Album Review: Launcher by LiSA

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Tracklist:

1. Mr.Launcher
2. Rising Hope
3. Rapid Life シンドローム (syndrome)
4. 蜜 (Mitsu)
5. アコガレ望遠鏡 (Akogare Bouenkyou)
6. Bright Flight
7. L.Miranic
8. Fragile Vampire
9. Antihero
10. Bad Sweet Trap
11. エレクトリリカル (Elect Lyrical)
12.君にピエロ (Kimini Piero)
13. No More Time Machine
14. シルシ (Shirushi)

Release Date: March 4, 2015

Launcher is the J-pop/rock artist LiSA (short for Love is Same All)’s 5th album, with the singles Rising Hope, Bright Flight/L.Miranic, and シルシ (Shirushi) featured on it.

1. Mr.Launcher
Mr.Launcher starts off with a nice guitar riff through a filter, before removing said filter. The guitar quiets for the verses, but comes back for the chorus. After the second chorus, another guitar riff comes in, being followed by the bridge. The chorus is sung for the remainder of the song, until a drum solo ends the song. A good song, but can be a little repetitive.

2. Rising Hope
Rising Hope is the opening theme for Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei/The Irregular at Magic High School (which I’m watching, so expect a review… sometime…) It is probably the song by her with the most english, topping even Crossing Field. The song starts off with a short piano solo, going straight into her singing afterward. This is followed by a guitar riff. After singing for a little bit, a big english part comes up. Here is a line from it: Pay Attention! Hey, what is it? Anyway, the song transitions into the chorus well. The chorus is a surprisingly connected part, in an otherwise less smooth song. The bridge is yet another guitar riff, and her reprising the part leading into the chorus. The song ends with a part similar to the intro (minus the piano), but the ending is abrupt. Yet another good song, aside from the ending.

3. Rapid Life シンドローム (syndrome)
Rapid Life Syndrome starts with a distorted guitar, with LiSA coming in with some more english. Another guitar riff comes in, leading into the verse. The verse is a little reminiscent of some other songs, namely I’m a Rock Star. The second part of the verse is very strange, compared to the rest of the song. It slows down, almost like a Bossa Nova. The song goes right back to the normal guitar right afterward, thankfully. The chorus is in a different key than the rest of the song, again, reminiscent of I’m a Rock Star. Though the drums need to take a chill pill, because they’re just banging away like there’s no tomorrow.
The songs does another verse in the same style as the first one. The bossa nova-ish part is a little faster, and seems less out of place. The bridge stars with some clapping, with the latter part of it has some others echo what LiSA is singing. That is followed by, surprise, another guitar riff. A solid song, aside from the out-of-place section.

4. 蜜 (Mitsu)
Mitsu I feel like is a cross between Rising Hope and Eien (from Letters to U), with a little bit of Egoistic Shooter (Lover “S” Mile). It takes the piano and guitar from Rising Hope, but the darker tone from Eien and Egoistic Shooter. The first part of the verse is her singing to piano, before repeating it with guitar. The chorus is nice, but does an unnecessary key change in the middle, which would have only been beneficial in the last chorus. The next part is very similar to the previous. The bridge is… Actually, a nice piano section, to contrast with guitar riff bridges of her other songs. The song ends with guitars doing a disgusting chord, taken straight from Eien. Yet another good song, but the strange key change in the chorus and the guitars at the ending ruin it.

5. アコガレ望遠鏡 (Akogare Bouenkyou)
Akogare Bouenkyou is one of her more upbeat and relaxing songs, and a nice contrast to Mitsu. The song starts with LiSA singing to guitar and piano, which is followed by a guitar riff with some nice clapping in it. The verse is similar to the intro, with guitar and drums accompanying her. It slows down a little leading into the chorus, but gets back up to speed at the chorus. The second verse is pretty much the same as the first verse, and this carries on into the chorus. The bridge is nice, with LiSA singing before the guitar riff, instead of after it. An excellent song, definitely one for when you’re in a good mood.

