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Review: Supermarket Fantasy Pt II

December 28, 2008

Go here to read my review of Supermarket Fantasy – it’s the #1 search hit for Supermarket Fantasy Review on Google.

Reviews below are by others.

From Beyond The Sea:

This is Mr.Children’s 15th album and it was released on December 10, 2008. This album reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and it has sold 707,763 copies.

Opening the album in a very upbeat fashion is Shuumatsu no Confidence Song. While the verses aren’t that interesting, I think the chorus is fantastic. Lead vocalist Kazutoshi Sakurai performs great high notes next to the cheery band driven arrangement. The most notable part of the song is the bridge where the music slows down and features brass, only to kick start back again into the catchy chorus.

HANABI, the band’s latest single, appears as track 2. This song has a mystical quality to it and I think it’s mostly thanks to the strong use of acoustics in the arrangement. The guitars, gentle strings, and piano are a great combination and they sound even better when the song reaches its finale after the bridge. Read full article here.

From We to U:

This is Mr.Children 17th album, or to be precise, their 14th full studio album (not counting the compilation albums). I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ALBUM!

I think why they choose to named this album “SUPERMARKET FANTASY” is because in a supermarket, basically you can get what you want, you can see many people, you can meet many people, you can encounter many things either is good or bad… Every fantasy you can imagine in a supermarket, meet the person you love, see other people what they do, what they buy, and also when you imagine about other people, you can also reflect yourself (and your life)… Think about your life, what you want to do next, what you want to buy, what will you buy, what you want to be… I think that’s what they want you to feel when you listened to this album. So, let’s bring the fantasy alive. Read full article here.

From Gian Arifia Rachman:

Ijah’s note: this review is in Bahasa Indonesia. I have translated snippets of it so that you’d have an idea of what the author is talking about; full translation to come later when I have a bit more time in my hands.

Oke, sekarang kita langsung saja masuk ke review album mereka. Kita mulai dari cover album yang kayak bungkus permen ini. Cover album yang berwarna-warni ini terus terang membuat saya heran. Soalnya sebagian besar single-single mereka berkesan sedih, manis atau haru (kecuali エソラ [ESORA], tentunya). Hmm… apakah warna-warni ini melambangkan keberagaman mood dan nuansa lagu-lagunya? Ataukah hanya sebagai representasi dari single promo album ini, エソラ [ESORA], saja? Soalnya, PV エソラ [ESORA] yang saya tangkap berkesan riang dengan adegan-adegan yang belum pernah saya lihat sebelumnya dilakukan oleh para personel band ini. Hahaha. Perasaan saya baru lihat si Sakurai dkk melompat-lompat dan tersenyum kayak gini. Hehehe… Read the full article here.

Ijah’s translation: Okay,why don’t we go straight to the album review. Let’s start with the colorful cover. The bright colors used made me wonder. The thing is, their singles are centrally themed or tinged with sadness, sweetness or melancholy (with the exception of ESORA). Does the juxtaposition of colors represent the various moods and nuances of the songs in the album? Or, it is just a representation of the single that is used to promote this album i.e. Esora? My take of Esora’s PV is that it’s fun and happy with the band members displaying emotions and actions that never been seen in previous pvs. For instance, I think it is the first time that I noticed Sakurai jumping around with a big smile on his face like this.

From Livedoor (automatically translated by Google):

Please click on the snapshot to be taken to the translated page.

supermarketfantasy-revlivedoor

From KimuraKan  (automatically translated by Google):

Please click on the snapshot to be taken to the translated page. (p/s: I have no idea who kimurakan is and the translation is a bit all over the place so if you have additional info, just post it in the comments box or send it to me at ijah@email.com)

kimurakan_supermarketfantasyreview

From ikuni-web (webmaster of innocent world)

Ijah’s note: I took this off the Jpopmusic.com thread. Some people love going into forums, some people don’t.  Well, I don’t. But I try to to go through the threads every now and then to see anything that I may have missed and can post in here. Like stated earlier, I try as much as possible not to duplicate efforts by other sites. So, if you want to converse with other fans on a regular basis, being a member of Jpopmusic is recommended.

I’ve got to say SUPERMARKET FANTASY has 100% revived my interest in Mr.Children. For awhile I really thought I was over Mr.Children, but I’ve been won over. And every time ‘Kaze to Hoshi to Moebius no wa’ plays I find myself mentally singing along. I can’t wait for their next single and I hope it’s an upbeat rock type song like Shounen or upbeat pop song like Youthful days or Any.

