Daisuke Ono’s “Sounds of Love” is a stellar entry in his repertoire; a fancy, passionate concept mini-album that shines from start to finish.
Title: Sounds of Love Label: Lantis Release date: 19/10/2022 Genre: Ballad/Citypop/Rock/Dance
1 - Prologue: Sounds of Love 2 - Sounds of Love 3 - Prologue: DING DONG 4 - DING DONG 5 - Prologue: また会う時は 6 - また会う時は (with 上田麗奈) 7 - Prologue: SUPER SHOCK 8 - SUPER SHOCK (with 羽多野 渉) 9 - Prologue: Self Satisfaction 10 - Self Satisfaction
Track by track analysis (features only songs):
2 – Sounds of Love
A dreamy piano melody opens the curtains to this gentle song. “Sounds of Love” slowly welcomes acoustic guitars, delicate strings, a simple clap track-driven beat, and a deep bassline (for in the background).
The verses are sweet and slow-paced with the electric guitar giving an emotional, blues-inspired touch to this instrumental.
The song oozes care and love and by the time you reach the chorus, the song flourishes and makes that R&B ballad sound shine as acoustic guitars, piano, and strings are in perfect harmony.
On the vocal end, Daisuke Ono delivers a gentle performance matching the song’s tone. During his performance, he was as steady and in control as ever.
In the background, harmonizing with him is none other than the legendary acapella group, The Gospellers. This is a unique collaboration that ends up sounding surprisingly well.
It has been a while since Daisuke Ono released music however it is good to know that the veteran solo artist is still in a good groove, delivering emotional songs that push a little bit for his emotional range and vocal range. This maturity coming from him – and being consistent across a streak of releases – makes me quite excited for what he’ll have to offer in the future.
If you’re looking for a ballad dripping honey, that feels like someone embracing you carefully and treating you like the most precious person in the world, then “Sounds of Love” appears as a perfect song with a twinge of nostalgia on top to spice things up a bit.
4 – DING DONG
Daisuke Ono continues his collaboration with the legendary acapella group The Gospelers, this time around with the digital single “DING DONG”.
Under the theme of a refreshing ride by the seashore with the one you love, “DING DONG” brings to the spotlight gate funky riffs, a laidback beat, and citypop-inspired washy synths.
As such, the vibe is dreamy and passionate. It feels like the seashore is endless as you ride into the sunset. The verses are sweet and groovy with a punchy bassline + clap track mix playing on top of the washy and atmospheric synths.
The pacing is comfortable, smoothly gliding into the addictive chorus awaiting you. On top, Daisuke Ono makes good use of his baritone vocals to spread good vibes and make that passionate vibe come to life.
In the background, The Gospellers’ members add depth and an extra bit of emotion to this performance.
Funky guitars slowly take you to the chorus, an explosion of color and love welcoming you with a tight hug through that punchy bassline and synths combo.
This is the type of song you don’t want to end. Immerse yourself in warm citypop vibes in the passionate digital single “DING DONG”.
Daisuke Ono’s performance has plenty of interesting things going on. For starters, his mid-tones are solid, then you have the head voice parts that serve as an accent in his performance.
In a way, this performance reminds me a lot of the style of music that Kirinji – a Japanese nu-disco band – is known for. The sound is laidback, and the performance is emotional and dreamy.
While going under the radar for most people, Daisuke Ono has been dishing out awesome songs made in collaboration with The Gospellers.
6 – また会う時は (with Reina Ueda)
“Mata Ao toki wa” kicks off with a delicate piano melody, sounding almost like a music box.
This gentle and simple instrumental never gets crowded, instead rejoicing on its simplicity and well-placed instruments to create a dreamy soundscape that will grab your attention from start to finish.
Midway through the first verse, Reina Ueda joins in and what you get is a performance that is insanely ethereal and delicate, with Ono and Ueda’s harmonies shining through.
The chorus adds a bit of a bounce to this tune, with percussion being an unclear mix of cajon and congas. Regardless of which is the instrument in charge of the percussion in this track – it can also be the drums played in a really soft way using brushes and with a different tuning in the toms -, this song does have a tasteful bounce that in no way breaks immersion.
The second verse brings in a Bossa Nova-inspired beat and minimalistic jazzy piano melodies, complementing the vocals.
When this song wraps up, it feels as if you’ve woken up from a dream. It is so soft and quiet that it doesn’t necessarily want you to have it looping in your head. It wants to be a good memory only. And it does a fantastic job at it.
8 – SUPER SHOCK (with 羽多野 渉)
“SUPER SHOCK” changes things around in this CD. Big, atmospheric synths open the curtains to what is a stylish song with quite the awesome groove and rock edge on top.