6. Bright Flight
Bright Flight, despite being a single, has no tie in with any anime, similarly to Kalafina’s Progressive. Bright Flight starts out with synthesizers and guitar, before LiSA comes in. This song has a lot of synths in it, and is similar to some of the more stereotypical J-pop songs. Anyway, the verse starts off with synths and acoustic guitar accompanying her. That’s pretty much what the verse is made of it. The chorus is pretty much the same as well. And pretty much the whole song in a nutshell. Because of the song comes off as not having much depth, and a little annoying at times.

7. L.Miranic
L.Miranic, being the double A-side to Bright Flight, has no tie in with any anime. This song is a complete contrast to the happy-go-lucky Bright Flight, and is very similar to Egoistic Shooter. You could pretty much call this Egoistic Shooter Version 2. Heck, LiSA even uses her deeper register that was used in it. So, like Egoistic Shooter, this song has very strong guitars and drums. The chorus is complete awesomeness with the countermelody fitting in perfectly with the main melody. The song goes into the bridge after that, with the second part having the drums help move a quieter part along. After that section, the song goes back into the chorus. Back to another quiet section later in the song, there is another countermelody, this time just repeating “Hello, hello” with the lines of the melody. The song ends with a simple “It’s you.” This is definitely one of the best songs on the album, even though it was not originally from the album.

8. Fragile Vampire
Fragile Vampire starts with an epic guitar riff, which fades when LiSA comes in. It’s mainly just her, the bass and drums for the verse, with the guitar coming back back in later on, which stays for the chorus. The bridge has a strange, clearly american girl speaking, who says, “All I want is the light, but here I am in the dark. I just wish I was born the same as everyone else. When will this end? When will they find me?” After that english section, the song transitions into a guitar riff. The song ends with another riff, which abruptly ends. Another great song, aside from the strange english section.

9. Antihero
Antihero starts with a riff, with LiSA following it. Once again, she uses her deeper register like in Egoistic Shooter and L.Miranic. The song builds on itself leading up to the chorus, with the chorus itself being pretty good. The best part of it is when she sings, “Hello Hello Hello.” The chorus ends with “I am a hero. Wooooooah.” The second verse chooses to use synthesizers instead of guitar as backup, which is a nice touch. The outro is a nice guitar solo, as a pose to a riff.

10. Bad Sweet Trap
Bad Sweet Trap is pretty similar to Antihero in terms of how the song is set up. The verse stars with guitar and drums, but quiets into metronome and a toned down guitar. The chorus is not much different from the first part of the verse, with guitar and drum. The second verse and chorus are pretty much a rehash of their first parts. The bridge, like a lot of LiSA songs, is mainly guitar followed by LiSA singing. The vocal part of the bridge has her singing “One time” followed by a line, then “Two times”, etc., up to “Four Times,” where another riff leads into the chorus. This song also ends abruptly, as with other songs. Yet another great guitar-based song.

11. エレクトリリカル (Elect Lyrical)
Elect Lyrical, like Bright Flight, is a song that probably won’t be too far away from the stereotypical J-pop song. This one, however, also reminds me a little bit of ClariS’ typical style. The song starts off with 8-bit style instruments, which are replaced by synths before the verse. The verse is annoying because it doesn’t transition from the intro well, and the whole style is extraordinarily different from LiSA’s typical style (in a bad way), even for her upbeat songs. The chorus doesn’t help its case, having the same problems as the verse.
And the bridge? Don’t get me started. Even worse than the verse and chorus. I swear that they just coped out and some vocaloid during it. If I were the producer, I would have dropped this song and given it to ClariS or Vocaloid. Perhaps a ClariS x Hatsune Miku crossover would work well for this song, but not LiSA.

