Prism / プリズム released!

Prism / PURIZUMU / プリズム

Today is October 28, and Oku Hanako’s new album, Prism / プリズム, has been released!

Cover art for "Prism" (CD-only)

Cover art for “Prism” (CD-only)

Cover art for "Prism" (CD+DVD)

Cover art for “Prism” (CD+DVD)

Box art for "Prism" (10th Anniversary Edition)

Box art for “Prism” (10th Anniversary Edition)

In Japan, the first people to get it got one of a number of bonus items depending on where they got it from.

A pocket mirror from Shinseido featuring Piri and a keyboard:

Prism pocket mirror

Prism pocket mirror

Mini notepads from TSUTAYA (red) and TOWER RECORDS (yellow) with a piano and lots of Piri:

Prism mini notebooks with the CDs

Prism mini notebooks

Lastly, mini clear files from Ouenten (Piri) and Animate (Hanabi):

Prism mini clear files

Prism mini clear files

The Animate clear file features art from the new Hanabi / 花火 music video by Mogelatte / モゲラッタ (HoneyWorks) (yes, I know the kana says ta / タ, not te / テ, but that’s how they romanized it). I still haven’t found it, but hopefully Pony Canyon uploads it soon.

Here’s the final track list:

  1. Kusabi / 楔 -くさび- (“Wedge”)
  2. Statice / スターチス (“Statice“)
  3. Tokyo Kurashi / 東京暮らし (“Tokyo Life”)
  4. Sukidattanda / 好きだったんだ (“I Used to Like You”)
  5. Nagareboshi / 流れ星 (“Shooting Star”)
  6. Tomodachi no Mama de / 友達のままで (“Staying Friends”)
  7. Rashinban / 羅針盤 (“Compass”)
  8. Ame no Prism / 雨のプリズム (“Prism of Rain”)
  9. Taisetsu na Mono / 大切なもの (Album mix ver.) (“Valuable Things”)
  10. Usotsuki / 嘘つき (“Liar”)
  11. Kimi ga Kureta Natsu / 君がくれた夏 (“The Summer You Gave Me”)
  12. Hanabi / 花火 (“Fireworks”)
  13. Ganbare / ガンバレ (“Do Your Best”)

The returning songs in this album are “Kimi ga Kureta Natsu” and “Taisetsu na Mono” from the March single “Kimi ga Kureta Natsu”, and “Kusabi” and “Hanabi” from the July single “Kusabi”.

Nobody has uploaded anything yet, not even “Tokyo Kurashi”, which was aired on radio at some point, so the opinions on the songs are solely based on the previews on Oricon and Amazon.

As expected, this album seems to extend the style established by the two singles before it. Some of the songs sound like her songs from 2007-2009 but arranged, and some have this style that sounds really familiar, but I can’t place it.

The first thing that caught my eye when reading the final track list is “Taisetsu na Mono”: it’s the “Album mix” version. I don’t know what they could have changed to make it a new version because this song already has a pretty full arrangement. Kimi no Egao / 君の笑顔 got an album mix version and that didn’t turn out very well. “Happy Days” got an album mix version and I could hardly tell what’s changed, except for the live concert bit at the end. My guess is that “Taisetsu na Mono” will be mixed like “Happy Days”, with a live concert audience singing along for the “la la la” part at the end.

I think the closest thing we’ll get to a hikigatari track is “Sukidattanda” with an electric piano. Who knows, though, the later half of the song might have some light arrangement like Trump / トランプ did. “Usotsuki”, while having a guitar and some light strings (maybe just a single violin), also sounds very acoustic.

The track that I suspect will get the most mixed responses is “Rashinban”. It reminds me a little of Puzzle / パズル, and those of you who are familiar with the song will know that that’s all I need to say.

Overall, I think we’re in for some enjoyable songs with agreeable arrangements and excellent singing. I look forward to hearing the album in full.

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7 thoughts on “Prism / プリズム released!

  1. Pingback: More hikigatari re-recordings? | Thoughts on Oku Hanako
    • I know you’re upset and irritated over the whole YouTube Red incident, but I don’t think this is the right way to protest, nor do I think our dear Oku-san would appreciate it (at least, not if you say it in those words), so I won’t encourage anyone else to suggest a place, either. I will say, however, that I’m waiting for streams from NetEase (music.163.com) to show up, and there’s bound to be something uploaded to Nico Nico Douga within the next few weeks.

      • You can delete my comment, it is your blog, but I am very pissed.

        You know I don’t know how to make illegal copies.

        I would be honored if Oku-san would be my “second” and chop my head off after I have disemboweled myself.

  2. Got mine in the mail today. First impressions is that it’s not distinctively new but not more of the same either. Hard to say whether I enjoy it or not yet either because nothing stood out in particular on the first listen or I’m just bad at evaluating and describing music.

    • I have to agree with you here (keeping in mind that I’ve only heard previews). If I had to compare this album to one of her previous ones, I think it’s most like Utakata, but with an “updated” style. Unlike Utakata, though, nothing really stood out, as you said. Almost half the songs in Utakata stood out as really good songs; in this one, maybe three or four on the first few listens.
      There is, however, a key difference: we didn’t experience the singles before Utakata was released. The returning songs in Prism don’t stand out as much because they’re not new; we’ve heard them before when the singles were released. Of course, one could argue that Hatsukoi and Garasu no Hana were better songs anyway, but that’s beside the point.


      The more I think about it, the more uncanny the resemblance to Utakata is. Utakata and Prism are the second albums of their respective eras. They both had two singles preceding them (Hatsukoi, Garasu no Hana, Kimi ga Kureta Natsu, Kusabi). They both have a potentially-disagreeable song (Puzzle, Rashinban) and both have only one song that’s more or less hikigatari (rebirth, Sukidattanda; do correct me if Sukidattanda isn’t).

  3. A few days ago I was notified, that my CD+DVD set was sent from CD Japan …. hope it arrives soon!

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