Review | Makoto Furukawa “Place your bets”

Makoto Furukawa Place your bets

“Place your bets” encapsulates Makoto Furukawa’s fascinating musical journey thus far while radiating a hopeful tone of continuation.

Makoto Furukawa "Place your bets"
Regular
Title:"Place your bets"
Release date: 05/07/2023
Label: Lantis
Genre: Jazz/Rock

Tracklist:

1 - “Place your bets”
2 - rainy day
3 - “Place your bets” -Instrumental-
4 - rainy day -Instrumental-

Track by track analysis:

1 – “Place your bets”

The curtains open to all to introduce you to “Place your bets“, a song that brings back the classic jazz sound from Furukawa’s debut.

And if you are really into details, in the intro, leading up to the first verse, you will notice a small music phrase on the brass + guitar that comes from “Miserable Masquerade“, Furukawa’s debut single.

The intro is big and intense however, the verses provide you with a more contained, intimate, and risky soundscape.

The verses are all about its mystery, with the contrabass leading the way while decadent, distorted guitar riffs play in the background and the brass appears to give a nudge to the storytelling unfolding in front of you.

When the chorus arrives, the bassline and brass go all out, making the stage shine beyond anything you’d expect. You will only have eyes and ears to what is happening in front of you as Makoto Furukawa takes the lead with booming vocals.

The bridge brings a wonderful saxophone solo before toning things down for Makoto Furukawa’s powerful vocals to stride confidently to the final chorus.

It is an understatement to say that this is a charismatic performance. Makoto Furukawa is completely in his element, returning to his flamboyant jazz roots, sexy yet mysterious tunes, and lyrics that make you want to know more about the story beyond what happens within the song itself.

There are little details here and there on the vocal end that I absolutely love. Furukawa’s use of vibrato is much more controlled than ever.

He chooses deliberately where to use it and, as a result, within a verse, you no longer get everything performed in a booming vibrato. He is mixing more and more techniques, adding a lot of dynamic and fun to his performances. One time he goes for legato in a warm baritone voice, others he goes low and all in on the vibrato, and then, there comes a part in which he adds falsetto.

“Place your bets” up the ante on his debut sound, went all in, and won everyone at the table.

2 – rainy day

Wrapping up this single is “rainy day“. Now, the tone changes completely.

Longing guitars play in the background, reverberating as the melancholic bassline leads the way in this nostalgic soundscape.

It had been a while since Furukawa had brought over a rock tune into his CDs and “rainy day” ended up scratching that itch to listen to him performing rock music.

The verses have a comfortable tempo, with the drums going to the toms for extra drama as the guitars play with a lot of reverb in the background. The soundscape in front of you really feels like a rainy day in which you just sit around reminiscing about life. It is emotional but not overly.

The bridge slows down the song, providing Makoto Furukawa with a clear, clean, and simple stage to take over and power through with his warm, mellowed-out vibrato.

What a song and an awesome return to performing rock music by Furukawa.


Final considerations

To celebrate his 5th anniversary as a solo artist, singer, and lyricist Makoto Furukawa took the stage under the concept of “going back to his roots”.

This enabled “Place your bets” to come full circle with his debut single “Miserable Masquerade”, picking up from that story and developing into one of revenge all under the dim lights of an elegant jazz venue.

There are neat details going on in the composition that reference or take parts from the composition of “Miserable Masquerade” into this song. I feel like this is a crafty approach to this celebration, finally giving the opportunity of revenge for what the woman in the debut music video was doing by keeping Furukawa captive.

This is also a stylish approach to the concept of “revenge”, being extremely alluring and elegant throughout while keeping to itself the mystery regarding the outcome of the story.

With Satoru Kuwabara back into the composition team – simultaneously with his role as Furukawa’s producer -, fans get to experience the wacky unpredictably not only of jazz music but also of his compositions. As always, the bassline is a massive feature in Kuwabara’s compositions and here it did not disappoint. The bassline is otherworldly and fully deserves your attention.

At the same time, kudos to Makoto Furukawa that not only putting a lot of effort into crafting unique, engaging stories in his lyrics tying up with the very first lyrics he wrote as a solo artist, making everything come full circle.

Furukawa continues to show that he is a really smart and crafty lyricist and I honestly would love to hear more and more of his stories in future releases. I feel like when he pens lyrics to his songs, those are the ones that shine to me the most (even without checking the credits).

“rainy day” brought back Furukawa’s rock music. And if you noticed, his music is never “happy” in and of itself (yes, even despite how fun and upbeat jazz or rock can be) and this time around, this song is no different.

The indie-rock tone to this song with post-rock influences going on in the guitar (that confer this song with s longing, nostalgic vibe) is a big feature. The vocals are solemn, carrying a lot of emotion but quite controlled in their output.

I personally love it when Furukawa takes the stage and performs rock music. It is a nice contrast to his jazz style of performance yet it fits his raspy baritone voice like a glove.

In 5 years, Makoto Furukawa’s fans got to go through a unique journey through mature love, darkness, powerful performances, unique soundscapes, and music and stories that made us all want more and more.

His singing has evolved a lot. As time passed, Furukawa’s voice got naturally lower but that didn’t stop him from trying to tap into places in his range that he had never tried to delve before.

Right now he has a booming vibrato but also a seductive falsetto and a good grasp of his higher range that enables him to perform with more emotion and variety, keeping his music even more interesting while opening doors for him to try different things.

