Review | Daisuke Ono “Kemono Michi”

Daisuke Ono strays away from funk-disco and embraces an refreshing brand of jazz and bossa nova in the elegant “Kemono Michi“.

Regular
Title: ケモノミチ
Label: Lantis 
Release date: 03/02/2021
Genre: Jazz / Bossa Nova

Tracklist:

1.ケモノミチ
2.ケモノミチ Jazz Trio Instrumental ver.
3.イバラミチ

Track by track analysis (instrumentals songs not rated):

1 – ケモノミチ

Kemono Michi” brings the flair and danceable touch of Latin music to the spotlight. Acoustic guitars paint this late summer soundscape as strings slowly add a delicate touch to the instrumental.

The percussion for this song is off the charts. There’s a lot of work done on the timbales with those fleshing out the Latin vibe in this track. Supporting them is a bass-driven beat and the punchy bassline.

The verses flow in a Samba/bossa nova rhythm that is addictive, flowing into the addictive chorus in which chants and acoustic guitars shine.

There are a couple of quiet sections in which strings take the spotlight alongside Daisuke Ono’s sweet mid-toned vocals.

What an opening track this one is!

2.ケモノミチ Jazz Trio Instrumental ver.

Same track however, we get a jazz trio take on it with no vocals on it.

“Kemono Michi” already has, at its core, a jazz undertone – Latin music, especially bossa nova and samba, draw a lot of inspiration from jazz – so this toning down of the instrumental comes as natural and surprising addition to this single.

The contrabass, piano and brushed drums trio shines throughout, taking you to a jazz bar soundscape instead of the euphoria inducing soundscape of the original version.

Classic above all.

3.イバラミチ

Wrapping this single up is yet another song exploring jazz rhythms. A warm piano melody, a syncopated beat, a pulsing contrabass bassline and brass paint an elegant soundscape that you will lose yourself in with ease.

The rhythm in “Ibara Michi” is close to that of a slow swing jazz song, counting with beautiful glockenspiel melodies in the back, a blues solo and a tasteful beat underneath.

Daisuke Ono delivers a performance filled with a mature charisma that draws you in. He’s always in control of his vocals, delivering a robust performance that stands out quality-wise in his repertoire.


Final considerations

Daisuke Ono’s “Kemono Michi” is quite the surprising entry in his repertoire.

Funk-disco is put on the side to give way to a more elegant and mature approach bringing Latin Jazz, Bossa Nova and classic Jazz to the table.

This results in a refreshing single filled with highlights.

For starters, “Kemono Michi” is insanely addictive. Its rhythm is fancy and filled with energy. The way it flows makes it so that you’ll find yourself tapping your feet along to it in no time.

No to mention the loungy, “feel good” vibe it has in the melodic verses with Daisuke Ono’s performance impressing with a lot of control and confidence in those mid-tones and even those higher notes he brings to the table.

I’ve listened to enough takes of Latin Jazz, Bossa Nova and Samba and few have that natural bounce fully fleshed out. In this song I can safely say that there was a special care into making this song as close to those genres/subgenres and retaining its natural warmth.

In the end, “Kemono Michi” is the type of song that will make you dance, relax and have a wide smile plastered on your face.

It’s jazz trio take arrived as a surprise but what a nice one it was! It is rare to have this type of performances in seiyuu artist’s music as it is really quiet, and usually is so good that it doesn’t require vocals to begin with.

And that’s what we got here. No vocals, just “Kemono Michi” stripped down of all its fancy percussion and brass. At its core it still is a genuinely good song with quite the tasteful sound.

The single wraps up on a jazz note with “Ibara Michi”. This song carries over the jazz sound in the previous track however adding more elements to it to deliver a rich, punchy sound that still has that characteristically elegance of jazz music.

As far as performances go, Daisuke Ono’s confidence as a singer continues to show in his performances. The way he sings and the emotions he adds to his performances made all songs in this CD shine, with those emotions spreading to the listener. He knows how to put a smile on your face with his performances and, as you could tell, he’s getting better by the day as a singer and performer.

Kemono Michi” is the type of single that deserves your attention for how refreshing it is – even with OnoD’s repertoire – and for its quality music and performances. It is certain to put a smile on your face.


Kemono Michi is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


Kemono Michi” 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
ケモノミチ
イバラミチ
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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