Joshua’s entry in the EVOLVE series has easily some of the best performances of the character in the franchise.
Title: "Dear Vocalist Evolve" Entry No.2 Joshua Label: Rejet Release date: 21/08/2019 Genre: Pop-rock
1 - WRONG 2 - アイオーン 3 - Like the moonlight [DRAMA TRACK] 4 - Someone to believe [DRAMA TRACK] 5 - A step forward [DRAMA TRACK]
Track by track analysis:
1 – WRONG
Loud punk-pop guitar riffs and a slow paced, snare-y beat set the pace to this fancy rock tune. Every hit and riff is deliberate, sinking in and impacting the listener. The pacing is consistent throughout the song, following the mid tempo beat lead by the drums. Vocals also follow the pacing of the song, not requiring big effort on the technique by Nobunaga Shimazaki. His vocals were a perfect fit for this instrumental and the result is this enjoyable, laidback punk-pop tune. 4.5/5
2 – アイオーン (Aion)
Gears change and we are presented with a big sounding rock tune with a touch of melancholy. Guitar riffs are simple but catchy however the focus is more on the inspiring piano melodies and dreamy synths. The verses are quite simple, with guitars focusing a lot on mute chords and the drums keeping up a simple snare-driven beat. However it is the chorus that shines for us. The song develops and the dynamics shift, with it making the chorus sound like a hymn, hyping the listener while giving some comfort at the same time.
The vocals are absolutely attention gripping, escalating in quality and impact in the chorus. Shimazaki mixed a bit of low tones with his trademark mid-toned vocals, giving some depth and freshness to this song. When it came to the chorus his sustained notes, together with the progression of the chorus, make chills run down the spine. Truly remarkable composition and performance. 5/5
The 2nd entry in the newest series of the Dear franchise is helmed by Joshua (CV: Nobunaga Shimazaki). Just like we are used to, Joshua’s songs are catchy, with rock instrumentals with a pop edge in the lyrics and simple choruses that go with perfectly. And it works extremely well with Shimazaki’s soft, mid-toned vocals.
The highlight of this release goes to Aion, song with some balladesque hints but ultimately transforms into an inspiring tune with relatable lyrics and a performance that will make chills run down the spine.
Wrong is the textbook Joshua song, blending rock with pop, adding a touches of skater punk but never forgetting about the catchiness of pop in the lyrics. The lack of development in the pacing of the song might make the song sound a bit uneventful to some people but it fits well within the whole release.
Although not a perfect release, Joshua’s entry in the EVOLVE series has easily some of the best performances of the character in the franchise. Definitely a release to put on the must check list.
Dear Vocalist Evolve Entry No.2 Joshua is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.