Thursday, June 21, 2007

KOTOKO - Kirei na Senritsu single (title track)

Kirei na Senritsu, second ED to the MariMite OVA, is one of those uplifting, tender tracks that's too quick to be a ballad. In the opening bars, with only piano and strings, it's quite possible that it could have been a slow paced love song, and the lyrics (partial translation) do lead you on if only you could understand them, but the instrumental break gives no doubt that you are on familiar I've Sound territory. Incidentally, KOTOKO is not the composer for either of the two songs, although she might have had some input in the creative process.

Epic-ness is striven for with strong bass and an upper-range line in xylophone, but fails to transcend the ordinary. What would have been nice is if chimes were used to carry the line. It's hard not to feel empowered at the sound of chimes ringing out, especially with this kind of song. Using chimes over something sparkly like a xylophone is also in keeping with the setting of the series. A harpsichord or clavichord, recognizable as sounding like a piano with plucked strings, makes an appearance, so why not chimes?

KOTOKO's voice sounds a bit strained (but not on YouTube, where the high-frequencies tend to be rounded off), and in the parts where there is little accompaniment it is particularly noticeable. This stands in contrast to the B-side, wherein she returns to her usual tone. I don't think it's a question of register but more of trying (too hard) to inject emotion. The effort is noted, although it sounds out of place.

To me, the song speaks of bittersweet wistfulness more than raw emotion. The drum claps in the verse passage are like echoes in time; the melody is free-flowing in line and rhythm, lost in thought. It's too bad that it's all cut short with the unconventional decision to only have one main verse.