Nana Mizuki – ROCKBOUND NEIGHBORS

rockboundneighbors

Tracklist:

  1. Avalon no Oukan
  2. Naked Soldier
  3. Get my drift?
  4. Lovely Fruit
  5. Darling Plastic
  6. BRIGHT STREAM
  7. Hoshikuzu Symphony
  8. LINKAGE
  9. STAR ROAD
  10. Synchrogazer -Aufwachen Form-
  11. Crescent Child
  12. Kiseki no Melodia
  13. METRO BAROQUE
  14. Happy☆Go-Round!
  15. Sacred Force -Extended Mix-
  16. Yakusoku

Avalon No Oukan

A grandiose opening as the first song of the album, it enters with such orchestra that you get overwhelmed with the epicness of it, as such it remembers to a medieval or classic game. Then once finished Nana starts singing and she sounds so powerful epic. The orchestra continues in the background but now adding drums and some guitars and the song just becomes much more awesome. This is the first time Nana tries to do something like this and just screams in every way epic. The way the rhythm becomes more interesting with each verse that continues. I remember hearing it on Live Grace Opus and it was the same but more epic as the live environment gave it more feeling. Such a perfect tune to begin the album.

Naked Soldier

After such incredible tune, we get into a more rocking sound with Naked Soldier were it reminds me a lot of Bring it On as this is something that Nana doesn’t do much recently, but is welcomed. The rocking continues with the song and Nana just singing perfect as always. It’s all over your face with the way the chorus is. The solo was so powerful and even better than Bright Stream and I give props for it. It continues the same way during the song and I got to say I like it the way it was but I prefer more Avalon.

Get my Drift?

I like how the flow of the album is being until now, because get my drift sounds more fun and less in your face as it sounds a little synthy and the guitar sound is less pronounced making it more enjoyable in a way. I like how Nana still continues with the rocking sound for the album, it is very unexpected but cool. Even the english in the song wasn’t bad, and that guitar solo was well done and combined with the other guitars backing up, made for a decent solo. I think the little synthy-rock tune was well performed and gave a greater impression than Naked Soldier. Another cool tune.

Lovely Fruit

Like in any album we got the cute song from Nana, but a little more entertaining thanks to the instruments making me remember the rhythm, even Nana using her cute voice is not annoying, as she makes the song so cute. There’s such originality for a Nana song, as she hasn’t tried something like this. The way the chorus makes you sing or say “Lovely fruit” was so inevitable. It sounds like a good song I can hear when I’m in a good mood. The trumpets (I hope they are) were one of the things I can fully remember and that I really liked.

Darling Plastic

Some dislike this song, but I think it has something of it’s own. The combination of a more smooth sound with the synths makes you relax, and even the guitar sounds so calm and I don’t mind because they make the song the way it is. It sounds similar to other Nana songs she has already done previously and that’s not bad, but a little less original. The way Nana sings is cool as she sounds in a normal tone and not in a extreme vibratto like other songs. The guitar solo was again great and makes it stand out, even when the albums has a lot of them. If the song had more instruments in the song it would have been another deal. Still an ok single.

BRIGHT STREAM

The song that everyone likes and I just think of it as an ok song. It’s a normal anison song but what really stands out is Nana’s vocals. I mean, if we compare all her Nanoha tie-ins, this will be one of the lowest, as she has better. But that’s great from Nana she can make a great song or entertaining thanks to her vocals. There are good things in the song nevertheless, with the piano standing out to make the string not that boring. But I think the greatest thing besides Nana was the guitar solo (again). I think of this song as the standard string anison tune from Nana. Strangely enough I don’t mind hearing the song every time it appears xD

Hoshikuzu Symphony

The christmas-like song because of the instruments and is so cool, even when the title doesn’t reminds that. It could have sound as a normal anison tune, but the arrangement was done better to make it sound like a christmas song. I love all the intruments and how Nana sings this as it sounds so cheesy but cute. The vocals from Nana were performed so great because she doesn’t forced her cute tone in the song, and that’s a good point. The whole flow of the song was the right choice, because if it wasn’t done like that, it could’ve entered the anison range, and that’s a no-no (mostly because of the song we come from). Even the chorus behind nana stand out. A really entertaining song.

LINKAGE

The new UNBREAKABLE starts. The new tie in for Unchained Blades and since the beginning it sounds much more epic than the previous song (still UNBREAKABLE kicks ass), as this one has more punch and Nana throws it all with her voice and just sounds epic in all the song. The sound that intends to remind as some chants in the back was a cool choice. I really think they nailed it with this song, because there’s so much epicness in every part of the song, even when there’s a lot happening in the arrangement, you don’t mind as it sounds so powerful, over you face, and so fast like it should be. This is the Nana that I really like and she really went for this one as in Avalon no Oukan for more epic tunes. One of my favorites from the album.

