REALIVE! first real taste of their skills and quality leaves a lot to be desired on Virgin Sky.
REALIVE!～Teito Kagurabutai～ is smartphone (android and iOS) rhythm game produced by GMO LIVE GAMES launched on 27/01/2020.
4 main units are featured in this game – Nana Tosei, EGO1ST, +HOLIC+, Crown Clan. To get to know more about this game, please refer to THIS article.
Title: Virgin Sky
Label: TOWER RECORDS
Release date: 02/10/2019
Track by track analysis:
1 – Virgin Sky
Exciting guitar riffs make a big entrance for Virgin sky. However, don’t expect a full-on rock track from this song. Virgin Sky mixes some classical elements in their sound that make this track sound close to a waltz in its rhythm – particularly noticeable in the pre-chorus. Bassy drums, brass and synths complete this song.
The song flows well, making great use of its mid-tempo to create an enjoyable experience for the listener. I felt the chorus was too weak in comparison to the verses. It just carries over the group’s all “singing as an ensemble” gimmick into it and does not explore anything fresh on the vocal end.
2 – 愛がある限りここにいる (Ai ga aru kagiri koko ni iru)
A delicate piano melody does the honors of opening this R&B track. Slow paced and gentle, the instrumental for Ai ga aru kagiri koko ni iru makes sure that you can feel the love through its simple, cosy percussion, delicate strings melodies and warm bassy sound.
On the vocal end there is not much that can be said. The group sings as an ensemble all the time. There is no space for individual performances and it takes away the possibility to impress the listener.
All in all, this is the highlight of this release, even if we don’t get to experience the vocals of each member in solo parts.
REALIVE!‘s ensemble group is rather odd. And why is that when their music is actually enjoyable to listen to?
The constant and tiring “chorus” mode in which this group performs all songs.
In both tracks we have rather suffocating performances. With little – in Virgin Sky – to no – in Ai ga aru kagiri koko ni iru – space for individual talent to shine.
This gimmick gets old quickly, making their performances memorable for the wrong reasons. Although their group performances do not sound bad, looking how insistent were the producers on this gimmick, it can only be because it is being used to hide weaknesses within the group. It could work well if whole songs weren’t performed like this, however that is not what we get.
And that is why REALIVE! fail to accomplish a good set of ensemble songs (as in, songs performed by all groups in the franchise together). There are good ways to pull it off. A good example of that is B-PROJECT‘s S Kyuu Paradise, in which there is perfect distribution of solo and group/ensemble parts to create an exciting performance displaying unity and teamwork.
What we got here was as if the producers did not want us to pay attention to anyone in specific on the vocal end which is, by default, odd. Either way, even if they really wanted to accomplish a real feeling of unity with their songs, there were other ways to pull it off without going the obvious, lazy route.
When it gets to the group’s sound, it is not clear what genres the group favors other than a generic “pop” tag. Their take on R&B with Ai ga aru kagiri koko ni iru was actually incredibly good. The take on pop-rock with Virgin Sky was far from good, with pacing changing drastically, brief cuts on the instrumental completely distracting you and a whole of things happening out of nowhere.
All in all, REALIVE!‘s introduction to potential fans could have been done smoothly. Hiccups here and there made the release sound generic and lazy at times which is not a good greeting card in my book.
Teamwork and unity could have been used in a crafty way thus giving the spotlight to some actors – that aren’t even known among seiyuu fans – and give a taste of the known voices to attract more people to the project.
Instead we got a far from optimal release in which individual vocals are completely put on the backseat in favor of a repetitive, “chorus all the time” gimmick. A pity because this project features a lot of exciting talents within its cast.