Review: Mizuki Nana — 純潔パラドックス (Junketsu Paradox)

So far, 2011 has been quite a year for Nana. Full orchestra concert, a long tour, three singles, and in December she’ll be performing at Tokyo Dome. Wow. It feels like so much is happening at once, having waited 9 months from “IMPACT EXCITER” for a new release (“SCARLET KNIGHT” and “POP MASTER”). I’m really excited for the rest of this year. Since she sang “Junketsu Paradox” during Live Journey, I wonder what’s in store for us come her December concert. Maybe by then…new album? We can hope. Bringing this back to the single, 「純潔パラドックス (Junketsu Paradox)」 is another amazing release all around. It follows the pattern that her last couple of singles have seemed to display, with the single including an A-side in the Nana-style we love, a catchy pop tune, and an epic rock or strings song (Ex: “UNCHAIN WORLD”, “Juujika no Spread”, “UNBREAKABLE”). I am very pleased with this single, as I usually am with all of Nana’s releases. The PV is excellent, on par with that of “Etsuraku Camellia”, and the CD jacket could very well be my favorite of her singles. I really wonder about that album…

1. 純潔パラドックス (Junketsu Paradox)
This song got better with more listens. It’s still not as eye-poppingly epic as “SCARlET KNIGHT”, but it has its moments. For example, the strings opening in the beginning, and reappearing at the end is really nice. I also like the more “Mugen”-like style here as opposed to the recent strings-only A-sides we’ve been getting. The ending chorus is epic as well, and as usual Nana sounds great. And as I said before, I really like the bass guitar in this song. I can’t really decide if I like this more than “POP MASTER”. Comparing them and deciding is difficult because they’re such different songs, but as stated before this song takes a back seat to “SCARLET KNIGHT”. Overall though, it’s a really good song, and it meets the standard Nana has set for herself by being…awesome.

I’m starting to really love this song. I really like Nana’s simple pop songs, “Strobe Cinema” was one of my favorites from “IMPACT EXCITER”. Heh heh. Who knows, with more listens I may end up liking this more than the A-side. The guitar mixes well with the piano, and the chorus is so damn catchy. “PERFECT SMILE” rewind = win.

3. Stay Gold
Woah to the opening’s synthy-clicking. Then they come back just before the chorus, where Nana sings beautifully by the way. And oh my God, that high note she hits in the chorus. So awesome! This song is a bit all over the place, and incredibly unexpected after “7COLORS”, but I should’ve known something like this would be on the single. Wow though, I judged by the title that this would be another pop song. I was quite wrong. The whole song feels like its a mash-up of “DRAGONIA” and “UNBREAKABLE”. Really cool, but in my opinion it isn’t unique enough to stand out. If I wanted to listen to a song like this, I could just go listen to either of the two songs I just mentioned. “Stay Gold” is a lot like “Chinmoku no Kajitsu” in that regard; if I wanted to listen to a song like it, I would just go listen to its superior parents: “Orchestral Fantasia” and “Zankou no Gaia”, two of Nana’s best songs. I’ll definitely enjoy listening to “Stay Gold” sometimes, but it’s not a song I would loop endlessly like either of the other two songs on this single. But, Nana sounds AMAZING in this song, like, outstanding, and so that is one thing I will keep coming back for. Really, the song is vocally spectacular, it’s just the chorus that sounds used instrumentally.

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