WHAT’S MY NAME
CHILLIN’ CHILLIN’ MONEY BLUE$
I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, AND I HATE YOU.
SUPER HERO (Album ver.)
Suteki na Mirai
SURVIVE (Album ver.)
1. WHAT’S MY NAME?
Starting the album off with the title track, it’s no surprise we’d get something that shows off MIYAVI’s guitar-playing and he’s still one of the quirkiest guitarists of our time. Now getting into other things, it seems that MIYAVI has lost a lot of degrees to his music as in he doesn’t have a full band. Only a drummer and himself so that makes this album rather unplugged but not fully acoustic. I do think it’s pretty neat though that MIYAVI is actually sort of rapping in the song. Interesting opening.
Just being at 3 minutes, TORTURE is actually the shortest song off the album and it surprises me because it’s also the only physical single released in the era. While on the review, I said it didn’t connect with me really, but somehow it turned into one of my favorite MIYAVI songs of recent times. It could be the heavy guitar and funky arrangement that got to me or MIYAVI’s lyrics that I could understand (for the most part). I mean I’m surprised he made a song that sounded so complete without the bass and such…
Why do I have a feeling that this sort of reminds me of “Shindemo Boogie-Woogie” and “Gigpig Boogie” but of course in a lighter style? To me, MIYAVI’s vocals seem rather covered up by the arrangement and a good portion is mostly him yelling, but what can ya do? It has a good swing to it and when he does sing, it’s alright. Not so good after, “TORTURE”.
4. CHILLIN’ CHILLIN’ MONEY BLUE$
I’m noticing by now that even though it’s of high quality…it sounds like it wasn’t refined and kind of just sounds like it was done in one try in the studio. CHILLIN CHILLIN MONEY BLUE$ has a pretty good beat and MIYAVI sounds kind of slick and cool singing it. There’s also someone else singing along (might just be him), still it’s interesting and lowkey when compared to other songs.
5. I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU, AND I HATE YOU
I was wondering what we’d get from such a title like this. I love the arrangement since it has a good riff going and with MIYAVI singing soft again, it sounds rather interesting. It might be pretty straightforward for him, but I think it’s rather cool and it grows into this sweet guitar song. It might’ve been better if it had more instruments and a bigger bang…but it’s good…then again it might get annoying towards the end, but this song is good.
The next three songs for me somehow seems all related to one another somehow besides the obviousness of the titles. MOON for me is the softest song of the album since MIYAVI is reduced to almost whispering the lyrics. I found this minimalistic sound he was going for pretty interesting and the intricacies of MIYAVI’s guitar-playing stands out in the song.
Oh I guess, GRAVITY takes up the slowest song off the album. The problem though is that it’s way too slow and drags 2 minutes of a total of 6 minutes, which is basically the same guitar chords over and over and MIYAVI just trying to keep his boredom to a level where it doesn’t seem noticeable. After the 2 minutes, MIYAVI really lets himself by screaming ~LET ME OUUUUUUUUT!~ It’s not very tasteful to hear especially how he screams it like he’s being stabbed or something. It repeats again, but there’s drums added to make it a bit more interesting, but I was turned off by the first 3-4 minutes that I was just not interested past that. Way too long and too poor of a choice to do with the 6 minutes.
Luckily after that weirdness of “GRAVITY”, UNIVERSE picks up the slack with this really cool guitar riff that sometimes to me sounds like synth playing around as well (it might be actually, but a mix with MIYAVI’s playing). While I do hear a lot of English involved here, the music once again covers things up, but once MIYAVI starts trying to pull off Chester Bennington’s vocal style, UNIVERSE becomes this very angsty tune that made me notice quickly. I thought it was one of the best songs off the album, but I know some people will prolly disagree with that.
This time around, I was surprised to hear drums open up a song instead of MIYAVI. To me, this song is probably a bit too messy and kind of all over the place in its arrangement because the guitar is playing some low chords and kind of runs a bit too gritty to make a real melody out of it. Once the chorus (or I think it is) it just goes from worse to terrible…wow…This is just a bit icky.
At least with SHELTER we actually get a good sounding melody going here and it has a great beat to go along with it. I also can tell that this song has English strung out throughout and I like how this is one of the simpler songs as well. It reminds me of a much lighter “TORTURE” which great to have on an album that so far has disappointed me.
11. SUPER HERO (Album ver.)
Getting the second digital single of the era out of the way, I haven’t been able to listen to the original so I can’t say a lot about the differences between the two. I wonder if the difference is that the digital singles were before this whole two man band thing. It’s nice but it kind of pales to other songs on the album and his vocals are very strained in this song and you can tell pretty easily.
12. Suteki na Mirai
As the only song not in caps on this album (and written in kanji for that matter) Suteki na Mirai actually another ballad-like song on the album. At first it was nice just to hear MIYAVI with only acoustic guitar, but that idea gets erased drums come in after a bit. At least MIYAVI’s solo is pretty impressive and seems MIYAVI is liking this solo a bit more than the others he did. Good and simple tune for sure, but could have done more to it.
13. FUTURISTIC LOVE
Just like “UNIVERSE”, FUTURISTIC LOVE carries this interesting style that a lot of the other songs are just missing and it makes me wonder why these two songs sound so much cooler and better handled than most of the other songs on the album. I mean you can hear there was something else besides drums and guitar here and it made me happy. I do think that just like “UNIVERSE” that this song gets pretty repetitive in the arrangement and can become a bore after a while (especially past the half way mark where MIYAVI stops singing…). Ok, so it might not have been done right, but it still has life in it.
14. SURVIVE (Album ver.)
While I might not have heard the original “SUPER HERO”, I have heard the original of SURVIVE and I much prefer the digital release than the reedited version of the song. It seems that giving the song the WHAT’S MY NAME? tough kind of made it less energetic and less powerful of a song. It’s just very meh for me even though I do like SURVIVE as a song and was very raw.
Song of Avoidance
You know, I don’t know what the hell happened with MIYAVI on this album. I mean his last album, “Miyavi -THIS IZ THE JAPANESE KABUKI ROCK-” sounded full and of energy and completeness. This album has the energy down, but the completeness of the songs felt way low and there’s so much potential in these songs that just wasn’t there (but GRAVITY, that purely sucked). I mean maybe it was supposed to be like “Miyaviuta -Dokusou-”, but that album was good, this just was yeesh…