Review | Ouka Kira “pearl×peridot”

VAZZROCK

Ouka Kira goes for an emotional set of songs that mix shredding rock with what is now one of the most beautiful ballads in the VAZZROCK franchise.

VAZZY consists of Tarusuke Shingaki (leader), Yusuke Kobayashi, Masahiro Yamanaka, Yusuke Shirai, Tsubasa Sasa, Shun Horie.

ROCK DOWN consists of Yukitoshi Kikuchi (leader), Yoshiaki Hasegawa, Takuya Sato, Taito Ban,Takuya Masumoto, Keisuke Koumoto.


Title: 吉良凰香-pearl×peridot-
Label: Tsukipro/Movic 
Release date: 25/06/2021
Genre: Rock/Ballad

Tracklist:

1 - ドラマ「笑わないキミ」 
2 - ドラマ「笑うキミ」 
3 - Strict Proof (Kira solo)
4 - キミを見つめて  (duet song)
5 - Strict Proof -off vocal- 
6 - キミを見つめて -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

3 – Strict Proof

A distant, looping synth arpeggio leads the way in the intense rock tune “Strict Proof”. Dirty guitar riffs signal that you’re in for a treat, with bassy drums and a slap bassline soon after taking over this track.

The verses are powerful with low guitar riffs and a focus put on an explosive bass sound, all making quite the impact.

Although the verses are not fast-paced, tension rises as you get closer to the chorus, the instrumental gradually picks up the pace, hyping you up in anticipation of a shredding chorus.

The pre-chorus is slightly softer, toning down that speed to welcome a crafty build-up on the drums into the strong chorus.

On the vocals, Yusuke Kobayashi is performing in a lower key than usual, complementing the powerful, deep sound in the instrumental yet still retaining that clear tenor edge to his vocals.

4 – キミを見つめて

To wrap up this CD is the piano-led ballad “Kimi o mitsumete”. And what a song this one is!

Accompanied by a melancholic piano only, Yusuke Kobayashi sweetly trails through the lyrics with a care that will sound cozy to the listener. The first part of the 1st verse is clear and emotionally raw.

As Shun Horie joins in with his low raspy tenor vocals – this is a unique thing of Horie’s -, delicate strings, acoustic guitars and bassy drums join in, creating one of the sweetest soundscapes you can find in the VAZZROCK franchise.

When the chorus arrives, you’re left with goosebumps all over as Kobayashi and Horie’s vocals are gentle, melancholic, and overflowing with love on top of this emotional instrumental.

Sweet and emotive, this is the highlight of this CD.


Final considerations

After a set of ballads, it was nice to finally get Ouka Kira performing a shredding rock tune yet, still nodding at ballads.

What listeners get in “pearl x peridot” is a set of songs with contrasting natures.

Strict Proof” is aggressive and intense even if Kobayashi’s vocals are still soft, even as he tries to tap into faux baritone range.

And “Kimi o mitsumete” is a beautiful ballad that has simplicity at its core for the instrumental, leaving the pouring of emotions for what is a dream lineup – Yusuke Kobayashi and Shun Horie.

What you get is, easily, one of the sweetest performances in the VAZZROCK franchise to date. At the same time, you have a fantastic display of control and technique on the vocal end as both tenors didn’t shy at all from impressing you with their emotional range.

This is the kind of song that feels like a warm blanket on your back as someone lullabies you. It is that cozy and gentle.

All in all, Ouka Kira’s “pearl x peridot” is a vast upgrade from his entry in the 2nd season of the bi-color CD series.

Rock is more prominent in this one but there is still that unique emotional edge that Kira’s songs always have, making it a complete entry.


pearl×peridot” 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

Strict Proof
キミを見つめて

SUMMARY

Ouka Kira's "pearl x peridot" has the perfect balance between aggressive, fast-paced rock music and emotional, beautiful ballads. For the solo track "Strict Proof" you'll find yourself headbanging to the intense guitar riffs and explosive guitars. When the time comes for “Kimi o mitsumete", you're swept off your feet with what is the best ballad to date in the VAZZROCK franchise, counting with a dream duet between Yusuke Kobayashi and Shun Horie. The contrasting charms in “pearl x peridot” are striking and engaging, showcasing Yusuke Kobayashi's versatility on the vocal end while staying true to Ouka Kira's trademark introspective and emotional sound.

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Ouka Kira's "pearl x peridot" has the perfect balance between aggressive, fast-paced rock music and emotional, beautiful ballads. For the solo track "Strict Proof" you'll find yourself headbanging to the intense guitar riffs and explosive guitars. When the time comes for “Kimi o mitsumete", you're swept off your feet with what is the best ballad to date in the VAZZROCK franchise, counting with a dream duet between Yusuke Kobayashi and Shun Horie. The contrasting charms in “pearl x peridot” are striking and engaging, showcasing Yusuke Kobayashi's versatility on the vocal end while staying true to Ouka Kira's trademark introspective and emotional sound.Review | Ouka Kira "pearl×peridot"