Straightforward, intense, chaotic and, at times, alluring, A’’s “Mirai e” is the perfect closer for the RAVING BEATS!!! CD series.
Title: 未来へ Label: Rejet Release date: 23/06/2021 Genre: EDM / Trap / Punk-Rock / Jazz-pop
1 - 未来へ 2 - ピンチ102号 3 - Calling Cat 4 - KKK→E 5 - 宵闇に相乗り 6 - Crazy≒Nutrient 7 - かむかむみらくる 8 - 四葉CLOVER 9 - #HAPPY 10 - SECRET♥DRAMA
Track by track analysis:
1 – 未来へ
“Mirai e” kicks off this album in style, with a deep bassy beat taking over, leading the way into the verses in which you’ll find yourself in the middle of a dreamy soundscape with bright, open synths.
But that’s not the extent of the changes in tone within this song.
The verses also have a deeper, slightly darker side in which Ryohei Kimura’s vocals are muffled and the bassline takes over alongside dirty synths. This is a part that, sounds intense and surprisingly alluring. The slow-paced beat, Kimura’s growly vocals, and the whole mood about that part of the verse will really stand out to you.
The build-up to the chorus is straightforward and the chorus itself is big on its saw and polysynths, creating a dreamy soundscape that has a hopeful twist.
You can feel that this song has a bright, positive vibe – even if part of the instrumental sometimes goes dark.
It is worth noting that Ryohei Kimura has quite an interesting performance in this song. From his steady mid-tones, he brings vibrato in the verses and insanely clean vocals in the pre-chorus, tackling this song with massive confidence.
His trademark growly vocals are at the core of the manipulated parts that add a lot of echo and gates to sound weirdly distant yet dreamlike.
Really intense way to kick off this album but honestly, I was expecting no less from A’.
2 – ピンチ102号
“Pinch no.102” follows up and drastically changes the tone around.
A deep bassline bounces its way into the verses and what awaits you is a one-of-a-kind song even by A’ standards.
You read well. Even by A’ unpredictable standards.
If “Mirai e” had an alluring twist, “Pinch no.102” goes full-on sexy with an intoxicating, deep EDM track that is all over you.
The verses have a hard-hitting mid-tempo beat, a punchy bassline, and orchestral hits in the background used as accents, straying a bit away from the intense bass sound going on in this song.
The pre-chorus brings a deep trap sound that slows down the instrumental, leaving the stage open for Ryohei Kimura going for a groovy rap section in there that you will not be expecting – if going blind to this song.
And the chorus is absolutely insane. Bonkers. Synths go dirty and loud, the beat goes low and steady, slowly closing in on you, until the reverberating bassline gets up close and personal with you. There’s nowhere you can run away to, and honestly… you don’t want to.
Ryohei Kimura is surprisingly in his element as he both goes for a powerful performance in which is, at the moment, the heaviest EDM song in A’ repertoire but also tackles the rap parts with a feel and sense that will make it seem like he actually has prior experience rapping.
This is quite the charismatic performance in a song that is chaotic, pure mindless fun.
3 – Calling Cat
Surprisingly, synthwave takes over as “Calling Cat”. The song welcomes a dark synth-driven sound that channels those 80s vibes right off the bat, something that instantly caught my attention.
The verses have a comfortable mid-tempo to them, with a bassy beat playing alongside the higher-toned synths in the background, slowly building up the tension to what is quite the bright chorus.
Theirs is a happy-go-lucky vibe taking over in this part through the bright synth melodies, contrasting heavily with the dark and intense sound you had in the verses. Still, there is a certain unpredictability to the song as the latter part of the chorus reverts to that dark, deep bassy sound in the verses.
The little details in this song really shine for me. The pulsing synths in the background enhance the bassline, the fast-paced hi-hat percussion that breathes life to this song, even the bright accents deep in the background in the verses hint at something quite more hopeful in the chorus. These may go unnoticed but certainly, make this song shine.
The break is quite fancy with the synths and something akin to brass – this is clearly sampled on the synth – going for a danceable melody that adds another layer of playfulness to this tune.
On vocals, Ryohei Kimura once again has a dual performance mixing his clean vocals in the chorus – really steady in the mid-tones and exuding a lot of charisma – and muffled vocals, even glitchy at times. While this is not something he did – the vocals manipulation was done during mixing – it adds a unique flavor to this song, with those parts not taking up the whole song, instead highlighting important things within the lyrics.
