Review | IDOLiSH7 “Sakura Message”

IDOLiSH7 impresses with the powerful ballad “Sakura Message“, then tieing any loose ends with a fun b-side track.

Title: Sakura Message
Label: Lantis
Release date: 07/07/2017
Genre: J-Pop/Ballad


1 - Sakura Message
2 - Party Time Together
3 - Sakura Message (off vocal)
4 - Party Time Together (off vocal)

Track by track analysis:

1 – Sakura Message

Sakura Message” is a breathtakingly beautiful ballad.

Whether it’s the delicate piano, the simple guitar riffs, the power chords provided by the guitar, or the bassy core of this song thanks to the bass and drums, every single thing in this instrumental was carefully crafted and put together to create this delicate and emotional instrumental.

The song might kick off in a rather slow, quiet way but it gradually grows its tension thanks in a big part to the vocal performances.

The emotions were on point for this song our only issue lies with Ono‘s erratic vocals. As a center everything revolves around him, the main focus of the vocal performance lies in him, sadly there are times in which he is pretty close to being off tune, especially during his solo parts.

Small mistakes aside the whole group performed this song in such a way that was incredibly easy to connect with the song.

Masuda and KENN‘s melodies, Shirai and Abe‘s powerful mid-tones plus Yonaga and Eguchi‘s fantastic teamwork were more than enough to showcase just how strong their vocal department is. “Sakura Message” is one of the best songs this unit has performed.

2 – Party Time Together

If “Sakura Message” was too sad to deal with and you need something to cheer you up don’t worry, Idolish7 completely changes gears with this song. “Party Time Together” is all about being joyful and happy.

The song mixes synths with fast-paced drumming and strong guitar riffs to create an energetic, engaging instrumental to match the lyrics and hyped vocal performance.

Even if we have all these elements, the instrumental doesn’t stray far from its bright, happy-go-lucky vibe.

For this song there were no issues with their vocals, actually, it was thanks to their energetic and bright vocal performance that we got this bundle of fun come to life. A little bit weaker in comparison with the title track but still a strong performance.

Final considerations

IDOLiSH7 showed us two completely different sides. After listening to “Sakura Message” and “Party Time Together” people will think that it’s odd to have two completely different songs put together. And they are sort of right with their analysis.

Unless you’re trying to stir the listener’s emotions intentionally, you wouldn’t feature two opposites in such a compact release like a single. They certainly stirred up my emotions, especially given how this is practically my very first time coming across the group.

Sakura Message” is gentle, careful, slow-paced, it’s a song to enjoy alone whereas “Party Time Together” puts aside those elements, and is the sheer embodiment of fun and youth.

One thing they do have in common, they’re both packed with emotional performances on both ends of the spectrum.

As a whole “Sakura Message” is a strong, enjoyable single with a fantastic ballad helming it. A must listen.

This review was possible thanks to mallard084’s sponsored CD.

Sakura Message” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


Sakura Message
Party Time Together
Vanessa Silva
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).





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