Various Artists - V-Rock Disney (2011, Japan) Rating: 2.5/5
Favorite Tracks: Chim Chim Cher-ee, This is Halloween, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
When I heard that jrock was going to try its hands at Disney songs, I was partially curious yet skeptical to the idea. Nonetheless, I wanted to find out how this album was going to turn out.
Nightmare's cover of Fantasia's "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" opens up the album. They essentially kept the original arrangement, but added a more rocking flare to it. I love the small bits of dueling guitar moments. Definitely shows a harder side to the band. Next is their cover of Aladdin's "Friend Like Me". It has a nice bass driven sound that's very lounge-esque, think of "Dasei Boogie" sound. I'm not completely sure if the lyrics are a mixture of Japanese and Engrish or what, but Yomi tried. Next track is the theme to Beauty and the Beast sung by LUNA SEA's Ryuichi Kawamura. The song is very calming with soft drums and stray guitar sounds. Rest assure, it still maintains its beauty in Japanese. Although, there are a few places in the song I get a bit annoyed with his voice, but overall the cover is good. Here's a song I really raised eyebrow to when I saw it. This is "Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride" covered by PENICILLIN from Lilo & Stitch. I honestly had to re-listen to the original to remember what it sounded like. I'm not completely sure what to think of this cover. It's really...odd. So, I'll just move onto the next song which is "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from the classical Mary Poppins performed by Plastic Tree. This was another eyebrow raiser. This definitely sounds like a grey cloud mellow Plastic Tree song. I kinda like it, but those who expected to have some sunshiny feeling like the original won't get that from this slowed down version. Surprisingly, this took me some to adjust to listening to Nightmare Before Christmas's "This is Halloween" by Sadie, but I really like it. Considering I've listened to the original and the Marilyn Mason version more often, but I like the arrangement choices. From Mao's growls, distorted yells, and whispers, it makes the song super eerie and the music sounds a little different then their norm. Lots of guitar highlights and musical risks. You probably never would've guessed, but "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" was one of my favorite Lion King songs as a kid and seeing that Ayabie's Aoi was covering made both excited and nervous. It's definitely more upbeat, which is a little odd, but it works with Aoi's voice. Good job, kid. We have another Mary Poppins tune by the name of "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" covered by none other than THE KIDDIE. This definitely was a good match. It has great energy and the Engrish is so cute. >//> I have never heard of Ninjaman Japan, but next is their cover of Pinocchio's "When You Wish Upon a Star". It starts off slow and promising, then it picks up very rock like. Not a particular fan of the vocals. Next is Snow White's "Heigh-Ho" by CASCADE which is quite...obnoxious. I've never heard of DASEIN either, but they close out this album with Tarzan's "You'll Be In My Heart". Of course, nothing compares to the great Phil Collins, but this was actually pretty good. The music is still pretty calming and the vocals match as well. Good way to end this cover album.
In the end, I'm not overly impressed with the whole collection. Not many tracks blew me away, but I commend the artists and bands for contributing in such a bold cover album of Disney classics. I'm curious if they're going to try for a second volume like they did with the 90's visual kei songs. Please look out for that review!
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