All in all, “Calling Cat” is quite the interesting take on a confessional song, bringing an old-school synthwave sound while being as upbeat and intense as A’ can get.
4 – KKK→E
And now, back to an oldie but a goodie. “KKK→E” brings fast-paced guitar riffs, intense drums, a punchy bassline, and minimalistic synths to the spotlight.
The focus in this song is clearly on its rock sound, embracing a chaotic brand of punk-pop that is fun to listen to.
The chorus is short and sweet, cranking up the tension that the intense verses brought in.
During the 2nd verse, there are some changes in the instrumental, namely with the drums. The focus shifts from the guitars to the drums with those going for a sequence of fills that will satisfy drum enthusiasts.
Kimura goes for an energetic performance making sure the listener is engaged at all times with this song and, on top, he adds a raspy twist to his performance, perhaps to sound slightly edgy in his delivery.
This is such a throwback song to a time in which electronica hadn’t still taken over A’s sound.
5 – 宵闇に相乗り
“Yoiyami ni ainori” is a loungy jazz-pop track that progresses in a quite interesting way.
The intro takes us into a laidback, jazz bar soundscape and its hip-hop influences – a couple of samples used as hits to enhance the instrumental – stand out, leading to a groovy instrumental.
Funky guitar riffs and bassline join the dreamy synths and jazzy melody that moves the track forward.
Ryohei Kimura takes his performance as A’ just a step forward and it was more than enough to impress.
His mellow low tones and raspy mid-tones fit perfectly with the soundscape created but where he shines is in the outro. That falsetto still echoes in my ears.
6 – Crazy≒Nutrient
Slow-paced, intense. Crazy yet extremely alluring.
A’ cranks up the allure for “Crazy≒Nutrient”, a song that brings trap-inspired orchestral hits, fast-paced triplets on the hi-hat, a massive bassline, and a slow, hard-hitting snare beat on top.
The verses are brief yet quite intense with a rhodes piano melody actually leading the way, adding a loungy twist to this song.
Now, how can I begin to explain this chorus? There are way too many synths layered in this part. Too many. And all play an interesting role in this song.
From the synth lead that goes on in staccato, fading in and out within the instrumental, to the small synth hits that add a sort of brassy twist to the instrumental, to the polysynths that serve as percussion in the background, almost sounding like droplets of water, this song has it all.
When I say this is an insanely layered EDM song, I mean it. And that is exactly what makes this song stand out. All those synths play an important role.
All are audible at all times – of course, if you want to catch one detail, you’ll miss the other, that’s inevitable – and only get clearer with additional listens. And it never sounds overcrowded. Actually, R.O.N. made sure everything was as clear as possible while still being quite intense for the listener.
This track is organized chaos, with many things happening at the same time, but what at first may sound like chaos is but several pieces of a puzzle put together.
On the vocal end, Ryohei Kimura goes for a rich, full mid-toned performance with some breathy sections and vocals manipulation on top. It is fancy, slightly playful, and quite charismatic.
7 – かむかむみらくる
Get ready to crank up the tension as another high-octane EDM tune takes the stage.
“Kamu Kamu Miracle” kicks off with washy synths, soon diving deep into poly synths, some glitched, others are really fat or even dirty.
This song is really heavy on synths, something that may throw off some people that may not be that into those but that mix of synths with different tonalities and depth really fleshes out this dancefloor-ready tune.
The chorus is insanely addictive, with all the chaos in the verses clearing up, leading up to a bright, almost pop-inspired section.
As far as vocals go, there are no clean parts. Ryohei Kimura’s singing went through auto-tune for the entirety of this song, ever-so-slightly giving it a metallic, almost brassy twist.
8 – 四葉CLOVER
“Yotsuba CLOVER” changes things around a little bit. The sound is bright, the tone is much upbeat, naturally fun without being excessively intense.
As such the instrumental introduces a groovy bassline, jazzy piano melodies, and summery synths that give this track a laidback vibe. The verses flow naturally into the chorus, slowly and in a washy fashion flowing into a festival of color and good vibes.
The danceable vibe to this song will, most likely, have you dancing (bobbing your head or similar) to this song. Its punchy bassline will resonate with you and the natural reaction will be to groove to it.
