MY▼MILKY▼WAY is the final shuffle unit in the Marginal #4 universe to make their debut. Setting themselves apart from both WONDER CORONA! and NEBULAS, with their “cute” concept are we in for something engaging and as exciting the other two shuffle debuts?
Single: まじかるルルルル♪ Label: Rejet/Pitagoras Release date: 08/06/2016 Genre: J-Pop
01. まじかるルルルル♪ 02. カガミノナカ 03. まじかるルルルル♪ -off vocal- 04. カガミノナカ -off vocal- 05.ミニドラマ「ピタゴラス的楽屋トーク ～MY♥MILKY♥WAY編～」
Track by track analysis:
From where do we start talking about this track? The instrumental is rather simple featuring brass elements and a mix of timpani and synthetic drums. If it was only that this track could have been a little bit easier to listen to. Those looping glitched synths sadly took the front seat of the track and only stopped when the track was over. If you want a “cute” instrumental piece then you’re going to like it, if you don’t… We’ve warned you. It could have been bright without being annoying. While trying to avoid the cheesiness that some “bright” or “cute” songs tend to have, they made a full out strike on the “annoying” part. But if you thought the instrumental was bad then you haven’t heard the vocal performances closely. It pains us to listen to these three trained singers (KENN and Yuto Suzuki with singing background and Toshiyuki Someya with musical theater experience) being given instructions towards turning their tone cute. If they weren’t forcing that higher register throughout a major part of the track, this could have been a salvageable track. But that didn’t happen. 2.5/5
Keeping up with the theatrics, カガミノナカ kind of strays away from that mess of a title track, although in the first seconds it seems to pick up from where they left it. Thankfully things changed and for better. Enlisting help from synths and strings, this track put aside those glitched synths and replaced them with synth pads, blending them with the timeless quality of the strings and those minimal splashy synthetic drums. In the end the instrumental piece was slick, smooth and easy to the ears. This time the vocal register for every single one of the members was the correct one. There was no forcing high notes or cute tones, instead we got all three of them unleashing those smooth, honeyed vocals. Result: a pleasing performance and instrumental that saved this single altogether. 5/5
A rocky debut with lots of small issues on board is what marks this whole single. Consistency lacked everywhere and the attempt to put everyone at a higher vocal register in the title track led to lots of awkward or under performed parts.
This is what we call a bipolar release. We have on one hand an unsalvageable track in which it seems there was an excessive effort into trying to make things sound “cute”, in the end failing completely; on the other hand we have a textbook dance pop track that, although being more of the same that most groups under Rejet perform, it still put emphasis on a solid, natural vocal performance to fit with the mood and energy of the track.
These are two different tracks that ultimately left us with mixed feelings. It baffles us that Rejet and especially Daisuke Iwasaki keep insisting in the “cute” concept for some of their units time and time again. The results are always the same whenever they try the “cute” concept. With the units and his seiyuu roster in charge of performing his songs, he should have known better that there are things that simply don’t fit a certain voice color, even if you try to fit it by force.
Of course, we’ve got nothing against the “cute” concept, given that it’s correctly done. KENN is known for his melodic and mid-toned sexy vocals plus a stunning vibrato – we only got a glimpse of that on the second track. Yuto Suzuki is incredibly good with his falsetto and is often one of the strongest within Marginal #4 in terms of performance – in this single he performed poorly. Toshiyuki Someya was the one that didn’t change a lot comparing both songs’ performance, still he had a weak title track performance.
In the end this unit still needs to do a lot of work if they ever want to compete against their label mates Wonder Corona! and Nebulas. Let’s hope they can shift their gears and improve their sound/vocal performances for their next release in September.
“まじかるルルルル♪” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.