Review | Dai and Shu “Neo X Lied Series vol.4”

SolidS QUELL Neo X Lied series

Oto no LOOP” is the perfect blend between QUELL’s crystal clear and experimental sound and SolidS’s dirty and alluring sound.

Title: SQ「Neo X Lied」Series vol.4
Label: Movic
Release date: 26/03/2021
Genre: Electronica

Tracklist:

1 - DRAMA「飾らない人、飾る人」
2 - 音のLOOP
3 - 音のLOOP -off vocal-

Track analysis:

2 – 音のLOOP

Intoxicating in its presentation, “Oto no LOOP” is the kind of song that will catch your attention within the first couple of seconds and never let go of you.

Despite being a song in the style of QUELL, “Oto no LOOP” has quite the dirty, alluring touch that you’d easily associate with SolidS. This alone, is a massive surprise as well as the exact same reason you won’t want to skip this song.

Everything about this song is new, be it analyzed through a QUELL or a SolidS lens.

The verses are led by a slow-paced pounding beat, creating a soundscape in which you want to lose yourself in. Dirty and sliced synths and a punchy bass line add more life to this song, increasing the allure levels to it.

This is quite the layered song, counting with many synth hits and bits, creating quite the intense instrumental to the explosive vocals by Shunsuke Takeuchi and Yuichiro Umehara.

The chorus rises in intensity, with its woobly, deep synths enlisting the help of atmospheric synths touches in the background, creating the catchiest and most refreshing chorus I’ve had the pleasure to listen to so far in 2021.

The outro adds strings to the mix, with slow paced pulsing synths and a crescendo in the vocals creating a beautiful, exhilarating sound.

That build up leads to a quieter section in which Umehara and Takeuchi show what they are made off, adding quite the flair to their performances.

Yes, on the vocal end we have one of the most anticipated lineups, a battle of baritones: SolidS’ Dai (CV: Yuichiro Umehara) and QUELL’s Shu (CV: Shunsuke Takeuchi).

Yuichiro Umehara’s performance is a massive leap from what I’m used to, even for him within SolidS (and he’s been pretty awesome and reliable for SolidS in the last couple of years).

Beautiful falsetto, stunning high notes, powerful low ones, smooth vibrato and top harmonization skills, Umehara was everywhere.

Alongside Shunsuke Takeuchi, Umehara had the upper hand as his baritone range has a tenor tonality to it, sounding clear in his highs and, when needed, delivering a powerful and clean set of dirty low notes.

Shunsuke Takeuchi is an insanely resourceful and talented singer, that is, of course, something that I don’t need to tell you.

But in “Oto no LOOP”, you get another taste of his greatness as a singer. Intense deep, low notes, impressive speed and clean falsetto made him a force to be reckoned with.

Together, Umehara and Takeuchi deliver the best performance in the “Neo X Lied” series at the moment and easily, the best for the SQ (SolidS and QUELL) side.

A note that the vocal direction for this song is insane.

I am particularly impressed with the vocal progression in the chorus, leading to both singers saying “Oto no LOOP”. The way they build up the tension to be released only when they say “LOOP” is a genius touch.

Also, the constant changes of tempo in their performance, going for an insanely fast section in the middle of smooth falsetto with legato in the mix, are so good.

Dramatic, emotional, intense, beautiful and ethereal at times, having QUELL’s trademark touch, yet still carrying an underlying feeling of danger and allure that SolidS have used us well to, “Oto no LOOPis a song that you don’t want to stop listening to.


SQ「Neo X Lied」Series vol.4 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

SQ "Neo X Lied" / Dai Murase (Yuichiro Umehara), Shu Izumi (Shunsuke Takeuchi)
Dai Murase (Yuichiro Umehara), Shu Izumi (Shunsuke Takeuchi)
REVIEW OVERVIEW
音のLOOP
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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