Lagrange Point “Ai, dokusai-SAMURAI” (Review)

Lagrange Point fire from all cylinders with their third single “Ai, dokusai-SAMURAI“. Polished vocals and instrumentals showcase a group aiming for the top.

Title: 愛, 独裁-SAMURAI-
Release date: 14/01/2015
Label: Rejet
Genre: J-Pop/Rock

Tracklist:

01. 愛、独裁-SAMURAI-
02. Shoot off
03. ワンセンテンスじゃ、挿入(はい)りきらないよ
04. 暁方(あかつきがた)に、消ゆ
05. 愛、独裁-SAMURAI- -off vocal-
06. Shoot off -off vocal-
07. ワンセンテンスじゃ、挿入(はい)りきらないよ -off vocal-
08. 暁方(あかつきがた)に、消ゆ -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

01. 愛、独裁-SAMURAI-

Following the steps of Mamoru Miyano‘s “Identity” and Elekiter Round 0‘s 月の砂漠のジプシーAi, dokusai-SAMURAI features a clash of timeless titans: the rocking guitars and the traditional Japanese shamisen. An exotic mix that, if used with smarts, will make any song shine way more than your traditional rock track. That is exactly what happens in this track.

Mikoto and Daisuke Iwasaki once again deliver us a superb instrumental/lyrics combo. The timeless shamisen lays down the foundation of what is one of the most robust tracks in this single; besides that, we have all the best guitar work gathered in one place.

The aggressive guitar riffs standing alongside the strong drums and mesmerizing bass are on fire battling against the all-mighty shamisen in the chorus. Solid instrumental with addictive guitar work, especially in the outro + last chorus.

The vocal performances fit perfectly with the instrumental piece with both Genki and Toyonaga drawing the most energy they can into this track making the overall result addictive from start to finish.

02. Shoot off

With a mix between industrial rock, new wave, and pop we’re impressed with the best track in this release. “Shoot Off” has all the right ingredients mixed together: the industrial synths, the new wave vibe given by the bass and electronic drums, the pop behind Iwasaki‘s lyrics, and strong, aggressive rock riffs, all of this mixed with an impressive vocal performance.

This isn’t a speedy track or a ballad of sorts, it’s a mid-tempo song that impresses right from the explosive beginning provided by the synths and the powerful guitar entrance into the song.

A complete track in all its elements: arrangement, instrumental, vocals, and lyrics. Compelling and addictive.

03. ワンセンテンスじゃ、挿入(はい)りきらないよ

ワンセンテンスじゃ、挿入(はい)りきらないよ joins all the previous tracks into this amazing thread of rock that lately has marked even more prominently the unit.

Fast drumming, guitar solos right from the beginning, powerful guitar riffs, reverberating bass and passionate singing make this track a solid one and one of the best in a repertoire full of great tracks for Lagrange Point.

With dynamic and energetic performance, this song never fails to entertain you. It simply lacks in the freshness and innovation that the previous tracks brought into this single, that is the only reason why this track doesn’t receive full marks.

04. 暁方(あかつきがた)に、消ゆ

And to complete this impressive single we’re provided with a slow-paced jazzy/classic rock instrumental, a track that really impresses with its innovation and with how new it still sounds with Toyonaga‘s vocals (already experienced with the genre) and fresh with Genki, that fares extremely well for a first try with the genre.

This time Lagrange Point changed strategies and instead of delivering the last track more towards the ballad genre, they upped their game and tried something new for a change.

The melancholy drawn by the slow-paced guitars and the piano adds up to the impressive performance delivered by the unstoppable drums and reverberating bass. Among all those high guitar riffs and splashy drums, the vocal performances really add that extra bit of emotion that only they can add to this song.

Genki and Toyonaga really deliver this track with their prickly and desolate emotions, making the final result a song on its own league. Emotional without aggressiveness. Flawless.


Final considerations

A rocking single, from start to finish. It’s the very first time that Lagrange Point have stick with one genre for the duration of the whole single and I couldn’t be more impressed with the final cohesive result that “Ai, dokusai-SAMURAI-” showed.

It’s a solid release, and by solid, we mean that the single follows one single formula and pattern, without big changes, and doesn’t sound tiring or boring from the listener’s point of view.

It’s powerful, fresh, innovative, and emotional, all in the right amounts. Once again props for MIKOTO‘s instrumentals and arrangements that still haven’t failed to impress with Lagrange Point.

Fans finally have hints of industrial rock using their prowess: the aggressive guitar riffs; on the other side the now almost forgotten new wave genre makes its appearance with some laidback synths.

The bass continues to be the main gear in their sound leading every single instrument towards their right place. Powerful and entertaining basslines that will captivate the listener right from the very beginning.

The vocal performances are just as expected: Toyonaga and Genki still sound as good as when they debuted but with some improvement already audible.

Genki‘s low notes sound more precise and not as frail as they were in the beginning, on the other side Toyonaga‘s vocal skills have highly improved – but that is a completely different story since he has also solo work going on for quite some time – in the end, both the instrumentals and the vocal performances make this release one typical Lagrange Point release and by this, we mean that it’s as great as “Black Swan”.

Looking forward to the next release. Keep it up Lagrange Point.


Ai, dokusai-SAMURAI is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
愛、独裁-SAMURAI-
Shoot off
ワンセンテンスじゃ、挿入(はい)りきらないよ
暁方(あかつきがた)に、消ゆ
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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