After a long time waiting and hunting on the internet, I have at last landed my paws on Flow’s newest album, released end of March. If Flow wants to combat piracy, they sure are doing a good job of it. But now that I have the album, I thought I shall dedicate this entry to a review of the individual songs.
1. Introduction -collage-
My instrumental senses are pretty bad, so if this is a collage, I don’t know what it is a collage of. The tune definitely sounds like a mish-mash of things, but whether they’re a mish-mash of all the songs in the album requires some re-listens to determine. That said, it itself is pretty good.
2. Ai Ai Ai ni Utarete Bye Bye Bye
Supposedly the all-star of this album. This song is the latest single and also the opening of the anime Samurai Flamenco. I can’t say it’s bad. It’s funky and fast, but I don’t see it as anything particularly new. It’s pretty expected Flow things, which is sometimes the drawback of anime songs.
Pretty easy to sing along, though.
3. Senkou no Uta
It starts off with some solid rapping, followed by a promising leading guitar riff, then some solid singing. The chorus kinda gets me. It’s not epic, but it shows off their singing skills adequately. It’s overall an adequate song, and when compared to Ai Ai Ai I do prefer this one.
The beginning sounded like it was going to be generic, then the chorus came and I liked it. The chorus has 1 part that reminds me of the first line of Junjou Spectra by Zwei. Which I like. Therefore this song is nice.
Objectively speaking, though, the song is a bit messy with not much of a real focus on what mood it wants to exude. That, and the song name reminds me of something much spookier, but this seems to be a normal concert feel-good song.
5. Love Sera
The song name was messed up on my computer, but I think this is the name.
By this point in the album, I’ve grown just a tad bored of screaming songs, which this brings another dose of. Nothing good about this song, not even the chorus.
6. Smile Smile Smile
Ahhh! A refreshing change to the album! Most people would know that I like slower songs, where the vocalists’ voices are clear and non-screamy. Smile Smile Smile, being an optimistic song like its name suggests, is bright and cheery.
“You make me smile smile smile” is the trademark line of their chorus, and that is probably the best part of the song. That, and Keigo trying to sound cheery, which he does a better job of than Kohshi.
7. Tokonatsu Endless -album version-
What the album version brings to the table is a strange out-of-place piano instrumental at the beginning. I don’t expect any more from album versions of singles though.
Tokonatsu Endless is the other single featured in this album, and in some ways it is arguably more anime-ish than Ai Ai Ai. It is generic, but when have Flow’s generic songs ever been bad? Anything that lets Kohshi sing ridiculously high notes cannot be bad!
8. GLORY DAYS
There is a part of this song that is nice, which is towards the halfway point of their chorus. I can’t describe it, but I like when vocalists sing gradually low notes and then steep up again. That adds a cheery feeling to the song. Other than that there’s nothing to set this song apart from any other rock song.
Any song that allows Kohshi to expend his singing prowess right from the first line is a great song in my book.
10. Interlude -departure-
I… really don’t know what to make of this. This sounds like some short clip recorded in the streets of India with a croaky old man.
This is one of the rare songs where I like the background instrumental more than the vocals. I find that the vocals were too generic and destroyed the Oriental feel of the instrumental. Maybe I was sensitised to the background instrumental because of the previous Indian-seeming track. It must have been a prime!
12. Mata au Hi Made
My track had 2 misleading titles. One was “mata au hi made” and the other was “mata au nichi made”. It’s explained by the fact that the Japanese character for “hi” and “nichi” are the same, but listening to the first line fortunately clarifies that “hi” is correct.
My favourite part of this song is the middle when Keigo basically spews single words without any variation in tone. Somehow such elements feel right at home in Flow songs.
This is the last song in the album, and usually I hold high expectations for songs placed last. This one did not disappoint at the start, where it promised to be epic.
However, I’m really irked by the strange rapping that belongs to neither Kohshi nor Keigo. Maybe research will tell me who did it, and what it’s for, but rapping tends to break the flow of the song.
And then the monologues irked me more. It felt like this song was supposed to fit some kind of TV drama that I’ve been left out of the loop for. Perhaps if I understood Japanese I could understand the monologue raps better, but right now they’re just nonsensical rambling. So hmmm, I think Someday would fit better as the last song.
14. Conclusion -pride-
The instrumental version of the previous song, with some electronic elements. I’d say this is much better than the actual song itself and deserves to be background music for some IT commercial. Bravo!
Aaaand my analysis has ended. What do you agree with? What don’t you? Would you want to give the album a try now?