Review | Daisuke Ono “Dramatic”

Daisuke Ono

Daisuke Ono’s Dramatic strikes a good balance between being inspirational and incredibly intense.

Regular
Title: Dramatic
Label: Lantis 
Release date: 04/03/2020
Genre: Pop-Rock/Dance

Tracklist:

1. ドラマティック
2. More Super Love
3. ドラマティック (off vocal)
4. More Super Love (off vocal)

Track by track analysis:

1. ドラマティック

Progressive synths, simple guitar riffs and chants create an inspiring and motivational soundscape for Dramatic. The song builds up in a pretty interesting way, with the chants adding a layer of excitement to this track.

However, I felt like the way the song was crafted ended up highlighting something that – I hope – was not intentional: the abrupt cut in the chants midway through the verses, leaving in its wake a sudden silence in the instrumental.

It sounds odd, like something is missing from the track. You go from big dynamics to a tight, close-to-your-ears sound. It really sounds off and there’s no way around this because it is put in front of most elements in the song.

Snare-y drums, a noticeable bass line and delicate strings melodies join in the song in the chorus, further adding up to the inspirational tone for this track.

When it comes to the vocals, Daisuke Ono delivers a fascinating performance that takes me back to his HERO days. The consistency and richness of his vocals shine in this song, even with a performance as simple as this one.


2. More Super Love

The single wraps up with a song previously released as a digital single after Orepara 2019.

More Super Love is introduced to the listener through loud, shredding guitar riffs but things change around pretty quickly, as Ono goes all out Eurobeat for this track.

Synths are tight in the verses, leaving the spotlight to the electric guitar riffs and simple beat.

Although OnoD is pretty well known for his dance music iterations, More Super Love sounds nothing alike his previous takes on the dance/disco genres. It is insanely upbeat and uptempo, draining energy from the listener as time goes by. It is a really intense song.

The instrumental itself counts with a twist in the bridge, with a thunderous guitar solo, reminiscing of those in Japanese music in the 90s. It not only keeps up with the song’s intensity, but it also builds up from there and creates a completely different dynamic to the instrumental.

On the vocal end, Daisuke Ono does not miss a beat. His performance is energetic and entertaining, making this song shine – even if the instrumental sounds a bit dated. It is impossible not to be drawn into his charismatic performance.


Final considerations

Daisuke Ono’s Dramatic has the makings of a perfect single but there are some technical details that don’t allow it to reach that status.

Dramatic counts with a really noticeable and abrupt cut in the instrumental, as one of its layers – the chants – doesn’t fade out or suddenly is replaced by a different element. Instead, it vanishes in an obvious, lazy way that leaves the rest of the instrumental and the listener hanging.

Despite the fact that I love the way the song flows, its inspirational tone and how smooth OnoD’s singing is, I can’t help but to notice that layer being “cut” out of nowhere to leave the instrumental with little to make up for it. It is odd to say the least and, even if intentional, it sounds lazy.

If it weren’t for that obvious issue, this song would take the crown as the best in this single.

However, More Super Love takes that crown to itself. Now, I am not a fan of Eurobeat. It is a phase in electronica music that was exhausted until the last drop and although it produced massive hit songs, it already sounded dated in the late 90s, early 00s and it hasn’t aged that well, to the point that any song featuring Eurobeat instantly sounds cheesy.

Still, Daisuke Ono had a go at the genre – a weirdly tasteful one – and ended up making Eurobeat sound enjoyable to me, which I believe, is a feat in itself.

The addition of 90s Japanese pop elements – those trademark, urgent shredding guitar solos – made a simple Eurobeat track sound more like a mashup between the trademark sound of Japan’s golden era of pop – lead by T.M.Revolution – and the intensity of Eurobeat.

The song ends up working pretty well and it flies by so fast that you’ll find yourself hitting that replay button just to experience the song yet again.

All in all, Daisuke Ono’s Dramatic is a solid single with some highlights in the mix.

This is not a pure pop-rock single not it is a purist dance music / disco-funk release like some of his previous iterations were. It mixes a bit of both worlds while bringing new elements to the mix – Eurobeat –, delivering a pretty entertaining experience for the listener.


Dramatic is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


Dramatic is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support Daisuke Ono’s solo career by streaming via official outlets.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Dramatic
More Super Love
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Now also talking about male seiyuu via SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile). 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).

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