“Place your bets” – the single – is a concise summary of everything Furukawa has done so far and, at the same time, a single with a hopeful tone, a tone of “continuation”, that makes me look excitedly forward to the future CD releases in his career.


Place your bets” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


“Place your bets” is available for streaming on Spotify.


Do not support piracy. Remember to support Makoto Furukawa by streaming via official outlets.

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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).

4 COMMENTS

  1. Also, I tried submitting this to your Monthly Reviews last July, but the website kept on having errors whenver I tried to submit this, so I don’t know if you have read this, so I’ll just leave this here

    Makoto Furukawa’s “Place your bets” single

    It’s his fifth anniversary release with a lot of callbacks to Miserable Masquerade, with a full MV available on Youtube, to boot!

    It represents Furukawa’s growth as a seiyuu artist — going back to his roots but also showing his improvements. He had mentioned that it has become more natural for him to write lyrics now compared when he was just starting out: that before he was being told to write “filler” sentences / phrases to fill the “gaps” in his lyrics.

    “Place your bets” also has the same chords as MiseMasu but they played with different melodies. Furukawa also is bolder in using English in his lyrics. His approach to singing this track is fiercer too — a great distinction from his style in MiseMasu, reflecting his story in Place Your Bets as the speaker’s revenge arc.

    The MV itself is stylish too, and shows Furukawa’s sexiness, and there seems to be symbolisms with a lot of the MV’s elements — from the number of players (two against one), some of the cards picked (4 for death, etc.), Makonyan’s Joker card :D, the Old Maid game, and that everything seems to be in pairs… except THE REAL old maid :D. But when our group of Furukawa fans watched the MV premiere, we also can’t help but to laugh at his choice of game, like, Old Maid with high stakes? And what are the chips for? AHAHAHAHA We were fangirling for how Furukawa the whole MV is 😀

    rainy day is a very lighthearted, pop-rock tune made for everyone, as the theme of it is also something everyone can relate to — remembering an old friend and wondering where they are now. It seems Furukawa also intended for it to be easy to follow to with penlights (which could be connected to his upcoming live). His singing is also warm and gentle — really like speaking with an old friend — compared to PyB. The drumbeat / rhythm at the first part kinda reminded me of Hirakawa Daisuke’s Nowhere but Now Here song which made me think that “oh, this is really for everyone”.

    • Yeah, even the code error on the website caught me by surprise. Apologies about that but now everything should be up and running again! Thanks for leaving the comment here and for taking the time to submit such a detailed overview of this special single!

  2. Good evening, Admin! Thank you for your lovely review of Makoto Furukawa’s singles as always! I am aware that he’s one of your favorite seiyuu-artist (probably only second to your bias Souma Saito), so I can’t help wonder where you got the information that Furukawa-san didn’t write the lyrics to Miserable Masquerade (as you’ve made that claim for some time now whenever MiseMas is mentioned)? Did he mention it in some interview or somewhere?

    I am really puzzled, since even in the highlight medley, he was credited as the lyricist of ALL songs in the MM single:
    https://youtu.be/lxuSzEMqKzI?si=FTanP9LsbkbEqdB2

    It is also written here in VGMDB that he wrote the lyrics to the three songs in the single:
    https://vgmdb.net/album/99823

    I hope you can clear up this matter. Thank you very much!

    • Hi Dali!! Thank you so much for your comment! You are indeed right, he did write Miserable Masquerade (actually, all songs in it, which was surprising at that time as most rookie seiyuu artists don’t write lyrics to their music). In this case, I was ended up mistaking it with “Chizu ga nakutte…”, in which he didn’t write the title track. Given how much information I am dealing with on this website, it is bound to happen – mistakes like this one, even for my favorite seiyuu artists – so thank you so much for pointing this out! Consider that corrected in this review and also, thanks for checking this review out!
      It’s awesome to see love for Makonyan’s music so please keep on supporting him!!

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

“Place your bets”
rainy day

SUMMARY

Over the past five years, Makoto Furukawa's fans have been treated to a unique journey through mature love, dark emotions, powerful performances, distinct soundscapes, and stories that leave us yearning for more. His singing style has matured considerably, with his voice naturally deepening over time. However, this change hasn't deterred him from exploring uncharted areas of his range. Now sporting a resonant vibrato, a seductive falsetto, and adeptness in his higher register, Furukawa adds more emotion and variety to his performances, ensuring his music remains captivating while allowing him to venture into different territories. "Place your bets" encapsulates Furukawa's musical journey thus far while radiating a hopeful tone of continuation. It ignites anticipation for the upcoming releases in his career.

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Over the past five years, Makoto Furukawa's fans have been treated to a unique journey through mature love, dark emotions, powerful performances, distinct soundscapes, and stories that leave us yearning for more. His singing style has matured considerably, with his voice naturally deepening over time. However, this change hasn't deterred him from exploring uncharted areas of his range. Now sporting a resonant vibrato, a seductive falsetto, and adeptness in his higher register, Furukawa adds more emotion and variety to his performances, ensuring his music remains captivating while allowing him to venture into different territories. "Place your bets" encapsulates Furukawa's musical journey thus far while radiating a hopeful tone of continuation. It ignites anticipation for the upcoming releases in his career.Review | Makoto Furukawa "Place your bets"