“Lolitawork Libretto” – Kanon Wakeshima

NOTE: This is the European title for this release. The Japanese title is Shoujo Jikake no Libretto. (if these titles are incorrect, please let me know!)

Cover for the European (French) release

Japanese cover. The legs look awkward and she appears cross-eyed here.

Its been over a year since Kanon Wakeshima’s last physical release. Shinshoku Dolce, her last album, was released on February 18, 2009. Before you marvel at my “photographic memory,” I’ll inform you that the only way I remembered this was because February 18th is my fiance’s birthday. UVERworld’s Awakeve came out that day too, but I’d rather not immerse myself in such mediocrity right now. (LAST > Awakeve, yo.)

After thirsting for more Kanon for the last year and a half, my prayers have been answered and I have been quenched! I was beginning to grow afraid that Mana-sama had eaten Kanon, you know, like he ate Klaha. (its the only explanation!)

I’ll go ahead and warn you that this isn’t nearly as great as Shinshoku Dolce, but Kanon proved to me that she can hold her own and remain fresh and exciting after this long. Her vocals have not improved a bit, which is a slight bummer, but its okay. (so long as you steer clear of Princess Charleston)

Track List:
01 – Shakespeare no Wasuremono -Prologue-
02 – Kajitsu no Keikoku
03 – Heroine Syndrome
04 – Twinkle star!
05 – Toumei no Kagi
06 – Marmalade Sky
07 – Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango
08 – Princess Charleston
09 – Tree of Sorrow
10 – Celmisia
11 – Otome no March
12 – Shakespeare no Wasuremono -Epilogue-
13 – Lolitawork Libretto -Storytelling by solita-

Shakespeare no Wasuremono (both the prologue and epilogue versions) are heartwarming and powerful pieces that invite you in and gracefully escort you out of the album. Kanon’s cello playing is top-notch, and you can almost hear her saying “welcome” and “thank you for visiting. Come back soon.” in each respective song. Impressive! Both are a little longer than what you would expect, but I found that to be a nice touch.

I’d say most of us have heard bits and pieces of Toumei no Kagi somewhere. It was released sometime late last year and was featured in some video game. Finally, someone uploaded the track to YouTube but at 64 kbps quality, (at best) the song wasn’t even worth listening to. This song is fast, the cello sounds proud (if you could use that as an adjective) and the organ is a nice touch.

I have yet to understand what Kanon and Mana intended to do with Princess Charleston. Its like a song you’d hear in a Wild West Saloon. Either that, or some terrible throwaway ending. The vocals are, to be honest, terrible. Kanon’s rapid singing is cute, but not endearing. The song gets better, sort of, near the chorus. Still, the squealing vocals and horse-galloping beat confused me. Maybe this will grow on me.

Kanon’s back in her element with Tree of Sorrow. Sadly, this song sounds like several of her others. The chorus is pretty catchy, so its worth trying.

Otome no March starts out like it is going to be good, but winds up the total opposite. Much more squealing, oh joy. Kanon, you are better than this.

Finally, we come to the titular track Lolitawork Libretto ~Storytelling by Solita. The song is very well done, Kanon and Solita sound beautiful and calm together, and the tune is positively hypnotic. The PV is a little trippy, but at the same time one of the most fascinating PVs I’ve seen yet. Kanon is delightfully malicious while Solita… well, we can’t all look like Miss America. A standout track!

In Conclusion: Lolitawork Libretto is a solid album. The main problem I had was that it seems like Kanon is trying to shred the “creepy evil girl” image that I loved her for from the start in favor of something sugarcoated and adorable. Please don’t go that route, Kanon! I want to lie awake in fear that you will kill me in my sleep with a cello!



Filed under Japanese Pop, Sakurayume's Collection

33 responses to ““Lolitawork Libretto” – Kanon Wakeshima

  1. OMG, I laughed at the ending of the post XD hahahahaha that truly is a pretty uniquely epic quality for a singer!

    I’ve never heard of her before! Better check her out! That French packaging looks HAWT!

    • This album is out on Youtube. I suggest you try her debut album Shinshoku Dolce first. The best tracks from it are Still Doll, Suna no Oshiro, Kagami, and Maboroshi.

