Cherry Blossoms (from Ever Blue Sounds ie. soundtrack from Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club)

Free! Ever Blue Sounds Cover

Okay, this is how obsessed I am with this anime.

The soundtrack from Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club has some achingly gorgeous piano pieces and unfortunately, sheet music is not available for it.  So, I picked out the notes for Cherry Blossoms (a painstaking process with my tin ears) and here it is, in case there are other fans itching to play it:

Cherry Blossoms – Free! anime piano sheet music

DEF LEPPARD: VIVA! Hysteria

3 stars (out of 4)

Released 2013

VIVA! Hysteria is the concert video of Def Leppard’s eleven-show residency at the Joint in Las Vegas this past spring. The special feature was the performance of their multi-million-selling album “Hysteria” in its entirety for the first time.

I actually saw this in the theatre during the very limited run at the beginning of the month. It’s about to be released on DVD and Blu-ray, so I guess if I’m going to write about it, now is a good time!

As far as concert videos go, it was really quite good. Good sound, sharp visuals. I liked that the camera lingered on the band members long enough that we could see their faces and their playing clearly, which is a rare thing, surprisingly. What I didn’t particularly like was the occasional filming through the personal cameras of random audience members; that’s not a technique I enjoy and it was overused, I thought.

There was also footage from a special acoustic session that included “Two Steps Behind”, “Now”, “When Love and Hate Collide”, and more.

Naturally, the band sounded polished and tight. What can I say? “Hysteria” is chock-full of amazing songs, and they sounded great live: “Animal”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Love Bites”, the list goes on and on. Personally, I always love their live rendition of album track “Gods of War”. And another highlight was “Love and Affection”, which was a rare treat to see performed live.

HAREM SCAREM at THE ROCKPILE

HAREM SCAREM & HEAVENS FIRE, with WARMACHINE & West Memphis Suicide, July 12th at THE ROCKPILE

Ma~ I might come back and add a few more words later, but for now, here’s HAREM SCAREM’s set list:

01. Saviors Never Cry
02. Dagger
03. Hard to Love
04. If There Was A Time
05. Sentimental Blvd.
06. Honestly
07. Slowly Slipping Away
08. Karma Cleansing
09. Stranger Than Love
10. Mandy
11. Had Enough

12. No Justice
13. Change Comes Around

“Attack on Titan” Original Soundtrack

Music by HIROYUKI SAWANO

I can’t remember the last time I liked a soundtrack the way I enjoy this one, from beginning to end, all 77 minutes of it!

Musically, it’s very diverse. There are swelling orchestral parts, including strings and horns. There’s sparing use of acoustic guitar and piano and electronica/dubstep on some tunes, as well as a generous but judicious presence of electric guitar work. Some tracks feature Middle Eastern or Asian ethnic sounds; one even has an American bluesy feel. Underlying it all is a rock foundation, and that’s probably at least part of the reason why this record appeals to me so much personally.

One male singer and 3 female singers provide vocals to several of the songs. Of those tracks, three (“The Reluctant Heroes”, “DOA”, “Call your name”) are mainly rock numbers, while the others (“Vogel im Kafig”, “Bauklotze”) sound more atmospheric and melancholy.

Additionally, tracks 2, 4, and 5 are related. Well, they sound like completely different songs, but they all eventually reprise the main melody which begins in “The Reluctant Heroes.”  Likewise, “eye-water” and “Call your name” are somewhat alternate takes on a same song.

Although many of the tracks clock in at over 5 minutes in length, they don’t seem long at all because the music often takes a radical turn mid-song, with vastly different instrumentation, melody, and mood.

All in all, a great listen!

I originally checked out this soundtrack because I was interested in the “Attack on Titan” anime, but now it’s come to the point where I’m enjoying the anime more, in fact it can practically do no wrong by me, because it has this music in it!

