Japanese prolific seiyuu Daisuke Ono has released earlier this week his two mini-albums “Up Stairs” and “Down stairs” from the album concept “STAIRS”. This is the first time OnoD releases two mini-albums on the same day. This review will focus on the rockish “Down stairs”. Now down for some info about it:
Mini-album: "Down Stairs" Released: 25/09/2013 Label: Lantis Genre: Pop/rock
01. モノクロの虹 02. Lunar Maria 03. 暁の轍 04. キンモクセイ 05. 鳥の夢 06. Ascending&Descending
Track by track analysis:
1 – モノクロの虹
Starting off this mini-album comes the single “モノクロの虹”. “Long gone are the times when Daisuke Ono has released a pop/rock song” – that was what came to my mind several times upon listening to his latest releases of basically danceable stuff. But with this one he breaks the fasting. This song has all the good elements: a good bassline, strong guitar riffs, addictive drums and the clear, deep vocals by none other than OnoD. A song like this is what I think was missing from Ono’s latest releases. Yeah, we like the more danceable stuff too but a good pop/rock song coming from Daisuke Ono is always a treat. This gives off the same vibe the first album “風花”, released in 2009, gave when I first heard it. Such a strong song and an excellent choice for the single presenting this part of the “Stairs” (the single for “Up stairs” is Kiss Kiss Kiss) mini-album. 5/5
2 – Lunar Maria
Already known by most of his fans, “Lunar Maria” is one interesting piece. Guitar played with clear inspiration on the Spanish style together with the beautiful piano notes bring the class to this pop song. Strong vocals on one of the most beautiful songs instrumental-wise, that were featured on a single/album by OnoD. The instrumental piece on itself is incredibly good and the upbeat vocal work full of emotion with Daisuke enhancing the vocal track by hitting both highs and lows without any kind of big problem brings this song to a high tier. 5/5
3 – 暁の轍
Another song that is no stranger to the fans. “暁の轍” or “Akatsuki no wadachi” was also featured on the Lunar Maria single released in 2012. This is a pop song through and through. Great instrumental piece once again, the single “Lunar Maria” managed to feature good instrumentals which is, by itself, pretty interesting; the guitars (especially the acoustic) and the piano bring the beauty to this song full of emotion. Daisuke Ono shines on this one with solid vocal work. Such an underrated song but it’s such a good one on OnoD’s repertoire. 5/5
4 – キンモクセイ
Already released in 2009 “キンモクセイ” or simply “Kinmokusei” is also featured on this mini-album. Another rock song that makes “Down Stairs” more versed for the pop/rock genre. A pretty upbeat pop/rock song with a great guitar solo on the outro and overall good instrumental. Vocal-wise Daisuke’s vocals are good enough for this song to stand out, not enough to be a great song but still an interesting one. 4/5
5 – 鳥の夢
After all those previous hits here is another new song on the mini-album. Great intro with the drums dictating the slow pace together with the guitar. Yet another rock song and this one is probably one of the best on the album. A slow song with a good instrumental provided by the drums and guitars, to mention that the bassline is also actually pretty good. The vocals are smooth, deep, almost soothing, the perfect combination with the instrumental piece. The outro has a melodic solo totally fitting the mood of the song opening the way for yet another chorus before the curtain falls. 5/5
6 – Ascending&Descending
As the curtain starts to fall we are presented with such a good rock song. The intro led by the piano is incredibly beautiful and keeps enriching the sound throughout the song. The strong guitars, the speedy drums and the somewhat aggressive bassline provide this song with some of the best elements to make this one a highlight of the mini-album. The vocal work is incredibly good and the solos by both the guitar and piano on the outro are top tier on a song totally reigned by the fast pace. 5/5
Final rating: 4.5/5
A strong mini-album that only misses a bit since it only features three new songs instead of a complete new mini-album but well, there’s nothing we can do about it. Besides that we need to mention that “Down stairs” is clearly a rock album instead of “Up stairs” that is more focused on the dancefloor hits.
The vocal work on this part of the album “STAIRS” is incredibly well performed, as expected by Daisuke Ono’s perfectionism in everything he does. Instrumental-wise we need to have in mind that we’re before a pop/rock album so there are no aggressive guitar riffs or crazy drumming but we get to hear great basslines, strong guitar solos and many times the usage of the piano to enrich the instrumental pieces. “Down stairs” is definitely a good mini-album recommended for all those that, not only like Daisuke Ono, but also like him singing rock songs.
The album is available on CDJAPAN for overseas fans.