Ring the New Year with Choucho’s Color of time
After her debut in 2011, ChouCho has been a mainstay in anime soundtracks thanks to her beautiful voice. She has been the one behind the openings of many series, like Heaven’s Memo Pad, Mashiroiro Symphony, The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, Hyouka, Girls und Panzer and Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya. During the last six years, she has released two albums with Lantis, as well as one mini album, and 18 singles. And, to ring in the year the right way, she’s releasing her third album, Color of Time.
“Color of Time” Album Review
The album begins with the song that gives it its title, “Color of Time”. It’s a very energetic song, which showcases ChouCho’s voice perfectly. The rhythm makes you want to start dancing almost immediately, although it could also be a great song to exercise to, since you can easily change the speed of your movements to the melody. It’s a perfect song to start the album, make you want to listen to more, and a great companion to “Kaleidoscope”, the second song of the album. This is the theme song for the Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya movie, and both songs are equally epic, although “Kaleidoscope” is faster in rhythm and it has some amazing violins in the instrumental part, giving the listener a sense of urgency, of an adventure that is about to begin. In contrast, “Color of Time” is a more subdued kind of happy song, for the time you have to rest between adventures, as it is still epic.
“Elemental World”, the ending of Masamune-Kun no Revenge, starts with drums, that give a sense of a huge space. Once ChouCho starts singing, though, it turns into a more normal pop song. It’s one of the few that include some English lyrics, but it flows very well with the Japanese, and can let non-Japanese speakers sing along with the chorus. And trust us, at some point you are going to want to sing along, as Color of Time, as an album, could easily be a “we dare you not to sing along” album. You can hear ChouCho’s passion and joy as she sings in every single track, inviting you to join in.
“Wonder Tail” stands out from the other tracks as it’s a far more rhythmic song that seems to hinge more on guitars, drums, and ChouCho’s voice than the rest. It is also one of the songs that aren’t connected to any anime, so if you are not an anime fan –in particular a Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya fan, it’s going to be a very pleasant surprise. It’s also in an excellent place in the album, as after the 3 really fast songs that start the listening session, “Wonder Tail” changes rhythm a little, without becoming a slow ballad.
Speaking of slow ballads, that’s “Cuddle”’s place on the playlist. It’s a somewhat melancholic song, with a very sweet piano melody; the kind of song you can listen to when you’re enjoying a warm cup of tea and reading your favorite book. “Sephiroth no Ki” is equally slow, and it lets you enjoy the piano and the string instruments that accompany ChouCho’s voice. It’s a bit more experimental than “Cuddle”, but that’s a good thing, as it keeps the slow song interesting.
“One and Only” brings the energy back to the song list. It’s a more upbeat song, that makes you want to get up and dance again, twirling with the melody, where you can just see ChouCho’s smile thanks to how expressive her vocals in this track are. “Asterism” continues that energy, going even faster than “One and Only”. If Kaleidoscope was good for a walk on the park, Asterism is amazing as a soundtrack to jog and go as fast as you can.
“Andante” is probably the weirdest track of the album, but that also makes it one of the most interesting. It begins as almost disjointed sounds that only come together when ChouCho begins singing. As it advances, she carries the melody mostly by herself, as the instruments only highlight certain parts of it, and remain as a constant rhythm through the same. It’s very different from the rest of the album, which may put out some listeners, but it’s worth to give it at least one chance as it creates amazing acoustic effects.
“Utsubeni no Tsuki” returns to the slower-paced rhythm of “Cuddle” and “Sephiroth no Ki”, although once we reach the second chorus, it becomes more rousing and inspiring than the others. A good song for that moment when you need some background music as you’re finishing the last details of a big project –it’s also fitting, as it’s the ending song for the Fate/Kaleid Liner movie. If you are a fan of the series, it will undoubtedly bring you memories of it, and the most epic moments of the story.
“Ashita no Kimi Sae Ireba Ii” starts very whimsical, and as it picks up speed and rhythm, is another great song for a good workout, or you can use it as part of a good soundtrack fit for a bicycle ride. It brings up images of nice sunny days and having a good time with your friends, so it’s a great song to cheer yourself up.
Of course, after such an energetic song, it’s not a surprise that Aria begins slow. But it also comes together with “Color of Time”, as it gives an epic vibe that goes right with it, only in the slower end of the genre. While “Color of Time” can be seen as the beginning of an adventure, Aria is that moment where you can rest after reaching a middle point of the same journey.
This brings us to “Searchlight”, the last song of the album, which follows the trend of starting slow and then reaching more speed as the song advances. But of all the fast songs, it’s also the most melancholic. It really sounds like a farewell, as if the album itself is telling us that it’s time for us to part, but it’s ok, because we’ll listen to it again some other time.
To summarize, Color of Time is a great album for both old time fans and newcomers who have just met ChouCho through her work in Fate/Kaleid Liner and other anime. It also has a very good balance between new songs and songs we’ve known thanks to their inclusion as openings and endings of different series. While some may say that it has enough Fate/Kaleid Liner songs to count as an unofficial album for the series, the truth is that given that many of those are in different albums and singles, having them all in one disc is great both for listening and collecting. All in all, Color of Time is an album that won’t disappoint you, and that really deserves a place in any j-music lover’s collection.
- Format: CD
- Release Date: 1/17/2018
- Language: Japanese
- # of Discs: 1
- Label: Lantis
- Price: ￥3,000
- Favorite Tracks: Utsubeni no Tsuki, Andante, Wonder Tail
- Official Website: http://choucho-net.com/