Tuesday, January 23, 2018
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LookBack: Stereopony Music, Vol. 11

Three and a half songs left to cover? With so many repeats, maybe we should have done this one in one go…

Since “cherry my…” and “Hanbunko” have already been covered previously, it is time to start the drum and base lines and start jumping up and down as we fast forward to one of Aimi’s favorite songs to play live, “Hoshikizu Kantera”. Unfortunately, my lack of coordination and wanting to enjoy the concert took over whenever they did this live. A very fun song with great energy, it reminds us that those that do not hesitate are born with the stardust torch to light the way for everyone else, further reminding us not to linger at the top of the proverbial slide and to just go and enjoy the ride. Although in Stereopony’s case, Aimi and Nohana would be leading the ways with the torches, Shiho to me seems a little too mellow and might need a few drinks first before she’s on board.

To be honest, I had no clue what “100 Pararhythms” was supposed to mean; I always assumed it had some musical connotation to how the song was paced, unlike my counterpart who believed it was about daily routines, only to find out we both were wrong and it is actually a love song that is not about the drama of relationships, but as my colleague puts it, a nonchalant look at infatuation. So the song is either “How do I love thee, let me count the ways, all 100 of them” or “100 things I like about you.” A song that talks about being unable to get the face of their crush out of their head or debating how to respond to a text with them the right way, which reminds me of a situation that I once wrote about in one of my stories, where one of my female characters recieved a text from one of the male characters asking to meet for coffee and unsure what to do, asks one of the other females if she should say yes, who very nonchalantly reminds her that a boy asked her out, so obviously the answer is yes! But I still like Aimi’s other song about infatuation, “Seishun ni, sono Namida ga Hitsuyou Da!”, mostly because of the girl’s overreactions to her crush in the PV, from ducking into a corner to avoid him seeing her to her photo-bombing her own picture so that she can have a picture with him. The only normal thing she does is space out thinking about her crush so deeply that she doesn’t notice her friends have pulled out her ear-buds and are listening to her music. For such nonchalant lyrics, “100 Para” has a great deal of energy in some places, although the most interesting part is the dead stop just before the end, only for Aimi to come back and finish the song. So they get some extra points for that.

Finally, we get “Sakune”, this album’s ballad. The acoustic and light drumming are great, and always, Aimi’s voice lends itself to these kinds of songs. Penned by Shiho, it talks about never giving up and to believe in oneself. There is not much to say about this one, except for the hidden acoustic song dedicated to Stereopony’s fans by Aimi. It was a nice touch, but it should have been a separate hidden track, rather than hidden inside the last track. A song that sounds half like Stereopony and half like Home Made Kazoku. The lyrics as usual go in fifty different directions and were probably chosen just for the pacing of the song. I like surprises as much as anyone, but thinking your mp3 player or car stereo is broken because “Sakune” ends and there is a 3-4 minute delay before the acoustic song and THEN it goes to the next song is not fun. For that reason, even before I knew about the hidden track, I deleted it simply because of how they hid it on the CD.

My counterpart says that the second half of the album does not disappoint, but I can only partially agree with her. Yes, with “Hanbunko” and “OVERDRIVE” included, the second half does not disappoint. But with only the three and a half songs by themselves, and this is only because the half song may have led to replacement music devices, it barely gets by.

OVER THE BORDER is the only album I have autographed by Stereopony, so it is special in that regard. It also has many of my favorite singles of all time on it, something I mentioned in the first half of this review. It has many songs unique to the album that are also very good, despite a few misses. I said I liked three out of the five, on the first half, but it should only really be four out of the five since “Tomodaichi no Kobito”‘s placement was wrong. The same is true of the second half, the only thing that brings it down is having the acoustic song hidden in an existing track rather than having it as a seperate but unlisted track. So this album ends on a high note, one which will continue into their next single for me, since it will finally be time to talk about Chisana Mahou and how I met Stereopony for the first time, before we get to singles I do not necessarily dislike, but have strong opinions on.

Three and a half songs left to cover? With so many repeats, maybe we should have done this one in one go... Since "cherry my..." and "Hanbunko" have already been covered previously, it is time to start the drum and base lines and start jumping up and down as we fast forward to one of Aimi's favorite songs to play live, "Hoshikizu Kantera". Unfortunately, my lack of coordination and wanting to enjoy the concert took over whenever they did this live. A very fun song with great energy, it reminds us that those that do not hesitate are born with…

Review Overview

Hoshikuzu Kantera - 87%
100 Pararhythms - 92%
Sakune - 93%
Acoustic Song - 82%

89%

OVER THE BORDER's second half has good songs, but the unusual placement of the bonus track irks the author to no end. The album's songs minus the singles as with Hydrangea ga Saiteru could stand on its own. Once again, Stereopony does not disappoint with its actual songs, but the placement and choice to hide a track within a track are what the author does not like about this album.

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Hoshikuzu Kantera – 90%

Music – 90/100
Lyrics – 90/100
Vocals – 90/100
Overall execution – 87/100

100 Pararhythms – 92%

Music – 95/100
Lyrics – 90/100
Vocals – 90/100
Overall execution – 92/100

Sakune – 93%

Music – 95/100
Lyrics – 90/100
Vocals – 95/100
Overall execution – 93/100

Acoustic Song – 82%

Music- 95/100
Lyrics – 70/100
Vocals – 80/100
Overall execution – 82/100

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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