2017 kicks off with Kazuki Kato‘s newest single. The singer/actor turned seiyuu returns to the music business with the ballad single “Fuyu Koi“.
Title: 冬恋 Label: Imperial Records Release date: 18/01/2017 Genre: J-Pop/Rock
1 - 冬恋 2 - LAUGH & PEACE [ALL ATTACK KK VER.] 3 - 冬恋 (instrumental)
Track by track analysis:
1 – 冬恋
It’s been a long time since Kato had released a ballad like this one. “Fuyu Koi” is a gentle slow tempo ballad focused on a gentle acoustic sound – lent by the acoustic guitars and delicate piano melodies. This song progresses beautifully having some highlight moments – especially in the vocal performance, with him showcasing a sweet, almost unnoticeable vibrato in the chorus. Throughout the song his voice naturally adds vibrato to it which makes the whole song richer. The climax in the bridge has Kato challenging higher notes that are delivered flawlessly with an R&B touch to it. As a whole this song will warm your winter with the sweet melody and voice performance to match. 4.5/5
2 – LAUGH & PEACE [ALL ATTACK KK VER.]
“Laugh & Peace” as a live version is something as good as the studio version. This pop-rock tune not only has a good message associated to it, but it’s also one of those songs that manages to put the crowd excited. It’s not the addictive type like “VENOM” or “メラメラ” are but it’s still one of the crowd pleasers on his repertoire. With a simple instrumental rooted in rock elements this song kicked off with a bright piano melody and melodic guitar riffs. Adding a bit of synths and splashy drums and we get this exciting tune. It’s a bit of a shame that the chorus isn’t as impactful vocally as is the instrumental but it doesn’t fall that short because of that. 4/5
Kato has a long 11 year career full of great songs but sadly he never hit it big. Now, with the whole B-Project hype around him, it was the best time to reignite his solo career. “Fuyu Koi” is a beautiful ballad that showcases Kato‘s sweet vocals to the fullest. Few people even knew he was a professional singer when they heard him in B-Project – which is a pity. Owner of a powerful vocal tone and control, Kato also showcases a beautiful vibrato and falsetto when needed. He’s got the full package as a singer, a talented one to boot. If this counts for anything, he’s also got the looks to match his talents and is loved as an actor – that has branched out to musical, stage and drama. And, of course, he jumped to the seiyuu wagon in 2006.
We hope that “Fuyu Koi” can be the start of something big for him, an underappreciated singer that seriously deserves a lot more love from the fans.
“Fuyu Koi” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.