Op-Eds Opinion

Anamanaguchi Keeps Chiptune Music Alive

Hunter Julius
Staff Writer


Last week I reviewed Anamanaguchi’s latest album, Endless Fantasy. In this review, we finish it off with tracks eight through 22. Let’s begin, shall we?

Photo Courtesy Anamanaguchi Facebook page
Photo Courtesy Anamanaguchi Facebook page

8. “Interlude (Gymnopedie No. 1)” (Erik Satie) – 1:09
9. “Akira” – 3:31
10. “SPF 420” – 2:06
11. “Interlude (Total Tea
Time)” (Luke Silas) – 0:59
12. “Meow” – 3:31
13. “Canal Paradise” – 4:34
14. “Snow Angels” – 4:38
15. “In the Basement” – 3:30
16. “U n Me” – 4:51
17. “Space Wax America” –
PLODES” – 2:43
19. “Interlude (STILL
‘SPLODIN’ THO)” – 1:06
20. “Pastel Flags” – 3:21
21. “Bosozoku GF” – 4:48
22. “(T-T)b”

The first track on the list is “Interlude (Gymnopedie No. 1).” There are three Interludes on the album. “Gymnopeidie No.1” is, in its purest form, a small cover and tribute of composer Erik Satie’s piece of the same name. It manages to retain the essence of the original, while still giving it that sort of 8-bit spin.

“Akira” isn’t my favorite track, but it’s still worth a listen to. It’s heavy on guitar, if you know what it sounds like under this chiptune filter, and sounds like it should be used in an action game on your old NES.

A very upbeat and bright song, “SPF 420” sounds and feels like it’s made for a day in the sun. It’s booming with energy, and like the sun, it radiates throughout the song. A song that I feel doesn’t get as much attention as it should, it’s just one of those songs you wait for as you go through the song list.

The second of the three Interludes “Interlude (Total Tea Time)” is an odd song, to say the least. It reminds me of tracks from the Kirby franchise of video games. It’s not a long track, but it sure is addicting, causing you to replay this 59-second track over and over.

Next up is a track called “Meow.” The neat thing about this track is that, during certain points of the song, the guitars are used to make a sound similar to that of a meowing cat, giving it a distinct sound. One of the singles Anamanaguchi released to promote this album, it was well received by fans.

I wasn’t too impressed with the next track on the list, “Canal Paradise.” It felt like something I had already heard. It’s not a bad song by any means, but it feels as if it’s just a slight variation on another song from the album. I guess that can happen when you have 22 tracks on an album. Some songs start to feel and sound like those before it.

The next song gives you the impression of winter, and creating snow angels. In fact, the title of this song is “Snow Angels.” One of the few slow songs on this album, it’s a nice change of pace from the rest of the album. I love how this song can use the filters and synthesizers and make it feel like a winter day.

One of the many influences Anamanaguchi has said they reference in their music is alternative rock band Weezer. “In The Basement” certainly shows that influence. This song is one of the rock-based tracks, and it shows that with the layers of guitar and bass.

“U n ME” is a mellow track; it’s not that upbeat, but still has a nice edge to it. The guitars are a nice fixture in this, providing a nice rhythm to just sit back and relax to. This isn’t going to be the song you turn on and want to dance to; it’s the one that you just let wash over you.

Going from “U n ME” and taking a 180-degree turn should land you where this track starts. “Space Wax America” starts off with a bang, as this is the track you’ll want the band to play live as you jump and dance with the crowd. It’s heavy on guitar, giving it a fast paced feel.

Probably one of the most up-tempo songs on this album, “EVERYTHING EXPLODES” sure does give you a rush of excitement, if not from just reading the title, but from the guitar playing and the fast paced drum kicks thrown in there to add an extra measure. If this was a record, it would have to be my favorite track on the B-side of the album. It’s a nice two-plus minute track of excitement.

I’m sorry, I lied, the last and final interlude “STILL ‘SPLODIN” takes the cake. This track is like an extra sugar rush after the one you just had from listening to the previous song. This 1:06 track will make you get on your feet and bust out some moves.

After the last two songs “EVERYTHING EXPLODES” and “STILL ‘SPLODIN” you would have thought Anamanaguchi would want to take things down. You would have guessed wrong. “Pastel Flags” reminds me of the sounds and music you’d hear as you were adventuring throughout a game. You probably would have guessed, it’s upbeat, addicting and just a plain fast-paced track, which reminds me of “John Hughes” from the composition and sound this song brings.

Nearing the end of the album, “Bosozoku GF” is on tap. A more mellow and complex tune than those before, this song focuses on the layers of guitars and bass to bring a melody across rather than be an up-tempo song like much of the album is.

To wrap up this long journey of an album is a track by the name of “(T-T)b.” It’s a fitting way to end the album, and with a nice mix of pop and rock, it feels like a good way to say goodbye for now, but we’ll be back soon.

Overall I give the album 4 stars out of 5.

Hunter Julius can be reached at hjulius@springfieldcollege.edu

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