IDOLiSH7 set the bar incredibly high with “Nanatsuiro REALiZE“. While bright pop with some rock elements has been their staple, it seems that something has changed and not only their vocals improved, but they are now exuding a mature vibe that fits them perfectly. This is a single unlike any other in their repertoire.
Title: ナナツイロ REALiZE Label: Lantis Release date: 20/06/2018 Genre: Pop
1 - ナナツイロ REALiZE 2 - Viva! Fantastic Life!!!!!!!
Track by track analysis:
1 – ナナツイロ REALiZE
IDOLiSH7 kick off this single with a song that is already well known among their fans. “Nanatsuiro REALiZE” is yet another entertaining upbeat tune done right for this group. The instrumentalization is mostly bright, making great use of brass, simple and fun piano melodies and washy synths to shape their sound into what turned out to be a song that will put a smile on your face. The addition of rock elements (rather common on their songs although synths still reign in their instrumentals) this time around made the instrumental sound more polished and mature although with the same excitement IDOLiSH7 have used us to. From the melodic guitar riffs, to the sweet guitar solo, the groovy drums (simple but straight to the point) and the noticeable bass line, this instrumental managed to impress. And the same can be said about the vocal performances. This song stands out from all others released up until now due to the simple fact that everyone sounds great. The power vocal line – Toshiki Masuda, Atsushi Abe and KENN – were joined by Kensho Ono, Tsubasa Yonaga, Takuya Eguchi and Yusuke Shirai that upped their game, making it impossible to choose a best performer among them. This is actually a fantastic thing as it now seems like everyone is on the same page. IDOLiSH7 gave a balanced and entertaining performance. 5/5
2 – Viva! Fantastic Life!!!!!!!
“Viva! Fantastic Life!!!!!!!” is unlike anything you’ve heard from IDOLiSH7. The instrumentalization has serious 90’s J-Pop vibes mixed with Latin percussion. Now, everything about this song is new, there’s no song like this even among the other units in the IDOLiSH7 franchise. It initially seemed like a Latin dance song with some retro vibes but it’s much more than that. Get ready to be blown away with this song. The instrumental kicks off with old-school synths mixed with timbales and other typical Latin percussion elements. However things slow down when the verses kick in and that’s when an unexpected mature and alluring vibe takes over. Everything about the instrumentalization in the verses is sexy, the same can’t be said about the chorus – that one is fun and really embraces the whole danceable vibe given by the Latin instrumentalization. The song counts with wide variety of instruments, all layered and crafted in a way that you won’t help but to be impressed. Among the various instruments included on this rich instrumental are brass, bass, bongos, retro synths (some of those adding some “tropical” vibes), electric guitars, drums and bass. A closer listen will unveil even more minimalist elements and samples hidden in the background. The ending is unconventional, leaving the listener begging for more.
Well, the instrumental is mature isn’t it? What about the vocals?
First things, first. Best decision ever: to let Toshiki Masuda kick off this song. If the instrumental wasn’t suggestive enough, his first low and melodic notes were more than enough to seal the deal. But not everything is about him, as a matter of fact, everyone got unique parts to tackle, all a perfect fit with their vocals and singing quirks. KENN‘s vocals are as husky and alluring as ever and we found him singing and rapping to the groove. Atsushi Abe joined in and heated up the performance with his sweet vocals and fast paced rap. Yusuke Shirai‘s deep vocals fit perfectly with the vibe, making it impossible for the listener to escape for i7‘s grasp.
Although almost all members got rap parts (strangely Toshiki Masuda is the only one without those), a newfound groovy rap line shone: Takuya Eguchi, Tsubasa Yonaga and Yusuke Shirai. They have their individual parts and an extra bit of rap in the outro. Out of this trio only Yonaga isn’t know for his rapping skills. You’ll be surprised with his skills. Eguchi and Shirai were spitting fire from start to finish – nothing new here, as both are actually pretty good rappers -. The song wraps up with Kensho Ono‘s long note. This is, hands down, IDOLiSH7‘s best song to date. 5/5
Safe to say that IDOLiSH7 took it to a whole other level with this single.
“Nanatsuiro REALiZE” is the perfect example of how to make an exciting, upbeat song without sounding tacky. The addition of rock elements and the toning down of synths was crucial to make this song stand out. Their growth is noticeable with Shirai, Yonaga and Eguchi improving before our eyes (and ears), rising up to the challenge to deliver a stunning performance matching their powerful vocal line. Everything about this song is balanced, vocals, instrumental, all fell in the right place.
Now, onto the major surprise on this release.
Viva! Fantastic Life!!!!!!! sounds like a match made in heaven between TRIGGER‘s mature sound + vibe and Re:vale‘s refined, fun Latin sound. Sexy IDOLiSH7 is certainly a first. Latin imbued IDOLiSH7 is also a first. And the best thing is that the group managed to pull off both flawlessly. Their trademark exciting vibe is still present however the listener is completely overwhelmed by the strangely alluring vibe coming from a group that usually is all cute and upbeat. Believe me, the shock is big between their trademark sound and this song.
This is the first time that a IDOLiSH7 song sounds tailored not to the vocals as a whole, but also to the individual parts. Everyone got to shine in equal measures and doing what suits best their vocals and skills, Toshiki Masuda introduced everyone to this song through an alluring performance (he’s the only one without rap parts), KENN and Yusuke Shirai put their husky, deep vocals to test with great results, Atsushi Abe heated up the song, Tsubasa Yonaga and Kensho Ono were on a roll, delivering melodic performances. The addition of rap parts made this song all the more entertaining and served to highlight the individual talents by some members that usually are overshadowed by the main vocal line. Of course Takuya Eguchi is part of the rap line. No explanation need on that (natural) choice. Yusuke Shirai and Tsubasa Yonaga heating it up with their bars is something that I wasn’t expecting. I mean, Shirai is now a rap crew leader so people already have some grasp of his skills as a rapper, but Tsubasa Yonaga? This is yet another first time to add to the list of never ending surprises this song reserved for IDOLiSH7‘s fans. Yonaga seemed like an odd choice but a couple of seconds were enough to change my mind. He’s talented. Best song on this single and on IDOLiSH7’s repertoire. I can only hope IDOLiSH7 continue to embrace the whole alluring vibe from “Viva! Fantastic Life!!!!!!!” in further releases. It fits them perfectly.
As a whole, “Nanatsuiro REALiZE” is a fantastic release that shed a different light over this talented group. They might be known for their bright, upbeat songs but they are more than that, being able to adapt to completely different settings and deliver jaw dropping performances. We got the best vocal performances and the most interesting and unexpected instrumentals, all in one place. Give a listen at this single, this is IDOLiSH7‘s best work to date.
“Nanatsuiro REALiZE” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.