Review | LUMIERE “uNCoNTRoL”

Dear Vocalist Headliner

RE-O-DO appears more straightforward about his feelings and with a more aggressive than ever sound in “uNCoNTRoL”.

LUMIERE UNCONTROL cover
Title: Dear Vocalist HEADLINER Entry NO.1 LUMIERE
Label: Rejet
Release date: 22/05/2024
Genre: Rock

Tracklist (DISC 1):

1 - uNCoNTRoL (NEW SONG)
2 - 化猫 (NEW SONG)
3 - Fresh start
4 - God only gave me a voice
5 - Eternal ties

Track by track analysis:

1 – uNCoNTRoL

LUMIERE kicks the doors open with “uNCoNTRoL”, song that brings muffled vocals and distorted guitar riffs in its intro before exploding into a screaming guitar riff paired up with strings.

The verses are dirty with the bassline punching its way through the empty soundscape as the guitars go distorted and the drums slowly make their entrance in the 2nd part, leading to the chorus.

When the chorus kicks, the song continues its downtempo but the addition of the strings brings an unexpected layer of darkness and drama to this song.

The strings on your right side and the low guitars on the left are an interesting contrast I was not expecting this in this song but it works perfectly well as the drums and RE-O-DO (CV: Toshiki Masuda) are in front and center. This intermission leads to the second verse.

And what you find in it is groovy drums leading the way, now populating the soundscape that, up until then, was devoid of anything.

The bridge goes loud and aggressive with the drums going for the double bass pedal, the guitars screaming, and the strings all out on the drama.

Not only the instrumental is completely new in style for LUMIERE but the performance is also completely different. RE-O-DO performs with poise and confidence that he didn’t have in previous entries.

One thing I absolutely love about Toshiki Masuda’s performance in this one is the control he brings to his emotions throughout. He only explodes in the chorus and he still sounds cool and contained in the way he’s expressing those.

At the same time, Masuda is careful in his usage of vibrato in the song. Whenever vibrato is in, Masuda adds a massively alluring touch to this performance, akin, in some way, to the way that CIEL’s (CV: KENN) songs used to be.

“uNCoNTRoL” is unlike anything LUMIERE has released so far.

2 – 化猫 (Bake Neko)

Wrapping up this release is “Bake Neko”, song that directly ties up with the drama CD’s story.

Still, in the same tone, the song is slow-paced but this time around it brings a sort of playful/trickster vibe in its intro – with that distorted guitar melody + synth making a later appearance in the song.

When the chorus kicks in, electric guitars go low and scream in the background as the drums slowly hit the soundscape.

On top of it all, RE-O-DO’s vocals echo in the wide soundscape before you notice it shifting back to something more “intimate” or “close” to the listener for the second verse.

The slow pacing and dirty guitar work once again contrast with that gentle, almost caring vibe that he brings to the performance in the verses.

Toshiki Masuda went for a breathier style of performance in the verses, lowering his tone a bit and bringing a lot of air to it, adding a layer of playfulness or even allure to the performance.

But the performance in the chorus brings a lot of emotion and power, with vibrato and long notes playing a big role in fleshing those out.

The song comes full circle, with that trickster vibe in the intro closing this song after an explosive last chorus.


Final considerations

RE-O-DO, you sound unrecognizable in vibe!

That was my first thought as I listened to this CD and noticed just how much he ditched his good/gentle guy act and went all in with dirty and gritty rock tunes in which the guitars are consistently screaming.

For those following RE-O-DO – and by extension, LUMIERE – you will notice this right off the bat “uNCoNTRoL” doesn’t even come close to sounding like a song of theirs.

It’s so different, disruptive, and, in a way, imposing that it strays away from the band’s original sound big time. I instantly fell in love with it because of two specific things.

First, I feel that – and I haven’t listened to the drama CD in this case – CIEL (CV: KENN) has had his hand in this song. Then, this sounds so straightforward that it’s almost like a song that Judah would perform, not necessarily RE-O-DO.

The strings being a big feature in “uNCoNTRoL” take me back to CIEL’s dramatic symphonic rock style and even if that is not confirmed, I can’t help but draw those parallels.

The song is filled with drama and is much more straightforward in the lyrics than anything RE-O-DO has performed before.

I honestly love this change of pacing. It is maturity happening in music format but also a good indicator of the changes RE-O-DO has gone through, culminating in a powerful song that reflects clearly and openly his feelings.

“Bake Neko” certainly is an oddball and this time around, understanding it fully will require diving into the drama tracks in this CD (Which I haven’t).

But let me have a go at this song and try to make sense of it.

First off, this song is quite tasteful in its approach to what is – underneath it all – a rather explicit topic. RE-O-DO’s been quite open about his love for you – the listener in the drama CDs – and his love is quite intense (he is borderline clingy about it).

