Another brand new music release from the Macross Frontier universe and since the festive season of Christmas is upon us, what better way to get into the spirit of festivities by taking a listen to Macross Frontier Idols, Ranka and Sheryl, belting out their cosmic contributions to the jolly season.
Album Title: Macross F Concept Album ‘Cosmic Cuune’
Artist(s): Ranka Lee starring Megumi Nakajima & Sheryl Nome starring May’n
Release Date: 24-Nov-2010
Cosmic Cuune is Macross Frontier’s concept album for 2010 Christmas. The album is produced by Kanno Yoko and the songs are performed by May’n as Sheryl Nome and Nakajima Megumi as Ranka Lee.
There are 8 tracks on the album and it includes a Christmas version of Nakajima’s “Seikan Hikou”, re-titled to “Seikan Eve“. I thought Seikan Eve was a rather good re-mix version, even better than the original. It has to do with the re-arrangement and the inclusion of May’n providing the backing vocals. The dual vocals made the song sound less cutesy and inject a more sophisticated cosmic vibe. It’s the best non-new song on the album for sure. The two new Ranka numbers are ‘Songbird‘ which is the album’s opening song and track 4 ‘Ranka no Kutsushita no Uta‘, a song about stockings or socks *lol*. I’m very impressed with ‘Songbird‘ and it’s possibly the most mature sounding Ranka song we’ll get to hear at this point. The song showcased Nakajima’s greatly improved vocal performance. Her voice is more expressive, stronger and less restrained in range, very much suited for the well composed song. On top of that, I thought it’s a nice departure from the usual syrupy sweet songs that Ranka usually sings. Imo, best Ranka track and best song of the album. ‘Kutsushita no Uta‘ on the other hand, is a candy-sweet mellow Christmas number where once again, Nakajima’s vocal delivery is back in cutesy character mode. The melody is very much in the vain of ‘Nekko Nikki‘.
Sheryl too has contributed 2 solo new songs on Cosmic Cuune and they are ‘Liebe ~ Maboroshi no Hikari‘ and ‘Funanori‘. The songs are definitely not Christmassy sounding and both are what you expect of a Sheryl number; dramatic and emotional. Of these two, I like ‘Liebe ~Maboroshi no Hikari‘ for the airy, atmospheric effect and the piano intro although I thought May’n might have oversung the song in parts. Still, I loved the music arrangement and melody which reminded me a tad of ‘Yousei‘, one of my favourite Sheryl songs. ‘Funanori‘ is yet another depressing sentimental ballad but with an understated arrangement than ‘Liebe’. Unfortunately it doesn’t appeal to me because the song made Sheryl seemed ‘old’. Surely not one of the songs from her that I like. Best Sheryl track on this album is definitely ‘Liebe’.
Finally, we’re on to the 3 new duet numbers featured on Cosmic Cunne i.e. track 2 ‘Silent de Nanka Irarenai‘, track 7 ‘Merry Christmas without You‘ and the closing song ‘Tablet‘. Of these 3 duets, ‘Tablet‘ is my favourite hands down. The girls complement each other with their awesome vocal delivery and it helps that the song is well arranged and with a catchy melody to boot. It’s the best Macross F pop duet to come out since Lion and I even think that is better than ‘Lion‘ in terms of vocal performance. Nice indeed! The other duet I enjoy is the Christmas number ‘Merry Christmas without you‘ which featured not only the voices of Sheryl and Ranka but the other MF characters as well although they came in only towards the end of the song. That contribution alone made this the most, fun and festive ‘kyun-kyun’ number on the album. On the flip side, ‘Silent de Nanka Irarenai‘ sounds too noisy and a tad cheesy for my liking. Didn’t like the chorus and the girls’ vocals appear to be overwhelmed by the music arrangement.
Best New Ranka Song and Overall Best Song: Songbird
Best New Sheryl Song and Best Song 2nd Runner-up: Liebe ~Maboroshi no Hikari
Best New Duet Song and Best Song 1st Runner-up: Tablet
Most Fun Groupie Song: Merry Christmas without you
Best Re-arranged Song: Seikan Eve
Verdict: A worthy addition to the Macross Frontier music collection.
02. Silent de Nanka Irarenai
03. Seikan Eve (Seikan Hikou Christmas ver.)
04. Ranka no “Kutsushita no Uta.”
05. Liebe ~ Maboroshi no Hikari
07. Merry Christmas without You