Review | QUELL “YOUR FREEDOM”

QUELL

QUELL‘s trademark dreamy minimalistic EDM sound meets drum & bass and the results are astounding in “YOUR FREEDOM“. Outstanding vocals add the cherry on top.

Title: YOUR FREEDOM
Label: Tsukipro/Movic 
Release date: 23/04/2021 (digital) / 09/07/2021 (physical)
Genre: Minimalistic electronica / Drum & Bass

Tracklist:

1 - YOUR FREEDOM
2 - YOUR FREEDOM -off vocal-

Track analysis:

1 – YOUR FREEDOM

QUELL make their comeback as a 4-piece group with “YOUR FREEDOM”, song that brings to the spotlight dirty synths on top of their ethereal mix of pop with minimalistic EDM.

The verses are breathy, with pulsing synths and a minimalistic bass synth line in the background.

The pre-chorus has a bit of darkness to it, going the dirty synths route and tightening the synths in a suffocating hold that is only let go in the explosive chorus.

When you think that QUELL has already tried everything, there comes yet another fresh new take on their music.

Composer Takeshi Hama went all out for this song and crafted this futuristic and airy song with no match among Tsukipro’s groups – nor among any other 2D group outside of the franchise.

This is a unique song with quite a lot going on in the background. I love the percussion that is added in the outro, adding another energy boost to a song that is pure energy from start to finish. In the chorus, the percussion has the intensity and power of drum & bass in it, another awesome element in this song.

The song counts with a break between the 1st chorus and the 2nd verse, something that arrives as completely unexpected and makes me think that, perhaps, this will be a place for the group to go for a dance break in a live setting.  

Vocals are another department in which QUELL excel and in “YOUR FREEDOM” they may not be belting high notes but their mid-tones, harmonies, and ad-libs are in top form.

Sho Nogami and Koutaro Nishiyama have improved a lot their performances, now showcasing a lot of control over their voice tones, performing their roles within the group with impressive accuracy and quality.

Although this may come across as a minimal detail, pay attention to your right ear when listening to the song. In the background, in the outro, Sho Nogami and Shugo Nakamura are performing insanely high notes there.

These are covered by the lead vocals performing in the front but are such a nice detail that showcases the talents within this group.

Shunsuke Takeuchi and Shugo Nakamura continue to be the powerhouse belters in the group covering contrasting yet complementary vocal ranges (Takeuchi in baritone/bass and Nakamura in High Baritone/Tenor).

As a unit, QUELL’s members are at their best, having matured into a team that can cover a wide vocal range, adapt to various music genres, and always meets the high-quality standards of the instrumentals crafted by Takeshi Hama.

Top marks in a song that makes me wish there was more QUELL music to be released soon – well, it’ll be for TSUKIPRO the animation 2, but the wait is still quite long – to enjoy completely new, refreshing takes on EDM and pop music as well as the vocals of what I consider to be one of the best 2D groups in the music industry.


This is going to be featured as 1 of the 4 opening themes for TSUKIPRO the animation 2, anime set to premiere in July 2021.


YOUR FREEDOM is available for pre-order at CDJAPAN.

SUMMARY

QUELL make their comeback as a 4-piece group with “YOUR FREEDOM”, song that brings to the spotlight dirty synths on top of their ethereal mix of pop with minimalistic EDM.´ Top marks in a song that makes me crave for more QUELL music, exploring completely new, refreshing takes on EDM and pop music, not to mention their outstanding versatile vocals.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

YOUR FREEDOM
Vanessa Silvahttps://www.handthatfeedshq.com
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

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