Review | Miyu Irino “NO CONCEPT”

Miyu Irino’s “NO CONCEPT” is all about the songs it brings to the spotlight, outcasts from previous releases that, at times, add a dash of brilliance to Irino’s repertoire.

Regular edition
Label: Kiramune
Release date: 09/11/2022
Genre: Pop/Rock/Funk

Tracklist (regular edition only):

1 - Atarimae 
2 - Super Candy Funk :) 
3 - FUN!!! 
4 - Party
5 - ライフダンサー
6 - Just give me the love

Track by track analysis:

1 – Atarimae 

Miyu Irino kicks off “NO CONCEPT” with a jolly sound in which playful piano melodies and deep synths coexist in “Atarimae”.

The tone is upbeat, the vibes are good and the instrumental has good, comfortable pacing in the verses. Listening to these verses is quite an interesting exercise as you go through what is a feeling akin to pure joy in those. 

In comparison to previously released songs by Irino, this song is unusually happy, and it kind of feels good to experience it.

While the verses are a mix of quiet and bubbly, funky goodness, the same can’t be said about the chorus. From the pre-chorus to the first instances in the chorus, there is too much going on and the soundscape gets crowded quite fast with elements that don’t necessarily match, at least, not in those sound levels. The mixing could have been better in the intro part of the chorus, given how quite distracting it is now.

The second verse goes semi-acoustic for the very first part before adding legato synths emulating strings, carrying over the song to yet another chorus. A nice detail to have a saxophone wrapping up this song, adding a unique flavor to the outro.

On the vocal end, Miyu Irino glides through this performance bringing an upbeat, happy vibe to this song, and enhancing the happy tone of the instrumental. There are moments of brilliance, especially in the bridge but aside from that, this is a rather simple performance that feels okay right from the start.

2 – Super Candy Funk :) 

Bringing out the funky vibes, fancy vocals, and crazy synths for “Super Candy Funk :)”, is the very first time that Miyu Irino experiments with acid-jazz, and what an experience this one is!

“Super Candy Funk :)” starts with muffled vocals, a punchy bassline playing at quite a fast pace, and fancy drums leading the way, bringing the flamboyance and unpredictability of jazz to the spotlight.

The intermission is pure bliss, especially if you love piano or rhodes piano melodies. The rhodes piano takes the center stage and delivers a melody so beautiful that you will think – for a moment – that you’ve transitioned to another song yet… you are still listening to the same track.

The outro solo is also led by keys, this time around glitchy, bassy synths as the bassline and drums go absolutely bonkers in the background.

Glitchy synths join in as the syncopated drums go their own route, creating quite the disruptive sound that will have listeners trying to guess what is going to happen next. 

This alone is such a nice touch however, I am quite aware it is going to make it quite the niche favorite even among Irino’s fans due to its sheer crazy, unpredictable vibes.

On the vocal end, Miyu Irino mixes insanely technical mid-tones in clean voice and low rapping, creating a unique performance that matches the unpredictability of the instrumental.

3 – FUN!!! 

FUN!!! brings back Miyu Irino’s pop-rock sound to the spotlight. Guitar’s melodies are melancholic and the drums are playful in contrast, with Irino’s voice going loud and high to flesh out those emotions.

The chorus is as raw as you’d expect given the build-up to the chorus. The guitars are unclean, there is some distortion going on in those while the drums pound on the warm, bass-tuned snare. As guitar melodies drag and echo in the background, that nostalgia seeps in, taking you back to the freeing chorus.

As I listened to this song, and especially while putting a lot of focus on the outro of this song, it is noticeable that Miyu Irino was heavily inspired by both 50s and late 90s rock. It is simplistic at its core but carries a lot of emotion on top of its raw instrumental.

While far from being a standout song in this CD or even Irino’s repertoire “FUN!!!” adds a necessary intermission to what is, so far, an eclectic mini-album.

4 – Party

And you and I move on to “Party”, song that brings back funk to center stage.

This is a full-on 70s-inspired funk tune, going all out in wah-wah guitars, bringing fancy brass to the spotlight with the trombone leading the way and stylish rhodes piano and clean piano melodies. The bassline is as punchy as you’d expect from a funk tune, bringing in a lot of groove for this performance.

The pre-chorus brings R&B to this song with Miyu Irino going insanely melodic as the instrumental groovily pounds in the background, creating a warm, fun yet mature soundscape for you to lose yourself in.

Can we talk about the guitar solo and following 808 drums machine-led pre-final chorus? This is the best part of this song, with Miyu Irino going all out in his vocals, going high, and low, and adding ad-libs while bringing head voice into the mix. When you notice, you’re already in the outro, jamming to this song and wanting it to never end.

Stellar tune and a much-needed dash of style to this mini-album.

5 – ライフダンサー

Life Dancer” kicks off slowly and groovily, bringing only a fancy synth, a simple beat, and a couple of disruptive metal-like sounds complementing the sound in the background. 

