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)
2. RIDEBACK -Japanese ver.-
3. RIDEBACK -Ken Morioka Remix-
4. RIDEBACK -Instrumental-
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.