MEZZO’s “kizuna” is a cozy and warm single that features sweet performances from the duo but lacks the quality of previous entries.
Title: キズナ (kizuna) Label: Lantis Release date: 08/03/2023 Genre: Ballad/Pop
1 - キズナ 2 - フォトフレーム 3 - キズナ (Off Vocal) 4 - フォトフレーム (Off Vocal)
Track by track analysis:
1 – キズナ (kizuna)
Acoustic guitar riffs and bright piano melodies open the curtains for “kizuna”.
Despite its grandiose entrance, this tune is rather contained in its presentation, with a mid-tempo semi-acoustic pop-rock sound that gives off a sweet vibe.
The verses ride on top of that comfortable tempo, with the bassline and drums leading the way. In the background piano melodies and delicate strings hits join in, creating the brunt of this tune.
When the chorus arrives, drums go splashy, there is timpani added for heightened drama and the guitars join in, further fleshing out the emotional performance that listeners are presented with.
On the vocal end, KENN and Atsushi Abe go for a sweet performance that showcases their harmony as a group, at the same time that each delivers emotional and technical individual performances. KENN brings a unique mix of breathy and raspy mid-tones while Abe glides through the performance in smooth mid-tones carrying a lot of emotion.
Short and sweet, “kizuna” opens this single in an impactful way.
2 – フォトフレーム (Photo Frame)
And wrapping up this release is “Photo frame”, the highlight of this single.
Slowly and carefully, acoustic guitars and a dreamy piano paint a beautiful, melancholic soundscape. Listening to this song feels like being lullabied by MEZZO. The instrumental is warm and cozy while being simple.
As the tension slowly rises, we enter the chorus, and strings and drums join in, adding more drama and unbottling those emotions that, up until then, were being handled with care.
When the second verse arrives, legato strings and tip-toeing piano melodies join in, enriching the already beautiful soundscape in front of you.
This simplicity in the composition is complemented by a gentle, emotional performance by KENN and Atsushi Abe. Both have shown countless times just how good they sound when performing ballads and this on it is no different.
Their gentle vocals and emotional approach to the lyrics make “Photo Frame” a song that can be a tear-jerker for some fans of the group.
MEZZO’s “kizuna” is all about its warm, cozy vibes and sweet performances.
The title track brought a gentle semi-acoustic pop sound that leaves more than enough space available in the soundscape for MEZZO’s vocals to shine.
However, the song that shines in this release is “Photo Frame”.
Just from its gentle intro, with the legato strings in the background, as the acoustic guitars slowly guide you by the hand, you can tell just how sweet this acoustic ballad is going to be.
And indeed, it is a song that can turn into a tear-jerker due to how deeply emotional are the performances by Atsushi Abe and KENN.
There is something I love about MEZZO and, in a way, have associated with them since their debut: powerful ballads. This duo shines in these types of songs instead of the bubbly, happy type of time like “kizuna” – that while it sounds good it is, at the same time, rather generic in comparison to their ballad performances.
So, the performance they deliver in “Photo Frame” is exactly what I was expecting of them, with them showcasing their emotional range in what seems to be a simple song.
All in all, while not MEZZO’s best single to date, it still has the quality on the vocal end that listeners are used to while delivering one of the sweetest ballads in their repertoire with “Photo Frame”.
“kizuna” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.
“kizuna” is available for streaming on Spotify.
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