2020/06/28

Song Collection: Dennou Keisatsu Cybercop


Welcome to my review of the song collection from Toho's 1988 Tokusatsu series Dennou Keisatsu Cybercop. I never really got into it because...well, I didn't really like how it was shot. It's BGM and song collection are actually really decent though! 

I briefly talked about the Perfect Music Collection from this series in this post. I didn't go into great detail over the song collection on Disc 2, so here we go...


--------------------

DISC ►2

01. Ashita e no sakebi~Cyber Heart [Hiroshi Nishikawa]

Weak vocals aside, I actually really enjoy this theme song. Think about how crowded 1988 was with Tokusatsu series. You have the majority of Kamen Rider Black airing along with it's sequel, Black RX. There was Sekai Ninja Sen Jiraiya and Chojuu Sentai Liveman as well. Out of all of them, I think the only one of those theme songs I don't like belongs to Kamen Rider Black...and that's only a mild disliking thanks to Tetsuo Kurata's godawful singing.

Cybercop's theme also suffers from some questionable vocals. Hiroshi Nishikawa isn't bad, I just don't dig his dopey-sounding style. He can hold a note at least. Beyond that minor criticism, this song is a banger. Certain years have certain sounds and I think 1988 was the year of 'The Band' in Japan. One of my all-time favorite albums has a similarly bare rock sound to it...and it also came out in 1988. Minimal synthesizer input, maximum rock. 

I wouldn't say that I like this better than the majority of the Toei themes of the same year, but I really, really like this theme song. It doesn't get enough recognition!

02. Ashita e no sakebi~Cyber Heart [Karaoke]

03. Ashita e no sakebi~Cyber Heart [Mero-iri Karaoke]

04. Aku! [BGM]

05. Honoo no Messenger [Norio Sakai]

Huh... I always thought it was kinda weird to see this name in this series...

Toei/Columbia regular Norio Sakai provides a single song to the Cybercop song collection the same year that he also provided songs for Kamen Rider Black. Without looking into it, I'm sure this sort of thing never really happened after the 70s where singers would provide songs for competing studios in the same year.

Again, I love the rock sound of the songs in this series. Norio Sakai provides some excellent vocals here over a pretty basic, yet very slick track. The bass is incredibly smooth to counter out the jerky drums. I recommend sticking to the vocal version as Sakai's singing is the focal point of the entire experience.

06. Honoo no Messenger [Karaoke]

07. Kanashimi [BGM]

08. Shooting Star - Band Version [Mika Chiba]

This is a remix of the series ending song, Shooting Star. Since the regular version of the song appears a little bit later (Track 12), I guess I'll just point out the difference.

This is a remix in a literal sense. The backing vocals were removed as well as some guitar parts and lingering effects. The whole thing sounds a little more bare...and I actually prefer it this way. Mika Chiba has a really decent singing voice, so it's great to hear it uninterrupted. Even this version's Karaoke track is better than the normal version. 

09. Shooting Star - Band Version [Karaoke]

10. Tsuioku no Jupiter [Hideyuki Nagashima]

This is more of an action song, but done in the style of the other songs in this collection. The main difference is that the horns are BLARING. Like...blaring from the very beginning and rarely letting up. Regardless, this is a fun track with a ton of energy. 

Oh, and the Karaoke version of this song was included...it's just on the first disc for some reason.

11. ZAC no nijijo [BGM]

12. Shooting Star [Mika Chiba]

As you may have guessed from my take on the Band Version of this song, I like this one a lot. I do think this is the inferior version of it, however. It's just a little bit too crowded. The backing vocals are unnecessary along with a lot of the random little sounds that pop up here and there. The only thing I think this version does better is it masks the dull bassline. 

This is a great song to have as an ending theme song. It has the DNA of other songs from the series, but is a bit peppier in tone. I think Jiraiya did it similarly it's opening theme song and it's smooth ending song SHI-NO-BI '88

13. Shooting Star [Karaoke]

14. Let It Go [Hiroshi Nishikawa]

This is the B-side to the single for Ashita e no sakebi~Cyberheart.

Again, I'm not the biggest fan of Nishikawa but I can't help but like this track as well. It's funky, that's for sure. It starts pretty slow, but picks up momentum to make for a pretty great complementary track to the theme song. 

Sure, this track only makes it in on a technicality, but it's definitely worth having here. It's pretty solid.