      Kanon is an interesting artist because no one is doing stuff like her right now. Plus, she’s like the stereotypical possessed child in every horror movie.

  2. Ahhh heard of this girl from Vampire Knight haha. What, she’s trying to go cutesy now? Not attractive XD. But I might just have to give this album a try… πŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: β€œLolitawork Libretto” – Kanon Wakeshima Β« Japanese Music Reviews … « All About Music Reviews

  4. Well, I must agree with you 100%, Alisa. This album somehow a bit disappointing. Here’s some of my own opinion based on the song:
    -Tree of sorrow: it was ok, not very much stand out
    -Princess Charleston: this tracks surprises me the most, I was a bit confused with it as well, I don’t know why she decided to compose a track like it, clearly her voice doesn’t match with this type of music at all!
    -Heroine Syndrome: Sound a bit like anime music for me, just personal opinion. Alright track.
    -The prologue and epilogue: this is similar to sweet ticket and sweet dreams of previous album. The solo cello is really nice πŸ™‚ I love it
    -Kajitsu no Keikoku: now this is my fav one because it is very powerful and upbeat one and since it’s very similar to Kuroi Torikago πŸ™‚ I absolutely love it to bits !!!
    -Twinkle star: haha, I expected it to be a bit like the original children song to be honest. But this one is alright, nothing stands out, especially it again sounds like anime song
    -Toumei no kagi: I love it, no idea why, I love it when this song is very powerful and it kinds of show off Kanon’s skills in playing her cello πŸ™‚
    -Marmalade Sky: sounds like Shiroi Kokoro or Monochrome frame for me, or even Skip turn step πŸ™‚ It’s a nice song.
    – Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango: hahaha, it’s the best when you combine tango with japanese! Although I do love the original Kuroneko no tango more, but I think this song is a cute one that is a present for her cats ehehehe πŸ™‚ It’s a pleasant song to listen to and I can even dance to it πŸ™‚
    -Celmisia: it’ a bit dark and monotone, it should be a dramatic song i think, but it’s not dramatic enough for my taste, it’s sort of in between. A confused song i should say
    -Otome no march: now, I must say this is a total failure, I’m so disappointed! I expected it at least to be like toumei no kagi, instead, it sounds like some sort of anime ending. I hate it when Kanon loses her semi-classic and Bach in her music, this is so bad to put in her album since her previous album was so good!
    -Lolitawork Libretto ~Storytelling by solita~ : Now, as you said, this is good, totally! The very very excellent song to end the album! It brings back the memory of Shinshoku Dolce. I like how the songs is very colorful and the lyric contains french in it πŸ™‚ This is really the epic of the album. Since she ends her album with this, i hope her 3rd album or later work will be like this.
    Generally, I think we could say that it’s very distinguishable in this album which works are from Kanon herself and which works are from Mana as well, coz, clearly, Mana/Kanon is so much better then Kanon alone. Kanon needs to learn much from Mana to produce song that contains classic aspects in it without being monotone and Kanon alone is somehow just anime-like πŸ˜€

    • Hey, Nhan, I appreciate your comment and feedback! I also liked that Lolitawork Libretto ~storytelling by Solita~ featured a lot of French in it and was almost like a sort of call-and-response between Kanon and Solita. Something is just eerie about whispered French so it definitely improved the mood and feel of the song.

  5. Nikki

    Hello there! I was wondering, where I could download this album? Can’t buy her album, my parents won’t allow me. T_T

    • Hi Nikki. I’m sorry to hear that you can’t purchase the album. As far as I know, the album has only leaked on YouTube. Give it a few more days and perhaps somehow will have it available for download. I still recommend purchasing it because artists need support! Thanks for your comment and good luck!

