Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CD review: “Band Yarou Yo!!” Band Score CD

There’s been a lot of K-On! CD releases over the last couple of years. There’s been a lot of songs on those CD’s. There’s been a lot of fans wanting to play those songs. So, releasing a series of band score books with those songs in them is an obvious choice for merchandising.
But as it turns out, each one of those band score books also comes with a CD attached – or in the case of the first volume, two CDs – which means they are also attractive for an obsessive completist collector of K-On! CDs like myself.
Now, the main focus of this review is the double CD that comes with the band score book, but I will take a brief look at the book itself first – I just won’t review it in depth, as for one thing that’s not where my interest in this release lies, and secondly I’m not particularly musically inclined so I’m not really qualified to review this type of thing anyway.
The book is quite pretty and glossy, with a rather classy cover design. It contains the songs Cagayake!GIRLS, Happy!? Sorry!!, Don’t Say “Lazy”, Sweet Bitter Beauty Song, Curry nochi Rice, Watashi no Koi wa Hotchkiss, Fude Pen ~Ball Pen~, Fuwa Fuwa Time, and Let’s Go.
In other words, it covers the opening theme single, the ending theme single, and the insert song album – plus the song Let’s Go from the character singles.
There's notes an' shit.

For someone like me, who’s not a music geek but a collector of K-On! media, there’s an interesting extra here in the form of a special one page manga made especially for this release by K-On!’s creator, Kakifly.
Externally to the book itself is another extra feature; a sheet with stickers featuring the titles of the songs contained in the book as well as a pink rabbit and a green turtle. Well, why not? You never know when a sticker saying “Curry nochi Rice” may come in handy.
The CD case is held in a sort of cardboard container that’s bundled with the book when you buy it. The case itself is a normal clear jewel case.
The backside of the CD cover shows the rather long track list. The CD booklet contains track listings, credits and the lyrics for “Cagayake!GIRLS” and “Don’t Say “Lazy””.
The content on the discs is a mix between various random bits and pieces of music from the TV anime’s first season that didn’t make it onto any previous CD release, and material that’s more geared towards those with an interest in learning to play the songs.
Disc 1 opens with the “5 Ver.” of “Cagayake!GIRLS”, that is; the version with Azusa’s guitar added to the mix which was used for the anime’s opening sequence after she joined the Light Music Club. Except, this is the full length version as opposed to the 90 second edit heard on TV.
Next is a “5 Ver.” Of “Don’t Say “Lazy””, a rather curious inclusion considering a version of this song featuring Azusa’s guitar was never heard in the anime or anywhere else prior to this (though the live events used this version for the playback performances).
Tracks 3 and 4 are instrumental repeats of tracks 1 and 2, respectively. Following them are instrumental mixes of the four songs from the Ho-kago Tea Time mini album: “Curry nochi Rice”, “Watashi no Koi wa Hotchkiss”, “Fude Pen ~Ball Pen~”, and “Fuwa Fuwa Time”.
Tracks 9 through 21 feature the “Subtitle Back Guitar” from each of the 13 episodes of the first season – in other words, those brief guitar parts that play over the episode titles. Note that episode 14’s variant is not included, as that episode had not yet come out as of the release of the Band Score.
Track 22 is the brief “Charamela” tune that Yui plays in episode 2, “Instruments”. Tracks 23, 24 and 25 contain Sawako’s furious guitar playing from “Adviser!”, and tracks 26 and 27 contain Azusa’s “much better than Yui” guitar solos from “New Club Member!”.
Track 28, “Isshukan” was used as background music during Yui’s kindergarten flashback in “Disband the Club!”.  Track 29 is the Ritsu/Mio/Mugi trio’s instrumental performance of “Tsubasa wo Kudasai” from the same episode.
Disc 2 is where the real “music geek” material is found. It begins with four instrumental versions of “Cagayake!GIRLS”, each one subtracting one of the main instruments from the mix.
Tracks 5 through 80 (that’s right… eighty) contain a detailed tutorial on how to play “Cagayake!GIRLS”, as taught by everyone’s favorite music teacher Sawako Yamanaka.
And that’s pretty much it! Most of the content here is probably not essential for most fans, so whether it’s worth getting depends entirely on how much of a completist you are. Personally, I felt it was worth getting for the contents of disc 1, with the one manga page as a nice little bonus. Of course, if you happen to play music – which would make you more a part of the target audience for this release than I am, there’s a lot more material of interest to be found here.

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