A’ “Dear Vocalist Evolve Entry No.6” (Review)

A’ wraps up Dear Vocalist‘s Evolve series with a drastic yet oddly familiar overhaul in sound and themes explored.

Title: "Dear Vocalist Evolve" Entry No.6 A'
Label: Rejet
Release date: 18/12/2019
Genre: Jazz/Rock

Tracklist:

1 - 宵闇に相乗り
2 - #HAPPY
3 - CONT/RAST [DRAMA TRACK]
4 - NEVER [DRAMA TRACK]
5 - P,P & F [DRAMA TRACK]

Track by track analysis:

1 – 宵闇に相乗り (Yoiyami ni ainori)

Yoiyami ni ainori is a loungy jazz-pop track that progresses in a quite interesting way. The intro takes us into a laidback, jazz bar soundscape and its hip-hop influences – a couple of samples used as hits to enhance the instrumental – stand out, leading to a groovy instrumental. Funky guitar riffs and bass line join the dreamy synths and jazzy melody that moves the track forward. Ryohei Kimura takes his performance as A’ just a step forward and it was more than enough to impress. His mellow low tones and raspy mid-tones fit perfectly with the soundscape created but where he shines is in the outro. That falsetto still echoes in our ears. 5/5

2 – #HAPPY 

Still on the same note but with a different approach, #HAPPY closes this mini-album on a good note. This rock track is fresh in A”s repertoire, sounding more like a song that Judah or Joshua would perform. Guitars at center stage, giving an edge to this song with melodic riffs and brief solo fillers. Drums are hard-hitting, with the snare and bass drum being pivotal in creating depth to this track. On the vocal end, Ryohei Kimura delivers a surprisingly consistent and clean performance. He is sound the best in this track. 5/5

Final rating:

Yoiyami ni ainori is a dreamy jazz-pop track, a first in A’‘s repertoire but a welcomed addition to it. It is a pleasant sounding song, something that is incredibly odd within A”s repertoire – filled with broken electronica tracks and aggressive rock tunes. This track showcases growth and overcoming issues that finally let the character enjoy itself. This reflects in the quiet, tasteful jazz instrumental and the warm vibe exuding from it.

The “happy” theme transfers to #HAPPY and, although with a contrasting instrumental, we get the exact same feeling from it. Contrary to some releases on this Evolve series, A”s entry is the most consistent as it follows the exact same theme for both songs while approaching both in completely different ways.

Ryohei Kimura continues to improve on the vocal end and is starting enter territory that will only make further releases even more interesting. For this release he tackled loungy jazz and rock, contrasting genres for which he delivered good, consistent performances. The falsetto in Yoiyami ni ainori and the insane consistency in #HAPPY, without a single flaw or odd bit in it, impressed us beyond words.

A’‘s entry in Dear Vocalist‘s Evolve series is the best we’ve heard from him. The consistency with themes and vocal performances, how the whole instrumental felt fresh yet familiar, how growth and happiness were explored, how Ryohei Kimura tackled singing for this release. All culminates in a release that wraps up the Evolve series on an outstanding note.

Dear Vocalist Evolve Entry No.6 A’ is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

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