Lagrange Point tried new things with “Prisoner” however to mixed results. Still you can find a couple of moments of brilliance like those the duo has used us to.
Title: Prisoner Label: Rejet Release date: 10/02/16 Genre: J-Pop/Rock
01 PRISONER 02 Last Chance!!! 03 Crystal Switch 04 妄想VISIONIST 05 PRISONER -off vocal- 06 Last Chance!!! -off vocal- 07 Crystal Switch -off vocal- 08 妄想VISIONIST -off vocal-
Track by track analysis:
The single kicks off as darker as ever, with eerie synths in the background and slow heavy guitar riffs, this track is the first one in Lagrange Point‘s repertoire to mix dubstep, dance, and rock. For those not too keen on dubstep elements or the genre as a whole, don’t worry. The dubstep elements are minimal throughout the song, only being in the spotlight in the intro and build-up to the chorus.
The chorus is milder than usual, we know that most of the time Lagrange Point‘s tracks usually explode in the choruses into either a powerful rock tune or a strong pop-dance track.
Neither of those happens here which is a nice change of pace, totally unexpected for their fans. Vocally only praises can be said. Both Genki and Toyonaga show a lot of improvement to their already good sense, chemistry, and vocal execution. A breath of fresh air in LP‘s repertoire that we welcome with open arms.
02 Last Chance!!!
Rough, melodic guitar riffs kick off a track that promises to grab your attention right from the start. “Last Chance!!!” is, together with 妄想VISIONIST, one of the two tracks that still have Lagrange Point‘s original colors.
The heavy guitar riffs, thunderous basslines, and the synths giving a vintage edge to the track alongside slow-paced, strong drums make this instrumental piece a good blast from the past.
Of course, we love the emotional pop-rock songs but when LPs get geared up in a rock fashion we can’t help but be more than excited about it.
The song presents some challenges, especially knowing that Daisuke Iwasaki‘s lyrics are full of English (sometimes weird/out-of-the-context English) but Toyonaga and Genki displayed us something that doesn’t usually go right for any of Rejet‘s units – English pronunciation.
Everything was clear as water and we didn’t even need to grab the lyric booklet to understand what was being sung. Top marks for both members for showing improvements not only singing-wise but also aesthetically.
03 Crystal Switch
And now this is where things start to sound a bit shakey. “Crystal Switch” is not your typical heartbreaking, power ballad that Lagrange Point have used us to. It relies on acoustic guitars and splashy drums alongside the main point of the song: the sad piano in the background laying the heartbreaking notes into this strangely upbeat ballad.
Something is amiss, we can’t quite put a finger on it but – the emotions are a bit toned down and the instrumental lacks something powerful.
This is a song that would fit like a glove with Marginal #4, it just gives that youthful vibe that Lagrange Point simply don’t have, hence the strangeness of this song being sung by this duo.
In the end, this track manages to get the ok from us. It’s an ok track but Lagrange Point deserved better.
The last track manages to put away the out-of-character “Crystal Switch” only to present us an even sloppier rock track that resorted way too much on having heavy, all-over-the-place drumming rather than betting on their trademark classic rock sound.
Honestly, this track feels like it was lent by ELEKITER ROUND O with the sudden changes in tempo and the chorus that is making us cringe as we write this.
Relying only on power chords, strong drums, and heavy basslines doesn’t save this track. It’s entertaining but certainly not a track to be listening to all the time because it gets way too repetitive.
Darker and sexier, Lagrange Point gives once again something completely different from what they’ve done before. With heavier riffs and dirty synths, the first two tracks lead the pack in an impressive way.
But all hell broke down as soon as we reached “Crystal Switch“, the only ballad featured on this single that proved to be subpar with their previous ones (refer to “Message Bottle” and “Never Sorrow“), a track that seemed like it was scrapped from Marginal #4‘s singles.
On the other side “妄想VISIONIST” goes back to Lagrange Point‘s trademark rock sound relying on power chords, strong drums, and heavy basslines but nothing impressive there since there’s no harmony in the sound and the tempo changes got way too annoying throughout the song.
This is not the Lagrange Point we know, and we’re afraid that it has finally reach Lagrange Point‘s time to replace Marginal #4. And we’re not saying this in a good way. We remember MG#4 when they faced a two-year slump that only started to be solved with “YO-HO!!“. The situation with “Prisoner” is the same we saw Marginal #4 face in 2014 with “Bingo!!“, from that single on, it was a sea of bad performances and uninspired instrumentals.
We can only wish that Daisuke Iwasaki isn’t biting more than he can chew when he announced the three new cross units Nebulas, Wonder Corona, and My milky way.
If those were created to completely disregard the already established ones and only overwork MIKOTO, which already has his hands full with the original Rejet lineup, it’s clear that the instrumentals will suffer even more and what was once a seiyuu unit full of good releases could turn for worse.
So far we’ll say that this single is uninspired and we’ll wait for their follow-up to confirm or deny or predictions.
“Prisoner” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.