  6. lily

    if you dont mind id also like to review the good songs..
    But first of all, im utterly bored of shinshoku dolce. Maboroshi is still my favorite, as the cello is top notch there,
    but.. Monochrome Frame, Skip Turn Step and Kagami.. ive heard TOO many times waiiting for this one.
    Ok, lets begin^_^
    Kajitsu no Keikoku – this is my 2nd favorite^_^ its dark like u said, and the part about 2minutes in thats kinda muted is great 9.6/10
    Heroine Syndrome – i havent heard this song more then 2 times, but i must say it seems kind of boring. maybe i should listen more. 6.5/10
    Twinkle Star – no part of this song really stands out to me, its just meh 7.6/10
    Toumei no Kagi – again its kinda dark^_^ but i kinda wish the way the song was composed didnt repeat.. or had a verse with a different feeling in it.
    Marmalade Sky – tooo sweet^_^ i do like the you dont know my love. seeecret my heart. part though^_^ also repetitive8.3/10
    Kuroneko no Pianist to tango – love this song^_^ its my.. 4th and last favorite^_^ (iguess toumei is 5th..) i love the way it starts, and the chorus is great.^_^8.5/10
    Princess Charleston – ugh… this song sounds awful! i like her dark themes and i like her dark but cute or light themes.. but this song screams ugly!! her voice isnt even cute in this cause its fast… she composed this one right? o.o worst one on the album. 2/10
    Tree of Sorrow – like this one^_^ i give it a 7/10. the chorus is catchy and upbeat (most of these ARE upbeat..)
    Celmisia – my 3rd favorite.. i love the Itai wa s in the 2nd part.. its really capture the dark and light by the voice, and the yell is to die for^_^ 9.2/10.. the .2 is because theres a huge pause and then lalalas, so not much actual song
    Otome no March – its just ok.. it sounds TOO upbeat for most of the song, but i like the slow part towards the end.. 8.1/10
    Lolitawork Libretto ~storytelling by solita~
    The pv is odd enough, and kanons smile with her completely RED hair is adorable! Solita is ugly as hell… maybe thats why kanons there. but not as comparison kanon is pretty enough^_^ she fits the lolita.. also the new black dress is an improvement.. i love the hats o.o
    The Song itself is kinda creepy sounding, with whispered french (mentioned before^^) and then Kanons enchanting voice^_^ but its cute when u remember the lyrics… and im pretty sure its actually a Libretto on what makes a girl work. (or a lolita… but its written as Shojo..) its addictive…^_^ i will get the album in the us.. over all i rate this (not a mean of my averages.. ) 8.7/10. only 2 songs were a hit and a miss. and.. there were some great ones..
    Shinshoku Dolce captured the dark+light/..
    this one was Kindadark+kinda CUTE not light..
    but honestly folks, shes way too adorable and sweet to be dark. i will admit shes really creepy though with the lyrics sometimes
    ^^ she even said she gets inspiration from the fairy tales.. they are cute and childish but the real story is hauntingly dark or creepy^+^ bye all

    • Thanks for your review! Solita IS ugly. She looks just like my fiance’s ex. (ouch, that was probably really mean.) Lolitawork Libretto was my favorite song on the album, and I wish it hadn’t been the last song. It almost felt like a bonus track due to its placement rather than the titular track.

      I really appreciate your feedback. Please stop back by again! πŸ™‚

      • lily

        that wasnt that mean^^ ill take your word for it. lol^^
        I kinda expected Lolitawork Libretto to be the first song.. cause the album is supposed to be dreams and magic….. also^^ i love the cover.. hope they keep it for the US release (europe.. jp her legs are funky like i think you or someone said)
        I must change one Review.. as ive now fallen in love with the song
        twinkle star! – Now that ive taken a chance to appreciate it^_^
        Its very… anime-ish… like an opening.. or the shortened version could be and Ending..
        some people dont.. but i am a huge Anime fan… so i like the song^_^ i also like the high pitch voice (her voice is only annoyin in charleston, and the first Good morning to you in this song.. she says it like G(choke slightly)’o od mornin to u! idk why she does that.. but i like high pitch japanese voices^^ never heard one that drove me up the wall.. great site u have btw.. gonna rate Twinkle Star! an 8.6

        • I’m glad you like the site! I try my best. πŸ˜›

          It is good to change your opinion about songs because it shows your dedication to giving them a try. That’s something I still need to work on, personally. ^_^

  7. Dark Siren

    Mana is a geniuos, and his work on this album isexcelent , and Kanon is a great artist.

  8. notasimplebeing

    I agree with you. Kanon’s first album was amazing and I guess I had really high standards for this too xD

    On first listen, I was disappointed.

    However after giving it a second try, i grew to love this album.

