Kawada’s first single since last year’s standout Shakugan no Shana 2 opening theme “JOINT”, To Aru Majutsu no Index opening theme PSI-missing is also the first release from Kawada in the wake of her second album SAVIA. With such impressive discs preceding it, it was pretty much destined from the start that PSI-missing would be a bitter disappointment: but, you may wonder, how bitter a disappointment? Find out after the cut!
Mami Kawada (川田まみ) – PSI-missing (2008, Geneon)
2. 雨 (Ame)
3. PSI-missing -Instrumental-
4. 雨 -Instrumental-
No more Mr. Fucking Nice Guy, to use an unnecessarily profane spin on a tired cliché. The general consensus on this blog regarding whiz-kid producer Tomoyuki “God of all things” Nakazawa up to this point has pretty much been that everything he so much grazes with his fingertips turns into sparkling 24-karat gold, but when he pulls crap like this, I’m not going to stand for it.
PSI-missing is the kind of song that sycophantic fanboys will defend until the end. Even though it’s lazily-crafted garbage cribbing extensively from Kawada’s last single but lacking the heart and energy of both JOINT and its vastly underrated B-side triangle, “[I’m] just being too hard on it, it’s a good song.”
No, it’s not very good. At all.
The worst of PSI-missing’s sins is that the song is a deceiver above all else. With its opening hook, the song would have you believe it a thoroughly satisfying, JOINT-esque excursion into I’ve Sound’s oh so particular brand of dance-rock. It’s a great hook, and one that surely deserved to be attached to a better song. But, alas, the true song is more in line with a lifeless retread of triangle – vocals during the verses spoke-sung in softer tones, suggesting a sort of intimacy at constant odds with the electronic arrangement surrounding it. While the JOINT B-side succeeded through an uncommon sense of emotional honesty, however, PSI-missing comes up lacking in the ‘heart’ category: Mami Kawada’s on cruise control through both of the single’s underwhelming tracks, and it’s hard to find anything particularly endearing about her when she’s fallen asleep at the wheel.
But the vocals during the verse are actually, relatively speaking, a high point: at least, when you compare them to the shit that comes after them, they seem pretty damn good. I mentioned earlier how the song’s hook suggests action and excitement, and even throughout the dreariness of the verse sections it seems almost like it might still be building up to some sort of climax. Oh lordy, it ain’t.
It’s not so much that the chorus is the worst of both Kawada and Nakazawa’s careers, it would probably be more fair to all parties involved to just call the song-ruining piece of shit that stands in where a vocal hook would be in a song crafted out of anything but lethal apathy and shocking laziness the second-worst chorus in I’ve history. (The first being MELL’s “Fall in Love”, but that’s a story for another day.) Simultaneously robbing the song of any momentum it may have gained on account of its instrumental hook as well as ruining any possible delusions fans may have had about Kawada being a remotely talented vocalist (I still like her, but the doubts I know some had about her actually possessing anything approaching vocal power have, as of this song, been assured beyond assurance), the tastelessly-crafted mess reveals that the apathy that had been killing compositions from the rest of the collective’s producers has indeed spread to our boy Nakazawa.
You see, this single is in a way exactly what the I’ve fandom deserved. We heard Takase’s lazy abominations and called bullshit. We heard Maiko Iuchi pull the same crap, didn’t stand for that either. Even C.G mix put out a terrible single nobody liked, but through it all we were blindly convinced that, somehow, Nakazawa was above all this. He’s clearly taken the fans’ attitude to heart here, as a song this utterly lame can only be the result of a producer being convinced that he’s bulletproof after coming off a too-long lucky streak.
And, in keeping with my tradition as of late, I’m ignoring the B-side entirely because it’s terrible in pretty much the exact same way as its A-side, albeit without the part where it lies about being interesting. Ame prefers to broadcast its boringness from the get-go, a move that might be admirable were the results not so mediocre. Fuck this single.