Posted by: 愛撫 | 06/24/09

Single review: Eiko Shimamiya – Super scription of data

June 24, 2009 may just go down as being the worst day for single releases in I’ve history – three maxi-singles dropping on the same day (albeit two of them reissues from the frankly disastrous “Departed to the Future” box set) is something of an event in itself, but the fact that not a single one of them is really worth buying negates any ‘cool’ factor such an occurence may have had on its own.

Of course, since its sister releases snIpe and L’Oiseau bleu already received their due in an earlier review, I ask only that you draw your attention to the new Eiko Shimamiya release Super scription of data: that, and that you refrain from mentioning in the comments section that snIpe wasn’t actually bad at all, because clearly the presence of the Budokan ’09 version of Close to me… on the B-side is enough to make that one a must-miss. Now on to the review.

島みやえい子 (Eiko Shimamiya) – Super scription of data (2009, Frontier Works)

Tracklisting:

1. Super scription of data

2. electric universe

3. Super scription of data -instrumental-

4. electric universe -instrumental-

The review:

Kazuya Takase must have really liked making WHEEL OF FORTUNE. Hard to blame him, since the song (his first theme for Frontier Works’ seemingly unstoppable Higurashi no Naku Koro ni mystery/horror franchise) was an absolute blast from start to finish, referencing not only Tomoyuki Nakazawa’s beloved work for the previous Higurashi anime, but rarities from Shimamiya’s back catalogue (most notably, a throwback to her singing ‘Tooryanse’) and Takase’s well-loved bag of tricks (the Red fraction guitar sound and some triumphantly dated synth strings brand the song as his from the get-go) as well. Seeing how well the song turned out, Takase proceeded to recycle it wholesale for MELL as “KILL”, and now he’s more or less making it for the third time (at least) for Super scription of data.

Except, unlike the other times, it’s actually not any good in Super scription. The elements that made its Takase Sound Factory Model A predecessors so enjoyable are indeed present, but the implementation this time around is joyless enough to make Takase’s earlier misstep RIDEBACK sound like a triumphant return to form by comparison. Switching gears with little rhyme nor reason, the song imitates WHEEL’s loud-quiet-loud pattern without any pesky distractions like ‘smooth transitions’ to worry about, changing from a guitar-heavy industrial groove to a happy, vaguely uplifting chorus and back again without giving the listener much time to get used to either. The fact that neither the dark nor uplifting bits can really stand up to the corresponding parts in WHEEL doesn’t help, nor does the particularly awful Engrish forced into the chorus, but this one was dead in the water even if it was a good copy – Takase shouldn’t be able to get by on coasting at this point in his career, especially after he’s wasted so much of fans’ goodwill making songs like U make Ai dream.

Of course, unlike Takase, B-side arranger SORMA has an advantage in that his ‘electric universe’ comes off a seemingly career-long string of failures, and thus expectations aren’t particularly high for his silly piece of fluff. Continuing the trend of incongruous A and B-sides on Higurashi theme releases, electric universe offers up a bit of SORMA’s characteristic pseudo-ethnic (dig that shamisen!) ambience in contrast to the more straightforward opener, and it’s boring as fuck but by SORMA standards that more or less means it’s a smash hit. The song meanders like only boring songs with just-shy-of-6-minute runtimes can, never bothering to make an impression save for some occasional pangs of “Eiko, stop using English, you’re awful at it” as the singer mangles the words ‘electric universe’ until they sound like the monsters from Silent Hill look. Eventually the song makes a turn for the ‘awful’ around the 3-minute mark, but it’s likely lost half its potential listeners before that point anyways. Saying anything about it is like attempting to make sense out of a painting that consists of a single line on a blank canvas: yes, there might be something the artist (or arranger, in the song’s case) is trying to say, but the whole thing’s just so boring you don’t even want to look for the meaning. Not when you could be listening to better I’ve or, for the sake of our metaphor, looking at more interesting art at the very least.


Responses

  1. i was suprised in a really bad way.
    I find the short version of super scription amazingly good but now that i’ve heard the full version i’d rather never listen to it again.

