Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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LookBack: Stereopony Music, Vol. 7

The pressure is on, and I am standing at a moonlit signpost…

I really wish that there was more distance between Smilife and Tsukiakari no Michisurube, because having two songs that I really like one after the other complicates matters. Well that, and being too spent and too distracted to write this earlier in the week, and coming down to the wire to write it now. Time to go to work.

As usual, I have to agree with my counterpart; the way the title track opens with Aimi’s guitar riffs building and everyone else coming in, is probably not Aimi’s doing but the work of an accomplished arranger is nonetheless cool. Hopefully, the moonlight off the signpost will shine its way for me as well as I try to get this article done in time for it to be proofread and hopefully published on time. Hopefully the song’s positive message of never giving up and pushing forward will help me as well. The song builds in the choruses, quiets down for the verses, only to power through the chorus and quiets down for the verses again. Granted, the only words from this song I even remember are “Kotae no nai mainichi ga” and “Tsukiakari no Michishirube”, but this song is firmly number two, and I would look forward to hearing it at their shows and the accompanying “Darker than Black” video that went with it. The series is sitting on my Netflix queue, and at some point I will make time to watch it. I just need to get through Go-Onger and Goseiger first. I have been bitten badly by the tokusatu bug and I cannot seem to shake it off…

Moving on, we have “Daidai Iro”. It has a very catchy tune, which again blends with Shiho’s meaningful lyrics. The lyrics to me, with talk about autumn skies and the chilly winds that accompany it, and the fact that “daidai” refers to both the color orange, suggest that this song was written about fall or during it. Even what Stereopony wears on the cover of the single suggests fall, with flannel blankets and light coats to stave off the cold winds that pierce your body as the temperature can’t yet decide where it wants to be. Both my colleagues agree the song deals with moving away and missing the memories and people you left behind, and suddenly realizing that both past and present are important. But as I have found, interpreting lyrics have not been my strong suit. Musically, Aimi’s voice conveys passion as always, and is always a pleasure to listen to, whatever song she may be singing. The minimal drum work from Shiho and guitar from Aimi allows the listener to focus on Aimi’s voice, which is never a bad thing.

Finally, we have “fuzz”, the second shortest song in Stereopony’s collection. My view is that Aimi was not hoarse when recording this song, it sounds more to me that her voice was distorted by someone on the audio board not paying close attention to Aimi’s levels. Aimi was probably hoarse afterwards, but not before. Ms. ButterflySparkle seems to think that the song was processed that way intentionally to convey the fuzz or fog from the title. The musical bridge between the two parts she says are supposed to be when we are making up our mind whether to chalk up our successes to fate or to declare proudly that hard work and determination are why we are where we are, and fate had nothing to do with it. There may only be a fine line between coincidence and fate, and in the case of Stereopony, luck and fate may have led to them being discovered, but it was their hard work and determination plus encouragement from their mentor Nagasone that put them into a position to be discovered. So from that perspective, you cannot ride fate like a train to your destination; if you work hard towards your dreams and push on even when it seems hopeless, fate will eventually take care of the rest. What fate has in store for Draft King and Aimi’s solo career is yet to be seen, but both are still working hard, waiting for fate to intervene and connect them with someone who can take them to the next chapter of their careers. Musically, Nohana’s bass carries through the musical bridge with help from Aimi and Shiho, only to power through the end of the song at a furious pace.

To me, the theme of never giving up and pushing forward is the only thing that holds this single together. The title track is good as always, and is the reason you buy the single. But “Daidai” and “fuzz” seem like they were added as a second thought just because they could not release the single with only one song on it. “Daidai Iro” is catchy, a fun listen, and well-put together by itself, but does not seem to fit. Likewise, “fuzz” has great energy and relates to the theme established by TnM, but ends so abruptly it leaves you wanting more. But as always, I have no way of factoring this into the review.

The pressure is on, and I am standing at a moonlit signpost... I really wish that there was more distance between Smilife and Tsukiakari no Michisurube, because having two songs that I really like one after the other complicates matters. Well that, and being too spent and too distracted to write this earlier in the week, and coming down to the wire to write it now. Time to go to work. As usual, I have to agree with my counterpart; the way the title track opens with Aimi's guitar riffs building and everyone else coming in, is probably not Aimi's…

Review Overview

Tsukiakari no Michishirube - 91%
Daidai Iro - 90%
fuzz - 85%

89%

Missing Something

To use a baseball analogy, Tsukiakari no Mitshishirube gets a lead-off hit with its title track but the next two songs fail to bring it home. The theme of never giving up and always pushing forward rings through with the lyrics, but its layout seems to be missing something. If there was a fourth, full length song before the instrumental, that might have solved the problem.

User Rating: 4.7 ( 2 votes)

Break Down

Break Down

Tsukiakari no Michishurube – 91%

Music – 98/100
Lyrics – 80/100
Vocals – 95/100
Overall execution – 91/100

Daidai Iro – 90%

Music – 98/100
Lyrics – 75/100
Vocals – 98/100
Overall execution – 90/100

fuzz – 85%

Music – 95/100
Lyrics – 70/100
Vocals – 90/100
Overall execution – 85/100

Final Score: 88%

About the author

Destonus is a Very Good Days member from Massachusetts. He moderates the Stereopony, Draft King, and AIMI discussions, the Music Discussion forum along with Dereko, and manages the Very Good Days Encyclopedia Project.
 

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