This is an outwork collection as it mentions but it has the singles she did for anime themes, so I would review it 😛
- Nageki no Oto
- Koto no ha
- Anata no Deatte
- Road to glory 〜for Dragon Nest White Version
- Hikari no Naka ni
We start with KARMA with from the beginning just screams epic. The calm sound after the chanting sounds really mysterious, and intrigues me all the way as KOKIA starts to capture my attention with her incredible voice. Once the verses enter, we can hear some type of ad-libbing that makes the transition for the last lines of the chorus (if that’s what you can call a chorus). KOKIA you are doing it again, using your vocals to trap me again xD. There is something so dark in the song in every part of it, and how those particular changes in some parts of the arrangement are so incredible. This is just a song done so well and it’s really outstanding for KOKIA. This is an incredible way to start the album.
And just so you know, the first 6 songs are in the same sequence (A-side, B-side) for the 3 singles she released related to anime themes (Requiem for the Phantom, Broken Blade), and now it’s the turn for the B-side of KARMA, which is the total opposite because it’s so relaxing and calm and also we get to hear KOKIA singing in italian, which is so amazing. The song is so simple and the arrangement is almost not there because you focus more on her vocals. But after a while, another voice join her in a more operatic style combining the 2 vocals and just become something that really stands out more than other parts of the song. This song can lead you to sleep, so it’s better to listen it fully awake, but this song is amazing nevertheless.
Another song for Phantom, and changes the pace again, but being somewhat mysterious but different from KARMA, more in the fantasy like thanks to the sound. After the little intro of that mysterious landscape sound we hear KOKIA enter again with her outstanding vocals. The vocals sound or portray something depressing and that’s only for a while, because once the chorus enters, the flow changes for me and disrupts my perception of the song, but still doesn’t harm that charm. I really like the arrangement and flow given for the verses, because it sounds really dark for me and just amazes me, so that’s a way to say that I really like the song, some factors like the background vocals behind the chorus or in some lines of the verses added a nice touch to the song. Strangelyenough this song reminds me a little of Kioku no Hikari. This was a good followup but I still prefer KARMA.
The song starts really cool and captures my attention real easy. The calm sound environment trying to trap you, using those breaths of KOKIA. Once she starts to sing this gets much better because this sounds again mysterious but there is something in it that I can’t explain quite well but really makes me like the song maybe something in the arrangement or how she pronounces the lines on English. It really is hipnotizing and having those changes here and there are so pleasant for the song. There is something in the song that says KOKIA but at the same time it appears like something she doesn’t do. I think the best part will be her ~I want to embrace you. A cool song
But the main star of the album is this song. It has all the epic factors in it, I mean it transports you into a war environment or something like that, because you can hear some marching and really gives me that feeling just by hearing it. And then combining KOKIA that is delivering an amazing performance and those background vocals behind giving more epic factor to the song. It just blew my mind. This song is a tie-in for Borken Blade, I haven’t seen it, only the OP, and I can say that only seeing that opening I was amazed because they combined the animation with the song. I love the way they change the chorus for using those background vocals for singing and KOKIA meanwhile just amazes singing and keeping those notes that really are one of the best things(and considering everything is epic, this is big deal). The best song of the album by far until the moment and one of my favorite songs from her.
All the B-sides until now are the complete opposite for the A-sides and they made a good choice with that. This sounds so simple using her voice and the instrument which I’m still confirming what is exactly. But the whole song sounds really depressing thanks to those factors combined. And the whole song just drags you keeping the same sound, until the arrange changes a little and I can remember a little more of it, but quickly returns to the same sound I prefer the other B-sides compared to this, but still the whole depressing sound makes me remember it.
Nageki no Oto
After Womoi they were for me brand new songs the first time I heard it. And this song reminded me a lot of REAL WORLD songs and taht was amazing, using the acoustic guitar and KOKIA singing at the back and some sounds making it seem more epic and was done so good. This song just tries to keep the epic factor again. The song now uses guitar with piano but considering this is KOKIA the arrangement changes more and more, as we can see in the chorus where the song just explodes and becomes even better in every way, but I could’ve wished that the chorus had more punch (I wanted more). The arrangement can be described as something mixing strings, bass and piano and some acoustic guitar. Amazing but not like Fate.
