Mamoru Miyano shows his lyricist side in the elegant love letter of an album that is “THE LOVE“.
Title: The Love Label: King Records Release date: 02/08/2017 Genre: J-Pop/Dance
1 - EVER LOVE
2 - SHOUT!
3 - 恋されガール
4 - NOW AND FOREVER
5 - Uhh
6 - HOW CLOSE YOU ARE
7 - Space Travellers
8 - テンペスト
9 - 僕のマニュアル
10 - 愛溢れる
11 - The Birth
12 - POWER OF LOVE
Track by track analysis:
1- EVER LOVE
A playful piano accompanies Mamoru‘s vocal performance without outshining it, while the drums and dragging synths prove to us that EVER LOVE has a lot more than just a little EDM influence.
The chorus explodes into an upbeat and cheerful track delivered by the violins, synths, and the same percussion work from the intro. Mamoru’s mellow vocals make this track somewhat soothing.
Although not always perceptible the bass plays a major role in this track’s instrumental piece bringing the synths and violins together into a perfect harmonious track.
As Jin Nakamura‘s trademark the synth drums and the synths are present and to add to the great instrumental piece we have great lyrics written by Mamoru himself.
Kicking off this single we have SHOUT!, a track with an intro mainly focused on the synths and the synthetic drums that scream of NEW ORDER, an easy explanation is giving to us as soon as we see that STY was the one who produced the track.
With the fast tempo synthetic drums, the bass and guitar plus the piano, we have the main instrumental piece laid for us. This track shows us a familiar yet comforting side of Mamoru‘s songs for the fans.
SHOUT! has some space for Mamo to make the best out of his crystal clear high notes, always on point.
With a rather unorthodox intro more rock-oriented this track surprises us. This track has a lot of English in it and the fact that it is perceptible proves that Miyano‘s English speaking skills are getting better with each release.
With some synths that overwhelm the guitar and bass in the chorus we have a mix between the rock and electronica genre, showing a different approach from the singer.
This track follows the same trend as EVER LOVE as it is upbeat.
This track even has a guitar solo, and though the chorus has a more rock feel to it, the dragging synths do in fact add a little jazz to it. The ending certainly has a jazzy feel to it.
4- Now and Forever
Now and Forever has a strong presence of EDM in the instrumental piece. The intro is lead by some synths and Mamo‘s vocal performance as if he was in a concert as it sounded echo-y.
The bass and the synths add a little mysterious touch to the instrumental piece as the synth drums and pads along the pianos make this track different from all the previous ones.
Now and Forever goes on a whole different level, with an instrumental piece overflowing with mystery and allure.
Although this track could have ended up in disaster, it seems that it was created taking into account Mamo’s potential, hence why he performed it so well.
Needless to say that his add libs were amazingly delivered to the point it sent a chill through my spine.
It is interesting how the track’s intro and ending are the same, it is almost as of we experienced a full-circle type of moment.
Uhh delivers a loungy instrumental as well as jazzy lead by the piano and bass making the instrumental piece of this track simple yet interesting enough to grab your attention.
Simultaneously, Miyano’s vocal performance in high notes without missing a thing certainly going for a stunning performance that will leave a big impression. Mamoru and a jazz genre track have now become a perfect match made in heaven.
6- HOW CLOSE YOU ARE
How Close You Are, the ending theme of Ajin:Demi-Human, has violins as the main focus in the intro with some pads as backup, but we are mistaken if we think that’s it for the instrumental, we quickly have an acoustic guitar making its first steps in this slow tempo track afterward.
The chorus really makes one remember the power ballads from the 80s/90s. Although the instrumental is simple it really is well arranged and it really suits Mamoru.
The violins in the outro are also good and even though the instrumental is minimalist it still is a refreshing one. The best track in the single.
7- Space Travellers
A grand intro delivered by the orchestral elements shows us that this track is off to a good start.
Space Travellers was composed by DJ first, and this being the first time he is working with this composer it is actually a good change of scenario, even though it might be a little difficult to like the fast tempo instrumental powered by the synths, drums, and bass.