15. Into The Night [Mika Chiba]

This is the coupling track for the single to Shooting Star. Again, this song is included as a technicality but happens to be really great. The only thing that is has against it is that it's quite different from the rest of the Cybercop songs. Maybe a lone pop track is a nice little change of pace, but it's hard to ignore how different it is.

That said, I love this song. It's very slick.

16. BRAND NEW TOMORROW [Mika Chiba]

Mika Chiba's second single and a song that was featured in the series during the thirty-fourth episode. 

While this song is a bit on the lighter side, it definitely fits in pretty well into the series. It may sound a little more professional, but the rock sound is definitely here...if a bit on the softer side. I'll admit, this is the catchiest song outside of Shooting Star.

Why the B-Side to this, Jamashinaide, isn't included is beyond me. I have the single and thought about including it, but I guess it doesn't belong here...

--------------------

I think I did a pretty good job giving the CD set that these songs came from a fair analysis in my previous take, so I'll just stick to what I think about this song collection.

I feel kinda guilty about doing song collection posts about series with only a handful of songs. Tokusou Robo Janperson and Blue SWAT only have eight songs thanks to the shithouse record label they were on. Battle Fever J, which I might review with Denjiman someday, only has five songs. 

By some miracle they were able to cobble together a song collection for Cybercop. Even stranger, this is one of the most consistent sounding song collections out there. Series composer Ichiro Nitta was only truly responsible for Honoo no Messenger and Tsuioku no Jupiter. with the other tracks being songs provided by Toshiba EMI and CBS Sony respectively. It's kinda amazing how it all kinda fit together so well.

I would give this song collection a go if you're in the mood for something else. Yeah, it can get a little boring listening to work from Columbia over and over. This song collection is a breath of fresh air.

--------------------

That's that for that. Be sure to check out the CD Collection page for more.

-CC

Previously...


Song Collection: Chojin Sentai Jetman


Hey! It's my review of the song collection from Chojin Sentai Jetman. Yeah, I may not be a fan of the series, but I do really enjoy the Kazuhiko Toyama music collection. The song collection...hmm...let's find out!

I briefly talked about the Chojin Sentai Jetman Complete Song Collection way back when in this post right here. It's about time that I elaborate on it!


--------------------

01. Chojin Sentai Jetman / Hironobu Kageyama

If you can talk shit about the Fiveman opening theme song and defend this one feverishly...I'm onto you...

It's repetitive, irritating, and energetic...a perfect children's show theme song! The only problem is that it belongs to the show that edgelords will call the gritty Super Sentai series that deals with *gasp* DEATH! Yeah, know your friggen audience, Toei.

Honestly, the only thing that I like about this theme song is the perfect maturity of Hironobu Kageyama's voice. He isn't chasing his rockstar past and he isn't doing that whine/yelp that he later adopted. Is it fair to say that this is his third most popular theme song ever? Right after CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA and...uhh...We Gotta Power? I'd agree with that statement...and this song falls conveniently right in the middle of those two chronologically.

As for whether or not I like this song? Nah, not really. It's really just too cheesy. Kageyama's vocals and the guitar bridge are cool, but this song's blandness just threw a wet blanket on every battle it played over.

02. Toki o kakete / Hironobu Kageyama

I can get behind this song, though.

I hate to jump ahead to the conclusion, but this is the only Jetman song I regularly listen to. Apparently it was in the running to be the series opening theme song. 

I don't even know what I like about it so much...it's just so unique. So yeah, my favorite Jetman song is this random Kageyama track that doesn't get a Karaoke version or much in the way of recognition. Feh. 

03. Honoo no Condor / Toshihide Wakamatsu

The Black Condor theme sung by Toshihide Wakamatsu. It's alright. 

He's a decent singer and all, but where the hell is the sax solo? Talk about missed opportunities... 

Meh, I know a lot of people like this one (and the character) for some reason, but I can't get past how it feels like they chose Survivor's Eye of the Tiger as the thing they wanted to very loosely emulate. Or am I the only one who hear's it?

Verdict: Eh...

04. Game janai n' da ze / Hironobu Kageyama

The lesser of the two non-mecha IN songs by Kageyema.

This song is so generic that it's almost boring. Sure it's fast-paced and all...but it just doesn't really do much more than exist. Once again, I think this song is well-liked by plenty of people out there but I don't like it or Kageyama's random sound clips sprayed around. 

The great irony behind this is that Jetman is one of the rare Super Sentai series that managed to have a game. Yeah...on Famicom. I'm sure you've emulated played it, though. 