In this case, I can only assume we’re in for quite the story with unsaid things, and misunderstandings and both he and you will be fooling each other to achieve what you want. RE-O-DO is open about his intentions – be with and lose himself in you – but what are yours?

This playing around with each other’s expectations is something that seems to please him as he says he “wants to be with you even if with everyone’s watching“. At the same time, this song sounds lowkey like an open declaration of his love, which is a first. His apologizing throws me off a bit but…

… this is the extent of what I can get from this song and, yet again, I haven’t listened to the drama tracks to tie all the loose ends I have in this interpretation of the song.

Out of the two songs in this CD, I absolutely love “uNCoNTRoL” not only for its more aggressive sound but for the way Toshiki Masuda is singing. This is quite a powerful and confident performance and his singing carries a lot of both throughout.

At the same time, I love it when he adds legato to his singing, dragging some of the parts into the next ones.

Also, I’ve said it before, strings and rock music always give way to dramatic and emotional rock tunes, something I appreciate a lot. For a LUMIERE leading track, “uNCoNTRoL” is unusual but honestly, it fits the band quite well with this more straightforward sound.

All in all, RE-O-DO appears more straightforward than ever about his feelings in “uNCoNTRoL” and openly declares his love for you – the listener – in cat-and-mouse mind games in “Bake neko”.

Dear Vocalist is a 2D rock music project focused on equal parts music and storytelling. The franchise was launched in 2015 and is produced by Rejet.

R.O.N (Stereo Dive Foundation) is in charge of producing all the music in the franchise.

One thing that sets this franchise apart from all others is a massive focus on storytelling – through the drama tracks and songs. That storytelling highlights mental health – with all vocalists having some sort of disorder that you help them get through or heal – even if not obvious at times.

That, paired with the music and romance parts as well as the character development that you can easily notice if you check the songs + drama tracks chronologically, make this franchise a unique one, truly in a league of its own.

According to Rejet, the characters in the story are vocalists belonging to the music production company “Climax Record.” They face various challenges and unreasonable demands, such as the president of the production company telling them to disband if they don’t become successful. As a supportive figure and as their significant other, you strive to assist the vocalist in facing these challenges while engaging in musical activities.

The cast features 6 vocals, fronting their respective bands and, on the side living their normal lives with their significant others (you, the listener in the drama tracks).

LUMIÈRE consists of:

lumière

A four-member rock band affiliated with Climax Record. During their student days, the leader and bassist NOE, along with guitarist SIMBA, started creating original songs. Later, they formed an amateur band by adding drummer THOMAS.

Upon welcoming vocalist RE-O-DO, they changed the band name to “LUMIERE” and began full-fledged activities, primarily performing at live houses in Tokyo. After going through an indie label phase, they made their major debut under Climax Record.

Gaining immense support from the younger audience, they have set records for the most live performances in a year among bands affiliated with CR. In the “CR69Fes.2018 ‘Dead or Alive'” held in 2018, they headlined the event. Moreover, in a live performance at Maihama in February 2020, they captivated the entire audience with a powerful performance befitting their track “CHAMPION.”


uNCoNTRoL” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


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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REVIEW OVERVIEW

uNCoNTRoL
化猫 (Bake Neko)

SUMMARY

For those following RE-O-DO - and by extension, LUMIERE - you will notice this right off the bat "uNCoNTRoL" doesn't even come close to sounding like a song of theirs. It's so different, disruptive, and, in a way, imposing that it strays away from the band's original sound big time. I instantly fell in love with it. He brings a bit of CIEL's touch (the big focus on strings in his music) and Judah's straigthforward lyrics paired up with an aggressive instrumental. "Bake Neko" certainly is an oddball and this time around, understanding it fully will require diving into the drama tracks in this CD but you'll quickly notice his lowkey love declaration in it (and a bit more than that if you read between the lines). All in all, RE-O-DO appears more straightforward than ever about his feelings in "uNCoNTRoL" and openly declares his love for you - the listener - in cat-and-mouse mind games in "Bake neko".

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For those following RE-O-DO - and by extension, LUMIERE - you will notice this right off the bat "uNCoNTRoL" doesn't even come close to sounding like a song of theirs. It's so different, disruptive, and, in a way, imposing that it strays away from the band's original sound big time. I instantly fell in love with it. He brings a bit of CIEL's touch (the big focus on strings in his music) and Judah's straigthforward lyrics paired up with an aggressive instrumental. "Bake Neko" certainly is an oddball and this time around, understanding it fully will require diving into the drama tracks in this CD but you'll quickly notice his lowkey love declaration in it (and a bit more than that if you read between the lines). All in all, RE-O-DO appears more straightforward than ever about his feelings in "uNCoNTRoL" and openly declares his love for you - the listener - in cat-and-mouse mind games in "Bake neko". Review | LUMIERE "uNCoNTRoL"