Shiki by FLOWER FLOWER // Mini-Album Review

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Actually I first came across FLOWER FLOWER's song, Natsu maybe last year. This song is one of the four made specifically for the film series, Little Forest. While back then I hadn't watched the films yet, I still thought it was a really great song that showcased what the band was capable of. Because Yui's vocals can be overpowering at times, the instrumental needed to be just on par and Natsu exemplified that. The entire mini-album exemplified that. I think Shiki is one of the best of the best. It isn't just an collection of amazing songs, but rather a collection of stories told through amazing music.

Before I go on ranting about how great the album is, it's important to understand how this album came to be. These songs were created specifically for a pair of films that focuses on a woman living as a farmer in the countryside and how she creates delicious dishes with the crop she grows/collects. Beneath the carefree and relaxing appearance lies a tale of broken relationships. Subtle and slow paced, the films deals with facing issues of abandonment and introspection. Even if you don't watch the movies, the album will still be a wonderful musical experience. However to gain a greater appreciation, please watch the films. It might not be everyone's cup of tea but it certainly was mine. I enjoyed the laid back yet tense and slightly suspenseful atmosphere. Plus food is always a great way to gain my attention.

Each song captures the mood of the films so perfectly; I can't imagine any other song by any other artist as a replacement. Unlike the films, which start with Summer and ends with Spring, the album opens with Spring. The difference in ordering does affect the listener's experience but not too much. Haru is this cheery number that warms the soul after a cold, long winter; Natsu, a realistic reflection of a bright summer day; Aki, an incredibly deep and sorrowful piece and Fuyu, an even more sorrowful piece. Even if the songs sound uplifting, the lyrics may mean otherwise and vice versa. Finally the postlude incorporates not only soundtracks from the film but also a melody from Haru, easing the transition from the last track to the first and making this album very easy to enjoy on repeat.

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