    My favorite songs are:
    Kajitsu no Keikoku – Gorgeous amazingly done!! AAHH XD although i had to listen to it like three times before I “got” it. I love the way the violins and cello come together really nicely!

    Toumei no Kagi – Wow, first time I heard it I was in heaven!! It was so catchy and powerful, with the strong cello sounds throughout the song ❀

    celmisia – didn't appeal to me the first couple of times I listened, but it's now one of my favorite songs on the album XD it just has that nightmary – dreamy feeling to it, love it bits

    Marmalade sky – reminds me of skip turn step! in the first album, I wished that there were more happy songs like it, and Kanon heard me!! haha jk. XD This song is so cutesy and happy, makes me in a great mood every time i hear it ^_^

    Lolitawork Libretto ~Storytelling by solita~ – Nicely done!! I didn't mind solita, she looked cute, and the song was really good ^^ the music video was very whimsical and pretty

    twinkle star – reminds me of Ennui Kibun o< I like this one, it's very playful and gets me in a joyful mood

    anyways nice review ^^ i agree and disagree with you on some parts, but it's awesome to see another kanon supporter XD

    • Likewise! Thank you for reading and for your comment. I also very much appreciate the fact that you were able to give the album a second listen. I’ve had to do that before, so I totally get it. πŸ™‚

  9. mykinddoll

    I thought I might be tempted to gouge out my ears when I heard Princess Charleston on YouTube, and of course it HAD to be the first song I clicked on.

    I had been so excited too. I’m so glad that someone else agrees that song should probably be avoided like the plague. I love her previous albumn, but I also loved her producer’s own work. I was into Mana way before I even think Kanon had thought of signing with Sony. I read something on her blog about a new producer so I’m really hoping that the horrible “Morning Musume/ALI Project” esque songs are his doing and not Mana’s. Not that Morning Musume or ALI Project are bad, they just aren’t Kanon. Every anime opening or ended theme is not what Kanon’s music should sound like.

    Lolitawork Liberetto is good, but otherwise I was a bit sad. I had been like a kid on Christmas and my hopes were crushed. Oh well…

    • Yeah, it’s kinda like when you ask for a cat for Christmas and instead get a Fur Real Friend.

      Thanks for your comment! I’m sorry the album didn’t live up to what you (or anyone, really) wanted.

      • mykinddoll

        It does kind of get a little better on second listen, but I’m still disappointed regardless of how catchy Kajitsu no Keikoku is, I still hear an ALI Project melody in the chorus. I will admit the cello in that song is awesome.

        I really wish that she had gone a more creepy fairytale direction with the music she wrote herself. That’s what I had had in mind for her own music anyway because of her art.

  10. hi! thanks for posting this~
    i hate it the fact that i can’t buy the album. i’m still waiting for some digital files, listen to it first before asking a friend overseas to buy it for me, since it’s impossible for me to physically do so.
    and i agree. i want her creepy fairytale image back. i don’t know, maybe it’s because that’s exactly the thing that enthralled me to listen to her, other than her vute looks and her awesome cello skills. πŸ˜›

    • Thanks for your comment. Are you in the U.S.? The album was supposed to be released in the U.S. at some point.

      Kanon is an enigmatic being, I can say that for sure. She pulls off the “porcelain doll from heck” persona quite well. Plus she has some wicked cello skills to boot.

  11. kenryoku

    Made a quick scan of all the comments and it seems that Princess Charleston is indeed to put it lightly, not that appreciated πŸ™‚ Oh well. I’ll check out her first album as per your suggestion. My favorite Kanon track (at least among the songs I’ve heard) afterall is Still Doll so I’m definitely Team Creepy Evil Girl too.

  12. I too had been looking forward to the album. The first one was so amazing that I had to conclude Japan might have the style of music I most enjoy.

    So if you know any musicians like and as good as Kanon’s first album please tell. In return I will tell you: Smokey Robinson (if you somehow do not know the King of Motown).