Koto no ha
This sounds more like a waltz thanks to how the piano is being played and how KOKIA sings, which seems weird, because her vocals seem like Womoi and I thought using other tone could’ve worked as well. Once the last lines reach for starting the chorus it really starts to soundlike waltz. And I had to research and I see that is for another tie-in which is Bungaku Shojo (I saw the anime and didn’t remember this song D:). And can’t remember in which part this song was, but whatever. This song just kept a place in my head thanks to the catchy arrangement and calm nature of it, and really surprised me this type of song coming from KOKIA, Another cool song.
Anata no Deatte
This reminds me to Insonnia thanks to the slow factor of the song, and the problem with how it starts is that for me it sounds slower than the said song, but the vocals for me are saving the song and that is always a good thing. Thankfully the way the song flows makes it better as it appears to add some tweaks in the arrangement. The problem is that even with those things in it the songs appears to drag me all along and doesn’t do much for me as it continues really slow. The thing that makes me differentiate it from Insonnia is the final part of it, as having the chanting in there really helped the song. You need to be fully awaked (more than Insonnia) to tolerate this song.
Road to glory 〜for Dragon Nest White Version
This song serves for another tie-in (the same one that Battle of Destiny). The song starts really cool with the bells and using acoustic guitar as base, but then KOKIA enters singing in a strange language. Once everything is calm, she sings in japanese and it sounds so good. But what I liked is how the sound is expanding using more instruments as her voice increases, trying to combine erhu and brass, and the song just sounds like an adventure. Just after the chorus the rhythm is kept for a while, to finally return to the calm beginning style, and just tries to prepare for the epic trip again you will have with the chorus. This is definitely an epic song combining an remarkable arrangement and KOKIA (again), and I just remember this reminds me a little of Chowa Oto ~with reflection~
This is the one of the first songs that made me fell in love with the album. As one of the songs for Ar Tonelico series, this is a calm song, as is just KOKIA with her ad-libbing (one of the reasons I really like this song). This long passage for me is so perfect and amazing for me and just screams epic and wants me to prepare for the next part which is guitar and obviously KOKIA, with some strings later on but the change is the chanting that is singing Hymnnos and that’s what adds the epic factor into the song. The chorus was so soothing and relaxing for me but at the same time epic. Combining two languages for the song is weird but I like it, and this is how the song continues for most part. Combining the epic chanting and having KOKIA singing so sweet and more calm was just amazing. This for me is one of those perfect tunes that I enjoy all the time.
The 2nd song for Ar Tonelico, and this one really uses the language of Hymnnos. And has the sound of marching taken from Fate but using this language and combining with a more dramatic feeling is really different from Fate (yay!). A lot of people prefer this song instead of REBIRTHIA but I prefer that one because of the feeling given and the ad-libbing. But this one has a different epic factor that I think works out because of the language and the arrangement that sounds so complex and drastic in some points. I can’t think of something else for this song, but still good song.
Hikari no Naka Ni
This song marks another tie-in for ar tonelico, and my favorite out of the 3, because even if she sings in Japanese, the song keeps a ballad type sound using harp and combining the sweet vocals of KOKIA and I just fell in love quicker with it. This is one of those songs again that has a don’t-know-what that makes me like it more than other songs. Maybe after reading the lyrics I give more appreciation for it, and see the feeling that KOKIA tries to give with her singing of that said lyric. It’s just amazing for me in every way like the chorus which just blows me away. This is definitely an excellent and perfect way to end the album.
Road to glory〜for Dragon Nest White Version
Hikari no Naka Ni
Nageki no Oto
Is it worth listening? Yes!!!!!
As not considered from the official discography, it’s just a letdown, because this is an amazing album from KOKIA for every song. This album has a lot of epic tracks and some calm but at the same time incredible songs that really define the styles of KOKIA (epic style (KOKIA) & ballad style (AKIKO)). I was really interested once I heard the songs for certain animes and then I saw them they would be at this album, so it was a must listen. The tracks are really different from each other and all of them are a way to define KOKIA in a way. This is definitely recommended if you want to listen to KOKIA for the first time, but also for that case, you can listen ” KOKIA AKIKO BALANCE” & “The Voice”