[Review] Spring is (not) here – Sphere

Spring is nowhere to be seen apparently, neither literally (weather-wise) or figuratively (feelings-wise). But that matters not, since despite fears over last week’s releases being postponed, they haven’t after all. So despite the crap weather and horrible disaster, Sphere still tries bringing spring to us.

Let’s see if they’ve succeeded.

1. Spring is here
Well, this is nice. Or would be nice if they’d actually split it into more than one song. I’m usually not one to complain about having several melodies in one song (I loved Horie Yui’s Immoralist, to give a recent example), but here it just feels wasted. Probably ’cause one part is good and the rest is crap. Still, it’s listenable overall, just not particularily worthy of being a title song. Which reminds me, am I the only one who liked the PV?

2. Now Loading…SKY!!
The first time I heard a normal song (read: more mainstream sounding than anison) from Sphere was probably with NauSka. I think we all loved it back then, and I still love it today. A shame that it lost in my books to its c/w… Oh, and lovely PV of course. Probably still my favorite of all the Sphere PVs so far.

3. キミが太陽 -Kimi ga Taiyou-
Another new song. It’s a typical idol pop song, but something about it is different from the many other cheesy songs Sphere has. It might be ’cause I’ve been getting more familiar with AKB48’s music lately, but this definitely feels more like their style than typical Sphere. So is that good or bad? To be honest, they’re both just as crap in my books. Skip this unless you’re in a happy mood. Thankfully(?) I’ve been in (overly) happy moods lately.

4. REALOVE:REALIFE
As lulz as it to watch this live, I don’t particularly mind just listening to the song all that much. Though that might be my brain playing tricks on me because, after all, it was the RL:RL PV that started my Minatards. Oh gosh that smile ❤ But yeah okay, if I want girl rock, I wouldn't look here.

5. Congratulations!!
Easily the best song from the new bunch. I loved this the minute I heard the radio rip, and it makes a lot of sense for it to be the song that had gotten the most radio exposure along with the title song before the album was released. Jazzy not-really-sexy song sung by a group of girls that has no idea how to sing jazz (though I’ll admit Minako’s attempt back with Koyoi Romantically wasn’t half bad. Or I’m just biased). Yup, definitely a nice song that’s wasted on the likes of Sphere. Not that I can think of any other idol group that could’ve sung it any better.

6. 手のひらに夢 -Tenohira ni Yume-
Boring, zzzz. Even though I like watching this live because of the pretty smiles they all have on their faces when singing it, listening to it on record is really dull. Between this and RL:RL (they’re from the same single after all), it’s no wonder my impression of Sphere music was horrible when I first got interested in them.

7. 風をあつめて -Kaze wo Atsumete-
After a boring song comes a slightly less boring song. Wake me up for the next song please. Or maybe I’ll just loop the PV to watch their never-tiring antics.

8. かってな成長期 -Katte na Seichouki-
See what I said about NauSka? Yeah, I’m referring to this c/w. I don’t know what it is about this song that I love so much, but I just do. Maybe it’s the controlled hyperness (rather than the uncontrolled, annoying kind), or the awesomely idiotic lyrics (almost as awesome as SNN there), I really can’t say. One of the rare cases where a hyper Sphere song gets so many +s in my books.

9. MOON SIGNAL
This is where we really start feeling the lack of new songs in the album… Or rather, the huge amount of recycled songs. I’d have rathered the album be 10 tracks (5 new, 5 recycled) than 14 tracks with 5 new and 9 recycled… But alas, it’s okay because we’ve just arrived at the almighty MOON SIGNAL. Epic intro, catchy verses. Shame that the chorus feels so generic. This could’ve been well beyond awesome if it were handled a bit more properly.

10. By MY PACE!!
Copy/pasting what I said about Kimi ga Taiyou would probably work fine here. Well, I liked Kimi ga Taiyou better though. Felt like they were trying a bit more than in here.

