Review | Loulou*di “Univers”

Loulou*di

Loulou*di smoothly found their way into your heart with an addictive, mature debut release in INCOMPLICA:IU~Univers~.

Hana-Doll* is an idol project created by movic (TSUKIPRO, VAZZROCK, Tsukiuta, etc). The franchise counts with Anthos* and Loulou*di signed to the fictional talent agency Amagiri Production.

Loulou*di consist on Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Shunsuke Takeuchi and Daiki Yamashita.


Title: INCOMPLICA:IU~Univers~
Release date: 25/12/2020
Label: Movic
Genre: Electronica / Minimalistic pop

Tracklist:

1 - Project Archive: L 2-1
2 - Project Archive: L 2-2
3 - Project Archive: L 2-3
4 - Project Archive: L 2-4
5 - Project Archive: L 2-5
6 - Project Archive: L 2-6
7 - Intro: Univers
8 - Empty Dream
9 - Addictive Whispering

Track by track analysis:

7 – Intro: Univers

Electronica and classic music clash to create a minimalistic and addictive intro to the music section of the album.


8 – Empty Dream

A cello melody and a slow paced, minimalistic synth melody paint a dreamy soundscape that you want to drown in.

Slowly and smoothly, the song introduces a simple hi-hat and bass drum beat as those progressive, futuristic synths add an ethereal touch to “Empty Dream”.

The verses are rather quiet, putting the focus on the vocals, these being the highlight of the song.

The chorus is smooth, channeling a pretty unique dreamy vibe that demands all your attention. This isn’t by any means an intense, fast paced or hard-hitting take on electronica.

This is a pretty mature and classy way of tackling the genre while showing off the powerful vocals that this group has.

The lyrics have quite the long English sections, something that you’ll notice Shunsuke Takeuchi completely taking over, with a clean English pronunciation that makes the song all the more exciting and immersive.

I particularly enjoyed those emotional yells/cries by Toshiyuki Toyonaga, something that added depth to the performance and quite the flair to a song that is, primarily, low tension. It is as if there’s a release of tension through those passionate vocals.

Yamashita covers a lower range than what I was expecting but it sounds so good.

As a group, in the chorus, the group comes to life, with their harmonies shining bright.

Quite the impressive song with a performance that demands all your attention.


9 – Addictive Whispering

Wrapping up “Univers” is the fan favorite “Addictive Whispering”. There’s a tropical vibe running deep in this song, with a slow paced, groovy beat dictating the vibe and tone of this track.

Strings, acoustic guitars and delicate piano melodies join in to create a grandiose chorus for “Addictive Whispering”.

This song brings back all those Growth-meets-QUELL vibes (not just because there are members of both groups in this lineup) but because of how refined it is the composition for this song, having a lyrical, classy touch on top of a rather experimental, electronica-driven sound.

The blend between those emotional strings and the background electro beat had me on the edge of my seat. So tasteful, so good, so addictive.

On the vocal end, Loulou*di dazzle with a complete performance that required a lot of technique, control and speed to tackle. It is hypnotizing from how good it is.

One second Toyonaga is going lyrical, the other Yamashita is bringing forth beautiful notes and the other Takeuchi is going for a fast-paced section in English that builds up the excitement.

To perfectly enjoy each of their individual parts in this song I really recommend multiple listens – honestly, no need to recommend that, you’re already hitting that replay button, aren’t you? Can’t blame you, this song is THAT good.

Addictive Whispering takes the crown of best song in this release. What a way to wrap up this debut album.


Final considerations

Loulou*di made a massive impact with their debut album “Univers”.

The talented trio didn’t shy away from dazzling everyone with their skilled vocals and top tier harmonies.

Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Daiki Yamashita and Shunsuke Takeuchi make Loulou*di one of the groups with most consistent and skilled lineup among 2D idol groups.

Speed, technique, control, all 3 members have these.

Pure quality on the vocals, covering a wide range with 2 insanely skilled tenors in-house – Toyonaga and Yamashita – and a versatile baritone that can double as a bass or come to help tenors if they need those high, R&B-ish notes – Takeuchi.

Loulou*di’s music is ethereal, classy and pretty refined.

I find their sound to be a hybrid of QUELL – experimental electronica with focus on vocals that sound like ripples in the water – and Growth – the refined touch in the instrumentals that demands a lyrical approach to the performances.

The best of both worlds is found in Loulou*di and, needless to say, this – and the lineup – makes me incredibly excited for what’s to come for this group.

Although both “Empty Dream” and “Addictive Whispering” are among the best songs I’ve had the pleasure to listen to in 2020, I’ll have to hand the title of best song in this album to “Addictive Whispering”. What a song!

I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next big surprise on the vocals and instrumental.

For once I couldn’t predict how the song would flow, the sound is fresh, it’s not your “common” minimalistic electronica composition.

It has layers and layers of instruments carefully crafted and mixed in a way that makes the vocals shine yet, being memorable without taking the spotlight from the vocals. I deeply enjoyed this about the composition of this song. It is subtle yet every single element on it shines.

Loulou*di arrived smoothly and may have went unnoticed among the almost 20 music releases that hit stores in December 2020 however, they are among the best. Masterful single.


INCOMPLICA:IU~Univers~ is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


Univers is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support Loulou*di by streaming via official outlets.
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Empty Dream
Addictive Whispering
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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