Jacquie’s 2012 Year in Review – Music

While it seemed to me that there was a veritable dearth of good music in 2011, that certainly didn’t seem to be the case in 2012.  Maybe nothing sounded good in 2011 because I was too affected by the disbandment of D’espairsRay, and I just needed some time to open my heart to new music.  Whatever the reason, there were plenty of tunes that caught my attention in 2012 and kept me entertained.

 BEST ALBUM:

DIVISION, by the GazettE.  Despite the fact that the tracks were divided into a Rock half and a Digital half, the album played together as a very cohesive whole.  The band may have experimented with things like dubstep, auto-tune, and unusual time signatures, but they fully understood that the songs just had to sound good.

My top 3 favourite songs of 2012 were all from “DIVISION”: beautiful and painful Kagefumi, musically complex Kago no Sanagi, and sad and ominous Yoin.

BEST SINGLE (A-side & B-sides):

RADICAL HYSTERIA, with B-sides COBRA and IN CREATURE, by BORN.  There was no clear winner for this category, and I was reluctant to choose this, since it’s something of a re-release (RADICAL HYSTERIA was the B-side of COBRA in 2010.)  However, RADICAL HYSTERIA is one of the best songs that BORN has ever created, in my opinion, and it really did deserve to be released as a single.  The addition of the third track, IN CREATURE, made for a solid record overall.

Runner-up:  WE aRE, with B-side COLD CHAIN, by abingdon boys school.  This was a strong comeback single for abs, and it might have won if the band had included simple instrumental versions of both tracks.  Instead, there were multiple, useless karaoke versions of just the title track.  I took marks off for that.

Rounding out my top 20 songs, in alphabetical order by artist:

  • COLD CHAIN, by abingdon boys school (B-side of “WE aRE”)
  • Muyuu no kago, by AND
  • RADICAL HYSTERIA, by BORN.  Their “Stupid life clip” for this song was the most amusing PV I saw last year.  It deconstructed the band’s usual scary-sexy image and revealed them to be a bunch of goofs.
  • MISS TAKE –boku wa mistake-, by BUCK-TICK.  Ridiculously hooky, this is one of the best BUCK-TICK songs I’ve ever heard.
  • ATTITUDE, by the GazettE (from “DIVISION”)
  • DERANGEMENT, by the GazettE (from “DIVISION”)
  • DRIPPING INSANITY, by the GazettE (from “DIVISION”)
  • Ibitsu, by the GazettE (from “DIVISION”)  OK, I’ll stop now.
  • DARK SHAME, by GRANRODEO (OP of CODE:BREAKER)  The theme songs were the only good thing about that anime.
  • A FLARE, by lynch. (one of the lead-off singles from “INFERIORITY COMPLEX”)  I wasn’t that much into lynch.’s music before, but this song was just the kind of pretty-but-heavy that I’m a sucker for.  Because of A FLARE, I purchased the album as well as some of lynch.’s previous works and I was pleasantly surprised.
  • G.G., by MUCC (from “SHANGRI-LA”)  The first MUCC song I’ve ever liked.  Normally I can’t tolerate Tatsurou’s singing.  Not so with this song.
  • Munashiki Sei no Guui Shi no Shini, by NEGA (from “VANITAS”).  This 12-minute opus was an unlikely lead-off single for “VANITAS”.  Even songs that I consider to be good will usually lose my attention after about 3 minutes; this song didn’t bore me even after 12.  Anyway, I guess they knew what they were doing because I ended up buying the album.
  • CATALRHYTHM, by OLDCODEX (ED2 of Kuroko’s Basketball)
  • ZERO SATISFACTION, by ROOKiEZ is PUNK’D
  • S, by SID.  The first SID song I’ve ever liked.  They’re not usually this heavy.
  • 0 GAME, by SPYAIR
  • vanity, by ViViD (B-side of “message”)  ViViD’s recent singles had been so tame and generic-sounding that I almost didn’t listen to this track.