Listen Back 10-07-10


Another week has apparently flown by, and it's already time for another look back at what the Japanator slaves, er, staff, have been listening to lately!

Things seem a little on the poppy and anime-ish side this week, except for Colette's picks. Which is, well, let's just say it's bit out of character. I wonder who could have led her astray?

Anyway, hit the jump and crank it up. What have you been listening to?

Colette Bennett

Vola and the Oriental Machine

Well, I basically took the Zac Bentz recommendation week this week. All I listened to was Vola and the Machine, like, all week long. "Thank You My Force" basically was my theme song, which means that I drove around in my car blasting it at full volume and making people stare at me like I was completely nuts.


I also fell majorly in love with Protoscience. Why? Because I was reading Zac's Best Albums of 2010 (So Far) feature and looking up the bands I didn't look up yet. And I fell head over heels for these guys.

To sum up, Zac Bentz: the only reason why I listen to anything decent other than j-boy bands.

Mike LeChevallier

Etsuko Yakushimaru

If you happened to read my review of the first episode of Bridge x Bridge in Annotated Anime this week, you'll know I was quite fond it. One of the aspects that I wanted to touch upon, but had to be cut due to length and time, is the new OP for this season. It's by the same artist that contributed the lovely "Venus to Jesus" to season 1, Etsuko Yakushimaru. Within the initial moments of hearing the song, I said "Nah, this is not as good as the last one." But then I continued to listen, and I played the track again. And again. Then one more time. Not only is the animation better than the OP from season 1 (we actually get to see all the characters this time), but the supporting music is right up there on the same level. "Venus to Jesus" is still catchier by a couple of notches, but "COSMOS vs ALIEN" is charming as hell, and in the end it's pretty much irresistible. "Charming" and "irresistible" are two words I could also apply to Arakawa Under the Bridge itself.

Jeff Chuang

Megumi Nakajima
I Love You

Megumi Nakajima, or Ranka Lee's voice actress for most people, isn't just relying on her Yoko Kanno library of tunes and offers up a variety of solo works in her first solo album. Unsurprisingly for someone in her situation, most of the album is fairly middle-of-the-road pop fare. I've been keeping the album in my proverbial back pocket of my mp3 player only because her distinctive voice works well to change the mood against whatever I was listening to previously. For some reason, I really like the four bonus tracks that came with the limited edition of the thing: more anime-tie ins from Macross Frontier, Basquash, Kampfer (plus the theme for the online game Tatarus). That really nudges my impression of the actual album towards the above-average line. Like most clear-voiced seiyuu vocalists, ballads suit her best; sadly there weren't a lot of them. The good thing is at least the fast-paced tracks are plenty tolerable. So, yeah, as usual, it's a debut album, listen at your own risk!

Peter Cerlienco

Inoue Joe

Inoue Joe - But I can't remember what song it is. Not "Closer" (the one from Naruto Shippuden) but there's another awesome one. Wait, it's called "GO". That's all I got at teh mo.

Zac Bentz

Final Fantasy XIV OST

I took a listen to some of the music that's been released from the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV game. I was really excited that the master Nobuo Uematsu was back in the saddle on this one. Unfortunately after a listen I didn't really find much to be excited about. The battle tracks are all pretty by-the-numbers and uninspired and the field tracks are predictably meh. I did really like "Aetherial Slumber" though. It reminded me a lot of one of the tracks from Advent Children called "Water." Anyway, two or three re-made classic tracks aside, this sort of felt like a dud. Ah well. I'm not going to bother playing the game anyway.

Tim Sheehy

Kimi ni Todoke

God, I know I just recommended these guys the other week, but I'm really loving the song. I'm not usually big on recommending stuff that has a tie-in to an anime, or game since you'll probably come across that music on your own, but since this is from the upcoming Kimi ni Todoke live-action film, I thought I might make an exception. I love that they decided to include the strings and piano, as I felt it really fit the piece. Of course, I know that's kind of cliche and anyone who's seen enough Japanese dramas would agree, but I love a good arrangement and whoever wrote the piece -- I can only assume they had some help -- did a fantastic job.

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Zac Bentz
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