Mamoru Miyano doesn’t shy away from impressing with an emotional and complete single filled with highlights in “Toumei“.
Title: 透明 Release date: 26/05/2021 Label: KING RECORDS Genre: Pop / Ballad / R&B
1 - 透明
2 - 残照
3 - Question
Track by track analysis:
1 – 透明
An emotional piano melody makes its somber entrance for “Toumei”. Each note hits like a ripple in the water, delicate, beautiful, and sweet.
The verses bring a simplistic bassline and percussion combo into it as well as chamber music elements with pizzicato strings, and harp adding classic beauty to this track.
The build-up to the chorus is simple yet carrying so much emotion that when the dynamics change and the strings take over, creating a wide soundscape, you notice that your emotions are bare.
And Mamoru Miyano delivers an outstanding performance overflowing with emotion.
The way he delicately tackles those lyrics – penned by the awesome Maaya Sakamoto – and delivers those in a lullabyish, crystal clear way yet with so much power, is something that attests to his technique and quality as a singer, especially for ballads.
A mesmerizing track that will make goosebumps all over you.
2 – 残照
“Zanshou” changes things around in terms of tone and brings to the spotlight an upbeat piano melody, playful guitar riffs and synths.
The verses are loungy, with a punchy bassline spreading good vibes and making you want to hit the dancefloor.
The simplicity in this pop tune with funky influences stands out not only for its quality – with quick verses and even quicker choruses that are straightforward and fun – but also in the way those put the spotlight on Mamoru Miyano’s falsetto, a technique he makes great use of in this song.
The piano melodies and bassy percussion add an extra layer of good vibes to this track and, before you notice it, you’ll be grinning like a fool.
Entertaining from start to finish when capitalizing on Miyano’s bubbly and heartwarming vibe to really put a smile on your face, “Zanshou” easily stands out in this single.
3 – Question
Wrapping up this single is the song “Question”. And what a massive change in tone this track is!
The bassline is massive, deep, and dirty, almost aggressive while focusing on bringing a bit of funk to the spotlight.
The verses are simple, however always with a big focus on bassy synths and its punchy bassline. This, everyone, is Mamoru Miyano tackling space disco music and he does it so, so well.
The chorus is explosive and capitalizes on the slightly alluring and intense vibe going on in the verses. The dynamics change and Miyano’s vocals shift from muffled to clear ones, dazzling you with his charismatic performance.
There are a couple of details on his performance that stand out to me, especially the pitch vocals that really go high and breathy – those may have been heavily processed (seems like it) – but sit so well as an accent to Miyano’s overall sweet baritone vocals.
This is the perfect time and place to say: what a banger!
Mamoru Miyano seems to have found his groove yet again, pulling off a flawless single. This is the quality he’s used his fans to but that, in recent years, had been slightly watered down through several experiments with other music genres while focusing on catering to his international fans.
In “Toumei” – the single -, listeners will get to experience 3 polarizing styles of performances and songs by Mamoru Miyano and oh man, this was so good.
It still has Miyano’s trademark style, it also caters to international fans with a song obviously with a Western pop vibe and it still showcases his talents as a singer. This is a good balance that makes the best out of his strengths as a solo artist.
The title track “Toumei” is a ballad with a couple of stripped-down sections. To add some dynamic to it and further enhance the emotional lyrics, the instrumental includes as well chamber music giving it a refined twist. To top it all off, there’s a hauntingly beautiful performance by Miyano wrapping everything up perfectly.
Once again, it is worth mentioning and commending Maaya Sakamoto for the outstanding lyrics she wrote and that Miyano gave life to through a crystal-clear performance carrying a lot of power and emotion.
“Zanshou” is a trademark “feel good” song by Miyano. It is playful, laidback, and made to put a smile on your face. Certainly one song that will shine on a live setting with its good vibes.
And “Question” arrives as the biggest surprise in this single.
First of all, I was not expecting Miyano would actually embrace space disco music – a hybrid music genre that fuses atmospheric music, electronica, and disco with a big focus on bass – and give it a shot. I’m an absolute sucker for this genre as it is elegant and minimalistic while cranking up the bass elements to the top to give it a punchy groove.
Fans will be perfectly aware that Miyano does have his fair share of funky tunes but none comes as close to this dreamy yet insanely addictive vibe while keeping things pretty ethereal. This was the perfect track to wrap up this single in style.
All in all, “Toumei” is Mamoru Miyano’s best single in years. A massive upgrade that finds Miyano fine-tuning his music into a mature blend of trademark tunes, trendy tunes, and tracks that highlight his singing skills.
Masterful addition to his repertoire.
Toumei is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.