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OverView: Stereopony Music, Vol. 9

Our tears and pain will become the power that supports our future

Stereopony’s seventh single – OVER DRIVE –, hit stores just a couple of months after Hanbunko, on the 12th of May. This single was also their second release in 2010, with its leading track “OVER DRIVE” coming out as an opening theme for the Japanese drama “Pro Golfer Hana” and only adding to the reasons that made 2010 a great year for Sterepony in many ways. AIMI takes credit for all the songs, except from “Yume”’s lyrics, which goes to SHIHO.

Tracklist:

1. OVER DRIVE
2. Yume
3. Niji Bashi
4. OVER DRIVE ~Instrumental~

Honestly, “OVER DRIVE” feels much like going for a summer road trip or a quick visit to the beach, just like they portrayed in the music video. There is no other way I could describe it, really. And I struggled a lot to reach this conclusion! *laughs* Now seriously, I think “OVER DRIVE” is a good song to enjoy lazily during spare time. Its music arrangement feels light yet dynamic, switching from light finger-picking to a more dynamic sound with SHIHO’s rapid drumming at the chorus. AIMI’s vocals accompany well the rhythm, only adding to the song’s overall feeling. On the other hand, the lyrics are not as calm as the aforementioned summer day, but rather agitated, leaning more towards an anxious/yearning angle. Speaking of “beginnings” and about going for your dreams with all you have, the emphasis is put on the journey to achieve a previously-set goal, all the while running on great energy to do so. This is a song that, in my opinion, effectively speaks to our deepest desires of fulfilling our dreams.

Coming in second, “Yume” tries to follow the same steps walked by “OVER DRIVE” in terms of showing the same music structure I have already mentioned: light finger-picking tune combined with energetic drumming in the chorus. Somehow it does not work as well as I think they had imagined. “Yume” has a sad, slow vibe to it, partially because of its lyrics and AIMI’s performance. The lyrics talk about being lost and feeling at times weak or demotivated to find a way back to… someone? Somewhere? I don’t know exactly, but I assume it talks about finding a way back to the path that would eventually lead them to fulfilling their dreams. There is obviously nothing wrong with writing about feelings, whatever they may be, but to listen to such a slow song after “OVER DRIVE” feels much like taking a warm bath and realizing that all of a sudden the temperature in the water dropped a few degrees. And the vocals? Well, I just think there was something lacking. Needless to say, it is evident that, in my opinion, this is one of the weakest songs Stereopony ever made, which is not something they did very often (thankfully).

This brings us to the third and last song. “Niji Bashi”.

How frustrating is it that they were capable of putting one of their weakest songs ever together in the same Single as one of your all-time favorite?! I just cannot deal with that! Every time – no matter how long I’ve been gone without listening to their songs – the Rainbow Bridge song starts playing I’m automatically put in a good mood. Seriously, this is the song that gets me up and going (and probably attempting some air drumming) just by listening to its rocking intro. Everything about it is great. Starting with the music: AIMI’s strong guitar presence, NOHANA’s well pronounced bass (which helps “grounding” the sound) and, finally, SHIHO’s energetic drumming. Everything you could wish for in a good rock tune is present here. The lyrics are meant to encourage and empower anyone listening to it, questioning us about what stands in the way of achieving something. Is it society as a whole? Is it the people around us? No matter what, we should believe in ourselves and go get it. I can only imagine how amazing it would be to be able to feel this song live, because it has such a great energy to it. AIMI’s vocals only make it better, and that’s not even talking about how wonderful she sounds live.

All in all, this is a problematic release because I still cannot comprehend how Stepo managed to get my favorite song in the same single as my least favorite. To be fair, “Niji Bashi” feels so different to the other two songs, that maybe I should start asking myself how it even got there instead of wondering about “Yume” and poor choices.

Our tears and pain will become the power that supports our future Stereopony’s seventh single – OVER DRIVE –, hit stores just a couple of months after Hanbunko, on the 12th of May. This single was also their second release in 2010, with its leading track “OVER DRIVE” coming out as an opening theme for the Japanese drama “Pro Golfer Hana” and only adding to the reasons that made 2010 a great year for Sterepony in many ways. AIMI takes credit for all the songs, except from “Yume”’s lyrics, which goes to SHIHO. Tracklist: 1. OVER DRIVE 2. Yume 3.…

Review Overview

OVER DRIVE - 93%
Yume - 81%
Niji Bashi - 98%

91%

HOW?!

Stereopony’s seventh single managed to showcase their best and their worst work in the same release and I’m still perplexed by this feat.

User Rating: 4.95 ( 2 votes)

Break Down

Break Down

OVER DRIVE – 93%

Music – 90/100
Lyrics – 93/100
Vocals – 93/100
Overall execution – 94/100

Yume – 81%

Music – 80/100
Lyrics – 83/100
Vocals – 81/100
Overall execution – 80/100

Niji Bashi – 98%

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

About the author

wannasalad is a Very Good Days member from Brazil. She manages the Very Good Days’ Tumblr account along with Dereko, co-manages the Facebook and Twitter accounts and is involved in The Encyclopedia Project along with Destonus.
 

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