Soul to Soul
Hello Sunshine Hello Future
Deep Blue Sea Flower
Magical Mystery Hunter
Anniversary Song ~10th~
Opening OR’s first album under Victor, Restart immediately makes me think they’re for sure wanting to do more experimentation than their days under SONY. HIROKI and YAMATO care pretty synthed up for the most part and it kind of fits their arrangement. It’s danceable and yet minimal for some reason…it’s interesting and when RYO gets a short part, it gets more progressive and such…it’s a weird tune but a good tune to start the album…kind of reminds me of Sakanaction XD.
Moving onto our next song, Subway is even more minimalistic than “Restart” was. It kind of has the cute hop about it which did interest me the most about the song. Still it felt that YAMATO and HIROKI were lonely when they sung the verses and the chorus didn’t exactly help much either. The strings are a nice inclusion…but I’m kind of bored with this one.
3. Soul to Soul
When I first heard the intro to Soul to Soul it made me think of “*~Asterisk~” for some reason but I think it’s mostly because of RYO’s deep vocals used in the tune. I’m kind of weirded out from the strange arrangement the song has and kind of puts me off. Abstract stuff here for the most part and I don’t think I’m really into it.
4. Hello Sunshine Hello Future
At least this song sounds a little more interesting than the last two tracks. It’s a bit more aggressive and kind of harkens back to their SONY days by including a little more of the band and less of the experimentive side (but it’s still there). I just love hearing HIROKI singing lead here and they sound great for the most part. The chorus is a bit mechanically sung…but that’s not too much of a problem for me.
A little more funky in the way that “Locolotion” was so long ago, Warning!! does go back to minimal arrangement but it kind of works and it doesn’t really last long. HIROKI sings really good but the song kind of hits a sour point when he repeats ~waaaaning, waaaaaning!~ over and over…it does get a bit abrasive lol. At least YAMATO does quite a good job in his parts and doesn’t do the repetitive parts. It grows on you, but the repetitive parts do bring it down.
After the upbeat stuff comes our laidback and somewhat reggae-ish track Lion. I wonder what got them to choose YAMATO to lead the song because his voice is a bit nasally in the tune. The arrangement is nice though because it’s true to their style and has a certain summery vibe. Even RYO gets a part too ^_^ and he sounds good! Might not be everyone’s cup of tea…but it sounds natural (even though it kind of isn’t).
7. Dry Hard
The title sounds aggressive doesn’t it? Well, to be honest, by the album’s overall sound so far, this is a lot more progressive and more intricate which is nice and it kind of reminds me of POLYSICS’ stuff minus the guitars. The chorus really disappointed me in this song because it kind of changed the tempo/rhythm around quite suddenly and it’s just happy and makes you want to skip down your street…it’s a little freaky from the verses to be honest…
8. Morning View
I kind of like the atmospheric sounds of Morning View for some reason, the band’s minimal direction to their music finally seems right with this song for sure. I hear all three of the singers actually and that’s quite awesome! It’s a different kind of song and I appreciated that at least it worked for them this time around…good song overall…definitely has that morning feel to it ^_^.
9. Deep Blue Sea Flower
Strings open our next song up and we’re back to some bandwork even if it’s one of the slower songs on the album. They don’t seem to rely on the synths on this song very much and I’m happy there’s a break from that. The vocalists do a good job here as well…even YAMATO whose voice is heard quite a bit in the tune. I just like the mysterious feel of the song (plus the plucking sounds are for added effect). Yeah, this isn’t bad either and unique to the album.
10. Baby Baby
Then we dive back into the experiments again with Baby Baby, but this once has more drive and carries a little of the mysterious glow in the ascended synth notes. I wish the chorus had a little more bass involved but it’s not terrible. It’s a song that I love the verses but kind of less so on the chorus…*sigh*.
The opening arrangement for Backpack is just a little on the weird side and kind of annoys me for some reason lol. They got YAMATO singing first and once again sounds a bit nasally…luckily the other members get their lines. It’s somewhat catchy but the fact that it sounds so busy kind of makes me think that it’s the only reason it’s not a trainwreck of a song.
12. Magical Mystery Hunter
At first I was wondering why the piano sound so low quality but it’s meant to be that way XD. I’m surprised that at first it lacked the electronic buffs…but then I was proven wrong because the chorus just rakes that shit in and destroys the song entirely for me. The synths made the song feel as if it was moving at a snail’s pace. Just a bit too slow for me.
13. Anniversary Song ~10th~
Finally, making to the end of the album is the only song that was released prior before the album (it was a digital single to celebrate the ten years they’ve been a band). I was hoping it was going to be a little more natural sounding, but it wasn’t and kind of made for an odd ending because it has a certrain children’s song sound lol. Though I hear them saying the band’s name throughout. It’s catchy in some parts and annoying elsewhere…it’s a song that’ll have to grow on you.
Song of Avoidance
ORANGE RANGE’s first album under Victor and for the most part, I just didn’t like it. I haven’t heard “orcd” yet (their last album before this one) but I don’t think their pico/synth pop/rock works for me because a lot of it feels lifeless and empty and makes the groups vocalists sound more vulnerable to problems. NEO POP STANDARD does have a couple of OK songs but the rest was kind of just ehhhh….