Review | Jin Ogasawara “Black Cat”

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One of the most intricate compositions takes you through 50s classic pop-rock, 80s synthwave, and 90s boom-bap hip-hop in the epic “Black Cat”.

Jin Ogasawara Black Cat
Title: Black Cat
Release date: 05/05/2022
Label: Beyond The Music/MAGES.
Genre: Boom-bap hip-hop/Synthwave/50s pop-rock

Tracklist:

1 - Black Cat

Track analysis:

1 – Black Cat

Wrapping up Jin Ogasawara’s digital single series – 5 parts with a total of 6 songs released – is “Black Cat”.

Rain pours down in the background, setting a dramatic tone for this song. And what awaits you is one of the grooviest tunes in this series.

“Black Cat” brings breakbeat and boom-bap hip-hop to the spotlight in the verses, alongside a cool saxophone accent. Everything about the verses screams “90s’ best” however don’t hold too hard to that sound as the composition is going to take you through a rollercoaster of emotions.

The pre-chorus smoothly introduces you to what is a massive chorus fully embracing synthwave. There are fat bassy synths, a punchy bassline, synthetic drums – with a fabulous sound on the snare – and loud, dreamy piano melodies and synths that paint the soundscape in neon hues. 

This is a chorus you’ll want to lose yourself in. It is fun, dreamy, and futuristic while with a cool retro edge to it.

This transition arrives as a massive surprise but hell if this isn’t awesome. 

But hey! You’re hoping hip-hop to return in the 2nd verse, aren’t you? No. You’re taken to 50s pop-rock, as you march your way through a slightly dreamy sound. There are pizzicato strings and classic pitch vocals. 

The intermission being of a completely different music genre is such a nice addition to a song that never misses an opportunity to impress you.

And back to hip-hop in the verses for a brief period before being taken back to the amazing neon-lit soundscape that extends on the horizon with those dreamy 80s-inspired synths.

For this song, Ogasawara goes off, showcasing clean singing, fancy rapping and groovy, melodic lower toned singing/narration. 

No matter how many changes there are in the instrumental – tempo and even music genre -, Ogasawara never misses a beat. 

He taps into his clean mid-toned vocals (still without his edgy screaming quirk in there) as well as into his lower range, going for deep low notes that reverberate in your ears.

“Black Cat” is a song that makes a perfect marriage between music genres – boom-bap hip-hop, synthwave, and classic rock – and eras, with the 50s, 80s, and 90s all having a say in the direction this song takes. 

And while this mix had everything to go wrong, the way Shinnosuke – the song’s composer – crafted this song made sure that all transitions were seamless, that the introduction of new music genres made sense, and was never made in a sudden way. 

There are crafty fade-outs in the instrumental whenever there is a new music genre joining the mix, something that is as smooth as you could get in terms of composition. In the way it was done, all the changes within the song will make sense to you and not sound like just hits and bits of songs put together.

Also, it is really rare for synthwave to be featured in seiyuu music – other instances being Wataru Hatano’s “Vivid Junction” and Tasuku Hatanaka’s “TWISTED HEARTS” – so, to find this futuristic music genre that is both nostalgic and dreamy of a future you’ve never lived, is a treat, especially when done this well.

All in all, Jin Ogasawara made a statement with this series of digital singles.

6 songs. 6 perfect entries.

That’s bloody brilliant. And he’s written lyrics to all songs, which is even more impressive.

As it is, Jin Ogasawara showcased that he is extremely talented – only now scraping the surface of his singing skills – and that his music is more than just rock. He can literally perform any music genre and he does sound naturally good. It’ll be interesting to see what he can pull off next but one thing is for certain, Ogasawara made a massive case for himself as a singer to be on the lookout for.

Masterful ending chapter to a flawless digital single series.


Black Cat” is available for streaming on Spotify.


Do not support piracy. Remember to support Jin Ogasawara by streaming via official outlets.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Black Cat

SUMMARY

Jin Ogasawara has now created the perfect ramp for what can be a full-length album on the horizon - given the number of new songs he recently released that have yet to be released in the physical version. “Black Cat” is a flawless single that is all about its unique composition, a perfect showcase of Ogasawara’s eclectic tastes as well as the perfect stage for what is a complete performance that explores his range - baritone and bass -, vocal control - with several tempo changes in his performance -, and versatility - performing clean singing, rapping and even narrating. Ogasawara is the real deal as a singer. Once again, his solo debut may have been rushed but no one predicted Ogasawara would grow this fast as a singer and lyricist. What you and I are listening - and, in a way, seeing - here is a singer growing a lot in a short amount of time, and doing so through an experimental digital single series (within minimal risk to sales in case something would have gone wrong with fan reception of the songs). Now that Ogasawara showcased his range, skills, and technique, not to mention versatility, he’s ready for his next steps as a solo artist. And those look more exciting than anything before. I’m anticipating a full-length album by the end of the year and if it happens and “Black Cat” and all other songs in this digital single series are in it, it is safe to say it’ll be a strong contender for album of the year.
Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder, content creator, and music reviewer. Basically, the only person managing everything at The Hand That Feeds HQ. Stumbling upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" in 2011 was the start of this journey. If music is thought-provoking or deep, you may find her writing almost essays (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). She's the producer and host of the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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Jin Ogasawara has now created the perfect ramp for what can be a full-length album on the horizon - given the number of new songs he recently released that have yet to be released in the physical version. “Black Cat” is a flawless single that is all about its unique composition, a perfect showcase of Ogasawara’s eclectic tastes as well as the perfect stage for what is a complete performance that explores his range - baritone and bass -, vocal control - with several tempo changes in his performance -, and versatility - performing clean singing, rapping and even narrating. Ogasawara is the real deal as a singer. Once again, his solo debut may have been rushed but no one predicted Ogasawara would grow this fast as a singer and lyricist. What you and I are listening - and, in a way, seeing - here is a singer growing a lot in a short amount of time, and doing so through an experimental digital single series (within minimal risk to sales in case something would have gone wrong with fan reception of the songs). Now that Ogasawara showcased his range, skills, and technique, not to mention versatility, he’s ready for his next steps as a solo artist. And those look more exciting than anything before. I’m anticipating a full-length album by the end of the year and if it happens and “Black Cat” and all other songs in this digital single series are in it, it is safe to say it’ll be a strong contender for album of the year. Review | Jin Ogasawara "Black Cat"