Monday, March 28, 2005

Edenpics - Nature Wallpapers

Edenpics - Nature Photography, Nature Pictures & Nature Wallpapers

Nice site if you like to look at nature when you turn on the computer. The menu on the right allows you to find your desired nature category. Once you click on the scene you like, you can also download a version with a bible verse that matches that scene. This has exceeded my expectations. ^_^

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Waiting 4 Garnet Crow?

Wait no more!

After a good rest and gathering my thoughts together, I can finally present to you my initial thoughts on Garnet Crow's new album "I'm waiting 4 you". Firstly, I think the jacket and booklet design of the album clue you in on much of the music. Snapshots of the members are "taped" onto the booklet. In a sense, the songs seem to be little snapshots of nostalgia all collected into one bundle.

In other words, although this isn't Garnet Crow's most groundbreakingly original album, it manages to succeed in another way, by combining old and new elements in a fresh way. My favorites for now are #2, #6 and #12. Another point of growth I've noticed is that Yuri has taken more liberties with her improvisational singing, which adds individuality to the songs. This is what makes Garnet Crow's music longlasting and not mere babyfood to the ears. Below is my breakdown of each song:

Listen to samples

1. Yuudzukiyo
Best point: the song's lyrical piano playing interlaced with Yuri's mellow voice, reminiscent of B-sides "float world" and "in little time"
Points to consider:
-refrain borrows from miho komatsu's song; still, forcefulness adds character
-Yuri's voice slides up quickly, showing her command of the tune she composed

2. Tsumetai kage
Best points:
-the rock melancholy and overall coherence
-the high point in the refrain and the singing of "I can't see"
-the lala's
To consider: dangerous revolving nature of melody

3. Wasurezaki (single)
Good points:
-the timeless and wholesome feeling like #4 of returning home, of a happy ending, which seems to be a recent style of Yuri's
-the small variations
To consider: doesn't the refrain resemble "holy ground"?

4. Kimi wo kazaru hana wo sakasou (single)
Good points:
-conveys a sense of experiencing the expanse of the beach
-the regularity of the melody made it possible for me to set my own lyrics to it

5. U
Best points:
-the painting of a memory through "U U U"
-the stylically varied playing of the guitar
-the good English lyrics
Points to consider:
-the melody jumps into the energized and simple refrain abruptly
-the silence after "the wind caught it" = a music painting of actually confiscating the words that are sung

6. Fill away
Best points:
-excellent driving non-refrain melody
-the "old world" atmosphere similar to #7's works well
Points to consider:
-sudden transition from a minor key into a major key melody turns it into a cheering song
-4-time repeating section is calm and fast at the same time

7. Bokura dake no mirai (single)
-people have disliked this song because of its minimal quality. however, the concert/live rendition of this song is very effective
-even dropping to acoustic guitar in the middle heightens the stored-up energy of the song

8. Kono fuyu no shirosa ni
General: notes depict the scattering of Japanese flower petals and whirling sensation
Best point: the surprise ending
To consider: the gospel singing (Yuri's?) and Yuri's attempt at singing blue notes
-thought of Only Stay while listening to this

9. BURU- no mori de
Best points: a consistently cheery song filled with childlike happiness
To consider: reminded me of the Ferrero Rocher song and flying kites

10. Ameagari no blue
-this is a delayed-release piece
Best points: the sudden syncopated bit near the end and the guitar melody leading up to it
To consider: this may well replace "Spiral" as the concert-ending song for summer
-the arrangement is more held back than the concert version

11. Picture of world
General: the most pop-sounding in the album
Best point: the "yeah"s
To consider:
-the song fits well with the "white" motif of the album design
-the pic of Azuki Nana on the opposite page seemed to be the "woman" in the phrase "woman in picture of world"
-refrain sounds stylistically like Avril Lavigne and Mai Kuraki
-watch for when the piano solo returns

12. Sky~ new arranged track
-this was taken from GC's indie mini album
-I really enjoyed this on first listen
Best points: all of GC's original mystery and flavorful goodness conveyed in Yuri's quiet delivery
-the subtle shifts in the melody from loss to hope
To consider:
-do the voices in the arrangement remind you of spirits?
-I thought of the wind blowing on the grass at a cemetery on a sunny day while listening, of McMug dancing with his mum ^o^

13. Kimi tsuresaru toki wo otozure wo
-seriously, they should have switched #12 and 13, because the arrangement here breaks the tranquility of #12
-a song with an odd ascent that resolves nicely, ending in a calm finish