Friday, June 8, 2007

Sakamoto Maaya - 30 Minutes Night Flight

(Originally 28 March 2007)

Jeff is right. 30 minutes night flight is the stand-out track. The rest are of a generally slower pacing, which isn't necessarily bad, except they don't really have any direction and no stand-out characteristics, leaving a flat and uninspired impression.

30 minutes starts quiet and atmospheric, and my immediate impression was that it was opening like Ulrich Schnauss in open ambiance. This was followed by the impression that it had transitioned into Utada Hikaru's Keep Tryin' opening with the addition of a bit of dissonant noise-like effects. The fog clears with a consonant flourish, and a guitar motif is introduced thereafter, rhythmic and insistent. Maaya's vocal line mirrors this motif in rhythm. The bridge leads into the chorus with a ramp in strength. Throughout the song every point has a smooth transition and subdued, shimmering intensity is pervasive.

At the outro, distant modulated voice enters, saying "30 minutes, night flight." The introduction of this and the synthesizer in the instrumental passage add to that kind of flighty, refreshing, transcendental feel that is simultaneously intimate. I couldn't imagine this representing a red-eye flight unless I was one of 10 people evenly distributed along the plane (and man, that red-eye flight was sold out). This song is too cozy to be shared with so many other passengers, especially screaming babies.

Maybe not such an excellent choice for a night flight, but night train, night drive? All perfectly acceptable.