The bridge introduces the listener to a cool keytar solo, adding a classy twist to this song as dreamy atmospheric synths and a bright piano melody paint the soundscape.
On top, Ryohei Kimura embraces a more melodic register, going for a performance with a lot of legato – incredibly steady – and sweet mid-tones.
An unexpectedly gentle song in the middle of such a chaotic album.
9 – #HAPPY
Still on the same note but with a different approach, #HAPPY closes this mini-album on a good note. This rock track is fresh in A”s repertoire, sounding more like a song that Judah or Joshua would perform.
Guitars are at center stage, giving an edge to this song with melodic riffs and brief solo fillers. Drums are hard-hitting, with the snare and bass drum being pivotal in creating depth to this track.
On the vocal end, Ryohei Kimura delivers a surprisingly consistent and clean performance. He is sounding the best on this track.
The Dear Vocalist franchise wraps up the RAVING BEATS!!! CD series with a banger. A’’s “Mirai e” is a massive entry in this series, easily one of the best CDs.
The absolute chaos.
The mindless fun.
“Mirai e” fully embraces those, and A’ cranks up the intensity to the maximum.
Out of the new songs, I am quite partial to “Mirai e” and “Pinch no.102”, songs that are a massive upgrade from the sound I’m used to from A’, now fully embracing dirty electronica with influences of industrial rock and pure EDM.
The sound is chaotic but extremely organized in both tracks, taking you to the dancefloor while being both extremely alluring at their core.
Worth mentioning that “Pinch no.102” ends up being the “confessional” song in this album. It doesn’t sound like it at first but the intensity in the emotions, the intimacy, and the sheer allure in that track slightly give it away (if you are used to A’’s style, that is. Otherwise it will sound bonkers to you).
I absolutely love this song and I can only imagine it being massive if played live. Can you imagine live drums and live guitars on this track?
This would be a certified banger hitting even harder as it’d add a rock edge to an instrumental that is already really awesome. Well, this is the kind of song to dance along to until the night ends – or jump around like crazy feeling the song (I know I am the latter).
“Calling Cat” arrives as a massive surprise, mixing the dark and gritty synth-driven sound that is characteristical of A’ but adding it a synthwave twist that was more than welcomed. The upbeat, happy-go-lucky chorus will put a smile on your face, as A’ goes for a straightforward display of love and appreciation.
Out of the oldies, “Crazy≒Nutrient” still stands as one of the best songs ever in the Dear Vocalist franchise. This is the kind of song that will suck you in, the story is enthralling, the sound is intoxicating, the performance is downright confident. There’s a unique charm about this song that always makes me come back, have a good time and really thank R.O.N. for having crafted it.
Although rock has never been the main music genre for A’, “KKK→E” is still a good shout to the good old days when he was still embracing a simple brand of electro-rock (with more punk-rock than electronica in the mix).
“Kamu Kamu Miracle” brings an extra pinch of chaos to the mix, going full blast on its intense, glitchy EDM sound.
And “Yoiyami ni ainori”, “Yotsuba CLOVER” and “#HAPPY” arrive as a trilogy of happy-go-lucky tunes with a genuine gentle side and really good, almost loungy vibes at their core. These balance out this album, showcasing a softer side to A’.
As you go through this album, you notice A’ opening up to you – the listener as well as, quite possibly if you listen to those, the protagonist in the drama CDs) -, shifting from his impulsive and destructive self to a straightforward and passionate individual that you healed along this 6-year journey.
While he’s still chaotic, the music reflects his growth with, as mentioned, at least 3 songs that really show how calm and gentle he can be.
The journey with A’ is intense and pretty crazy but this growth will really put a smile on your face.
One thing you can also notice while going through this album is that Ryohei Kimura has improved a whole lot as a singer.
The improved confidence and charisma stand out in his performances of “Pinch no.102”, “Mirai e” and “Calling Cat”. Additionally, he’s much more steady right now and shows a lot of control over his mid-toned raspy vocals than he did back in the days of “KKK→E”. His voice has also gone a bit warmer with age, now sounding really full and rich, two things his voice lacked back in 2015 when A’ was first introduced.
All in all, A’’s “Mirai e” is a fantastic entry that will please not only those that passionately follow this franchise but also those of you that are looking for a fix of high-quality, intense EDM music in which chaos is king.
This is how you neatly wrap up a CD series.
“Mirai e” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.
“Mirai e” is available for streaming on Spotify.
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