{single} Tomatsu Haruka – motto☆hade ni ne!

February 10, 2011 at 3:46 am | Posted in Music, Tomatsu Haruka | Leave a comment

Tomatsu Haruka – motto☆hade ni ne!
戸松遥 – motto☆派手にね!

(released October 29th, 2008)

1. motto☆派手にね! [motto☆hade ni ne!]
2. シアワセサガシ [Shiawase Sagashi]
3. motto☆派手にね! (TV edit)
4. motto☆派手にね! (instrumental)

Tomatsu Haruka’s 2nd single. The title track is the opening song of the anime series Kannagi, in which Tomatsu also voices the lead character Nagi.

motto☆hade ni ne! opens with a brass band-esque intro and is a cheery pop number. Tomatsu’s voice sounds rather strained in several parts, but her energy seems to make up for it. The chorus is infectious and catchy, which doesn’t hurt. The only part that didn’t quite sit right with me was the awkward bridge section. Overall, this track tends to have a “stage song” feel and I would love to see it performed live (with real backup singers, instead of the cheesy tinny backup vocals here).  

I like the arrangement of Shiawase Sagashi much more, probably because it has a more organic sound. The same cheesy backup vocals from motto are still present, but this track is much more laid back. I feel like I’m taking a stroll through a park on a sunny day and a jazz band is lined up among the trees. Tomatsu’s singing in a cutesier voice here, but she doesn’t sound as forced, and I’m rather enjoying her “la la la” lines.

Finally, the single has the TV edit of motto☆hade ni ne!. It’s a decent cut, but I’m not sure I agree with just fading out with the vocal note at the end. It would have ended much better had the instrumentals played a bit after the chorus before fading out.

Favorite Track: Shiawase Sagashi

Overall Grade: B


{single} Eclipse – nO limiT

June 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Posted in Eclipse, Hayami Saori, Music, Nakajima Megumi, Tomatsu Haruka | Leave a comment

Eclipse – nO limiT

(released May 29th, 2009)

1. nO limiT
2. moon passport
3. nO limiT (off vocal)
4. moon passport (off vocal)

Eclipse’s debut single. Eclipse is the name of the idol group in Basquash! and its members Citron, Rouge, and Violette are respectively voiced by Nakajima Megumi, Tomatsu Haruka, and Hayami Saori. nO limiT was the first opening theme of the series, and moon passport is an insert song.

nO limiT kicks off with a bang, with a badass guitar and piano intro that I really didn’t expect from a seiyuu idol group song arrangement. It’s hard to tell who is singing which line in the verses because of the vocal filter, which annoyed me at first but eventually grew on me. The best part of the song is the rapid back-and-forth lyrics in the chorus; the three girls have excellent rhythm and play off each other seamlessly.  I also like how the last chorus is sung in unison.

Hayami Saori has lead vocals on moon passport, and it’s a mid-tempo rock ballad played during the characters’ more introspective moments in the series. Hayami is the strongest singer of the bunch (despite my being partial to Nakajima Megumi), and her voice tone is mature yet with a sweet, delicate edge. The song isn’t so special, but Hayami’s voice really shines here. I prefer the verse melodies, the chorus just sounds like a typical song Morning Musume would pull.

Overall Grade: A

{single} Tomatsu Haruka – naissance

June 5, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Posted in Music, Tomatsu Haruka | Leave a comment

Tomatsu Haruka – naissance
戸松遥 – naissance

(released September 3rd, 2008)

1. naissance
2. パズル [Puzzle]
4. naissance (instrumental)

Tomatsu Haruka’s debut single. The title track is used as the ending theme for the drama Koko wa Greenwood – I was mildly surprised that her first single didn’t have an anime tie-in, seeing how she is a seiyuu. Because I’m reviewing her as a J-Pop artist, this entry will not be under the seiyuu category.

I have mixed impressions of naissance. The soft intro reminds me of a mist-filled field – with the backing vocals and the title meaning “birth” in French, I almost expected some mysterious ballad à la KOKIA, but when Tomatsu started singing, I was immediately reminded of Hilary Duff for some reason – it must be the cutesy way she does the “la la la.” The melody doesn’t exactly impress me, nor does Tomatsu’s singing; her vocal range seems rather limited, but it suits the song – props to the composer. naissance, as a whole, is a pleasant, breezy listen.

Puzzle begins with a woodwind solo, some sparkly effects, and Tomatsu singing in what is meant to be a whispery tone. Personally, I think she should just use a more upbeat/cutesy style, because she sounds rather lifeless in the verses. I think ROUND TABLE feat. Nino would do a great job with this song. Puzzle belongs in a cafe setting in the spring or summer (one of my friend’s favorite Japanese restaurants plays music like this all the time), something to have in the background while sipping coffee or tea leisurely. However, I find this track a bit boring.

Tomatsu sounds rather robotic in REWIND, with her intentionally monotone singing style. There are some electronic elements in this track and they blend nicely with the naissance-esque backing vocals. Her vocals also stand out more against the accompaniment and sound better here – in the previous two songs, it sounded like she was holding back, but here she’s singing more strongly. I also liked the vocodered repetition of “rewind.” This song is like Perfume-inspired idol pop meets standard seiyuu J-Pop. Nakata Yasutaka, please remix this for us!

Favorite Track: naissance

Overall Grade: B

Entries and comments feeds.