B-PROJECT’s “KING OF CASTE~Bird in the Cage~” counts with massive performances on the vocal end and exciting + tasteful instrumentals.
A note: this review includes the songs in KING of CASTE～Bird in the Cage～ Shishido High School version and KING of CASTE～Bird in the Cage～ Phoenix Academy High School version.
Title: KING of CASTE～Bird in the Cage～ Release date: 25/03/2020 Label: MAGES. Genre: Pop /Rock
1 - Who is the King？(performed by B-PROJECT) 2 - Catharsis (performed by MooNs & Kitakore) 3 - I for you (performed by KiLLER KiNG & THRIVE)
Track by track analysis:
1 – Who is the King?
Dirty synths open the curtain for this EDM tune. Quickly, electric guitars riffs join in, being an important element in this song.
The verses feature funky guitar riffs and a driving punchy bassline on top of the bass-driven drums. There are sampled drums supporting the beat, enhancing its power and setting a comfortable tempo for “Who is the King?”.
The progression to the chorus is smooth, taking the listener to a chorus that is enjoyable for the most part.
The lead synth in this song is a bit too high-pitched that you’d like on a song like this that has a big focus on its bassy sound. Yes, you want contrast, but that high contrast doesn’t make the song sound that good in the end. If you took those synth lead – that works more like synth stabs – melodies off of the song, then this would be a top entry in B-PROJECT’s repertoire.
B-PROJECT deliver a solid performance in this song. I’d like to particularly highlight the chorus section. The melodies and harmonies in that section are a real treat for fans of good singing.
2 – Catharsis
“Catharsis” kicks off with distant guitar riffs and slowly builds up into a funky affair. A punchy bassline, classic synth stabs and splashy drums paint an adventurous soundscape with a danceable twist to it.
The chorus is explosive, with the bassline jumping into the spotlight while the vocals release the tension, delivering an addictive performance.
Massive props to the overdriven guitar solo in the bridge. At the same time, it is worth mentioning that the bassline is massive in that section, never missing a beat.
On the vocal end, you find MooNs and Kitakore delivering a groovy performance that will make you sing along right from the very first take on the chorus.
3 – I for you
Wrapping up this release is “I for you”, song that also welcomes the listener with electric guitar riffs however things change into something completely different.
This song has a sort of dated touch to it, something primarily noticeable in those muffled synths stabs in the chorus.
The verses don’t have many distractions around, being fairly simple, with a minimalistic bassline driving the song forward while washy synths add an additional dimension to the track.
The beat kicks in with more power in the chorus but it never goes out of its way to impress the listener, with the kick sample not having enough punch to it.
As a result, the song will stand out for its bass sound – that the wobbly synths further enhance – 90s style synth work.
THRIVE and KiLLER KiNG are on vocal duty for this song, with their vocals working genuinely well together.
With both groups together, there’s a massive vocal range covered from Hanae and Toyonaga’s crystal clear high notes to Kazuki Kato’s mellow mid-tones and Takuya Eguchi’s low, growling tones. Nishiyama, Yashiro, and Chiba cover the mid-range with a lot of control.
B-PROJECT’s “KING OF CASTE~Bird in the Cage~” is an interesting entry in the franchise.
Why is that?
First off, if you’re one that loves punchy basslines or just bass in general on the spotlight, this is a release that features 3 songs with quite the bouncy basslines.
This is something you can’t find that commonly in the franchise up until now, especially when the focus was heavily on EDM and crazy synths everywhere.
Then, you have improved vocals across all groups. THRIVE are the group that didn’t necessarily need any improvements, the minor things you can notice with them are the chemistry and specifically, how Natsuki Hanae doesn’t jump as often to those riffing, showman notes he’s well known for.
KiLLER KiNG continue to rise in my consideration (something they have been doing rather consistently since impressing me in “Phantom of Love”) by delivering yet another set of consistent performances in which they showcase their range and chemistry.
Those may not seem like important things but those end up influencing performances more than you’d like to. Their increase in confidence makes their performances more engaging.
Kitakore are a solid duo with an improved teamwork and polished singing skills whereas MooNs now have a reliable leader in Yuto Uemura.
The pieces are finally fitting well for all groups and when performing together – as B-PROJECT – they impressive with their versatility, range and confidence. “Who is the King?” may not be a brilliant song instrumental wise but it sure has fun and energetic performance that stands out.
All in all, “KING OF CASTE~Bird in the Cage~” joins B-PROJECT’s repertoire as a CD with a set of engaging performances, fairy entertaining instrumentals – with a hiccup here and there but nothing that erases the joy you take from listening to it. The vocals are the best to date and sure sound like they can improve further in upcoming releases.
If you’re looking for an improved B-PROJECT sound, this may be a good CD to check.
KING of CASTE～Bird in the Cage～ CDs are available for purchase at CDJAPAN.