    And after i downloaded the single (i was not going to pay for this…) I immediately deleted electric universe, needless to say i was right about it.
    On the other hand, what do you have to say about Aoi Iconoclast aibu? (yeah don’t tell me is not ive i know is not ive, but hell, i’d like to know what you think about it)

    • Ao-iconoclast? Don’t like it, sounds too much like a ‘generic anime theme’ for it to represent any kind of exciting new development for KOTOKO. Pigeon’s alright, though, not amongst my top tracks or anything but certainly better than it could’ve been.

      • that I want to agree w/ you. XD *applaud* Didn’t really like ao-iconoclast that much. The intro was only good but after that, no more. And I appreciate PIGEON more.

        But in case of the Super scription of data single, I appreciated electric unverse because its kinda similar to OXISOLS. It may be boring but at least it’s not “heavy” compared to the titular track.

      • am i the only one who like Ao-iconoclast more than Pigeon ??

      • Well, thank you very much for this “flaw-view” so I won’t lose my time listening this single ^^.

        And thanks to you too that I remembered “U make Ai dream” and it’s even a worst memory to know that she sang this crap at budokan ¬¬.

        And Yuki… it seems so ^^.

  2. Just incase anyone ever wanted to know about SORMA a little bit more. I’ve found their official site, along with an English page describing their history. Basically, SORMA is a New Age band that consists of five members, hence SORMA No. 1 etc.

    http://www.earth-rhythms.com/show_group.php?group_id=122

    • Just a note: unless it’s explicitly stated that it’s another member (i.e. the SORMA No.3 remix of Kanaria off Hane), on this blog ‘SORMA’ generically refers to SORMA No.1, aka Yoichi Shimada.

      • Yeah, but SORMA is a group, which is why I’ve uses “SORMA No.1” or “No.3”. I figured it could get a bit confusing. Just thought it’d be a good idea to lessen any lingering confusing about the SORMA numbers.

  3. Hmmmm….. super scription is quite good, but it could’ve been MUCH more evilly kickass. I enjoyed it, but it’s like a sissy derivate of Wheel of Fortune…
    He attempted to spawn a new Naraku no Hana, which was pretty much the same strategy used for Chikai, but failed as well.

    electric universe is… well… it doesn’t exactly suck, but it still sounds like a BGM for an RPG cementery or sanctuary: fluffy but not interesting. SORMA should just go away and let Tomoyuki Nakazawa do his job…

  4. I agree with the sentiment on super scription of data. I was equally disgusted with the Chikai single. My real problem with these songs is that they auto-tune Eiko’s voice to death, and seem to insist that she be amped up on helium for singing them. At least the chorus to SSoD departs from this, but it’s still too awkward to really appreciate.

    However, I honestly don’t understand all the hate flung at electric universe. I was actually immensely relieved to hear that someone DIDN’T find it obligatory to completely destroy every characteristic of Eiko’s natural voice. I’ve been beginning to think that Kawada Mami is the only IVE singer that they haven’t managed to completely ruin in one way or another on a regular basis.

    And c’mon, you’re griping about the crap English? I’d think after listening to MELL mercilessly butchering the English language non-stop for half a decade, you’d be impervious to the near-miss flesh-wounds incurred in this single.

    • It is true that SORMA No.1 didn’t put as many vocoder effects on Eiko’s voice as we’ve been used to, but a more naturalistic vocal approach doesn’t justify production as comatose as electric universe. At its best, the song is a soulless retread of earlier SORMA/Shimamiya works like Sora no Mahoroba, and at worst it recalls the low points of Hikarinadeshiko.

      As for the English, it’s mostly just the way they approach it: MELL may be awful with the language, yes, but she remains far less invested in the katakana pronunciation than Shimamiya. Shimamiya enunciates every syllable of “e-re-ku-to-ri-kku yu-ni-i-ba-a-su”, and quite frankly I find that far more irritating than MELL’s total incoherence.

  5. I LOOOVE EIKO SHIMAMIYA AND SUPER SCRIPTION OF DATA!


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