  13. stargirl//tear

    Honestly, I agree. This new album’s title “Lolitawork Libretto” sounds totally catchy and original just like the titles of all her songs, but once I listened to some… I didn’t feel any new thrill! As in I didn’t feel as excited as I was when I heard Shinshoku Dolce.
    And then after I listened to Lolitawork Libretto, I listened again to Shinshoku Dolce… And I almost wanted to cry! Her songs in the first album.. They’re so excitingly chillingly greatly GOOD! But then the latest album.. I don’t know. I like some songs. And I will listen to Lolitawork Libretto again and give it another chance..

    But… I’m all for bringing back the classic fairytale cello princess of dark, awesome mystery! I miss the Kanon Wakeshima I first discovered because of Vampire Knight! I miss the Kanon Wakeshima who taught me that darkness is not always bad. And dare to be different!
    I love Kanon!^^

  14. Kyuu

    I have to agree on Princess Charleston and Otome no March. I nearly screamed in fear when I heard Princess Charleston start playing. I’m not emo, but it just was so… fangirl-like to me and it sounded too sweet. As you said, Otome no March started out good, but it was disappointing.

    I loved Kuroneko to Pianist no Tango, Celmisia, and Lolitawork Libretto ~Storytelling by Solita!! My absolute favorites on this album.

  15. Thanks heaps for posting this up! I haven’t listened to all the songs on this album, downloading them now πŸ™‚ Just a few of my favourites here! And I am fearful of listening to Princess Charleston! I don’t want Kanon Wakeshima’s beautiful image to be spoilt! I have listened to the majority of these, only going to review my faves and hates. Just to keep it short, simple and sweet.

    02. Kajitsu no Keikoku – An amazing song. I just love this. It’s upbeat and generally amazing. Kanon Wakeshima = I worship you for doing this. Seriously. Reading the English translation, it adds more meaning and depth than I thought it could…

    07. Kurenoku to Pianist no Tango – Please, don’t make me listen to this. I hated it, and yes, it did grow on me (slightly) after a bit of listening but it generally just makes me… urgh. Why, Kanon, why make this? Dunno what all the fuss is about how great it is.

    10. Celmisia – I LOVE THIS SONG. I was listening to it on the bus to school, and I just loved it. It captured all the emotions I was feeling at the time and I listened to it on repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. It was just that over and over… πŸ˜€ And I still ain’t tired of it! (Ugh! I hate the word ain’t! Why did I use it 😦 I disgust myself…) (I think I have some serious issues). Anyway, the second I got home from school, I Google’d the English lyrics. And, sure enough, all those lyrics matched the exact emotions I was feeling. I was feeling pretty depressed, and I just loved it. Made me feel great listening to it, I love how it ends, with her repeating it a second time, in like, the last minute or something, with a two-three second delay. Beautiful ending, yet again.

    13. Lolitawork Libretto – Beautiful. It’s so eerie sounding, but that is probably what really entices me about it. It is said to have the “Alice in Wonderland” theme. Is that what Kanon was trying to achieve? Beautiful song, but still, isn’t that kind of unoriginal?

    Anyway, thanks, hope my views count xoxoxoxoxo

  16. EW! Listening to Princess Charleston, like, right now. Honestly, what was she thinking? Was she high? I love you, Kanon Wakeshima. But I was right > > I really shouldn’t have listened to this. I hate it. But, unfortunately, it’s catchy. I feel like I’ve walked into a Western Country Diner… in Japan… seriously. I swear; I can never ever listen to this song again.
    A waste of space on your iPod.

  17. lily

    hmm.. dunno how i got back to this page πŸ˜€ just came to say that i COMPLETELY understand why lolitawork libretto ~storytelling by Solita~ is at the end of the album now…
    the entire album’s theme is growing up (at least to me) and each song is in the exactly perfect order for a journey through the book.. shakespeare welcomes.. kajitsu warns of the dangers πŸ˜€
    imagine that Solita was reading through this book, she just ignored the warning and kept going.. hence the last songs music video… kanon is showing herself as “a young girl” adventuring through the fairy tales, but they all end badly, and kanon singing(black dress ^_^) is trapped in all those mysterious frames and black/white smoke everywhere, like shes imprisoned.. black and white=jail cell xD 2nd part of the last chorus (detaramena yuugi “silence” etc. etc.) is solita trying to get out of this fantasy so she can continue living her life.. last words reveille moi πŸ™‚ at least.. this is how EYE(I) see it..

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