Hime Trance Tsukasa Mix – Review

Tsukasa MixHime Trance Tsukasa Mix
Release Date: 11/12/08
Price: 1886 yen

I was fully expecting to hate this based on principle alone. After all, less than half of the album is actually new, and how many times have we heard In My Heart now? It’s as if there are two constants in J-Trance: In My Heart and Sousei no Aquarion.

After giving the album a few listens, however, I have to admit that it’s convenient having all of the Tsukasa tracks collected in a nice little package (emphasis on little). In My Heart, Mermaid, and Prologue have long since been played out, but Kira Kira, Precious My Love and Kimi e no Omoi still have an air of freshness about them so I don’t mind listening to them again.

As for the new tracks, they’re all surprisingly exceptional. Eternal Blaze leads the way with Delaction’s melodic synths combining with Tsukasa’s cute vocals for pure aural perfection. Meanwhile, “Dear…” and “Love & Joy” have been given new remixes that breath new life into these old songs. Merry Christmas finishes the non-stop mix with a sweet, Engrish-filled Christmas song.

The first 6 tracks run at a constant 145 BPM, then it ramps up to 160 BPM for Prologue followed by ~175 BPM for Love & Joy. Merry Christmas finishes things off at 140 BPM. None of the transitions are particularly noteworthy, but since most of the album is 145 BPM, Team Cha-Meshi easily managed to make the non-stop mix seamless.

First-press copies came with (useless) stickers, but all copies come with a lyrics booklet. It’s rather surprising how much English is actually in these songs, though you’d never know it based on Tsukasa’s pronunciations. She’s actually admitted that English is difficult for her, and that she sings it all phonetically.

Sadly, Tsukasa Mix has not been selling well at all. Whereas Hime Trance Speed sold 9,000 units in its first week out, Tsukasa Mix has sold well under 2,000 copies after one week. If you ever want to see a Kei Mix or Misa Mix, then please support the Hime Trance series.

Full track-by-track review after the jump.

01. In My Heart (Heavens Wire Rmx)
Originally released in late 2004, “In My Heart” was one of the songs that started the trance boom in Japan and cemented Tsukasa’s status as the queen of Hime Trance. It’s appeared on dozens of compilations (including 6 appearances in the Trance Paradise series alone) and remains overused to this day. In all seriousness, it still holds up very well, but enough is enough.

02. Eternal Blaze (Delaction Remix)
Delaction have done it again. This cover of the theme song from “Mahou Shoujou Lyrical Nanoha A’s” is heavily reminiscent of Delaction’s cover of “Sorairo Days,” albeit slightly slower and utilizing more of Delaction’s definitive synths. Tsukasa sounds as lovely as ever, easily hitting those long and sustained high notes. Meanwhile, Delaction once again closely match the original melody yet still manage to add their own flair.

03. Mermaid (Delaction Remix)
This is one of only a few Delaction remixes that I don’t love. Delaction are usually great about including all of the vocals, so it’s very disappointing that this remix lacks the verses and most of the chorus. Throughout the song, Tsukasa’s main contribution is simply “la la la la la la.” Heck, I think the guy who says “remix” is in it more than her. It’s not at all a bad song, but it would’ve been so much more amazing with all of the vocals intact.

04. Kira Kira (o^-’)* (Heavens Wire Rmx)
Well, this was my favorite Tsukasa track, at least before Eternal Blaze came along. The melody is insanely catchy, as are the lyrics, but it’s really the pianos and rap that make the song. It’s bubblegum trance at its best.

05. Dear… (Spacey vs. garamonn Remix)
The original version of this song was a slow piano ballad, so it’s a little strange to hear it sped up. In fact, Tsukasa’s voice sounds way too fast for a song that’s only 145 BPM. It sounds as if they took the original vocals and just sped them up instead of doing a new recording. The remix itself is nice, however, sounding quite a bit different than other Spacey vs. garamonn remixes.

06. Precious My Love (DJ U*Hey? vs. Night Hunter Remix)
Precious My Love has a notably harder club sound than other Tsukasa songs. This is the longest edit of the song available thus far, clocking in at 4:07 instead of Mega Trance 07’s 3:35 edit.

07. Kimi e no Omoi (Spacey vs. garamonn Remix)
Almost exactly the same edit as the one that appeared on Hime Trance Best, though the mastering is noticeably better.

08. Prologue (Spacey vs. garamonn Remix)
Oh, come on. There are at least 4 other great trance remixes of Prologue available so I really can’t understand why they keep going back to this one. The edit here is the longest yet, coming in at a lengthy 5:42.

09. Love & Joy (Spacey vs. garamonn Remix)
Well, at least it wasn’t the Yuki Kimura version. Tsukasa’s cover is around the same BPM as the original, but has a more modern sound (keep in mind that the original came out in 2000).

10. Merry Christmas (Ikspiari Pure White Christmas Mix)
Hory night! Not especially trancey, but still quite upbeat at 140 BPM. It’s got a great wintery feel and, of course, sleigh bells. A lovely way to end the album and perfect for the coming holidays.

11. In My Heart (Original Version)
12. Prologue (Original Version)
The original versions of In My Heart and Prologue are fairly standard J-pop numbers. Nice enough listens, though I would’ve preferred new trance songs instead.

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One Response

  1. Sarah Says:

    I bought this album. I really like it even though I’ve heard half the songs way too many times.. Eternal Blaze makes up for it all, though 😀

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