The second release of the WORLD TRE@SURE series introduces country music to the fans of the SideM franchise through a fun rendition of the music genre.
Title: THE IDOLM@STER SideM WORLD TRE@SURE 02 Label: Lantis Release date: 13/06/2018 Genre: Country/Folk/Dance
01. トレジャー・パーティー！ 02. MEET THE WORLD!(AMERICA Ver.) 03. トレジャー・パーティー！(off vocal)
Track by track analysis:
“Treasure Party” is an entertaining country/folk song that enlisted harmonica, acoustic guitars, banjo, violins, simple, snary drums and countryish harmonies to create an upbeat and rustic sound. The arrangement is largely acoustic with the exception of contrabass and electric guitars and is fast paced for the most part, making this song incredibly fun. The vocal performances were a match both in tone and energy with the picturesque instrumental. Kikuchi is the surprise on this release, delivering a solid and fun performance that matched that of his peers Hama and Shirai. Amusing performance with a stable performance. 4.5/5
02. MEET THE WORLD!(AMERICA Ver.)
Built around a playful piano melody and groovy bass line, MEET THE WORLD! takes pride in its upbeat and danceable sound. Atmospheric synths, strings and simple bass-driven drums add the finishing touches to this instrumental, creating an addictive and, at the same time, inspiring sound. Paying close attention to this song, it actually sounds like a throwback 80’s pop tune – mainly due to its piano melody. When it comes to the vocal performances there’s need to point out that this song feels slightly different without powerful baritones within this shuffle unit (in comparison with the first release of the series). Kento Hama and Yusuke Shirai‘s performances stood out for both their energy and how consistent their vocals were. I found Kikuchi‘s higher tone to not fit as well with this tune as opposed to the mid-tones (from Hama and Shirai) or the lower-to-mid tones (from Kasama and Nakamura in the first volume). Still, this is one of those songs that you can have on repeat and never tire of it. 5/5
Through “Treasure Party” we got a taste of the traditional, folk and country imbued United States of America. For a change, it was nice to find instruments such as banjos and harmonicas making their way to a release like this, especially in a franchise that is known for its upbeat pop sound. Even if the banjo ends up being one of those instruments that people either love it or hate it with no in-between, I found it that it imbued the song with an extra dose of energy and fun. This song is good for a couple of listens however, it is not the kind of song that I’d suggest you to put on replay, unless you’re a fan of country music and its picturesque soundscapes.
The tie-up song is MEET THE WORLD!, song that brought to the table an 80’s inspired pop tune filled with upbeat melodies, groovy bass goodness and simple synths. This song is present in all WORLD TRE@SURE series CDs with completely different vocal takes. For this one, and with a group that is devoid of powerful baritones, the performance felt different and more youthful.
Kento Hama (FRAME), Yusuke Shirai (HighxJoker) and Takeru Kikuchi (W) teamed up for this release. It was interesting to see how these members worked together, especially taking into account how unique their voice colors are. Hama and Shirai continue to showcase their consistent vocals whereas Kikuchi completely surprised with his solid performance in “Treasure Party“. Given that his tone is the highest within this shuffle unit and, in past W‘s releases he didn’t sound as good or consistent on the vocal end, I had my reservations on whether or not he’d managed to fit in well. Turns out he not only fit well, but he managed to be on the same level as Hama and Shirai, making that performance enjoyable. His performance for MEET THE WORLD! wasn’t as good, especially due to the fact that his higher register didn’t seem to fit the song, yet he was able to match his peers to deliver a fun performance.
All in all, the second release of the WORLD TRE@SURE series is rather unique, introducing country music to the fans of the SideM franchise through a fun rendition of the music genre. Solid vocals and entertaining performances make this release one you should check out.
This review was possible thanks to MALLARD084’s sponsored copy.
“THE IDOLM@STER SideM WORLD TRE@SURE 02” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.