Salyu [Landmark] (First Album)

April 22, 2009

a01

Landmark
I Am
VALON-1
Niji no saki
Peaty
Taion
UEE
Dramatic Irony
Dialogue
Suisei
Pop

The album starts off with the insistent Landmark. I’m not sure, but this song really makes me think of a lonely travel, I just really got that feeling while listening to it. The arrangement is driven by the drums, the constant beat and pace of it was very consistent to the point that I found myself focusing on it more than Salyu’s vocal performance. Salyu’s vocal performance was pretty good, really liked all those high notes, mostly during the chorus. The song is long, and after a while it felt long, because I was kind a wondering when it was going to end, that made the song a bit long-winded and tiring. Its still a good track though, and a nice start to the album.

The next track on the album is the exhausting I Am. This song really made me tired. I’m on the fence with this track, but I think I like it because its not a bad song, not really. The arrangement consists mostly of synth and the drums, and I love the whole dark and somewhat conflicted atmosphere it arouses. Salyu’s vocal performance was decent, it went with the flow, but after a while it becomes a bit dull and I found it hard to stay focused on the song. This is an all right track, but for one that isn’t really all that long, it certainly felt like it was.

The next track is the down-tempo VALON-1. I don’t know, maybe its just me, but listening to this song made me think of those old black and white silent movies, yeah. This is a nice and rather calm song. The arrangement seems simple, yet a bit classical at the same time. I love the play of piano and drums, it brought such mood to this song. Salyu’s vocals were just as nice, adding such depth to the song and really making it stand out quite a bit. The song is long, but as where the other two tracks nearly put me in a stupor, this song was soothing, with a nice little undercurrent of sadness… and longing.

The next track on the album continues the slew of down-tempo’s with Niji no saki. This is another nice and rather calming track, that manages to play like a smooth dream whilst not lulling me to sleep in the process. The arrangement is rather simple, but its quite effective. Salyu’s slow and somewhat husky vocals gave me such an alternate Rie Fu vibe, as to where she can really pull off the slow tunes such as this.

The next track on the album is the rather bleak Peaty. The title is pretty odd, but the song is good. The arrangement is pretty natural, with a bit of soft rock thrown in there to spice things up, fitting. Salyu’s vocal performance was a bit different, as she has a lot more bass and edge is her tones and that made this song stand out a little.

The next track on the album is the empty Taion. This is a rather odd song, but it is very effective. The arrangement is pretty lucid, and gives you this feeling of floating absently through nothingness. Salyu’s vocals seem to mimic it, as she sounds very airy and it gives you such a feeling of high that is both strange and pleasant at the same time.

The next track on the album is UEE. This song is just as interesting as the title. It took me a short minute to get into it, but once I caught on to the flow, I was pretty much sold. The arrangement is pretty non existent, its there, but the drums play in such a smooth in mellow way that its hardly noticeable, which was nice. Salyu’s vocals were pretty sweet, I just love how she sang this in such a ‘i don’t give a care’ fashion, it really made me pay attention to it. This track doesn’t do much, but I definitely like the unhurried pace of it.

The next track on the album is the somewhat down-tempo Dramatic Irony. This song is pretty vague, that’s the impression I got. It makes me think of a slow and ponderous day. The arrangement is pretty simple and fitting, it doesn’t do much but what it should, though its still a nice listen. I liked the semi drawl to Salyu’s vocals, it reminded me of another version of her vocals in the previous track, she seemed more into this, but it was still a very laid-back vocal performance. This track doesn’t stand out, but its a nice listen overall.

The next track on the album is Dialogue. The title is rather plain, but the song seems very conflicting. The arrangement is pretty mellow and makes me think of the desert. Salyu’s vocal performance was pretty tame during the verses and then she really got into it during the chorus and the ways she sang it really brought on feelings of desperation. This isn’t a stand-out track, despite the chorus being pretty engaging, but it is a good and interesting listen.

The next track on the album is the similar-sounding Suisei. This track sounds like another version of the previous. I don’t know, this song isn’t really all that interesting, but I still find that I liked it. I guess its because it makes me think of coming across a great epiphany. The arrangement is pretty plain, but I did like Salyu’s vocal performance, just like in the previous she put a lot into the chorus.

The last track on the album is the dreary Pop. This song is pretty pass. I listened to it twice and didn’t really care for it. The arrangement makes me think of a breeze, but its pretty dull at the same time. I thought Salyu’s vocals mimicked the arrangement, because I hardly cared for it. A lot of the time she sounded so nonsensical. This was a calm ending to the album, but an unmemorable one at the same time.

-GRADE: A
Rating: *** stars

Salyu’s first album Landmark was a good album and I’ll admit I kind a had my doubts, but I love the soft flow of her music and the fact that she reminds me of an alternate Rie Fu arrangement wise and an alternate Chihiro vocal wise. I honestly didn’t think I was going to enjoy this album even half as much as I did, but I just loved the whole flow; every song seemed to speak of something, like a journey and it was all rather inspiring and profound. This is the type of album that will most definitely leave you in a ponderous sort of mood. I think I’m well on my way to becoming a fan.

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