Napple Tale OST Vol. 2
In my opinion, you have to be angst-wrought and really, really hate music to not enjoy even one of Yoko Kanno's songs. On a totally different, yet related issue, I have here another album of Napple Tale music to review. Napple Tale Vol. 2: Illustrated Guide to the Monsters is the second album to the game, Napple Tale. As the title suggests, it consists of many monster themes, with a darker overtone than the first.
Of course, this is not to say the album is terrifyingly scary, or even mildly ghastly. In fact, there are many happy, peaceful tunes that sing about bunnies and butterflies rather than ghosts and furry monsters in the cupboard. Rather, the album takes a unique perspective of this dark side, intending to explore a different section of music-making. Therefore, there's a greater variety of tracks than on the previous album. 'Paffet Room' has a Western entertainer feel to it, bringing with it a circus atmosphere, as does the song 'Fiyol Land'.
In contrast, there is 'The man in the hole', which is an orchestral piece, accompanied by a strong baritone. I didn't like that song. Don't ask me; it just got on my nerves, as did the frantic 'Natsu no Petal'. 'Okane no Suki na Dragon' is just too weird for my tastes. However, there are beautiful songs as well, namely 'October Child,' which sounds like a far away lullaby, and the hauntingly innocent 'Rabbit Bed.' Yoko Kanno shows her versatility by having some jazz pieces as well. 'Be a Frog' is a piano/saxophone/guitar collaboration that has a groovy beat to it, while 'Tobasco' seems to a mesh of Ska and Mexican flavors. Very unique indeed.
Maaya Sakamoto plays a part here as well. As a vocalist in many of Yoko Kanno's compositions, she sings several songs in that innocent, melodious voice of hers. She plays a bigger role in this album that the first one, having more songs to sing. My favorite of the vocal songs is 'Dreams in a pie,' a soft piece that reminds me of a time when simple things mattered so much more, and life wasn't always so complicated. Sniff. However, her other vocal songs are pretty short, which leaves you wanting so much more.
How does she do it? How does Yoko Kanno conceive of such a world using only her music? Her music brings me to places which are limited only by my imagination and when a song ends, I crave more. So much more. The two Napple Tale albums manage to evoke so many different kinds of emotions in me that I feel like a kid again. Yes, that's it. Her music consists of an innocence that I cannot deny. I am a child again, and the world seems happier and more beautiful. And yes, I am telling you to go get these two albums right now.