Kitakore “Crank in” (Review)


kitakore cover

Kitakore adopted a funkier and groovier sound, pushing the envelope enough to make “Crank In” stand as their best single to date.

Title: Crank In
Label: 5pb
Release date: 16/07/2018
Genre: J-Pop


1.クランクイン (Kitakore)
2.My Dearest Wish (Tomohisa Kitakado solo) 
3.Poison Apple Soiree (Ryuji Korekuni solo)
4.クランクイン (off vocal)
5.My Dearest Wish (off vocal)
6.Poison Apple Soiree (off vocal)

Track by track analysis:

1 – クランクイン

Summer takes over Crank In, this single’s resident addictive funk-pop tune. This instrumental mixes a variety of elements from different music genres in order to create this danceable song. We have the grooviness of funk-rock and disco present in the slap bass line, a classy jazz touch courtesy of the drums, a playful vibe from the piano melodies and blues-y guitar licks. Verses are slow paced, making jazz take over the instrumental – with slow paced hi-hat drums, brass and a groovy bass line at its core -, and the chorus picks up the tempo, leading to the catchy mid-tempo funkiness of the chorus. Crank In is class in itself.

And if the instrumental wasn’t impressive enough, the chemistry between Ono and Kishio, their fancy performances (both in their individual parts or as duo in the chorus), and polished vocals were the cherry on top of this song. Top class on both ends to create Kitakore‘s best song to date. 5/5

2 – My Dearest Wish

The first solo performance belongs to Tomohisa Kitakado. Synths and the jazziness of the previous track were set aside for what is, easily, one of the best solo performances within the B-Project franchise. “My Dearest Wish” fully embraced a simple pop-rock sound with an underlying ballad touch. Slow paced bass-driven drums, a powerful bass line and exciting guitar riffs created a sweet sounding yet simple sound in which Daisuke Ono‘s vocals could shine. Ono gave a solid, all-rounded performance. He showcased his control, comfortably making use of mid-tones and higher register to tackle this performance flawlessly. You can tell by his performance that he was in his element. Stellar performance. 5/5

3 – Poison Apple Soiree

Ryuji Korekuni‘s Poison Apple Soiree has a darker approach to Kitakore‘s pop-rock sound. Atmospheric synths and a eerie piano melody set a dark tone or, at least, fiercer, tone to this song. The instrumental is slow paced for the most part, only picking the pace in the chorus, in which electric guitar riffs and drums are in the spotlight. Imposing brass, synth stabs, a noticeable bass line and strings complete this exciting instrumental. While listening to this song I couldn’t help but to be fascinated with the bridge and the violin solo on that part. It really shines on this song and makes the whole darker tone come to life perfectly.

Daisuke Kishio went all out for this performance and delivered what I consider to be his best performance with Kitakore. He was consistent and precise throughout his performance and his tone fit like a glove with the song’s vibe. A complete performance and the instrumental’s darker and fantastical vibe immediately sold us this song. 5/5

Final rating:

It has been a while since we last heard of Kitakore. The talented B-Project duo didn’t disappoint and made a fancy comeback with “Crank In“.

This single embraced a funkier and groovier sound than anything the duo had performed so far. The title track “Crank In” surprised with its carefully crafted mix of rock and funk with some disco touches to it. Whether is was due to its slap bass line, the blues-y guitar licks, the ethereal synths that, although playing a minimal role in the song, created a summer-y soundscape in which this instrumental fit perfectly, everything was on point for this song. “Crank In” is an addictive dance tune that shows well Kitakore‘s refined vibe.

In regards to the solo performances I only have words of praise. Kitakore are growing before their fans’ eyes. They sound better than ever as a group and they not only can hold their own in a solo context, but they can own it and deliver stunning performances. What was, back in the day, an inconsistent group, is now the most consistent group within the B-Project franchise.

In “My Dearest Wish” we found rock taking the spotlight, replacing synths – element that used to be their trademark – with a rawer, whole band sound that fit perfectly with Daisuke Ono‘s vocals. You can tell by Ono‘s performance that he was on his element. On the other hand we have “Poison Apple Soiree“, song that Daisuke Kishio made his from the get-go. Straying away from Ono‘s slower paced, simple rock sound, this song has a darker tone and more imposing sound that balanced this release.

Kitakore made a flawless comeback with “Crank In“. The consistency they showed on the vocal end plus the increased quality in the instrumentals, were more than enough to make this single stand out and grab its spot as Kitakore‘s best single to date.

Crank In” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Crank In / Kitakore (Daisuke Ono, Daisuke Kishio)
Kitakore (Daisuke Ono, Daisuke Kishio)
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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