The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

San

Artist: Kagrra,
Album: San
Musicians: Isshi (vocals), Akiya (guitar), Shin (guitar), Nao (bass), Izumi (drums)
Composer/Lyricist:
Release Date: 20 Jul 2005

San – Kagrra,
Tracklisting:

01. Murakumo
02. Gen’ei no Katachi (San remix)
03. Ibitsu
04. Oni o Awaremu Uta
05. Satsuki
06. Boufura
07. Omou (San remix)
08. Meguru
09. Izanai no Jukai
10. Himitsu
11. Sarasouju no Komoriuta (San remix)
12. Arishi Hi no Bishou

*Bold titles – recommended listening.

San

OVERVIEW

San is Kagrra,‘s second full album since joining a major label and gaining a comma. It also shows us just why Kagrra, should make more full-length albums. Every song on here is good – which makes it really difficult to choose the Bad – and there are a number of songs that are just amazing. On this album, Kagrra, experiments with a lot of different sounds, varying from a heavy bass sound with “Oni o Awaremu Uta” to a full-out heavy sound with “Izanai no Jukai.” Each song is consistently original and interesting. Kagrra, continually amazes me with their talent at weaving intricate and unique melodies, creating music that is distinctly Japanese but easily engaging to everyone. San is a perfect example of this talent.

THE GOOD

Satsuki
“Satsuki” is the best song on the album, and one of the best songs Kagrra, has put out, with or without the comma. Again they show off their ability to compose beautiful, intricate melodies using a lot of different instruments. Isshi’s piercing vocals convey the aching loneliness of the lyrics perfectly. Dancing effortlessly from a low tone into a gorgeous falsetto, his voice and the instruments weave a bittersweet melody, backed by a strong beat on the drums and a solid bass line. “Satsuki” is the song I play to my friends to get them interested in Kagrra,, and it hasn’t failed me yet.

Sarasouju no Komoriuta
“Komoriuta” is Japanese for “lullaby,” and this is the perfect name for “Sarasouju no Komoriuta.” This song has such a sweet, lilting melody and a rocking rhythm that you probably could put children to bed with it. Of course, the song is about slipping peacefully into death, comforted by warm memories of being rocked to sleep. But what the kids don’t know won’t hurt them. “Sarasouju no Komoriuta” is another masterpiece for Kagrra,. The beautiful melody stays peaceful until it nears the end, where it builds into the climax in which Isshi throws himself into singing a short, wordless finale. “Sarasouju no Komoriuta” is Kagrra, at their most gorgeous.

Boufura
“Boufura” marks a complete shift in style from most of the other songs on this album. There is little of the intricate instrumentals that Kagrra, is so skilled at wielding. Instead, they use unique rhythms, harmonization, and the balance of deep guitar chords and Isshi’s falsetto to captivate us. For most of the song, Isshi sings acapella, backed only by drums and a few heavy bass chords. “Boufura” is all about showcasing Isshi’s talent, and he doesn’t let us down. You’d have to look extremely hard to find any flaw in his voice. “Boufura” proves their ability to successfully branch off and experiment with different sounds and styles.

THE BAD

Himitsu
This song isn’t actually that bad, even though it’s down here in the “Bad” section. Beginning with a complicated riff handled by Shin, Nao, and Akiya, “Himitsu” then launches into a groove with the vocals. Isshi sticks to the lower range for the melody, leaving his falsetto for the harmony. This is another unique piece, sounding completely different from any of their previous songs. But the major negative point for this song is its proximity to “Sarasouju no Komoriuta,” which is such an outstanding song that I usually ended up skipping past “Himitsu” to get to it. “Himitsu” is one of the least memorable songs on the album.

The Rating: 10
10/10

Reviewed by: dheu

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