An Cafe - Amazing Blue

 


Run time: --
Number of tracks: 7

Written By: Rachel Yarwood
Release Date: 8th August 2012

Tracklist:
Amazing Blue
Blooming-saku-
Bird's Tragedy
Self Instruction Manual
Clouds over moon, wind on flowers
You-know-who K Mental Clinic
End of Summer


The news that An Cafe were making a come back, with a brand new album and a world tour to follow shortly after, certainly made big news amongst their fans globally after a two year hiatus had left a gaping hole in the lives of many avid “Nyappy” music lovers. 
"Amazing Blue", the title of the band's come back album, consists of a modest seven tracks in total and will be released on the 8th of August in two editions. 

The first song, also entitled "Amazing Blue", welcomes us with a plethora of seaside or coastal sounds brought to a climax with a bellowed horn from a ship. Background clapping and an introductory guitar melody from Takuya, which ever so slightly reminds us of the guitar melody from Maple Gunman, follows and leads us in to a highly upbeat and toe tapping opening piece.
On the other hand, Miku's vocals are not quite what they used to be in years previous. There is a definite change to his style and his tone that is really quite prominent from the start of the album and unfortunately it makes him sound like he is holding back some of his energy.
However, with Yu-Ki's game-like synth, Teruki's upbeat drumming, and a low undertone bass rhythm from Kanon, "Amazing Blue" is one of the strongest tracks on the album, which arguably seems to pick up where An Cafe left. 
Altogether it is a good song to set the album on its way and neatly leads into the second track "Blooming Saku".

"Blooming Saku" is a very sweet sounding song, from both the melodies of the instruments and from Miku's vocals. 
There are lovely synth sounding violins and accompanying piano which adds a nice flow to the track, and along with the smooth vocals from Miku, the first minute or so you are nearly fooled into thinking that the pace of "Blooming Saku" is already stepping down after the energetic "Amazing blue".
Miku's vocals make the tempo of this song sound slower than it actually is but then Teruki's undeniable skills on the drums make you realise that this is more upbeat than first imagined. Takuya on the other hand seems to be drowned out by everything else going on that for near enough the entirety of this track you are straining to hear the guitar. This is particularly disappointing when compared with An Cafe's earlier works, as the guitar is nearly completely shadowed by other instruments and add-ons that you would usually hear as background melodies and sounds. Kanon's bass however you have no problem what-so-ever hearing and when you put both of these points together, it does seem a shame when you think that Takuya is meant to be lead guitar and should be heard clearly whilst Kanon is part of the rhythm and is the supporting instrument. 

The pace then quickens dramatically for the third track "Bird's Tragedy". Here we are introduced to a highly electronic turn of sound, curtsey of Yu-Ki, which is fast paced and certain to get your toes tapping along to the addictive rhythms and beats before "Self Instruction Manual" takes the pace down three or four notches again with a calmer and smoother sound.
Where Miku is concerned, "Self Instruction Manual" is arguably one of the better ones as the gentle and emotional feeling of this track is performed exceptionally well by him vocally and also we can actually hear each of the instruments separately, which is an added bonus. Even Takuya's guitar melodies can be heard clearly and throughout this time. 

"You-know-who K Mental Clinic", the sixth track, takes the album on another turn and will quite probably place it as the odd one out. 
This song begins with a darker and more low-key melody. Kanon's bass also sounds heavier which to begin with puts "You-know-who K Mental Clinic" in a sort of grunge category in comparison. This one is not your typical 'happy sunshine dance' sound and this is not necessarily a bad thing either because you can actually hear the full band in this track without it being shadowed by the keyboard or the drumming. 

"End Of Summer" is the seventh and final track on the album which is another slow ballad track. Here we have more subtle synth sounds, they are not as 'in your face' as before, and you can hear the accoustic guitar from Takuya perfectly.
"End Of Summer" is just a simple and beautiful ending track to "Amazing Blue" as there are no sugary melodies, drowning keyboard and synth, or fast paced drums. In addition, the accoustic guitar really is the defining feature of this song, and possibly for the album overall, as it both clear and lovely in quality.

"Amazing Blue" will be released in Regular and Limited Editions.
The Regular Edition will feature seven tracks only whereas the Limited Edition will feature a bonus DVD with special footage, plus the new music video for "Amazing Blue", and the making of.