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OverView: Stereopony Music, Vol. 8

The cherry blossoms are just an excuse

“Split in two” is literally what “Hanbunko” means when translated to English. Stereopony’s sixth single leading track is a cover of one of Bivattchee’s most popular songs, and also marks the first half of all of Stereopony’s releases, which totals to 16 records, including their “Best Of Stereopony”. Had the girls known this beforehand, I don’t think they would have chosen another song to make or to cover that would fit as perfectly as this one had. Habunko hit the stores on February 17th, 2010, three months after Tsukiakari, bringing not only an improved version of Bivattchee’s song, but also NOHANA’s debut as a lyricist.

Tracklist

1. Hanbunko
2. cherry my…
3. Dreamin’
4. Hanbunko ~Instrumental~

I believe “Habunko” was Stepo’s only cover song to ever be released as a single; I don’t remember reading anything about why they decided to do that. I’m not saying it was a bad decision either, just to clear things up, considering this is another one of my favorite songs to sing along to, because I’m lame like that. If only I knew AIMI personally, she would not have to go alone (or with her mom only) to karaoke sessions anymore! Jokes aside, “Hanbunko” is a pretty great song in general, and I genuinely believe Stereopony only made it better. Admittedly, I have only come in contact with Bivattchee’s version on YouTube, in which they are singing it at a live house. However, I think AIMI’s vocals suit the song better, given the lyrics and the general feeling. So, I believe this version’s highlight is truly AIMI’s vocals – strong and full of energy – I love how well executed it is and all the positive vibes it brings. Lyrics wise, “Hanbunko” follows the theme of love and romantic relationships by talking about lovers longing to reunite again after a fight, or an argument. Using the term “soulmates” to describe the lovers in question seems appropriate. So, with an overpowering feeling of love, this single is up to a great start.

Turns out that “cherry my…” doesn’t deviate from the theme. Being a song about young love, Spring time, and the passage of seasons, it follows the same hopeful tone that “Hanbunko” set when talking about the possibility of love. Musically, it feels kind of a mix between “Nagareboshi” and “Daidai Iro”, but as I don’t understand much about music, this is just the impression it left on me. SHIHO’s well placed drum hits set the pace, along with AIMI’s ever pleasant vocals. Lyrics wise, I must confess that I didn’t get what AIMI was trying to say at first, so I had to resort to ButterflySparkle’s interpretation of the song for help. And that’s the only downside I can think of. Overall this is a good song, – I’m uncertain about labeling it a ballad – so I think it is justified they brought it back for the second album.

Lastly, we have “Dreamin’”, NOHANA’s first attempt at writing lyrics. Sometimes I think that maybe “Dreamin’” should have been named “Runnin’”, because the uplifting tune makes me want to go for a run around the park. Contrary to the previous two, “Dreamin’” is actually about facing reality through an optimistic perspective; and as the song title gives away, it talks about the wish of a prosper future, how sometimes we just need to dust off our knees, dry up our tears, and keep moving ahead. Typical of NOHANA’s attitude towards life. Musically, its fast paced, heavily guitar featured tune works well with AIMI’s vocals, giving the song an overall cheerful feeling. My only regret about this song is the fact that they cut it off Stepo’s Final Live for some reason, and even though I most probably will never get answers, I keep asking myself why.

In conclusion, Hanbunko is an excellent single, following two previous great releases. As I have nothing else to add, let me just express my sadness that they not only cut “Dreamin’”s performance from Stepo’s Final Live DVD, but the girls also chose not to include it on their full album, making it an under-appreciated and not-so-well-known song among regular fans, instead of getting the recognition it deserves.

The cherry blossoms are just an excuse "Split in two” is literally what “Hanbunko” means when translated to English. Stereopony’s sixth single leading track is a cover of one of Bivattchee’s most popular songs, and also marks the first half of all of Stereopony’s releases, which totals to 16 records, including their “Best Of Stereopony”. Had the girls known this beforehand, I don’t think they would have chosen another song to make or to cover that would fit as perfectly as this one had. Habunko hit the stores on February 17th, 2010, three months after Tsukiakari, bringing not only an…

Review Overview

Hanbunko - 97%
cherry my... - 95%
Dreamin' - 97%

96%

Awesome!

Stereopony’s sixth single sounds great, following two previous strong releases. Ironically, it also marks the first half of all of Stereopony’s releases, with its leading track literally meaning “split in two”.

User Rating: 5 ( 1 votes)

Break Down

Break Down

Hanbunko – 97%

Music – 97/100
Lyrics – 97/100
Vocals – 96/100
Overall execution – 98/100

cherry my… – 95%

Music – 96/100
Lyrics – 93/100
Vocals – 95/100
Overall execution – 96/100

Dreamin’ – 97%

Music – 97/100
Lyrics – 96/100
Vocals – 96/100
Overall execution – 98/100

About the author

wannasalad is a Very Good Days member from Brazil. Her “OverView: Stereopony Music” feature is published every Monday, starting at the beginning of September 2013 and going until the end of December 2013.
 

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