7Colors‘ debut single is already out. 7Colors‘ quest for a bright, bubbly single and bad directing made the whole unit stumble and fall.
A brief intro:
7Colors is one of the two units (the other being Clarity) debuting on new Pony Canyon and Voltage Inc’s smartphone game “Anidol Colors”.
The lineup counts with Yuto Suzuki (Marginal #4, Epicurean, My Milky way, ), Taku Yashiro (KiLLER KiNG, KYOHSO), Junta Terashima (GROWTH, Judgement), Yamaya Yoshitaka (GROWTH, Luna Lore), Yusuke Shirai (Idolish 7, Judgement), Shunichi Toki (GROWTH), Junya Enoki (S.E.M) complete this seven member group.
Title: Ride on☆ 7Dream Label: Pony Canyon Release date: 20/09/2017 Genre: J-Pop
1. Ride on☆ 7Dream! 2. 瞬間Sparkle 3. Ride on☆ 7Dream!［inst.］ 4. 瞬間Sparkle［inst.］
Track by track analysis:
1. Ride on☆ 7Dream!
Ride on☆ 7Dream! is a bright, bubblegum pop that will be a certain hit with those fond of hyped, generic pop tunes. The song’s instrumental is composed around synths of every kind – some of them throughly annoying despite their background, minor role in the song. The beat is simple, something you can easily find on TRIGNAL‘s debut single, Nobuhiko Okamoto‘s career or any other generic pop artist in Japan. But it’s exactly because of being generic, cute and all those adjectives used to describe bubbly pop music in Japan, that this unit has been met with considerable popularity. The song is simple, repetitive (which turns into a catchy tune), and despite the fact that each seiyuu has their time to shine during those 4:30 minutes, no one actually shone. No one. You’re reading well. No one showed anything impressive. Shunichi Toki is singing in a god awful tone, completely different from his powerhouse vocals in GROWTH, Junta Terashima and Yoshitaka Yamaya (also from GROWTH) suffer from the exact same thing, Taku Yashiro has a high tone that has difficulties to blend with the rest of the vocals, Junya Enoki was solid during his parts, Yuto Suzuki and Yusuke Shirai are the only ones singing in comfortable tone, but there was not a single sparkle in their performances other than the fact that they were the only ones singing well. A hyped trainwreck. 2/5
And if the title track wasn’t enough of a trainwreck, 瞬間Sparkle sealed the deal for us. Dressed in a pop-rock fashion, this track still drags a lot of the bright festival of the title track to this song. Synths overwhelm the listener and it’s not the presence of one guitar that makes it easier to listen to this song. The whole instrumental is drown in generic pop goodness – hyped synths, bright, fancy choruses, cute lines, edgy guitar solo but there’s not much of a substance for those that are looking for a song beyond this “happy” or “upbeat” vibe. This time around the vocal department stepped up to the challenge – at least in comparison with the title track. Yusuke Shirai steals the show for us with his consistent vocals – the only one with a deep, nasal voice in the mix -, the rest of the members are a bit of a blur to us after one listen. On a second listen we noticed that Yuto Suzuki carries everyone on his back during the chorus. There were still some odd things on this song and no, we’re not talking about the instrumental. Yoshitaka Yamaya‘s recording seems odd – muffled as if recorded by a smartphone -, don’t know if this was intentional but it sounds subpar when all the other recordings seem up to standard. If you didn’t notice this please re-listen to this song and wait for Yamaya‘s first line into the song, the quality is completely different from the other recordings. A bright beautiful and bubbly shell hides a song with little to no content. 3/5
There’s too much focus on being bright instead of sounding good. 7Colors had everything to be a good unit, especially when the heavyweights, Shunichi Toki, Yamaya Yoshitaka, Junta Terashima and Yuto Suzuki were all gathered in the same place. Yusuke Shirai is known as Idolish7‘s leader, and a do-it-all kind of singer, often holding everyone together – which he did this time, once again flawlessly, if he hadn’t then this release would have been a complete disaster.
Alongside Shirai, Yuto Suzuki is the next best thing on this unit. Suzuki is known as Marginal #4‘s leader, versatile singer with high and low ranges (better on higher registries than on lower ones), he does his best for this single but didn’t bring anything to the table besides a by-the-book performance.
Shunichi Toki (GROWTH‘s leader), Yamaya Yoshitaka and Junta Terashima suffer from the same destiny. Despite being all members of GROWTH, all of them sounded awful – Terashima’s low vocals are nowhere to be found, Yoshitaka‘s harmonies as well, Toki is singing in a very high pitched, young kid tone that is nothing like his powerhouse self. We were expect a lot from them but were only met with weak performances.
Taku Yashiro has one of those tones that always sound like it’s out of tune (too nasal and high pitched). That by itself is already hard to fix and improve but there are units he’s part of that are able mask that weakness of his. 7Colors isn’t one of them. Enoki disappears in the middle of the choruses despite handling well his solo parts.
The quality issues are highly noticeable on this single. At one time Yamaya‘s recording sounds way too different from all other performances. If the idea behind his part sounding like a smartphone recording was initially there for the producers – congrats, they achieved it flawlessly -, if, on the contrary, it was for no one to notice that mistake in the recording, then they did an awful job.
This is proof that good singers can be easily ruined by bad directions – especially noticeable with the tone changes for Toki and Terashima. In the world of 2.5D idols that, now more than ever, present high quality songs with even better quality performances, 7Colors sits far from the top units and barely catches the worst ones in the business.
Of course, there might be some people, some even our readers, that are fond of happy, bubbly songs because those are fun to listen to – no problem with that -, but if you’re looking for quality music (including the recording), depth and strong vocal performances, then this is not the single nor unit for you.
Ride on☆ 7Dream! is an utter disappointement.
Ride on☆ 7Dream! is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.