12. 君にピエロ (Kimini Piero)
Kimini Piero starts with LiSA and an acoustic guitar, which is really relaxing. The chorus is even better. LiSA goes almost immediately into her head voice for a line, with the acoustic guitar still going strong in the background. Leading out of the chorus, the song slows down a tad for a small bit, with some oooooh’s accompanying her singing. The acoustic guitar gets a solo, before going into the second verse. The second verse has the electric guitar louder, but the acoustic still going strong. The song doesn’t change much for the second chorus, still including her awesome head voice. The bridge still has the heavenly acoustic guitar, but it enters a different key. The last chorus keeps this key change, and makes all LiSA fans immediately fanboy/girl over her even more then they already have. One of the best songs on the album, no doubt.

13. No More Time Machine
No More Time Machine was the second ending theme for the anime Sword Art Online II, where it was played during the excalibur arc. The song starts with piano, acoustic guitar, and tambourine, with “You need a time machine?” through a filter. The verse continues with the acoustic guitar, tambourine, & piano theme, mainly piano. The chorus is the best part, being relaxing as well, though not as much as Kimini Piero. The second verse and chorus are exactly like the first verse and chorus. The bridge begins with a nice piano-guitar duo, with the vocal part being good. The next part is through a filter, where it is removed. The song ends with “I don’t need a time machine,” which is really nice. Another good song, but overshadowed by the A-song of the single it’s on, which is also #14 on this album.

14. シルシ (Shirushi)
Shirushi is the third ending theme to Sword Art Online II, played during the Mother’s Rosario arc. The song is very different in a good way from LiSA’s normal style, by almost completely ditching the electric guitar. When I first heard this song when I was watching SAOII, I was surprised that this song was by LiSA. Anyway, the song starts with piano, which goes into her sing along to the piano. Leading up to the chorus, this song builds and gets even sadder. The chorus is incredibly powerful, not only because of the song, but because her high notes are sung excellently, especially on “Kodou” in the first chorus. The chorus ends sadly, but picks up in the verse. The verse is similar to the first verse, which is good. The second chorus is also almost identical, but the high line is “hayasa de.” The bridge starts straight out of that chorus, and is definitely the saddest and most powerful point in the song. It goes into piano and *gasp* violin afterward, which leads into the chorus being sung to piano alone. The song quickly has the other instruments come in, for the final chorus. The song and album end with piano. Truly, a masterpiece. LiSA needs to do more ballad singles, cause the one that she did do was spectacular.

Top Songs
1. Shirushi
2. Kimini Piero
3. L.Miranic
4. Antihero
5. Bad Sweet Trap

Well, enough of me over-criticizing LiSA. Launcher is probably her best album yet, and I definitely recommend you download it right away. It is available in the US and Canada from iTunes for $10, less if you have bought Rising Hope, No More Time Machine, and/or Shirushi. I probably not going to be doing any more album reviews for a long while, unless Kalafina has an album release sometime during 2015. I will be reviewing their next single, “Ring your Bell,” which releases on May 13, 2015, so be on the lookout for that release.

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5 thoughts on “Album Review: Launcher by LiSA

  1. Y so mean at Electrilyrical? it was very good(and cute) for me,a change of pace for a rockish album ,but moving on this whole album is wicked sick for a jpop/rock genre,all tracks are superb,but Akogare Bouenkyou is the very special song for me.LiSA is one of a kind artist ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would definitely agree that LiSA is one of a kind, and that Launcher is more rock-based than her other albums. However, I mainly listen to LiSA for the rock, not so much for pop (even though, as I said in the post, Kimini Piero is heavenly). And for ClariS, the only songs I really like from them is the Madoka songs (and that’s the reason I like those songs). I think that Elect Lyrical is too close to ClariS, and I find it annoying for that reason.

      Like

      • at first when i listened on electrilyrical,it was really a meh for me but it grew as i listened to the album countless times,also it was enjoyable live with the dance and all that stuff(i attended at LiSA’s concert in manila btw :D) but i’m not really fan of ClariS,and yeah Kimi ni Piero is a masterpiece mainly because of the ambiance of the song

        Liked by 1 person

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