The chorus however is a different story, the instrumental becomes less synthetic and instead, it presents another side of the instrumental piece, a cleaner version of it.
Once again, Mamo‘s vocal performance is worthy of all the highlights possible as he does not miss a single note.
“Tempest” is a well-known song among the fans of the shoujo/music anime series “Uta no Prince Sama Legend Star“. A simple piano melody paves the way for Miyano‘s vocals to shine, building up the tension, ultimately exploding in the exciting electro-pop chorus in which strings, bass, synths, and piano blend in to deliver a powerful melody.
It’s actually a nice change of pace to find Elements Garden delivering something other than those overhyped dance tracks that have turned into completely bland and expected flicks. This tracks’ outro is something so beautiful that we really recommend you to pay close attention to it.
Vocally, Miyano tackles this track with a whole lot of falsetto and high notes leaving us in awe.
It might be a mellower dance-pop track but it still has that excitement that only Miyano‘s songs have, and his golden touch is there for everyone to hear – just pay attention to the stunning lyrics.
9 – 僕のマニュアル
“Boku no Manual” has jazzy hints in its instrumental piece, resulting from a perfect blend of the bass and slow piano as well as the simple drums.
This track has a rather playful and entertaining instrumental piece.
As the track itself is simple Mamo has all the opportunities in the world to shine. The saxophone and the guitar add a little extra to the instrumental piece that is quite different from the usual, but nonetheless a good choice.
10 – 愛溢れる
The acoustic guitar creates the path for Mamo‘s vocal performance and the piano. “Ai afureru” has a minimalist instrumental piece that is perfect for Mamoru to show how well he sings while showering us with his sweet and soothing singing skills.
Those mix well with the strings playing in the background as they merge themselves with the rest of the instrumental getting the spotlight from the piano which slowly becomes the lead of the instrumental piece.
11- The Birth
Starting it off quietly with soothing strings in the background against a piano melody, “The Birth” soon evolves into an alternative pop-rock tune.
Addictive guitar riffs guide us through the song to the unusual pre-chorus in which synths and metallic drums take the front seat (but only for a couple of seconds).
On the other side, the chorus is all we could ever ask from Miyano, it’s powerful but without being noisy, and blends rock elements with the emotional strings playing in the background.
Regarding the vocal performance, we can only point out good things. Miyano‘s high notes and falsetto never fail to impress us. “The Birth” made us excited for what’s next, that is for sure.
12 – Power of Love
Power of Love is a jazzy track through and through, a genre that with this album has become yet another one that Mamoru calls easily pull off without sound out of place and still managing to shine.
A little unusual from STY, this instrumental is slow tempo and focused on the piano and bass while Mamo delivers a high-quality vocal performance matching the track.
Power of Love is another self-written track of the singer.
The Love is certainly a jazzy, R&B-oriented album with a personal touch to some of the tracks, namely those whose lyrics were written by Miyano itself, meaning EVER LOVE, Tempest, The Birth and Power of Love.
Between all the tracks in the album, 愛溢れる was one of the tracks which surprised us the most for good reasons. Not only did he give his best performance possible vocally wise, but the instrumental piece was perfectly composed in order to bright out the singer’s full potential.
Space Travellers was also another track that highlighted the fact that the singer can indeed pull off numerous genres without failing to do so. In fact, Space Travellers gives strong Golden Night vibes, a track whose main focus is the heavy and prominent presence of EDM elements.
Aside from the electronica oriented tracks, we must bring forth “Koi sare Girl” as it was a track that completely got us.
Not only does this track have a rock genre, not so common for him, but it also fits the singer like a glove, which is not surprising if we recall previous tracks such as the hit-song Orpheus, a track with some strong rock elements.
All in all, The Love was a success, in fact, this has been one of the best albums the singer has released so far, so it is only fair to expect the next releases to be just as good or even better than this one.
“THE LOVE” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.