The verses are brief and groovy, putting the full spotlight on Irino’s vocals, and you really need to pay closer attention as this is a performance like no other in his repertoire.

This song creates quite an open, beautiful soundscape for you. The chorus is quite open and breathy, with Miyu Irino at center stage, open arms singing freely. It feels so good to listen to this part.

As far as the performance goes, Miyu Irino raps in the verses and brings clean singing to the chorus. 

This dynamic, paired with the fancy piano melody-led instrumental and atmospheric synths helps flesh out this joyful, warm tune into one of the best songs in the mini-album.

6 – Just give me the love

This mini-album wraps up with “Just give me the love”, song that brings a fancy piano sound and funky guitars leading the way before opening the curtains to this warm and passionate soundscape featuring a band at center stage alongside a gospel-style choir and Miyu Irino’s charismatic self on the mic.

This song has strong broadway vibes and I’m all for it. It is fancy and funky in the verses, basking in its slow-paced, bass-driven sound while taking you to a cozy seat to fully appreciate everything that is happening in this intimate venue.

The chorus stands out the most to me as it goes all out in its emotions bringing powerful backing vocals alongside Irino’s fancy mix of head voice and clean high vocals.

One thing that may go under the radar for many people is how impressive the work on the drums is for this song. Those are relentless, making sure that the sound is tight at all times and doesn’t take away the spotlight from the vocals but, at the same time, are in charge of impressing the listener in the outro with what is quite the technical display in there. 

Vocally, Miyu Irino checks all the right boxes in this performance. He is singing this song 90% in head voice, something that is insanely difficult to do and maintain for such a long time. 

Easily the best song on this CD with one of the most technical performances I’ve had the pleasure of listening to in 2022.

Final considerations

Miyu Irino really kept true to the mini-album’s title. “NO CONCEPT” is a collection of songs that feel like different memories that, in some way, didn’t find their way to previous releases of his.

There are a couple of new things going on in this CD. First off, the dynamic on the vocals: singing and rapping have almost equal air time with Irino showing that he does have the flow and groove for rap adding to his insanely technical singing technique.

Then, acid-jazz made its way to this CD, being the first time that Irino actually ventures into that musical territory. 

Super Candy Funk 🙂” is a bonkers song by Irino’s standards, completely straying away from both his sound and style but also bringing a layer of fun and unpredictability to this mini-album that was more than welcomed. And let’s not forget that this is not an easy song to perform and Irino was, yet again, showing that he is quite versatile, being able to tackle this song at will and sounding almost effortless.

And then there were some returning sounds and music genres making their comeback, something that put a massive smile on my face while, at the same time, I felt like these songs actually belonged to some of Irino’s previous releases.

FUN!!!” seems like a song taken from “Dare to Dream”. “Life Dancer” is a perfect fit for “CHEERS” whereas “Party” and “Give me the love” are perfect fits for “Live Your Dream”. Alas, you and I get these songs in this album and they wrap it up in the best way possible after a kind of dodgy opening with “Atarimae”.

Funk and nu-disco seem to be the sweet spot for Irino’s music right now, being music genres in which has been expressing himself freely while having a load of fun in the process. It is also in the quiet, oftentimes fancy, and mature performances in both music genres that Irino can go crazy on his vocal range and deliver performances like in “Give me the love” which is 90% performed in head voice.

There is no doubt that Miyu Irino is one of the best singers among male seiyuu. No doubt here. 

Yet, with the mini-album being quite experimental, there were some missed opportunities to impress or even having a conducting thread between releases for the change to not be as dramatic on the vocal end as it is from “CHEERS” to “NO CONCEPT”. 

All in all, “NO CONCEPT” stays true to its name. It is a collection of disjointed songs that could have been part of other releases in Miyu Irino’s repertoire. It is a collection of songs that go through what seems to be pure joy and happiness. 

This is a mini-album that doesn’t start as strongly as previous releases but wraps so strongly and with so many “WOW” moments that is more than worth your time.

“NO CONCEPT” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

NO CONCEPT” is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support the Miyu Irino by streaming via official outlets.

Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silva
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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Super Candy Funk :) 
Just give me the love


“NO CONCEPT” stays true to its name. It is a collection of disjointed songs that could have been part of other releases in Miyu Irino’s repertoire. It is a collection of songs that go through what seems to be pure joy and happiness. This is a mini-album that doesn’t start as strongly as previous releases but wraps so strongly and with so many “WOW” moments that is more than worth your time.

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“NO CONCEPT” stays true to its name. It is a collection of disjointed songs that could have been part of other releases in Miyu Irino’s repertoire. It is a collection of songs that go through what seems to be pure joy and happiness. This is a mini-album that doesn’t start as strongly as previous releases but wraps so strongly and with so many “WOW” moments that is more than worth your time.Review | Miyu Irino "NO CONCEPT"