Review and Unboxing: IMERUAT’s Propelled LIfe

I love IMERUAT. For the uninitiated, IMERUAT is a duo comprised of Masashi Hamauzu and vocalist Mina, who banded together after Hamauzu’s departure from Square Enix upon completing Final Fantasy XIII. The band combines Hamauzu’s signature compositions, heavy with piano and electronic soundscapes, with Mina’s whimsical singing style, and the result is nothing less of superb.

After an incredible debut with Black Ocean in 2012, Propelled Life comes as six-track EP, giving fans a much-needed fix of some IMERUAT goodness. But more about that below.

The opening track, “TeNiOE,” is an instant classic. There’s quirky Hamauzu-style piano, funky bass, playful percussion, an infectious chorus section, and of course, Mina’s mesmerizing vocal work. I’d love to push around a katamari to this music if you catch my drift.

It’s then a change in direction with “N-Chart,” a grungy and somewhat explosive electronic track that would be right at home among the futuristic electronics of Final Fantasy XIII. “Fei Fei Fei-Propelled” gets back to the what one would expect of IMERUAT, featuring more piano and Mina, while “ヴァルヴァーラの野望” acts as a stop-and-go intermission before the short-but-sweet string ballad, “Beyond the Field.” The album closes with the meandering “イメルア体操第四,” a solo piano piece that may leave you scratching your head.

In all, there’s a lot to love here. “TeNiOE” is fantastic and has been stuck in my head for days, while we get a mix of new sonic territory and IMERUAT standards, and a couple experiments thrown in for good measure. So while there’s only 20 minutes of music here, it’s a nice fix until something bigger and longer comes around.

One of the coolest things about Propelled Life, however, is the packaging. It comes in a full-size paperback book format that is filled with lyrics, artwork, sheet music, photographs, credits, and more. There’s a page dedicated to each track as well as the duo’s world travels. It’s really a nice treat for IMERUAT fans.

It’s now available to fans abroad via the new MONOMUSIK overseas store!

3 thoughts on “Review and Unboxing: IMERUAT’s Propelled LIfe”

  1. イメルア体操第四 (I’m also unsure of its translation; it’s been paired with a YouTube video by the duo called “Imeruat Calisthenics No. 4”) is one of the strongest compositions of Hamauzu I’ve heard! It has a number of his hallmarks — punctual melodies, marching chords, and lots of negative space — with an assortment of more recent pianistic developments, like the chordal strikes on the lowest octaves. Calling it a meandering head-scratcher seems like a pretty big disservice.

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