11. Brave my heart
Again, rare case of hyper song that I like. I think having been brainwashed by this song since it was one of the few listenable stuff Sphere had when I first got into them has something to do here though. Still, it’s fun, but it’s old. I really could’ve done without the singles c/w’s, even if I like them…

12. クライマックスホイッスル -Climax Whisle-
Same as above, at least the last part, because I don’t like this. Overly hyper, I feel tired just by listening to it. Oh, the drums are nice though. Just, yeah, it feels like I’m listening to a bunch of kids playing around noisily. Not my cup of tea.

13. 夢奏レコード -Musou Record-
Boring song no.3, except this wins by a mile. In boringness I mean. Oh sheesh, no wonder it didn’t even make it into any single despite being released way before the album was even announced. It was just… a random, seperate release, that most people didn’t even know about. I wish it had just stayed at that, actually. Oh, on the plus side though, I like how their voices sound here. They sound less childish than usual, yay.

14. 虹を駆ける旋律 -Niji wo Kakeru Senritsu-
I cried… from too much laughter. Oh wow… Just… wow. This is beyond bad. It’s so hilariously bad it’s good, almost. I mean, it made me laugh you know, that’s something most songs can’t claim to have achieved.

And that would be the end of the review. Talk about one hell of a bumpy ride. It’s like walking on a rosy road with random hills and pits here and there. After some time you realize the roses are fading and it’s turning into no-man’s land slowly. Then the road ends and before you know it you’re falling off a cliff edge… but while laughing, so it’s okay.

Overall evaluation: 6/10
Recommendation: Now Loading…SKY!!, MOON SIGNAL, Congratulations!!

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3 responses to “[Review] Spring is (not) here – Sphere

  1. kawaii-nanami March 22, 2011 at 2:50 am

    I’m kinda surprised at the fact that I enjoyed the album more than you did (after all, who’s the Sphere-tard here? :3) If I were to rate it, I’d probably give it a 7 out of 10. Not a bad album at all considering it’s idol pop we’re talking about.

    I disagree with you in quite a few things: REALOVE:REALIFE is still my favorite Sphere song ever (I like how the guitars and drums drown their rather questionable vocals), Spring is here is, for me, the best song out of the new ones, Climax Whistle is one of my favorite b-sides of theirs and, for some reason, I love By MY PACE!! to bits even though I myself admit the song is nothing special. I don’t know why, but that song puts me in a great mood ^o^/. As for Congratulations!, while I really like the chorus and the arrangement, I find the verses kinda meh. It had potential to be much better, but still, I think is a decent song. Something similar goes for Kimi ga Taiyou, except that I enjoyed this one a little more I think.

    However, there are some other things where I agree with you: Musou Record, Tenohira ni Yume and Kaze o Atsumete are filler material and I wish they hadn’t been included in the album (btw, I had no idea Musou Record existed before Spring is here was released), MOON SIGNAL and Katte na Seichouki! are as awesome as they always were, I like Now Loading… SKY! and Brave my heart as well (though you seem to like the former a lot more than I do) and that weird outro is just lulzworthy xD

    • rehikari March 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm

      You should know better than most that I don’t like Sphere for their music :p You’re obviously more into that kind of stuff than I am 😄

      About RL:RL. Well, as I said, if I wanted girl rock, I wouldn’t look here :p I’d go after Abe Mao or even Scandal instead =3 And speaking of, I totally recommend Abe Mao’s Pop album for you!

      Kaze wo Atsumete is a single title song so obviously it had to get included ^^; And you did know about Musou Record (I tweeted about it when it came out and you answered me even) but I don’t blame you for totally forgetting about it 😄

      As for NauSka… Well, notice how I said I preferred Katte na Seichouki, but added NauSka in the recommendations instead? It’s not a matter of me liking it more than you do, just that I think it’s the kind of song most people would accept, that’s why I put it there 😮

      • kawaii-nanami March 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

        “And you did know about Musou Record (I tweeted about it when it came out and you answered me even) but I don’t blame you for totally forgetting about it XD”

        I did? omg, my awful memory never ceases to amaze me xD