MEZZO are in a league of their own in the 2.5D idol industry. “Ame” is a stunning release filled with powerful performances and rich R&B instrumentals that will play with your emotions.
MEZZO” are an IDOLiSH7 sub-unit consisting of KENN and Atsushi Abe.
Title: 雨 (Ame) Label: Lantis Release date: 21/03/2018 Genre: R&B/Ballad
1. 雨 2. 甘さひかえめ 3. 雨 (Off Vocal) 4. 甘さひかえめ (Off Vocal)
Track by track analysis:
There are few times in which we automatically listen to a song and fall in love with it. “Ame” is one of the few exceptions that falls on this description. “Ame” has the makings of a ballad but with a twist. If you’re familiar with MEZZO‘s music you’ll notice that up until now the duo has been performing pop ballads, however this one will instantly feel different as the first notes sink in. This R&B ballad mixes the best of the genre with pop lyrics. Embracing a quiet sound, this instrumental features acoustic guitars, a clap track, slow paced bass drum samples, dreamy synth pads, delicate strings, a couple of wind instrument samples and a stunning piano melody. This song was crafted in a way that the instrumental alone is enough to give you goosebumps. Its delicate and gentle vibe sinks in and takes the listener with it, embracing you in a longing melody and melancholic lyrics. Atsushi Abe and KENN exceeded our already high expectations for this single. Their harmonies, R&B riffing, ad-libs, the emotions in their performances, everything contributed to this breathtakingly beautiful song. After listening to this song your emotions will be all over the place – or your mouth will be wide open in awe -. This song right here is MEZZO‘s masterpiece. 5/5
A sweet acoustic guitar melody and strings set a sweet mood for “Amasa Hikaeme“, the coupling song for this release and the second R&B tune on this single. This slow jam exuding a 90’s vibe brings to the table acoustic guitars, minimalistic percussion, strings and atmospheric synth pads. If you pay close attention to this instrumental you’ll find some sitar hits, a rather unusual addition to this music genre. This instrumental has a more relaxed approach to the genre and strays away from ballad territory, providing a well needed breath of fresh air to all the people that listened previously to “Ame” and are still putting together their feelings. On top of this sweet instrumental we find Abe and KENN‘s honeyed performances. Both brought their best for this song, Abe with rich, melodic ad-libs and KENN with his smoky tone, showed that they are more than able to make R&B their playground. This mellow song sits comfortably in the middle of a MEZZO‘s flawless repertoire. 5/5
MEZZO raised the bar to new heights. The duo dazzled us with their performances in this R&B imbued single. Known for their stunning ballads, MEZZO haven’t always stepped out of their box and tried different kinds of approaches to their ballads, well, that is, up until this release. “Ame” ventured to R&B territory and somehow managed to impress us even more than their traditional pop ballads.
This single encompasses everything we love about MEZZO in one place. The instrumentals were all crafted with the vocal performances in mind. You notice that there’s little focus on one specific element in the instrumental – in ballads it ends up being the piano or strings -. Without a set element to focus their attention in, the listener will, instead focus in the vocal performances, the ones responsible for connecting with the listener. R&B doesn’t fall far from ballad territory but it’s still a change to the unit’s sound. However we must add that we loved how R&B was incorporated into MEZZO‘s already established sound and shaped/tailored to fit like a glove with the group’s identity. The title track has all the ingredients to deal a massive emotional blow on anyone who wants to check this release. Slow paced with strings and piano melodies as fickle as beautiful at its core, “Ame” is bound to give you goosebumps, especially if you pay attention to Abe and KENN‘s breathtaking vocals. This performance has the best vocals we’ve heard from this duo, it’s virtually impossible not to be touched by their highly emotional performance.
The coupling song “Amasa Hikaeme” shifted gears despite still embracing R&B. The melancholic tone of the title track was put aside in favor of a warmer, more relaxed sound. It was a nice change of pace that provided the listener with melodic performances and a brighter, soothing touch. On this track, just like on the previous one, listeners are presented with luscious performances in which ad-libs were a constant, and the quality was incredibly high.
After listening to this single, we can only say that MEZZO are in a league of their own in the 2.5D idol industry. They are consistently, release after release, increasing their quality – be it the instrumentals or vocals. MEZZO are on top of their game and with vocals as well versed and complete as Abe and KENN‘s, that fit like a glove with pop ballads, and now with R&B. They never struggle on the vocal end, as a matter of fact, they own every single one of their performances. Additionally, it’s not one, two or three releases, it’s four releases in a row since their debut with perfect marks. This is a perfect two year run for this insanely talented duo, and it doesn’t sound like it’ll end any sooner.
All in all, MEZZO‘s “Ame” is a stunning release filled with powerful emotional performances and rich R&B instrumentals that will play with your emotions. This is also MEZZO‘s best release to date.
“Ame” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN.