Ruka Nadumi raises the bar ever so slightly with the bubbly and funky “morganite×topaz“.
ROCK DOWN consists of Yukitoshi Kikuchi (leader), Yoshiaki Hasegawa, Takuya Sato, Taito Ban,Takuya Masumoto, Keisuke Koumoto.
Title: 名積ルカ-morganite×topaz- Label: Tsukipro/Movic Release date: 26/11/2021 Genre: Rock/Funk
1 - ドラマ「NAME①」 2 - ドラマ「NAME②」 3 - Your Sunflower 4 - パラピレパルフラレンサー 5 - Your Sunflower -off vocal- 6 - パラピレパルフラレンサー -off vocal-
Track by track analysis:
3 – Your Sunflower
“Your Sunflower” brings uptempo, bright pop-rock music to the spotlight.
The song kicks off with an energetic beat and screaming guitar riff, leading the way to the splashy, mid-tempo verse.
The song slowly builds up tension, with all instruments being surprisingly clear in the mix. I love how the drums were mapped in this soundscape.
When you put on headphones to listen to this song, it’s almost like you’re on the drums, with all hit in the hi-hit to your left, the snare roughly to your center, the splash to your right, and the tom-toms spread out in the soundscape from left to right.
This is an awesome detail in the production of this song that I absolutely love. On top of it all, the bassline is to your far right, blasting its way through as the piano and guitar are far in front of you. As far as sound production/design goes, this song is quite impressive.
Back to the song itself. The chorus is a bundle of fun, cranking up the tension in the verses but with piano hits going higher, drums going loud in the splash, and cymbals.
Keisuke Koumoto keeps up with the energy and intensity of “Your Sunflower” however, more than once, he sounds rather strained when tackling long notes or something that demands more of his higher range.
This leads to his performance sounding a bit off at times, although still enjoyable.
4 – パラピレパルフラレンサー
And Nadumi wraps up this CD with a high tension, funky tune.
Funky guitar riffs, punchy bassline, and fast-paced drums and synths match the intense singing going on in “Para Pire Paru Furarensa”.
Quite possibly the thing that will stand out to you is that catchy guitar riff that loops throughout the song – serving as its theme -, on top of it are simple snary drums and bubbly, high key synths, giving this song a playful vibe.
So everything about this instrumental is addictive, high-throttle, and bouncy, something that will make you react to it, following its groove.
On the vocal end, I found the performance to be solid but nothing particularly stood out. Keisuke Koumoto is a bit more comfortable in this performance as he tackled those fast-paced verses and Yusuke Shirai brought a bit of energy which added up to the fun in this track.
“morganite×topaz“ raised the quality for Ruka Nadumi’s entries in the bi-color series, bringing a bubbly and funky set of tunes now with a matured twist.
“Your Sunflower” stood out to me for how detailed is the composition and sound production for it. The way you’re put behind the drums for that song is a treat to rock fans.
If you find yourself with a pair of headphones, do give a try to listen to this song with those. The mapping of those drums in the soundscape is wonderful, among the best production work in the VAZZROCK franchise.
“Para Pire Paru Furarensa” not only stands out for its odd title but also for its high-throttle funk-meets-electronica sound that is going on in there. I love the groovy bassline and fast-paced guitar riffs combo.
Keisuke Koumoto still struggles a bit with his control, something that is easily noticeable when he has to go higher on his range. Long notes are still an issue as well with him struggling with those in “Your Sunflower”. Still, since the very 1st season of the bi-color CD series, Koumoto has grown quite a bit which has been pretty interesting to notice.
His duet with Yusuke Shirai in “Para Pire Paru Furarensa” is quite normal. Nothing groundbreaking in there, their chemistry is nowhere to be found and the voice tones do not seem to work well together. It felt more like listening to two different performances pasted together, not a performance in which the singers complement or harmonize with each other.
All in all, “morganite×topaz“ is Ruka’s best entry to date in the bi-color CD series (as a whole), raising the bar ever so slightly for his upcoming performances.
“morganite×topaz” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.