. Of course, I also don’t drive very much.
The truth is I’ve hit a snag in the workflow between the music and my ears. I do most of my exploratory listening either on youtube or on my phone while I’m out of the house. Youtube is pretty straightfoward and direct. Music on the phone is a trickier matter. Thing is, it’s too much of a pain in the butt to download music/rip the music, unpack it, check if it’s tagged right, tag it, rename the stuff, delete the added files I don’t want to put on my phone (like scans), and then copy it to my phone. Maybe I’m just lazy. I wonder how many albums/singles I can do in an hour.
For sake of simplicity I’ll just list a bunch of items, in bold:
By and far away Chihayafuru was my favorite soundtrack of the year. I asked Morio about it at an AX panel and he said he wanted something that’s modern and appeal to young people. I’m not sure if this was it but sure appealed to me!
I didn’t like the first CD, but the second soundtrack released for Last Exile: Fam hit the sweet spot. They were packaged just like the original Last Exile. I probably should finish watching this show huh…
Beyond “Her name is Koko, she is loco” I think Taku Iwasaki’s more world-music-influenced style simply fits the sort of story that is Jormungand. I guess I am also partial to his stuff, it’s just a lot of fun to listen to. It’s not as whacked as Ben-Tou, but it doesn’t have to be.
Tsuritama – Kuricorder Quartet does not disappoint. And what’s up, Sayonara Ponytails! I think them butchering a great song is rather appropriate and I think it’s a good thing for these post-modern weird bands to try such things. At any rate I appreciate Spitz double-teaming with Yuki (in Moyashimon S2 OP) for noitaminA nostalgia power hour.
Tari Tari Music Album – Yeah, I like it for the glee club crap, but otherwise it is thematically impressive, almost like Yoko Kanno’s Macross albums, minus the thick, moody feels. It’s just a seaside adolescence story here.
Aquarion EVOL doesn’t disappoint; it’s just as fun as the original Aquarion but with more refinements. It’s not all Yoko Kanno, but overall it works just the same.
Sakamichi no Apollon is not really worth mentioning for the name brand, but rather for the musicianship. I think I should at least give prop to a track labeled as “My Favorite Things~Someday My Prince Will Come~Moanin'” especially when it’s the emotional climax of the series, because, LOL. JOSEI ALRIGHTY. The OP and ED are p. nice.
How can we skip a Otani Kou soundtrack about a post-apocalyptic world? The last time he did something like Humanity Has Declined turned out to be one of anime’s best. Granted, this is as different as it gets. Ave Maria anyone?
The Sphere anime has another nijine piece, and you might know how I feel about his stuff. It makes Natsuiro Kiseki a lot of fun.
Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere – I skimmed through season 1’s offering, but somehow I’m liking season 2’s music a lot more. It’s just as “touhou”-y as I would expect, minus the mysterious “eastern” feels. Instead it’s more like… I don’t know, I like the mix of electronic-y style in there.
There’s something in ClariS’s Birthday album. I suspect it’s MDMA for your ears. Also, my face when I heard this while combing Natsuko Aso’s discography.
She’s right–there’s just a lot more misses in Kajiura’s work lately.
The sound to Eureka 7 Ao is pretty okay, typical of what you’d expect. But I prefer Zetsuen no Tempest a bit more, and I guess that reflects on who writes it. Not sure if it’s a meaningful comparison LOL.
Having Ano Natsu de Matteru around goes to show that them I’ve Sounds guys still have the same sound, if they wanted it. Sign and Vidro Muryo are both pretty good.
Rinne no Lagrange – Marble is delightful.
I like Sword Art Online OP1, but it’s more because of LiSA than the power pop arrangement. I think LiSA really did well this year as far as winning wota hearts and wallets are concerned. Her AFA show was super good, and this is from someone watching it via Niconama.
Aya Hirano’s new album has that Pizza song on it, and I love that song. I don’t know.
If this year is the year of idol pop groups invading my anime, then StylipS is doing it right. I think none of their songs may chart on my personal list but Saki Achiga-hen OP Miracle Rush is pretty damn close.
I can count the number of Chihara Minori songs I like on one hand, but she’s got one this year in Oniai OP, Self Producer. The iM@S tie-in from the anime helps, probably.
Speaking of doing it right, Momoiro Clover Z is probably doing the most-right-eous out of them all. Besides Mouretsu Pirates (which has a pretty old school soundtrack too, including that Black Holy track–it’s even titled old school no less), Joshiraku’s tie-in with Yoshida Bros is a lot of fun.
The other ham-fisted drivel adaptation involving online gaming–err I mean Accel World to be specific–has a Sat x KOTOKO product, and I really like it. It probably helps to see it live hurhurhur. Speaking of Sat, that Decade track is pretty okay, as uh, hammy as it is.
Platinum Disco (Nisemonogatari) is no Renai Circulation. Sweets Parade (Inu x Boku SS) is no Renai Circulation, but it’s bull’s eye for Kana Hanazawa. She even goes peropero in it… Happy Ending (Zetsuen no Tempest) is no Renai Circulation either, although that one feels a little closer than the others.
Generic-template Kurinoko songs are okay in my book, but sign was a sign for her untapped potential at doing this pop stuff. She ought to do more…different. Certainly soothes the ear better than Koda Kumi’s OP in Muv-luv Alternative: Total Eclipse.
And, of course, there was iM@S.
Bonus: Do we count Guilty Crown original soundtrack as 2012? How about Penguindrum’s ARB cover album?
Next up: Loving live for you!
PS. No sharks in this post, sorry.
PPS. Last year I did a “select” playlist for 2011’s remarkable themes. I guess I wanted to do the same for 2012, so I did. Note that there’s no copy of the full thing on Youtube for some songs, so if you wanted you’ll have to assemble the whole thing on your own. The track listing (and where to find it) are:
- Kokoro no Senritsu (#6 ED version) – Tari Tari (Music Album)
- INSIDE IDENTITY – Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai (ED single…or the OP single has a rroooocckkking cover that is 100% times better)
- Mōretsu Uchuu Koukyoukyoku – Dai-Shichi Gakushou ‘Mugen no Ai’ – Mouretsu Pirates (OP single)
- Vidro Moyou – Ano Natsu de Matteru (ED single)
- Kaoru & Sentaro Duo in BUNKASAI (Medley “My Faorite Things~Someday My Prince will Come~Moanin'”) – Sakamichi no Apollon (OST)
- Wareta Ringo – Shinsekai Yori (ED single comes out 1/26 I think, so this is just the TV cut from the OST)
- Requiem – Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (It came with a DVD/BD I think, there’s a single that has it but probably not sold separately)
- Enter Enter MISSION – Girls und Panzer (ED single)
- →unfinished→ – Accel World (ED1 single)
- SELF PRODUCER – Oniai (ED single)
- signs ~Sakutsuki Ichiya~ – Muv-luv Alternative: Total Eclipse (ED1 single)
- Above your hand – Sankarea (ED single)
Year in review 2012: