Well, guess this is as good a time as any to get around to this one… Regular reader ReSublimity asked a little while ago if I could post some thoughts on the short versions of the new Shakugan no Shana II theme songs “BLAZE” and “Sociometry” (both linked to here), and not being one to disappoint my readers (what few of them I have), here goes.
KOTOKO and Kazuya Takase’s first song since the fantastic Real Onigokko as well as the follow-up to last year’s amazing JOINT, BLAZE had some pretty big shoes to fill. And, judging from this short version at least, those shoes are still a few sizes too big. While the song does perk up after the disorienting intro (KOTOKO’s pseudo-denpa performance in the beginning is actually quite similar to MELL’s similar turn on Virgin’s high!, but it isn’t used anywhere near as effectively as it was on last year’s failure of a single), it’s still far too generic an anime opening song to really be all that notable – if I didn’t know she was capable of so much more I’d probably have been more inclined to like the song, but as such it really just seems like she’s treading water.
Ketsudan no entrance (image song from the recently-released PRISM ARK LoveLove MAXIMUM!) was something of a sleeper hit, far as these things go – not terribly impressive at first, but after repeated listens it revealed itself as one of C.G mix’s best. So it makes sense that he would want to replicate that success with Sociometry, but instead of being inspired by Ketsudan it’s more like Sociometry was flat-out recycled.
Recycled, except worse the second time around – where Ketsudan no entrance’s soaring vocals brought to mind images of fantastic battles with magic and giant robots and all sorts of other goodies, Sociometry’s midrange-heavy mix is thoroughly grounded in the comparative mundanity of the world as we know it. Taken on its own merits independent of Ketsudan no entrance, it’s probably a decent song, but when one has the advantage of previous knowledge regarding C.G mix’s production oeuvre Sociometry seems almost crass in its blatant lack of creativity.