Rurutia [Promised Land] (Third Album)

April 21, 2009

ハレルヤ (Hallelujah)
neo
アラベスク (Arabesque)
シンシア (Cynthia)
トロイメライ (Träumerei; Fantasy)
ジゼル (Giselle)
流れ星 (Nagareboshi; Shooting Star)
メリー (Merry)
GOLA
月千一夜 (Tsuki Sen’ichiya; One Thousand and One Moonlit Nights)
maururu roa (‘thank you very much’)

The album starts off with the edgy ハレルヤ (Hallelujah). Ah, what can I say, did I really think this song was going to be so hard-hitting? Not really. Rurutia certainly knows how to start her albums off with a bang. The arrangement is pretty gritty, I’d say the best classification is rock and its pretty dark, making one think of storm filled skies. Rurutia’s vocal performance was pretty weak, but I mean weak in a powerful sort of way, well not so powerful, but close enough. I mean she certainly got the point across despite not standing out much. I wonder if this song is religious, though I shouldn’t just come to that conclusion because of the title. This isn’t a song I would listen to, really. I do think it was a good start to the album though.

The next track on the album is the soothing neo. This track is a lot more calming than the previous and much more welcome. The arrangement is mild, it sounds like the wind blowing and I really liked the soft chorus of ‘ah’s’ in the background. Rurutia’s rather weak voice suited this song and she sounded really nice and placating.

The next track on the album is アラベスク (Arabesque). I got such an Arabian vibe from this song, but mostly at the start a ways into it, it seemed to become less Middle Eastern and more cultural. The arrangement sounds very windy and natural, making you think of places like Egypt and Cairo. Rurutia’s vocals were simplistic, but I like how she manipulated her tones to blend into the arrangement, it brought such depth and atmosphere to the song and made it quite the inspiring listen.

The next track on the album keeps the calm pace going with シンシア (Cynthia). This is a song that seems to just pass over you, but it still manages to retain some form of interest. The arrangement is the usual, natural sounds Rurutia is so fond of and her weak, though nice vocals. This song is all right, but I think I like it mostly because of the chorus.

The next track on the album is the brief, but I kind a like it anyways トロイメライ (Träumerei; Fantasy). I think I like this song mostly because of the arrangement which is sparkly and oh-so quietly whimsical on the ears, it left me with a good feeling. I don’t too much care for Rurutia’s vocal performance, but she did a decent job considering. Its not her most stand out track, but its all right, if only for the arrangement.

The next track on the album is the windy ジゼル (Giselle). I’m kind a on the fence with this track, it seems all right from an aesthetic point of view, but I don’t know its a bit long-winded and tiresome. The arrangement is pretty non-existent, a whole bunch of air sounds blended together to make everything sound ethereal, nice, but she should have minest well sung this a capella. I liked her vocal performance even less in this track, it wasn’t bad per say, but it wasn’t particularly interesting either. I don’t know, maybe this track a grow on me.

The next track on the album keeps the same pace going with 流れ星 (Nagareboshi; Shooting Star). This is definitely one of my favorite Japanese words, but this song is pretty underwhelming compared to it. The arrangement is your typical Rurutia ethereal sounds fare and her vocal performance is pretty much how it always is, weak, yet effective. This song does nothing to stand out, or separate itself from anything I haven’t already heard from Rurutia and better, though despite that I still find myself inclined to like it.

The next track on the album is メリー (Merry). This track is a bit better than the previous, but still falls into the same category as it isn’t anything new and gives us what Rurutia always gives us, a nice instrumental and a pretty solid vocal performance.

The next track on the album is the solemn GOLA. This song seems to pass over you like the wind, I mean that’s really the impression I got. There’s nothing different about this song, arrangement wise or vocal wise, but its quite lovely and rather wistful.

The second to last track on the album is the moody 月千一夜 (Tsuki Sen’ichiya; One Thousand and One Moonlit Nights). I really like what this title translates to, gorgeous. This song is pretty different, the arrangement is very trance an dramatic it gave me such an Enigma meets LOTR’s vibe. Rurutia’s vocals were still pretty much the same, though more surreal and controlled. This was a rather intriguing listen.

The last track on the album is maururu roa (‘thank you very much’). The word is interesting, because its an Tahitian word, which means: ‘thank-you very much’ I thought that was pretty neat. This isn’t a song, but mostly ethereal sounds and a drum beat that plays at a constant and almost distracting pace. Rurutia doesn’t sing, really, but says a string of words that I’m not sure are Japanese, maybe she’s saying the title over and over again? It also sounds like she is chanting. A pretty typical Rurutia album closer.

-GRADE: B+
Rating: ** stars

Rurutia’s third album Promised Land is a pretty album, but though a bit better than Meme it suffers from the same thing that album suffered from, being rather unmemorable. It could be because everything about Rurutia seems to fade away, I mean while listening to it, it feels as if you’ll never forget the song, because Rurutia songs tend to leave quite an impression on me; ‘itoshigo yo’ and ‘pavane’ are perfect examples of Rurutia songs that will just stay with me, because they are so incredible, but with these tracks once the tracks fade, it just leaves me. Promised Land was a good album, because Rurutia doesn’t really have a bad album, but this just didn’t leave much of an impact, despite me liking the majority of the album. I’d still recommend it though, its quite the listen, like all Rurutia albums are, if only for the ethereal-ness of them.

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