Posted by: 愛撫 | 11/06/07

Single review: Mami Kawada – JOINT

Well, sorry about that – I really didn’t intend for my ‘hiatus’ to go on as long as it did. Personal issues and all, what can I say – these things really are unpredictable. But now that I’m back, here’s my long-promised JOINT review! (Sorry that this one’s shorter than my usual – my reviews can’t always be over 500 words, apparently.)

Mami Kawada (川田まみ) – JOINT (2007, Geneon)

JOINT single cover

Tracklisting:

1. JOINT

2. triangle

3. JOINT -instrumental-

4. triangle -instrumental- 

The review:

Well, I’ve’s recent trend towards heavy-metal guitar riffing with electronics left in the background continues strong – but, for once, I can’t really complain. JOINT is a pop-metal gem if I ever heard one, with Mami’s vocal performance energetic but not too cute, some great synthesizers (if you listen for them, of course) and the guitars nicely avoiding the ugliness of a Virgin’s high! while still retaining their edge and just a generally impressive package overall. Tomoyuki Nakazawa’s name is coming to be more and more synonymous with ‘top-quality’ with each new release, and his work with Takeshi Ozaki in arranging JOINT is no exception.

However, while Nakazawa’s track record has been nothing but brilliant lately, poor Kazuya Takase seems to be struggling. Fortunately, his contribution to the single, ‘triangle’, is actually somewhat disarmingly sweet – it has shades of Aozora to Taiyou (B-side from Mami’s Get my way! single), except where Aozora was somewhat sickening in its cuteness, triangle is a more relaxing and ever-so-slightly sad song. It’s certainly neither Takase nor Kawada’s best work, but it’s a great deal better than I was expecting given the somewhat dodgy quality of Takase’s recent work. Triangle is also notable for sounding a whole lot like 2005 – while her A-sides have certainly taken quite the stylistic diversion recently, triangle would be right at home back with songs like Hishoku no Sora or radiance.

Taken together, these two songs accomplish a feat unfortunately rare amongst anime theme songs – they actually portray quite an accurate picture of the anime the songs accompany. Shakugan no Shana may primarily be an action-oriented show (as JOINT, the opening theme for season 2, clearly shows), but there’s also a love story beneath it all and triangle, the second season’s touching end theme, in its own bittersweet way seems to give us a more honest version of the naïve Shana’s infatuation with the show’s protagonist than the actual anime does.


Responses

  1. I agree. Tomoyuki Nakazawa’s getting the top-quality songs most of the time this year (exception for MELL’s kicks!). And definitely JOINT is much much better than the punk rock Get my way!. But can I ask you, what do you want more? JOINT or Hishoku no Sora? (For me, sure JOINT is somewhat of a transformation for Kawada but no one can beat good ol’ Hishoku no Sora. But that’s for me.)

    triangle is not bad, not that great but at least, I’d prefer that over Get my way! and Kaorin’s upcoming Chasse.

  2. JOINT is one of the few singles where I enjoyed listening to both the A-side and B-side almost as much as each other.

  3. Fred: As much as I love JOINT, I still do prefer Hishoku no Sora – that single was just plain brilliant. However, if we’re talking Mami singles in general and not just her Shakugan no Shana themes, nothing can beat radiance for me.

  4. ^ ahaha radiance. Yes, it’s indeed good but I just didn’t like the PV — is too simple. xD but disregarding the PV, yes it’s really “radiant” in a way, it’s the song that made me approach Mami since I heard this song first before Hishoku no Sora.

    I think whatever will be the position of JOINT single in the Oricon charts, it will be, I think, a bit great arise since her downfall with the Get my way! single since Akai Namida/Beehive is in the middle position.

    And I’m having a hunch (well this is just an assumption) that Mami’s upcoming singles will most likely be rock.

  5. Considering how most of her more popular singles are rock, I would think so too. I don’t mind, her rock isn’t too shabby.

  6. ^ yeah I agree. And I take back what I said… it’s not a “bit great” rise to her… it’s actually a huge rise for her, JOINT just beaten Hishoku no Sora by it’s Oricon position with JOINT in #9 and Hishoku no Sora in #11. But not just yet… Hishoku no Sora’s total sales are still higher (16,500) compared to JOINT (15,949), weird huh?

  7. […] will be Mami Kawada’s 6th single. The release date is October 29, a time of year that so far has worked well for her. The limited edition comes with a PV, but so far, no first press […]


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