STAR ROAD

Obviously we will need a song composed by Nana in the album, and you can hear it, as the song retains that folkish sound she has started to use since SEVEN and with Albireo. The song just keeps me focus on it, because I seriously LOVED Nana’s high vocals before the chorus started and they just sound so epic. Even the sax was welcomed in the song, and didn’t damaged the song. The piano intersections were perfectly done and well combined with the strings. I really like how the instruments take more presence and make everything stand out and make an epic song so easily. This song put me on debate on my favorite composition from her, and I think this one just nailed it. The folkish sound was so perfect and Nana’s vocals were top notch. Another early favorite.

Synchrogazer -Aufwachen Form-

The cool intro from Symphogear was the new addition to the song, as it only affects how the song starts and everything is kept unchanged in the song, which is cool. I really love how Nana enters the song with her epic line to enter one of her most epic synthy songs. Now this is the new field is entering so easily thanks to Symphogear. I really love the arrangement (so cool), and the verses as well, everything about was so cool. Even when the synths were under control they just scream epic all the way. The other cool thing was there wasn’t overuse of strings, and they started to focus on the synths. It’s such a perfect tune in every way. Those chaotic tunes really were something ^_^. Easily the best or one of the best of the album.

Crescent Child

After we calm down from the epicness of the previous song, we get another rock tune but more focused on the piano, which is a cool idea, considering the songs in the album. But the first thing I notice was that the verses before the chorus are like “Futuristic Imagination” from School Food Punishment. Thank god, that’s the only thing reminding me that, as it would affected the song. I think of it as if Metro Baroque had more guitars and a less abroad sound. Every time I hear the song I can’t stop remembering the sfp tune… damn xD

Kiseki no Melodia

For me the previous song just serves as a bridge from the epic synchrogazer to the perfect Kiseki no Melodia. The organ was a cool addition to the song and making it easily stand out. The epic intro from Nana was so cool and I love it. The great thing about the verses is the organ, I really love the song from beginning to end, as it has everything that I really love from Nana. The feeling that she portrays in the song, and those vocals, they were like angels in heaven. Even the strings were not bad and sounded so cool. the chorus was so perfect and was my favorite part besides the “you are my future” where she just does it so easily and beautiful. This is easily my favorite song from the album.

METRO BAROQUE

The really mystical song is so cool, the first time I heard it what it stand out for me was the piano and Nana just keeping me focused on her, and that abroad sound makes it different from the other songs in the album. I sounds really classy thanks to the piano but really dark and cool at the same time thanks to how Nana sings. It really makes you remember Junketsu Paradox with the chorus because some parts are really similar, but done differently to give different emotions. I can easily remember the song thanks to Nana and the piano. Another great tune.

Happy☆Go-Round!

The song for Switch Girl 2, and you can imagine the sound, but strangely enough I didn’t imagine that it would have so much drums. Much as the previous one, this one shares some similarities to Love Brick. Nana’s cute voice was correct this time, and the rock atmosphere was so catchy, but then the chorus enters, and that was really catchy. That riff that starts after the chorus it really sounds as from Love Brick, but doesn’t affect it, because this song stands out by itself, with those pounding drums and Nana’s cute voice. A really cool cute tune from Nana.

Sacred Force -Extended Mix-

The only B-side from the album and it was changed to be longer and that was cool, but because that was the only bad point of the song in the single. the song is reminding a lot Synchrogazer thanks to the synths and piano, but epic in a different way. The way Nana sings makes the song more dramatic and cool in a way. From what I can hear in the song, the vocals were the same, but the arrangement remained the same, because some may notice before the solo starts that vocals from Nana are more perceived but because the arrangement was different. Thank god for that solo/interlude that make the song epic, the only downside was that I wanted more Nana in the song, but it’s still not bad. Great tune and better with the new addition.

Yakusoku

As always the last song is the ballad. This is a ballad where Nana just excels due to her vocals, and the arrangement was so simple, with some piano and strings. Considering that it was the last time, I expected a ballad with more in it, but I can’t complain, as Nana just avoids it to be boring, and that’s one of her good points. Even when there begins to be more bigger in sound, it still sounds simple. So I think that it was the purpose to do it like that, because the lyrics express much more than is needed. Even so, this was a good way to finish the album. A really beautiful ballad.

Favorite Songs:

Kiseki no Melodia

Synchrogazer -Aufwachen Form-

LINKAGE

STAR ROAD

Avalon No Oukan

Impressions:

This is my favorite Nana album as everything she does is concentrated in the songs from it. The amount of diversity was the right one, and the songs were so memorable in their way. The first part of the album was the weakest (comparing it against the other half), but still interesting, because of my favorite songs were in the last part, but mostly because the A-side were in the last half. One thing she should continue to do is release like-Synchrogazer-style tune.  If she continues like this, she will release another epic album.

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2 thoughts on “Nana Mizuki – ROCKBOUND NEIGHBORS

  1. Yay, glad to see lots of love for Kiseki no Melodia — one of my top five favorites as well! Actually, we have a very similar top five, with everything being the same, except I had BRIGHT STREAM instead of STAR ROAD.

    Great review :))

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