Credits: 2000 Pioneer Entertainment
- One Day
- For Jasmine
- Anna Maria
- Duvet (Acoustic)
- Little Miss
Beyond Anime Fandom Like any dangerously addicted anime fan, I got a dose of BOA through Serial Experiments Lain. Ironically, the band had been around since 1993 but only became critically acclaimed all over the world in 1999, when their song Duvet was used as opening song for the said anime. With Twilight, BOA proves that they are more than just opening acts for a Japanese anime show. They’ve got high-class skill and caliber. And no, they’re not a Japanese band—they’re from the UK—which is why they do not sound JPOP.
Prominent brother/sister tandem of Steve and Jasmine Rodgers (Yes, they’re rock star legend Paul Rodgers’ children) write most of the lyrics. With Alex Caird on bass, Paul Turrell on keyboards and string arrangements, and Lee Sullivan on drums, how can you go wrong? If their hauntingly provocative folk rock sound isn’t enough to catch your attention, the lyrics surely will.
Your word and my word and your word is/Tomorrow, today and yesterday/But it’s a necessary evil/And you will find your way there/Your feelings and mine are all holy/and you give me an inner sanctity…And you still want it/The inner sanctity/And it’s an evil/But the evil is necessary. These are just a few lines from the track Twilight. Gives you an urge to suddenly re-address your philosophies, doesn’t it? Sometimes I can’t shake the feeling that they’re playing what’s in my head and what I’m currently feeling. For the angry and betrayed, there’s Scoring: “Destructive rage, it’s just easier to be that way/At least you never have to eat the words you say/I take pleasure in being all alone/I save passion in making it on my own…I will never be beaten by your brutality/I will never be shaken by your stupidity“. They can even be hilariously dripping with sarcasm, you just can’t help but laugh, like in Drinking’s “You say the drinking is better than a woman/And you say the thinking takes too much time/Well God save your children should you have them/For, to you, there’s nothing if there’s no wine“. I’m still swimming in guffaws as I listen to it. And I haven’t even begun talking about the symbolic Anna Maria.
Unlike what Serial Experiments Lain fans have heard in Duvet, the other tracks in this album aren’t as acoustics friendly. Duvet, though beautiful in its simplicity, does not even showcase Jasmine Rodgers’ full vocal potential, although I guarantee the accompaniments will take your breath away. The interesting play of Jasmine’s registers, of course, reminds me of a banshee—that mythical Irish ghost who wails when she senses death in the family. One might get a bit of a shock listening to songs like Rain, with Jasmine belting out, “Suicide is rain in pain!” and her powerful chanting in Fool, accompanied by heavy guitars effects. Plus, you get to hear Steve Rodgers in One Day (You think he can play JC in Jesus Christ Superstar?). Steve songs are so precious because they are very rare. Listen carefully and you’ll hear so much of his dad in him.
Personally, I lean towards their “softer” works such as Duvet Acoustic, Twilight, Welcome, Drinking and Elephant, but I can’t help loving the rest of the album as well. Excellence demands it; from their lyrics to their melodies down to the way they execute their instrumental effects. There are no irritating vocal gymnastics, only a lot of impressive guitar riffs and acrobatics. I almost failed to mention it also has a lot of experimental genre-benders as evident in For Jasmine, Anna Maria, Deeply and Welcome—especially Welcome, where Jasmine sounds a lot like a cross between Sade and Bjork. I swear, I could have heard some reggae, ska, jazz, and some Latin influences in this package! Like I said, talent like theirs aren’t going to be obscure for so long—even if it did take them nearly a decade to make themselves known to the rest of us non-British peeps.
ED NOTE: If you need to see my in-depth review of Serial Experiments Lain OST and Lain Cyberia Mix, in relation to this opinion, you can visit Anime Okashi.
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