[OLD] Paradise Lost + Nekokenban 13 – review

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Finally I bring you the long awaited review for the C91 stuff!

For the C91 vocal album, I expected Rasen Zetsubou (the new Pure Furies arrange, which was originally made for the Playstation version of Touhou Sky Arena) to be featured, mainly because almost all the tracks in the Touhou Kuenka UTAGE album got rereleased by their respective circles (half of these were even recycled during the same event of release). Also, an Old Adam arrange was mandatory, and I personally hoped for Outsider Cocktail, a theme that basically sounds like it was made for getting an awesome BUTAOTOME arrange. Fast forward until December: the Daikyushusai catalogue is online, and Buta’s circle cut has a new artwork, with Kaguya and what seemed to be Maribel (she was a bit covered and without her hat). I thought it was a spoiler for the album, and so I expected at least a new Hifuu song and a Kaguya track: another Lunatic Princess or maybe another theme that could be related to the moon princess. (Legend of Hourai would have been wonderful…) Finally, the announcement: Rasen Zetsubou confirmed, new Lunatic Princess, 3 new Hifuu songs including an arrange of Adventurer’s Tavern of Old World as first Old Adam arrange. And once again, Comp and Paprika arranging half of the album each.

Now, time to properly talk about Paradise Lost!
The design is very good! Both the cover and back arts are pretty, especially the Reisen illustration. I can’t help but Renko and Maribel’s poses made me think about that Adam and Eve painting. It could be just a coincidence, but judging by the fact that ZUN’s last album is named “Old Testament Tavern ~ Dateless Bar “Old Adam"”, and that “Paradise Lost” is first of all a poem with also Adam and Eve, then maybe the references are intentional. Though, this title seems to be pretty much spammed in song titles and such and they mostly refer to the concept of someone losing their paradise… Losing their hometown, just like this album’s theme. Anyway, my only complaint about the design is that there are no additional illustrations: I was hoping for a Junko or Hecatia artwork…

By the way, Ranko tweeted: "I’ve wrote 4 lyrics* for this time’s Touhou vocal album, Paradise Lost. People who lost their hometown, people who misunderstood their hometown, people who don’t know where their hometown is, the place where people live now is their hometown. By the way, for me Kaguya is a subject of fear.”

*It turned out that Ranko wrote Rasen Zetsubou as well (Comp also confirmed this to me), therefore she wrote 5 tracks for this album. Maybe, since the track was made during a different working session, she forgot about it… w

Music time!
1. Rasen Zetsubou
The album starts with a powerful rock track, as expected from a song originally made for Sky Arena. I was already a fan of Ikijigoku from Getsumen Tansa, but this song completely blows it away.
2. Nanakaime no Fuyu
The most “standard” Paprika track here. For some reasons I tend to define it as “what if Paprika arranged Yume ja nai Nanika”, with a bit of Dim. Dream before the chorus. And LALALALALAs near the end.
3. Haruka Tashika
This one is my favourite track of the album! I love its vocal melody, especially on the first verses and contrast between the various parts. Best part about it is around the end, where there is an abrupt guitar sound while Ranko sings “looking at the other side of the mirror”, as if the mirror is breaking :pv material:
4. Kyoujin Nikki
Paprika’s vocal take on Lunatic Princess is a good song with the piano as main base, accompanied succesively by the bass and the drum (and obviously the vocals).
This is the almost mandatory track with catchy chorus!
6. Mikan no Yue
My second favourite track. A very beautiful orchestral piece, but despite being short, it manages to be perfect in this way.
7. Mamanaranai
From the few JP comments I read, this one seems to be the fan favourite from this album. It’s also the most ordinary Comp track there, but it’s a very good Pandemonic Planet arrange!
8. Kanashisou de Ureshisou na Monogatari
To close the album, a soothing arrange of The Purest Sky and Sea, true to the atmosphere of the original theme. I simply love Ranko’s sweet tones, could she sing me a lullaby? Ok, sorry.

Overall, a great album! This time Comp went with his standard style, and Paprika experimented a bit. And Ranko is still on top!
It’s my least liked album from those released in 2016, but this was one of the best years for BUTAOTOME stuff, which says a lot! I loved every main vocal album released, and even the Neko albums and new original songs for the fanbook and music games were awesome. Paradise Lost is a good release to listen while waiting for Furubokko (needless to say, I’m eagerly excited for everything about it)!

Touhou Nekokenban 13
The Nekokenban this time is centered on countries, with every track based on a particular nation. It’s like a journey, and every song is different, even the intro and outro tracks. My personal favourites are the America track (a 20’s-syled piano solo), the London one (a celtic arrange of Luna Dial) and the Romania one (it starts with accordion, and then shifts in a calmer but still dark mood). Paprika, have the pansotti! :throws:

Now… I originally wanted to talk about the Best 3, but I’ll save the talks about it for a special article I’m writing! #soon

And that’s all for this review!