(-normal version, through some window, woohoo!)
(-limited version, outside the window, woohooohoooo!)
(I have my own point of view as for the possible meaning of these covers/theme, but I'll keep it for myself until I read translations of the lyrics... not that it could be -most- important anyway!)
Note: 8,5/10, because one or two songs slightly are "under the level".
To make it simple: the first time I listened to this album, I had a giant smile
to my ears from the very first song, until the end of the album, and a tear
didn't leave the corner of my eye from the second song... Conclusion: don't
expect a negative review!
(...as if I -could- write anything negative about Pierrot anyway!)
The first thing that stroke me when I listened to it for the first time...
is that it definitely is more rock/hard/heavy than anything they did until now!
ID Attack seemed to begin a turn in this direction: it is confirmed, and I'd
like to let everyone know that: I LOVE IT!!! (Smiley Skeleton undoubtly is the
poppiest song of the album for example.) And I warn people who claim Pierrot
have betrayed them after Private Enemy or even Finale, "because it doesn't
sound indies anymore": don't even lose your time with this album, you definitely
won't find "the old Pierrot" here! And I will probably repeat myself,
but this is probably because NOW they know how to play their instruments, and
about "indies-like experimentations": they did, they know, they have
other things to do than repeat themselves. Here it's about rock, good, heavy,
rock because of the structure of the songs, heavy because of how instruments
are used (especially guitars! as heavy as you/I could wish!) and because of
the "agressive" atmosphere of the songs, with a very strong rythm-section.
For exemple: you remember Paranoia was said to be one of their most agressive/heavy
songs until now? It actually is exactly in the general style of Freeze, maybe
even one of the most calm/normal ones.
Pierrot's specificity, to me, has always been the changes in the structure/rythms in one song (syncops and such), and here I do have these structure modifications, a lot, even though they're not necesserally in the "main melody". But of course it's a far less "obvious" way to make complex songs than adding completely unnecessary sounds in some really weird places / where they're definitely not needed in a song, like so many so praised indies bands like doing, eeeeeeeeeeh yeah... And not forgetting their ability to give one song a specific atmosphere, thanks to its structure, melody, how they use every instrument vocals included, and so on...: composition-work to sum up! Graaaah good Lord how good it feels to bang my head so often in a Pierrot album, in a different atmosphere every time!
Still, yes, all of this doesn't mean that this album is perfect, would it be only because of all these songs I love that could have been improved on this or that detail (beginning with Kirito who really won't ever manage to make a real good vocal harmony, "in key", when a solo is beginning: the song with -the- horrifying note here is fukai nemuri sametara ladies and gentlemen! but I love it nevertheless...). But I love this kind of unperfect sound, eh, there's a good reason why I'm an absolute fan of the Beatles after all! And it doesn't prevent me from loving Freeze... and Performance... and Clown's Mutter, especially for its breass section, never mind if they definitely don't sound like "real" brass instruments but more like "keyboard-made" sounds! [...and should we tell them that they mixed two languages in this title? blaaaaah let's be naive and think they know it...]... and fukai..., for its structure/volution... and Unknown, for its dark/kind of martial verses (keep hope in the chorus!)... and Pieces for its... "contra tempo" says my dictionary!... and Smiley Skeleton, Paranoia and My Cloud, of course... Well ok, the only song I find "under the level" actually is Unmask (bad bad Kirito!) + maybe one or two others depending on how perfectionist I may be when I listen to the album... but at most I'm frustrated not to hear an improved version, and it's happening less and less: the more I listen to this album, the more I love it! BECAUSE ALL IN ALL IT DEFINITELY SPEAKS TO ME, DAMN IT!!!!! One likes heavy/metal or doesn't, eh: heavy guitars with strong rythm-sections do speak to me, SIR YES SIR!
+ Bonus-dvd of the limited edition: Mainly samples of the men only concert that took place in May 2004, and to make a long story short: WHY WASN'T I BORN A BOY IN JAPAN?!?!?!!! This is an audience as I love them, who "participates" and tries to share/communicate with the band, instead of yelling ultra-waves... I kept on thinking "graaaaah let me join you!!!" with a giant smile on my face when I was watching it, snif... It's really nice to see them play facing this kind of audience, and they definitely seem to enjoy it! (+ it's so good for the eyes to see so many slammers on Pierrot-songs, all the concert long, snirfl... and a real pit with some mini-pogos beginning, although only mini: never saw anything really bigger in Japan + they were far too "stuck" to one another to do anything bigger... but snirfl nonetheless!) Then some images of their (...long...) concert in the end of August, with Smiley Skeleton-studio version as musical background, some interviews of the members of the band, and once again only images of the concert in the end of October (but less long, in reality and in this video!) that launched their actual tour (where you will be able to admire Kirito's new and most esthetical "micro-stand" [correct?]! This one at least he shouldn't twist! I hope we'll have photos of that thing, because it really deserves an eye!), then new interview of everyone again (...where Jun wonders why we're watching this dvd, we should be listening to the album instead! and, we have to admit it, he's completely right... but I've been a good little girl and listened to the album once or twice before watching the dvd, yeaaaah! ...will I have my cookie now?; or where Aiji exlpains that yes this album doesn't sound indies-like, but they were indies in the time of Pandora no hako: time has passed ever since, people! and he's definitely right!): it's a little frustrating to have so few images of these two concerts, and no sound, but the men-only is so good/mind-blowing... that it's perfectly fine for me I'm definitely fine with it!
To conclude, I wanted to say that I love them life is wonderful long live Pierrot:
every time they release something new, they manage to make me love them even
more than I did before. So let me say that: IN MY ARMS, I LOVE YOU, YOU DESERVE
Only disappointment/frustration: these songs obviously are made to "definitely make it" live... but I won't ever be able to see it, or not before loooooong... Why wasn't I born in Japan? Unfair! snirfl bouh...
02- Smiley Skeleton
05- Clown's Mutter
08- fukai nemuri sametara
*These "translations" come from my really poor Japanese, that I've been trying to learn for August: don't ask me too much! As for Jun I'm about certain of what I wrote (...it really wasn't a complicated part, ahem...), but for Aiji... there's as much deduction as "real" translation: it -should- be about what I wrote, but...!
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