Prism (Limited Edition)
Prism (Limited Edition)
Konami Digital Entertainment
April 8, 2009
Buy at Amazon.co.jp
The Konamistyle limited edition of Hoshino Kanako’s album Prism comes with a bonus disc that includes remixes of every track from her previous album EIGHT ELEMENTS OF THE STAR. Each remix is in a different style than the original, and this bonus disc comes with the title of EIGHT ELEMENTS OF THE STAR ~ANOTHER SENSE~. Most of the remixes are handled by Yasuhiro Abe, with the exception of “D.A.N.C.E!” remixed by Kosuke Saito. Even with the new variety of styles, Kanako’s vocals are hardly touched in the remixes, keeping the songs solidly in J-Pop territory with few surprises but a decent amount of fun. Although Prism itself leaves much to be desired, the bonus disc on this limited edition might make it worth the purchase for some.
The bonus disc opens with a rock remix of “~T・A・I・Y・O~” by Yasuhiro Abe (later added to GuitarFreaks & DrumMania V4). The arrangement is solid with plenty of energy and a fairly hard-hitting sound, and it matches the composition pretty well. My only complaint is that while Kanako’s vocals and delivery were well suited to the original Euro track, they don’t quite match the arrangement now that it is hard rock. Still, the track is an enjoyable re-imaging of the original. Also rock but more laid back is Abe’s version of “Hello Again~only one for you~”, which closes out the album. It’s a lot more engaging than its breezy original, thanks to its increased energy and strong arrangement. The chorus is still lacking, but as a whole the track is a great improvement over the original, and I don’t actually mind listening to it from time to time.
There are a couple of electronic tracks here, but thankfully nothing like the generic tracks on Prism. Kosuke Saito’s remix of “D.A.N.C.E.!” isn’t as dramatic of a change as the other remixes are on this disc. Many of the elements in the original are intact in some manner, with the changes more coming in through some of the effects and the heavier focus on the thumping beats. Despite not being to different, I still enjoy the track just as much as the original. Later on, Abe’s version of “INFERNO” is stripped of its Brazilian influences and is given a dreamier electronic landscape that’s heavy on quick percussion. The atmosphere is more ambiguous and intriguing, and very different from the bright original. The elements all seem at odds in a strange artsy mix, and though I’m not entirely convinced that it works for the track, I don’t mind listening to it either. More straightforward is Abe’s “Regret” remix. It still has the Euro Trance roots of the original, but Abe completely changes up the composition of the arrangement. While the original arrangement followed Kanako’s vocal line too closely, the new arrangement is more complementary and independent. Some of it feels a tad repetitive, but there are more dynamics here, and a greater drive throughout the track. While these tracks don’t necessarily outclass the originals, they are fine alternate versions of them.
Starkly different from the others is the “Hakugen” remix, which is now R&B styled with some oriental instrument cameos at the beginning and end. The remix feels at times a bit rushed, partly due to the increased tempo, but also because it’s over before it really goes anywhere. Like the original, it unfortunately just comes off as unremarkable filler on the album. Also quite different is the “Tashikanamono” arrangement, which has gone from a light rock track to a laid back summery track (think the opposite of what happened with “Hello Again~only one for you~”). While still pleasant thanks to its catchy melodies and now relaxing arrangement, it isn’t nearly as compelling or fun as the original.
The only ballad of the album is “Gekkou”. Although a ballad version already exists on Prism, Abe’s arrangement here is much better produced, featuring more instruments and a less artificial sound. An electric guitar and violin show up for some solos, while a piano, acoustic guitar, and drums hold up the rest of the arrangement. The only thing missing is a rerecording of the vocals to better match the arrangement, but it still holds up well otherwise.
Although it is only the bonus disc on the limited edition of Prism, the remixes on EIGHT ELEMENTS OF THE STAR ~ANOTHER SENSE~ are for the most part much more engaging than the album that they are coupled with. The styles of the tracks are diverse and often very different from the originals. Though few remixes surpass the originals, many are just as good and make for wonderful alternate versions. That said, this doesn’t stop the album from being fairly standard J-Pop fare, and it is unlikely to convince anyone who was not already enamoured with Kanako’s Bemani work.
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Posted on August 4, 2015 by Christopher Huynh. Last modified on August 8, 2015.