This is a song like no other in Daisuke Ono’s repertoire. It channels big early 00s vibes but does so without sounding dated, it is fun as hell without being an EDM tune and perfectly blends the grooviness of funk with the shredding style of rock.
The verses are big and spacy, creating an awesome sound in which the bassline is punchy, the guitars shred their way in the background, the beat is slow and intimidating while the brass adds a layer of mystery and fun to this performance.
The chorus is insanely catchy, making you want to sing along to Daisuke Ono and Wataru Hatano’s harmonized vocals.
In the bridge, the guitar shines in an awesome solo, later on going unplugged to give way to the dreamy vocals of Ono and Hatano leading you to the final chorus and outro.
When this song wraps up, you’ll still be singing “SUPER SHOCK, SHOCK!” and… well, hitting that replay button because this one of the coolest tracks Ono has released to date.
10 – Self Satisfaction
“Self Satisfaction” wraps up this CD with quite the speed to itself. The tempo is high in the intro, running through to the verses at the speed of light.
When you get to the verses, that’s when things get surprisingly fun.
The drums are relentless, never stopping the work on those fast hi-hats at the same time as the bassline adds a punchy touch to the instrumental. On top of it all is the electric guitar, going from funky melodies to full-on technical shredding in the solo.
When the chorus arrives, you know – you just know – that this has Toshiyuki Toyonaga’s hand in the composition and vocal direction. The way the vocals rise, the places in which the tension is retained, and how falsetto/head voice is usually used to unleash that tension… that is Toyonaga’s touch in this song.
Of course, Toyonaga did compose this song, creating a funky and insanely addictive tune that you can’t get enough of.
The brass in the chorus is a blast to listen to, complementing the fast drums as Ono tackles quite the technical vocals.
If you pay closer attention, also in the vocals, however, as a backing vocalist, is Toshiyuki Toyonaga. So do expect fancy harmonies, eccentric hits and bits going on in the background, and more.
One thing worth mentioning is the bridge to this song that is long. Surprisingly long but creates just enough tension to make you want more and more of the song.
When “Self Satisfaction” wraps up… you’re either drained or pumped up with energy and a big smile on your face. Either way, this is a fantastic way to wrap up this mini-album.
“Sounds of Love” is a beautiful concept mini-album from Daisuke Ono. Love is at center stage, with every song in this album giving off sweet, passionate vibes, taking you by the hand to beautiful and gentle soundscapes.
To tie all songs together, this time around Daisuke Ono mixed drama tracks – that serve as an introduction to the stories that will unfold in the following songs.
This creates a unique dynamic when listening to this album. It feels almost like you’re being told a story and the songs are just the intermission between chapters of that story.
On the composition side, Daisuke Ono’s fans can rejoice as The Gospellers – the legendary Japanese acapella group – was in charge of composing and writing lyrics to most of the songs, even lending vocals to “Sounds of Love” and “DING DONG”, songs that shine in this release.
As far as the new songs go, “Mata Ao Toki wa” and “SUPER SHOCK” bring unique dynamics to “Sounds of Love”.
In “Mata Ao Toki wa”, Ono duets with female seiyuu and solo artist Reina Ueda and what follows is an absolutely mesmerizing performance that is as delicate and warm, feeling almost like a cozy hug in the middle of autumn.
In “SUPER SHOCK”, things change around as Wataru Hatano brings his fancy gentle vibrato-filled vocals to the spotlight, complementing Daisuke Ono’s smooth baritone vocals. What fans get in this song is a fancy tune with plenty of bounce and a perfect mix between imposing, cool rock and groovy funk music.
Wrapping up this release is “Self Satisfaction”, a song that brings Toshiyuki Toyonaga as the composer and what a song he crafted for Daisuke Ono! This is a high-octane pop-rock tune that never stops, ever.
The hi-hat on the drums is relentless, the brass is equally as exciting, the guitars are fancy throughout and the bassline is discreet enough to not be the primary element you will notice in the instrumental, however… Its groove is one of the reasons why this song is so good. And on the vocal end, Toyonaga pushed Daisuke Ono’s vocals to the limit by introducing his own quirks – with Toyonaga being known for his extreme technicality as a singer – for Ono to tackle and… surprise, surprise. Ono did manage to pull off remarkable the technical parts Toyonaga prepared for him.
All in all, Daisuke Ono’s “Sounds of Love” is a stellar entry in his repertoire, a fancy, passionate concept mini-album that shows that Ono is only getting better with age and experience.
I can’t help but be extremely excited about what this matured, smooth, and extremely passionate Daisuke Ono can pull off in the upcoming CD releases.
“Sounds of Love” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.
“Sounds of Love” is available for streaming on Spotify.
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