Posted by: 愛撫 | 03/11/09

Single review: MELL – RIDEBACK

Last time an I’ve single this utterly devoid of inspiration was unleashed upon the populace, we here at I’ve Sound Blog reacted by posting a lolcat and calling it a day. However, because that gimmick’s already been used up, here’s an actual review of RIDEBACK even though it barely deserves one. Don’t expect this to be very long.

MELL – RIDEBACK (2009, Geneon)

Tracklisting:

1. RIDEBACK

2. RIDEBACK -Japanese ver.-

3. RIDEBACK -Ken Morioka Remix-

4. RIDEBACK -Instrumental-

The review:

While she admittedly still only has a few releases to her name, MELL has quickly been gaining a reputation for being amongst I’ve’s most reliable far as Geneon-released singles go: the execrable Virgin’s high! aside, her output for the label almost seems enough to make them out to be anything but a bunch of money-hungry, shortsighted pigs who feed off the blood of artists and force them to degrade themselves to aid in Geneon’s endless pursuit of otaku’s hard-earned Nanoha dollars (yen). Of course, this is an illusion that is easily shattered by, let’s say, listening to Special Life! or looking at the anemic tracklisting for their upcoming Departed to the Future box set, but MELL makes it so because she’s just that awesome. Usually.

Not on RIDEBACK.

It’s not at all that it’s a bad song, or even that it’s a song one can really form much of an opinion on. It’s just that it’s such a total non-presence that it barely registers even after repeated listens: one can put the song on loop, and forget that it’s been looping because you can’t remember the song in the first place. Takase’s production, all muted guitars and digital piano plinking of the sort he really should’ve given up sometime around 2005, is as non-present as everything else, and the disc’s tacked-on ‘remix’ only makes matters worse by shifting the balance from ‘inconsequentially bland’ to ‘actually bad’ with a whole lot of unnecessary synthesizer gurgling I’m sure sounded better in guest arranger Ken Morioka’s head.

There’s also a Japanese version of the song, which my fellow blogger Hikaruhoshi insists is the superior version. I can’t tell the difference, personally, but I thought I’d put his input in here anyways.


Responses

  1. The Japanese version is superior because it makes me forget that when MELL tries to speak English, she sounds like a female Japanese version of Homestar Runner’s Coach Z.

  2. This song is wholly unmemorable to say the least. My friend loves the song though and I probably won’t be able to convince him otherwise.

    I guess for now I’ll reminisce with some of MELL’s better singles while I hope that we will eventually get something from I’ve that knocks our socks off like it used to. I wonder how long I’ll have to wait…

  3. It’s BORING. Not necessary bad, but VERY BORING indeed. The PV is quite nice, but the song kinda sucks… The japanese version does overcome the engrish one, but it’s just a 0.006-0.0065 diference. The CD’s cover is simply generic and the remix is…. well, derivate boredom and you’ll get hmm… dullness.

    KILL’s way better…

  4. I know whatcha mean…I don’t even feel inclined to download this song, and usually I would cos it’s an anime song. The tune never even stuck in my head nor made my subconscious hum it, not even once.
    I might consider this a rarity(with negative connotations) among anime songs.

    U Make Ai Ride…back to sleep. xD

  5. HEY !!! it’s not that bad xD xD

    okay, wisely KILL IS better in the term of quality… but RIDEBACK is not boring !!!

    well, her engrish is really unacceptable here… really messed up -_-;;

  6. Well there are people who agrees with the review while some who will be able to read this won’t agree. I mean, yeah RIDEBACK kinda lack aesthetic (in terms of cover) and sound quality but it’s not all that bad. At least for me.

    ” her output for the label almost seems enough to make them out to be anything but a bunch of money-hungry, shortsighted pigs who feed off the blood of artists and force them to degrade themselves to aid in Geneon’s endless pursuit of otaku’s hard-earned Nanoha dollars (yen).”

    Well in terms of sales, I totally agree with this one but once again, their effort to make this more profitable is not really that effective. It may be is larger than KILL’s first week sales but it’s still way lower and I can’t even imagine MELL’s singles sell lower than 10k.

  7. fred: Note that I mentioned how they’re “shortsighted”, i.e. they do what they do without ever looking at the big picture and realizing that basically the only time a shitty uncreative single from I’ve has actually sold well (being) it was attached to an anime franchise that couldn’t have been any hotter had it actually been on fire.

  8. @Kuroiyuki: From what I understand, when Mell took English, she and her class only really learned to read it, not speak it. I suppose you could call ir poor English education. English seems to be better taught in South Korea than Japan.

  9. ” her output for the label almost seems enough to make them out to be anything but a bunch of money-hungry, shortsighted pigs who feed off the blood of artists and force them to degrade themselves to aid in Geneon’s endless pursuit of otaku’s hard-earned Nanoha dollars (yen).”

    Totally agree. I don’t know what’s with otakus but, for some mysterious reason, most of them DO support these kind of mediocre songs *coughblazecough* just because they are embedded on their favourite anime. Personally, I couldn’t possibly find a dumber reason to approve such practice…

    Anyway, this song is fine… if you are used to listen to nonsense pop/jpop/animepop music and/or talentless monochrome beats, else, this song really has an effect much stronger than sleeping pills. RIDEBACK really sucks compared to other MELL songs, but the latter described effect of it’s boredom totally eclipses it’s lack of magic…

  10. @SAME: well her english was much better in Red fraction *the beginning of my introduction to I’ve sound, it was*

    “Totally agree. I don’t know what’s with otakus but, for some mysterious reason, most of them DO support these kind of mediocre songs *coughblazecough*”

    well, yeah… especially when the artist is only known as anime-theme-song singer -_-a

  11. “well her english was much better in Red fraction”

    It’s so sad to admit that this is true. Just when I thought MELL’s English might be seeing a little bit of improvement after Front Line Covers…

    What the hell I’ve. What the hell.

  12. I had a few hopes about this single but your review confirmed my thoughts.
    A little debris in her carrer but the dvd will fix it, I’m sure.

    Her Engrish???… ununderstandable but, for me, it always sounds funny.

    And currently, I can’t stop hearing the cover songs “Drowning”, “Belvedia”, “Two Faces” and “Kisetsu no Shizuku” from “The Front Line Covers”, specially the last one from KOTOKO, it’s simply an awesome version =^_^=.

  13. @NumberXIII-I suppose I’ve may have slightly adopted a “As long as it pays the bills!” attitude. It seems that Kazuya’s gotten kind of lazy when it comes to working with the I’ve girls now. He seems to be more interested in working with IKU now, but the problem there is that IKU composes most of her songs, which makes them sound the same. It’s like “Since it’s the theme to a popular series, let’s only do half the usual work and let them eat this shit up!”

    While I do like the song, it could have been way better.

  14. “Kazuya’s gotten kind of lazy when it comes to working with the I’ve girls now.”

    leaving only Nakazawa and C.G mix behind ??
    note that I didn’t put Iuchi, considering she’s not in Fuctory Record even if she’s part of I’ve.

    and well, i found a sample of Budokan ’09 (the live, okay ?? the live.) at http://kotokointheworld.blogspot.com/

  15. Yeah, so I guess I’ve decided not to do anything about download links after all.

    The recording quality on those mp3s is a lot better than I was expecting for bootleg recordings, but they’re still too shitty to really have any use other than as a once-over “oh, so that’s what Budokan ’09 sounded like”. Lord knows what kind of tin-eared superfan would willingly submit themselves to that JOINT multiple times…

  16. @aibu: *lol* yeah i know that. i only listened to all of those mp3s once. well, just to have some images of what Budokan ’09 might be.


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