Unrelated...because I needed something awesome to cleanse my palette before we jump into the next one.

05. Oozora no chikai / Morinoki Jido Gasshodan

TERRIBLE.

Boring music with 100% of the vocals provided by the Brat's Singing Union or whatever. Remember, this is your gritty Sentai series. 

I think this was playing when Ryu visited his deceased girlfriend's grave.

06. Tori ni naro yo / Toshinao Fukushima, SHINES

Another incredibly and eye-wateringly boring song. Seriously. This song has a boring singer with probably the most generic music yet. Just slapping a bird/sky-themed title onto these songs don't make them relevant. 

I guess the only nice thing I can say is that as forgettable as it is, it isn't as bad as the previous song...

07. Kanashiki Grinam-hei / KAZZ TOYAMA

This song isn't all that bad. It feels like a throwback to the grunt songs of the 80s minus Koorogi '73. Series composer Kazuhiko Toyama actually sings this one. It works. I like it.

08. Aozora no aimasho / Sayuri Saito

This has to the be the blandest heroine theme song in Super Sentai. There are songs out there that I have a complete distaste for, but at least they make me feel something. This is nothing. Well, it's a four minute nap.

It isn't even Sayuri Saito's fault. I liked her Pteraranger song in Zyuranger. 😕

09. Jet Icarus muteki robo / Hironobu Kageyama

I'm trying my best to separate my dislike of the series and it's mecha, but having a lame theme song certainly doesn't help. Yeah, the Jet Icarus theme song gives us an underwhelming Kageyama performance (not his fault, this song just isn't his speed). Seriously, listen to this song and then go back and listen to his Fiverobo theme song. It's hard to call this one worthy. <From The CD Collection--Gattai Tamashii ~Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection~>

10. Kokoro wa Tamago / Hironobu Kageyama

...all things considered, this series has an undeniably perfect ending theme song. 

Famous Hironobu Kageyama pal and serial music thief Kenji Yamamoto is behind this song. His rampant pilfering has made me question whether this is a wholly original composition or some obscure track that the internet just hasn't discovered yet. It seems like everything unusually good he produced was stolen. This was stolen from this. etc.

Ignoring all of that and just focusing on the song, it's really hard to find a single fault with it. Kagayama? On point. There isn't a single thing out of place. For a series with such a bogus theme song, it's bizarre to have a perfect ending song. 

You can see why I'm skeptical.

If any song in these series seems like it belongs, it's this one. For it to have a life outside of the series and even have a cover speaks volumes. I can't think of many Sentai ending theme songs that found such popularity.

11. Jet Garuda tori no robo / Hironobu Kageyama

I hate the mecha, but I kinda dig the song.

It may only be a smidge better, but I have to give this one props for not being as bland as the Icarus theme song. Really, they aren't that different... <From The CD Collection--Gattai Tamashii ~Super Sentai Robot Song Perfect Collection~>

12. Youki na Ako-chan / Sayuri Uchida, Rika Kishida

What a weird, weird song. 

OK, so we all know that this is the song from episode ten. You know, the one with Noodle Jigen. It's also fairly well-known that Sayuri Uchida and Rika Kishida are the singers for it. Did you know that Toshihide Wakamatsu composed the music, though?? Yeah, in very short order to boot! This little tune is literally 3/5th of the Jetman team.

There isn't much else to say about this little thirty-second jingle other than I'm hungry and broke...if only there were something filling and cheap out there...

13. Chojin Sentai Jetman [Original Karaoke]

14. Honoo no Condor [Original Karaoke]

15. Game janai n' daze [Original Karaoke]

16. Kanashiki Grinam-hei [Original Karaoke]

17. Jet Icarus muteki robo [Original Karaoke]

18. Kokoro wa Tamago [Original Karaoke]

19. Jet Garuda tori no robo [Original Karaoke]

20. Youki na Ako-chan [Original Karaoke]

--------------------

I've never liked the Jetman Song Collection, but this go-around was an extra miserable experience. The flaws just jumped out way more than they usually do. Like seriously...where is the sax solo in Gai's theme song??? 

Before you write this off as a hater hating, I implore you to check out Kazuhiko Toyama's music collection for this series. It's one of my favorites and actually does a fine job picking up the slack where the songs woefully fail this series. The Henshin theme music in particular is one of the best ever.

Overall...skip this stinky song collection. 

--------------------

There is more to check out on my CD Collection page. I have an usual CD review coming up with a lot of familiar names. Hmmm...what could it be?

Take care!

-CC