L’Arc~en~Ciel Album Review: Dune (1993)

220px-L'Arc-en-Ciel_DUNE 220px-Lec_dune_anniversary

 

As a first album, Dune shows L’arc en Ciel‘s creative potential, lyrically and musically. This album showed great promise for the group in the coming years. At first, it is just the music and vocals that attract my attention. Then, I searched for the lyrics and the translation to understand what they were trying to say. The lyrics were simply beautiful.

 

Tracklist:

  1. Shutting from the sky
  2. Voice
  3. Taste of love
  4. Entichers
  5. Floods of tears
  6. Dune
  7. Be destined
  8. Tsuioku no jokei
  9. As if in a dream
  10. Ushinawareta nagame (The piano intro in this song is beautiful.)

*My favorite songs on the album*

“Flood of Tears” (Lyrics: HYDE/ Music: tetsu)

I like the melody in this song, but the bridge really hooks me in, especially when Hyde sings “nani mo mienai” (I can’t see anything). The guitar break and solo sound like a foreshadowing of the heavenly album’s upbeat style. The song does sound similar to “Dune”, which is probably why I like it. The ending, at first listen, sounds sweet with the playful use of the melody  through what sounds like a music box. After reading the lyrics, it sounded creepy. It was as if the story conveyed a forced reduction to a helpless childhood state after realizing you cannot escape a doomed fate. Yup, that went deep. 😉

Favorite Lyric:

“gareki no naka tatazumu mono wa
dare mo ga damatte sora o miagete iru”

“The people waiting amidst the rubble.”
Everyone is looking up towards a silent sky.”

 

“Dune” (Lyrics: HYDE/ Music: tetsu)

Perhaps seeing Hyde perform this song made me really like it so much. He tended to yank his head back with his long waving hair. Even without seeing the performance, you can hear the despair in the song. For a little while, you think you may get to feel some hope in the awesome harmony-rich bridge before the instrumental break. And then we are brought back into the emotional angst of the song, and fittingly so. It’s not a happy song.

Favorite Lyric:

“tsuki ni terasarete me wo tojite sotto karamaru
katachi wo kaete kuzure yuku
futari wa suna ni naru”

“Illuminated by the moon, they close their eyes and gently entwine.
Their shape keeps changing and crumbling
And the couple turns into sand.”

 

“As if in a Dream” (Lyrics: HYDE, Music: ken)

This is definitely my favorite song on the album. You get to enjoy Ken’s great guitar playing with touching lyrics, and a pleasant vocal performance by Hyde. The staccato endings to some of the lines in the first verse are effectively interspersed between lines ending in legato notes. Did I mention that you get nice Ken guitar solos? Those solos kept getting better. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Favorite lyric:

“…utsuro na mado ni wa nani mo dekinai watashi ga soko ni ita.”

“I saw myself, helpless, in a misty window.”

Dune turns 20 this year! It was released on April 27, 1993 and reached number 1 on the Oricon indie charts.

 

You can buy Dune at:

Amazon

iTunes

 

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