IDOLiSH7 return with the danceable “WiSH VOYAGE“, single that despite its flaws, still managed to entertain us.
Title: WiSH VOYAGE Label: Lantis Release date: 14/02/2018 Genre: J-Pop/Dance
1. WiSH VOYAGE 2. Dancing∞BEAT!! 3. WiSH VOYAGE (Off Vocal) 4. Dancing∞BEAT!! (Off Vocal)
Track by track analysis:
1. WiSH VOYAGE
Already well known to the fans of the anime adaptation and/or by those that are playing the game, “WiSH VOYAGE” is an upbeat electronic pop tune in which the drums presence is reduced to a minimum and synths exist in abundance. The instrumental has some interesting melodic bits – mainly the funky guitar riffs after the second chorus as well as the bridge section, that present a quieter outlet to let the vocals shine. Riding on a comfortable mid-tempo, IDOLiSH7 tackle simple verses and a hyped up chorus, one that is certain to have everyone singing along to it. In a vocal performance that had its shaky moments in Yusuke Shirai and Takuya Eguchi‘s performances, it was satisfying to find KENN and Atsushi Abe‘s making up for it with their smooth take on some of the notes. Entertaining song but incredibly predictable – vibe, instrumental, progression – after looking back to their repertoire. 4.5/5
Dreamy synth pads, a bright synth lead and a progressive beat complete this dance pop instrumental. When listening to this song, you’ll notice that the verses sound better as opposed to the rest of the song. A mix of dirty and oldschool synths with a simple bassline create a comfortable mid-tempo platform with little distractions. The progression, song structure and that fantastic build up to the chorus stand out for its quality. The chorus is a disappointment in comparison with the strong verses, additionally the dubstep-ish break was unnecessary and feels out of place in the middle of this bright, melodic pop song. In terms of vocal performances, Dancing∞BEAT!! has chants, harmonizations, a little bit of everything necessary for a good live song. On record though, it sounds a bit lazy – that “la la la” section is a killer – and pointless. Aside from that, everyone upped their game for this song – contrary to the previous song, Shirai and Eguchi‘s performances here were consistent and, at times, had their own highlights. Kudos also to the melodic notes courtesy of Mezzo (KENN and Atsushi Abe) and Toshiki Masuda, without those and them, the performance would have sounded bland. This song had everything to impress, unfortunately it didn’t execute well some of the ideas. 4.5/5
WiSH VOYAGE keeps up the trend for IDOLiSH7‘s hyped, bright songs that have catchy choruses, meaningful lyrics (of course, related to their whole storyline) that end up having either predictable instrumentals or, in order to avoid it sounding the same, insert unnecessary elements into the mix. Despite its hiccups here and there, with either the instrumentals (Dancing∞BEAT!!) or the vocals (WiSH VOYAGE) missing something, this single still ranks high on IDOLiSH7‘s repertoire. It’s clearly far from their best but its flaws don’t make it the worst entry.
WiSH VOYAGE is an exciting tune that makes the best out of the unit’s trademark joyful side with amped up choruses, on the other hand, Dancing∞BEAT!! had the makings of a top dance song but there’s quite a few things on its instrumental that ticked us off. Why keep insisting on including dubstep-ish elements all over the place on IDOLiSH7‘s (franchise) songs when those elements themselves don’t fit with the songs? This time around it was only one portion of the song. I get it that it is a trend but on a song that had everything well crafted around a melodic dance pop vibe, inserting a dubstep break is unnecessary. Instead of improving the song’s quality, it had the opposite effect. It’s possible to ignore that part of the song – that takes up almost 15 seconds of the instrumental – but I’d prefer if I didn’t have to do that in order to fully enjoy the song.
Regarding the vocal performances there’s not much we can add that hasn’t been mentioned above. MEZZO (KENN, Atsushi Abe) are officially the backbone of this unit, basically in charge of anything and everything melodic or in need of smoothening. Toshiki Masuda puts in the effort to join the melodic squad but only in some occasions he successfully manages to do it. During all the other times, he’s the role singer that holds every piece together with consistent mid-tones. Yonaga, Ono didn’t impress. It’s odd to find Shirai sounding off – especially when his singing skills are among the best on this unit – but his performance in WiSH VOYAGE had me wishing he’d have less parts on that song, he just wasn’t sounding good. No matter how weak his performance was, he’ll certainly bounce back from this in no time. Takuya Eguchi sounded a bit off as well on some sections of the title track, however it was nothing critical.
All in all, IDOLiSH7‘s “WiSH VOYAGE” had potential to be something better but that just didn’t really pan out thanks to distractions in the instrumentals department and odd performances on the vocal end. It’s still an entertaining release but is far from a perfect endeavor.
“WiSH VOYAGE” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.