Owata’s second album is something you maybe have not heard yet. Despite the fact that now there are hundreds of Owata’s fans whose favorite songs lists are literally flooded with his Benzen series works, this album hadn’t gained much popularity back in 2009. The 18-track disc features one of his most notable works – Paradichlorobenzene – as well as a bunch of album-only songs, e.g. Start, Nice Days, Ano Theme or Unlock your world.
What made me want to write about this ‘aged’ piece is the inventive way in which it was composed. The producer decided to experiment and put the intro song – Start – all the way at the end. The meaning of that is something you will realize only if you are an extremely perceptive person if you listen to the whole album again – or should I say, if you try to ‘Again, live’? This is a mere theory of mine, but it’s not only the lyrics of the songs that carry a message, it’s their order, too. For every tomato you hate there is a carrot and an onii-chan you love. I wonder if that’s what Owata intended to tell the world by Benzen ＼(^o^)／.
And since this is meant to be a review, let’s do some reviewing. My favorite pieces so far are Paradichlorobenzene, Ex-benzen and (mostly because humor can literally be considered one of my biological needs) Joke Festival! The exclamation mark is a part of the name, but you’re right, there are very few people who knows about this amusing music piece, so I guess it wouldn’t be a bad idea to shout it out to the world. When we’re at it, we could go and Unlock our world as well, ne? What I love about the album the most is, as I stated before, the thoughtful message it carries under its belt, but that doesn’t hide its flaws – in the case you are a realist who focuses more on the quality of the work and excepts a pleasurable music experience all the way from the top to the bottom of the CD, I would think twice before recomending it to you. Some songs, even with all the skills and effort Owata has surely put into composing them, got a bit spoiled sometimes by the use of a Vocaloid, namely the use of Miku’s Engrish at the end of the beautiful piano tune Unlock your world that would sound much nicer if the producer left it in the instrumental stage of evolution.
For me, it’s 4/5 but you can’t judge an album by it’s cover, so go ahead and try for yourself.