Anamanaguchi
Dawn Metropolis


3.5
great

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
March 29th, 2009 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A mostly successful attempt at blending novelty and substance.

This may seem like a dorky thing to say, but I've always had a sort of fascination with video game music. For the most part, it's something that you never really notice, but were it to just suddenly become absent from the soundscape, the game itself would lose quite a bit of character and luster. For example, without the grandiose orchestral arrangements and instantly recognizable arcane male ensemble in the musical score for Halo, the game would lose quite a bit of what makes it, well, Halo. Going back even farther than that, could you imagine what games like Super Mario Bros. and The Legend Of Zelda would be like without their almost universally known scores? Whether you realize it or not, the music backing the action in a game can almost make or break it. So what's that you're asking yourself? What would happen if instead of removing the music from the game, you were to remove all the action and gameplay from the music? Well, if everything falls into place correctly, you'd get something much like Anamanaguchi's newest album, Dawn Metropolis.

Dawn Metropolis takes every musical element found in video games from old systems like the SNES and Sega Genesis, and sets them at the forefront, with a full band providing a driving pop-punk-esque backdrop. For those of you who aren't aware, this specific type of music has come to be labeled "chip-tune", since the main focus is placed on the synthetic instrumentation provided by sound chips that have been salvaged from things like old video game systems and computers, and that's really all there is to it. The crunchy synthetic percussion, lively keyboard bleeps and blips, and a variety of chimes, buzzes, and drones are mixed with driving guitar rhythms and plodding basslines to create an album that really embodies the happy go lucky vibes of old school video games. In short, the album is just chock full of good old fashioned fun. Even so, you would think that an album filled to the brim with nothing but slightly cheesy video game music would wear pretty thin, but Peter Berkman, the man behind all this nonsense, manages to keep the album fairly varied throughout by shifting the tone of the songs. It's a fairly obvious way to put it, but just think surface level versus dungeon level, and you've pretty much got the gist of how it's accomplished. Just when a certain idea starts to wear itself out, the lively high pitched chirps get replaced with lower pitched drones and quivering synth lines. It's also surprising just how strong each individual song is on a compositional level, ranging from fairly slow and melodic in Overarrow, to hectic and blazing fast in songs like Blackout City and Danger Mountain.

For those of us who grew up in the early days of video game home consoles, this album will at the very least provide a nostalgic trip down memory lane, back to a time where video games were much simpler, and arguably better for the most part. Sadly, there will be listeners who simply discard it as an annoying novelty, which really is a shame, because underneath the exterior layers of Casio keyboard noises, there really are quite a few strong compositional elements on display here. I'm not going to sit here and pretend to be a chip-tune expert, but if I had to guess as to what would be the "genre's" standout album, I would say it would be Dawn Metropolis. To be perfectly honest, it should really be nothing more than a contrived novelty item, but somehow, Anamanaguchi managed to turn it into highly enjoyable musical experience, with a surprising amount of replay value.



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user ratings (119)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
March 29th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Short and sweet. Started out last week as a 3, then it steadily grew on me, I scrapped the previous review, and it came out a 3.5. It's just so ridiculously fun.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 29th 2009


20857 Comments


What about the Atari 2600?

marksellsuswallets
March 29th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The chips in Atari 2600s didn't have enough power to produce both sound effects and music so there was no music for those games. Gotcha ;)

Meatplow
March 29th 2009


5524 Comments


tis' a good album, has inspired me to snag some chiptune VST's and start making my own stuff. did you end up getting that vinyl?This Message Edited On 03.29.09

marksellsuswallets
March 29th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nah I decided against it. I need every dollar I can spare nowadays haha.

CompanionCube
March 29th 2009


977 Comments


chiptune vinyl lol

bustyagunz
March 30th 2009


911 Comments


interesting, haha. I didn't play video games till the gameboy color so i missed out on all this funky shit, but i could see myself appreciating it nonetheless.

marksellsuswallets
March 30th 2009


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If you've every played Super Mario then you'd greatly appreciate it.

kintups
April 6th 2009


491 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I greatly appreciate it!

instantradical
March 12th 2011


214 Comments


Blackout City, Jetpack Blues, and Overarrow totally slay. Also, I never owned a NES, SNES, or any other old-school consoles. No nostalgia-colored glasses here, folks.

Rev
March 12th 2011


9439 Comments


I only know of these dudes because of the SPVTW game, but the soundtrack is awesome

Getting this asap

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2011


17224 Comments


seeing these guys on friday. stoked

Kris.
April 2nd 2011


12424 Comments


their soundtrack to the scott pilgrim video game is the greatest 8bit ever

adjeco
April 2nd 2011


25 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

blackout city is too good

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2011


28770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

they are incredible

TheSadLittleDinosaur
June 23rd 2011


76 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dude how can you give this a score lower than a 4
The album describes, quite literally, a city called Blackout City.
It's got a freaking 7 minute long chiptune crescendo. There is nothing better than Mermaid.
There is also not much that's better than this album.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2012


28770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

somebody's just jelly of my profile pic

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
February 24th 2012


50848 Comments


Listen to Sabrepulse if you like this

Digging: Bobby Barnett - Little Wounds

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2012


28770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

armanipradagucci

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2012


28770 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Power Pill Fist is whack as hell son what r u talking about



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