Some minor/extra notes:

From the 2008 issue of MUSICA:

  • When Hana no nioi was created only the melody and the line “Hana no nioi” was done.
  • When Sakurai received the story plot to the movie “I want to be a Shellfish” he thought Hana no nioi worked well with it.
  • Supermarket Fantasy is to represent a “nice fantasy which happens in the daily life” and is also the first album title that Mr.Children did not come up with. (For those who love trivia, Suzuki has only once come up with an idea for an album title and that was for the IT’S A WONDERFUL WORLD album, to which he wanted it to be called DEAR WONDERFUL WORLD)

B-PASS 2009 issue:

  • For SUPERMARKET FANTASY Sakurai had a clear idea on what he wanted to do when he was working on the demo tapes.
  • Sakurai said he wanted to make an album that could be enjoyed 7 times a month (to which Suzuki laughed and mocked “7 times a month?”)
  • After the release of I♥U Sakurai had thought they had gone overboard with their rock sound (some of you might also recall the neutral comments they received about the album too), which is why HOME was created
  • Koe is suppose to be seen as a metaphor.
  • Was asked why there wasn’t another song lyrically like FAKE on the album, to which Sakurai replied he didn’t want to listen to a song like that given his current feelings. (to which Suzuki mentions that Sakurai had sent the demo of FAKE to everyone via the internet. Now if I only had gotten that e-mail too…)
  • About the new support members that were used for the HOME Tour, they feel that while many fans wish for the previous support members to return, they feel opposite of that and feel that they are strong as they are.
  • The musician count is going to be small for the upcoming tour. It will be 6 people total. (according to them it will be Mr.Children, Kobayashi, and one other person whose name escapes me at the moment. I’ll look it up again in a bit.
  • Esora: Didn’t have lyrics for the longest time. It was only after the album title was decided on that the lyrics were created. Initially Sakurai was worried about the song, but when he looked at the album jacket he felt it made sense somehow.
  • In regards to the Esora PV, everyone had fun jumping around and of course Sakurai jokes that they overstrained themselves from doing it.

WHAT’S IN 2008 issue:

  • Sakurai says he wants GIFT to also be seen as a thank you song to their fans

Boo’s take on the title SUPERMARKET FANTASY

Today is a good day. New Mr. Children song releases through digital download (not my favorite of their songs but it’s nice) and the announcement of their next studio album which drops in December called, ready for this? Supermarket Fantasy.

Now, my first reaction was WTF FTW? but after the initial surprise abated the album title started to make sense. Sakurai has talked about how the next album will be a continuation of the theme HOME and when do we feel that “nicjiyjou” that “everydayness” more than when we go to the supermarket?

It’s ritual. It’s routine. It cements us to a place and concept of who we are. Buying food in such quantities is a promise that said foodstuffs will be prepared and served at some point thus preserving the HOME. So the question is then what does the word fantasy have to do with it? Does he mean ”kuusou” as in daydream or “gensou” as in illusion/delusion? I would tend to think he means “kuusou” as in daydream. And I’ll tell you why.

We are so in the moment when we shop for food, we become cognizant of the expectations upon us (i.e. someone has to prepare the food, or the food is being prepared for someone presumably) In such a moment it’s easy to see what’s important in your life but also what is missing.

I like to think of those times when you’re standing in the checkout aisle, and you’re confronted by celebrity scandal or glamour and you start to daydream about the fabulous lives of others and in a way what could have been or may yet be in your own life.

Perhaps the Supermarket Fantasy of the album title is about having a moment to reflect upon who you are, and what matters to you.

Or maybe Sakurai has visions of sugar plums dancing in his head.   =P

Ijah’s last note for this post: if you have review of your own or know of any other reviews that are of interest, please leave your comments in the comment box below or send them to ijah@email.com

3 Comments leave one →
  1. susu permalink
    December 29, 2008 9:09 am

    thanks :-)

  2. February 25, 2009 1:11 pm

    OMG…
    So this is why…

    For the last few days I’ve been wondering why my personal blog suddenly visited by many visitors. Thank you for putting my review on this site, although it is in Bahasa Indonesia. :)
    I like your review, though. It’s really a great one. I’m still learning how to write a good article and review.

    Please continue this site. It’s really really useful. :D

    • February 25, 2009 10:18 pm

      :-) you’re doing a good job, bahasa indonesia or English or Japanese, they’re just words, really. What counts is the content. Keep writing!

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