The World (Empire)
Signal – Acoustic Version –
Songs in bold are previously released singles. Songs in blue (with a link) have already been reviewed. Those songs will, however, be reviewed in context of the album once more.
Kelun is Kelun’s debut album, released on September 3rd, 2008.
Opening the album is a nine second-long Introduction. Why they even bothered is still a mystery; nine seconds hardly provided for an introduction.
Chronicle sounds more like the stuff you’d hear from a punk-rock band from a European/American band today, but the chorus returns to the material of Sixteen Girl and really messes up another potentially great song. It also reminds me of Signal, the worst song, yet the one that everyone likes, from their mini-album “Astral Lamp”. The end provides for some well-needed awesomeness and finishes the song on a positive note.
Their break-through single, Chu-Bura (suspended in the air—single originally released on August 2nd, 2008), follows. I’ve always liked this song for the sensation of awe it provokes, and I always will. There’s no flow between this song and the previous one, but it stays in the same area, so it’s OK.
Monster sounds like a more hardcore version of Signal or Sixteen Girl, but with a twist for the better. Again. It even follows the same pattern of a more explosive opening, soft verses and a powerful chorus, but it adds a particular element of catchy.
Ark opens as a horrible low-key metal song, but here again, it changes for the better. The verses are relaxed with a bittersweet aftertaste, and the chorus finally provides something new, without trespassing into unknown territory. The repetitive guitar riffs are also really catchy.
The fifth Kelun-typical song, You, is another song which has the characteristics of Kelun-flavored rock but is kind of new, without stepping out of Kelun’s version of rock. It’s a good song, but it gets boring because it has nothing to make it stand out or surprise.
Ray sounds like it was recorded in a basement, and I really like it. Finally something new; Kelun adds a piano in the background and mesmerizing guitars to make this a song that really sounds out from the YUI syndrome crowd we’ve just escaped from. One problem: it’s a short interlude of 1:49; yet another characteristic of YUI, that is, great interludes that could’ve been fantastic songs had they been made longer.
Out of the two B-Sides on Chu-Bura, Boys Don’t Cry was the one I didn’t want to see on this album. The interlude didn’t serve its purpose as a bridge between two songs well enough, so this song seems to appear out of nowhere, only to be followed by another completely different song.
Although I thought Elephant would be just like other Kelun-typical songs, it surprised me by featuring a low-key, relaxed and almost jazzy chorus. This song actually approaches beautiful rock, which is really nice. Finally! Something new!
First Youth is also something new: it opens grandiosely and I really got into the beat of this song, before the vocals destroyed the entire arrangement. Then again, the vocals propose something new, and allow a very nice chorus. Otherwise, this song was rather unimpressive.
My favorite song on this album, The World (Empire), opens with a really catchy guitar but, here again, the vocals destroy it all. They really have to stop that, it’s become unnerving and just plain stupid at this point. And then, all of a sudden, this song jumps right back to Signal and Sixteen Girl, but in a good way.
The Alternative Version of Sixteen Girl (originally released on February 20th, 2008) was not meant to exist. It’s just plain boring, even worse than the original song. Now that we’ve heard ten full songs, I’m becoming royally sick and tired of the material on this album. I mean, come on.
Missing is the third interlude, and here again, it’s a really nice song, but add vocals and make it longer.
Whatever Schiele is supposed to mean, it’s a nice song. Apparently Kojima has not too many problems speaking English, give or take a few moments. But it’s not much longer than Missing, unfortunately, and is some kind of an interlude with lyrics.
Isolation is our first good song in a while, and the vocals, this time, don’t destroy it all. It actually enhances the song and the whole makes for an enjoyable song.
Snow Bridge is a bridge, an interlude, and its the fifth of the album. This is a big no in my book, because all these interludes are doing are tempting you with their beauty and then dropping you without a warning. It’s a good song, but it’s too short.
The Acoustic Version of Signal, the song featured as the first track on Astral Lamp and as an opening for the anime Gintama, is actually much nicer, with its slower, much thicker melody, and turn this song into a really nice rock ballad, ending the album on a positive note.
I have to be honest with you, I like this album. I know that, after all these negative reviews, you might think I’m being contrary, but when you stick all these tracks together, it creates a very long and enjoyable song. It’s easy to lose count of the tracks when there’s little difference between them, and it’s the same reason I gave YUI’s “I Loved Yesterday” a good grade even though the individual songs were pretty bad. Kelun is a really good band and they’re easy to like, and I’m happy I made their discovery. I just hope their next album and upcoming singles are better and more diverse.