The vibes are good, the passion is real and the songs in “Paradox Live Shuffle Team Show vol.2” make quite the flashy entrance in what is one of the best CDs by the franchise.
Note: like all other Paradox Live reviews on this website, this review only covers the music (composition, instrumentals, and vocals) not the story in the franchise
Title: Paradox Live Shuffle Team Show vol.2 Label: Tsukipro/Movic Release date: 27/10/2021 Genre: Hip-hop
1 - The Sound Of Voltage (SUZAKU & KANATA) 2 - Why do you like me?? (Beauty & Beast) 3 - Rats & Nobles (48 & cozmez) 4 - Double Trouble (Double Trouble) 5 - CHILLIN' (Hokusai with Akan Kyattsura)
1 - Voice Drama "SUZAKU & KANATA" 2 - Voice Drama "Beauty & Beast" 3 - Voice Drama "48 & cozmez" 4 - Voice Drama "Double Trouble" 5 - Voice Drama "北斎 with あかんキャッツら"
Track by track analysis:
1 – The Sound Of Voltage
Thunder strikes and with it comes to a hard-hitting trap tune with a dark edge. The blend between Suzaku’s loud and proud sound and Kanata’s dark and violent vibe blend creates this mind-bending tune.
The verses shift from the brassy, punchy bass sound for Suzaku and the minimalistic dark sound for Kanata giving way to a thunderous performance that is as addictive as memorable.
Bloody awesome rapping going on by Gakuto Kajiwara and Yusuke Kobayashi. This duo did not shy away with their performance. You have the power and aggression that is characteristic of both with Suzaku’s rapping style being loud and flashy while Kanata’s is dark, intense, and introspective. Both together work like a charm for “The Sound Of Voltage”.
Powerful and imposing, “The sound of voltage” is the opening track we all deserve.
2 – Why do you like me??
Things change around for the dreamy tune “Why do you like me??”. This is, quite possibly, one of the sweetest songs released so far in the Paradox Live franchise.
The blend between the pop smoothness of BAE’s music with the danceable, passionate sound that is an Akkan Yatsura trademark creates a beautiful soundscape overflowing with passion and care.
This is the first time for the franchise to bring forth such a gentle sound yet then again, given the story going on in the lyrics (and between the two characters), that was to be, in a way, expected.
The downtempo beat and washy bassy synths create an intimate vibe for this tune, leaving the spotlight for 96Neko and Tasuku Hatanaka to soulfully perform this song.
“Why do you love me??” ends up being a surprise in this CD, standing tall as one of its best songs.
3 – Rats & Nobles
Bring out the dark trap vibes for “Rats & Nobles”, one of the most intense songs in this album.
The snary beat is hard-hitting, the bassline reverberates and distorts in the background, and dreamy, broken glockenspiel melodies play in the background as guitar hits sweep through the soundscape.
The sound around you is dark, grim, and dirty with contrasting melodic vocals on top – and contradictory aggression and strong attitude in the lyrics -, creating a unique performance befitting of these 3 amazing rappers.
4 – Double Trouble
Things change around for “Double Trouble”, song that brings a funky, groovy sound to the spotlight.
The influences of The Cat’s Whiskers’ jazz-hop sound can instantly be felt in the jazzy piano melody leading the way however, there are Akkan Yatsura’s vibes going on – although more reserved – in the instrumental. The honky tonk piano melody and shuffle beat bring those danceable, freeing vibes from Akkan Yatsura’s music into this track.
The verses flow in a comfortable way riding on a mid-tempo bassline and shuffle beat. On top, listeners find a unique blend of jazzy pianos – from bright to rhodes and honky tonk – creating a lead melody that is groovy and fancy at the same time.
The chorus is quite simple, feeding off the energy in the verses and only slightly cranking up the tension for the dual performance that awaits you.
On the vocal end, the roughness in Yuu Hayashi and Takayuki Kondo’s vocals adds a layer of danger and recklessness to the performance, something that feels and sounds cool throughout.
Yet another top tune in this release.
5 – CHILLIN’
And to wrap up this CD you will find “CHILLIN’”, song that quiets things down, bringing forth a laidback sound led by a hopeful piano melody.
Expect a slow-paced, hard-hitting bassy beat, brass hits, and a simple piano melody to create a wide, happy soundscape for you to enjoy.
On the vocal end, you will find Natsuki Hanae, Shunichi Toki, Shogo Yano, and Junta Terashima. The vibes are cool, the rapping is slow-paced and simple and when the chorus arrives, the harmonies are smooth and feel good.
When this song wraps up, all the tension that the other songs in this CD had built up to is extinguished. Just sit back and enjoy the good vibes.
“Paradox Live Shuffle Team Show vol.2” is yet another awesome entry that shows just how everything in the Paradox Live franchise is so well defined.
Each member has a consistent story, style, and vibe surrounding their rap and music. Each member nods and winks at their team’s sound through their performances but they still retain a unique vibe and personality.
This is something that few 2D music projects do well, especially when it comes to shuffle releases.
So, right off the bat, I am impressed with the uniqueness of all performances and the little details that you can associate with each member as well as the nods they make to their teams in the little details in the composition.
I absolutely love the dark trap and future bass vibes opening up this album. Suzaku and Kanata’s “The Sound Of Voltage” is intense and incredibly violent.
The unique mix of the loud and proud sound that is BAE’s staple and the dark and aggressive sound that is all that cozmez is about is really awesome.
Now, what I was not expecting was what I found in “Why do you like me??”. This is a sweet, passionate R&B-meets-Caribbean pop tune with a dreamy vibe. For a franchise so focused on each group leaving its mark, this song arrives as a black sheep.
Honestly, reading the title and knowing just enough about the two characters in question was enough for me to predict the song would be going the passionate route however, having such a sweet sound? I was not expecting that but I’m so glad we actually can enjoy such a laidback, gentle sound in a franchise that is, otherwise, quite violent and intense.
This is the song that ended up being on repeat for me despite how awesome all others on this CD are.
“Rats & Nobles” is everything I wanted and more from a lineup comprised of 48 and cozmez. Intense, aggressive, and with an imposing downtempo trap sound. This is a performance that I believe will have fans going back to it time and time again. This is, easily, my favorite song in this CD.
“Double Trouble” was actually more mellower than I expected given the attitude that both characters have. Still it is quite the awesome tune that blends the fancy jazz vibes from The Cat’s Whiskers and perfects those with a dash of freedom from Akkan Yatsura’s music.
And to wrap up listeners will find “CHILLIN’”, song that fits so well within this CD, especially as a wrap-up to it. You can feel all the tension seeping through and dissipating as you take in those cool, chill vibes from the instrumental.
While it is far from being the best song in this CD, this is, for sure, one of the best ways to wrap up a CD as intense as this one.
All in all, “Paradox Live Shuffle Team Show vol.2” shows yet again the quality of the Paradox Live franchise from the songs even down to the performances.
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