Review | Ren, Nozomu & Mamoru “Neo X Lied Series vol.4”

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A beautiful soundscape takes over in “Kagayakeru ashita e”, song that proved to be a technical challenge for SOARA’s members.

Title: ALIVE「Neo X Lied」Series vol.4
Label: Tsukipro/Movic 
Release date: 25/03/2022
Genre: Pop-Rock/Orchestral pop

Tracklist:

1 - ドラマ「Where do you want to go ?」
2 - ドラマ「Have a nice trip !」 
3 - 輝ける明日へ 
4 - 輝ける明日へ -off vocal-

Track analysis:

3 – 輝ける明日へ

Kagayakeru ashita ebrings a picturesque soundscape to the spotlight much in the style of Growth, taking Ren, Nozomu and Mamoru through middle-eastern inspired melodies.

The song kicks off with an intense sitar melody on top of a simple yet rich percussion section that includes live drums, bongos, and timpani. The sound you get is grandiose, the soundscape filled with infinite adventure and discovery.

The verses are slow-paced, with acoustic guitars, vibes, and a shaker creating a comfortable sound leading you into the big, breathy chorus awaiting you.

A nice, and quite possibly underappreciated, detail in this song is the strings that serve as a smooth transition from verses to the chorus, adding the right amount of tension to the track, never stealing the spotlight away from the performance.

In the outro, you’ll find a beautiful choir backing the trio and it is really something to make goosebumps all over you. How high the choir goes is only eclipsed by how insanely technical Junta Terashima is in his performance, playing around his vocal range both towards bass and tenor.

As a whole, the performance in “Kagayakeru ashita e” is rather solid.

There are some hiccups with Chiharu Sawashiro and Taishi Murata due to how limited their vocal ranges are, as well as them not being used to harmonizing and powering through high-pitched sections – some performed in Latin – that is so characteristical of Growth’s sound (the driving force in this song). 

Junta Terashima is in his element for this performance, leading this performance with a lot of confidence, taking Sawashiro and Murata along, and making sure they blended fairly well into the song. 

His versatility as a singer made it possible for him to be the baritone anchor for this performance, giving both a spotlight to Murata and Sawashiro but also taking over and shining on his own. When it came to ad-libs, high notes, and head voice, only Terashima was consistently delivering those in high quality.

For what it is – a fairly difficult song to perform – the SOARA duo (Sawashiro and Murata) did a good job however, given the technicality and the beauty of the soundscape created in “Kagayakeru ashita e” deserved a top tier performance like the ones Growth has been consistently delivering.


ALIVE「Neo X Lied」Series vol.4 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Alive "Neo X Lied" / Ren Munakata (Taishi Murata), Nozomu Nanase (Chiharu Sawashiro), Mamoru Fujimura (Junta Terashima)
Ren Munakata (Taishi Murata), Nozomu Nanase (Chiharu Sawashiro), Mamoru Fujimura (Junta Terashima)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

輝ける明日へ

SUMMARY

ALIVE’s groups - SOARA and Growth - wrap up the Neo X Lied CD series with a dreamy, fantasy-like soundscape in the style of Growth. This is a song that demands a lot of technicality, leaving plenty of opportunities for Junta Terashima, Chiharu Sawashiro, and Taishi Murata to shine, however, only Terashima made the best out of those opportunities. Out of all songs in the Neo X Lied CD series (ALIVE groups only), “Kagayakeru ashita e” is the most technical song, only that is a “pure Growth” song that requires lyrical performances, perfect harmonies, and top tier individual singing skills. This was something that hindered the performances of the SOARA duo - Sawashiro and Murata -, that struggled with high some high notes, were harmonizing but lacking emotion, trying their best to nail a song as difficult as this one is. Of course, this was bound to happen, and after a couple of entries that were far from perfectly capturing the sound of SOARA or Growth - only bringing some elements to the mix, creating a hybrid sound -, the time arrived for a song with a “pure” sound and it was… Growth’s, which is to say, the trickiest sound in the Tsukipro franchise with the most technical performances on top. Junta Terashima, of course, was pretty comfortable in his performance, showcasing his vocal range while providing the perfect core to the trio, occasionally taking over and leading everyone through the trickiest vocal sections. Even with a spine-chilling choir in the background during the outro, Terashima was still shining, delivering a charismatic performance. All in all, this is a fantastical way to wrap up the Neo X Lied CD series for ALIVE’s groups. It was a pity that the performance was not quite on the level Growth’s fans are used to however, it was an awesome effort by this special trio.
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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ALIVE’s groups - SOARA and Growth - wrap up the Neo X Lied CD series with a dreamy, fantasy-like soundscape in the style of Growth. This is a song that demands a lot of technicality, leaving plenty of opportunities for Junta Terashima, Chiharu Sawashiro, and Taishi Murata to shine, however, only Terashima made the best out of those opportunities. Out of all songs in the Neo X Lied CD series (ALIVE groups only), “Kagayakeru ashita e” is the most technical song, only that is a “pure Growth” song that requires lyrical performances, perfect harmonies, and top tier individual singing skills. This was something that hindered the performances of the SOARA duo - Sawashiro and Murata -, that struggled with high some high notes, were harmonizing but lacking emotion, trying their best to nail a song as difficult as this one is. Of course, this was bound to happen, and after a couple of entries that were far from perfectly capturing the sound of SOARA or Growth - only bringing some elements to the mix, creating a hybrid sound -, the time arrived for a song with a “pure” sound and it was… Growth’s, which is to say, the trickiest sound in the Tsukipro franchise with the most technical performances on top. Junta Terashima, of course, was pretty comfortable in his performance, showcasing his vocal range while providing the perfect core to the trio, occasionally taking over and leading everyone through the trickiest vocal sections. Even with a spine-chilling choir in the background during the outro, Terashima was still shining, delivering a charismatic performance. All in all, this is a fantastical way to wrap up the Neo X Lied CD series for ALIVE’s groups. It was a pity that the performance was not quite on the level Growth’s fans are used to however, it was an awesome effort by this special trio. Review | Ren, Nozomu & Mamoru "Neo X Lied Series vol.4"