Sound — 9
Memoire has a very complex, melancholy and very classical sound to it. It almost reminds me of Bach and Beethoven, with a touch of 80s Goth rock. The quality is great for an independently released debut album as well. All the instruments stand out most of the time throughout the album and nothing gets lost in the mix. I applaud Mana's songwriting and producing skills for this. Speaking of instruments, the guitar playing of Mana and Kzi are phenomenal, as well as Yu~Ki's bass playing, and Kami's drumming. I wouldn't expect less from classically trained musicians at their level.
Lyrics — 6
Tetsu Takano, the front man hired for the band, wrote the lyrics for all the tracks on Memoire. The lyrics, being mostly in Japanese, make it hard to understand for beginning listeners of Malice Mizer in general. Even at that, when the lyrics are translated, they barely make sense and are very avant-garde. Overall though, they do fit the music. With themes like heaven, suicide, murder, and lost love, the lyrics give the album an even more melancholy feel to it. What helps this sense of depression is Tetsu's vocals. To first time listeners, people would assume that they were listening to a dying moose (A dying moose is the most common thing that comes to people's minds, apparently). His "moaning" of most of the lyrics gives a sense that he is either A, crying in pain or sadness, or B, dying, which fits the lyrics and the music perfectly.
Overall Impression — 9
Memoire compares well with the rest of Malice Mizer's albums, even if it is their shortest, most experimental album. My personal favourites, and the tracks that do stand out and lives through-out the career of Malice Mizer are Kioku to Sora, and Baroque, which is on the re-release, called Memoire DX. In fact, the track E-GE Umi ni Sasagu was rewritten for Gackt as Aegean ~Sugisarishi Kaze to Tomo ni~ on the later album Merveilles. The things that I like about the album are the originality of the album, presenting the listener with avant-garde rhythms, and constant time signature changes. Also, I love Tetsu's vocals, and how much emotion he puts out with them. Even with such a great album, there are some flaws, which include incomrehensive translated lyrics, the use of the ever-so overrated "Fur Elise," and how Tetsu kind of gets too emotional on the track "GoGo no Sasayaki." I also don't like how short the album is, standing at a simple 21 minutes (28 minutes on DX, for Baroque adds an extra 7 minutes to the album). Memoire is an album that I can enjoy, and listen to over and over, even if it does have the annoying flaws of overused classical music, and forced vocals. If I could I'd buy another 5 or 6 copies of it, just in case I lost my copy, but I don't have that extra $75 a copy. I suggest buying it, for it is worth that price.