(2)YOU‘s entry in the Dear Vocalist‘s Evolve series takes him to grittier territory.
Title: "Dear Vocalist Evolve" Entry No.4 (2)YOU Label: Rejet Release date: 16/10/2019 Genre: Ballad/Rock
1 - not too late 2 - Imperfections 3 - 変わるモノ、変わらないモノ[DRAMA TRACK] 4 - chill out [DRAMA TRACK] 5 - the one and only [DRAMA TRACK]
Track by track analysis:
1 – not too late
An inspiring piano melody sets the tone for this balladesque tune. not too late is a slow burn rock ballad with a focus on muffled guitar riffs – contrasting to the bright piano melodies – and slow paced, snare-driven drums. The song progresses quite nicely, with instrumentalization kept really tight, leaving enough space for vocals to explore it. The chorus however brings synths in an odd key that stands out with ease. It is not something that works well with this song, especially when it has a classic rock ballad undertone to it – particularly noticeable as soon as the guitar solo in the outro kicks in. As it is, not too late is a consistent track but far from a highlight. 4/5
2 – Imperfections
This release wraps up with Imperfections, track that brings dirty electronica and gritty guitar riffs to the table in what is one of the best tracks in (2)YOU‘s repertoire. The song is fleshed out by the dark instrumentalization, a mix of muffled, glitchy guitar riffs, clean, bass-driven drums and a noticeable, deep bass line. The song has the perfect mid-tempo pacing and is far from being aggressive or fast just for the sake of it. On the vocal end, Natsuki Hanae‘s performance is full of flair, with his raspy mid-tones and angelic high notes clashing, further expanding on the song’s theme. Complete performance and the highlight of the release. 5/5
(2)YOU‘s entry is, for a change, incredibly exciting. Known for a rather consistent yet, on the long run, predictable sound, (2)YOU gave it a go on a ballad with classic rock elements in not too late. At the same time industrial rock with bits of gritty electronica took Imperfections into a territory that hadn’t been explored before.
On the vocal end, Natsuki Hanae is as consistent as you can imagine. Mid-tones are solid – even if a bit raspy at times -, and his higher register has been key for all the consistency that has been going on since (2)YOU’s first entry in the Dear Vocalist franchise.
All in all, (2)YOU‘s entry in the Evolve series does not go out of its way. This release has great moments, explores some new elements and features solid performances however, even with all that change, it is a predictable release.
Dear Vocalist Evolve Entry No.4 (2)YOU is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.