Review | RYOGA “The Days”

Anthos

Behind a melancholic – at times even dark – story comes a beautiful and hopeful song in RYOGA’s “The Days”.

Hana-Doll* is an idol project created by movic (TSUKIPRO, VAZZROCK, Tsukiuta, etc). 7 idols are part of Anthos, group signed to the fictional talent agency Amagiri Production.

Anthos* is comprised of Kent ItoWataru KomadaToshiki MasudaShunichi TokiDaiki HamanoSeiichiro Yamashita, and Shun Horie.


Title: The Days
Label: Movic 
Release date: 13/11/2020
Genre: Pop

Tracklist:

1 - The Days
2 - The Days (Off Vocal)

Track analysis:

1 – The Days

The Days” kicks off gently and slowly, with an instrumental that is pretty much devoid of anything, just a broken synth and a melancholic piano melody welcome the listener, and then, slowly, the song brings in a fancy piano melody, simple bassy beat and punchy bassline joining in.

The song has a comfortable mid-tempo and, unlike some of the songs in this CD series, it is pretty much a quiet song in comparison, leaving the “talking” to the vocals instead of the instrumental. This shift in focus led to the chorus hitting much stronger or even the lyrics in the verses to stand out, putting the storytelling in the forefront.

While there is melancholy in the verses, brought to life through the distant synths and clean, airy soundscape, the chorus goes in the opposite direction.

The chorus explodes in emotion with the bright instrumental reflecting the resolve and passion in the lyrics.

Once again, like all other songs in The Way I Am CD series, there is underlying darkness in the lyrics, with RYOGA being pretty straightforward about it however making sure to showcase his determination to turn things around, and thus, the instrumental flourishes into a bright, hopeful soundscape in which the pulsing atmospheric synths and bright piano are having a blast.

As far as the performance goes, Daiki Hamano is incredibly comfortable for this performance.

He didn’t need to go too low on his vocal range – still, do expect his voice to reverberate on your ears as he’s a powerful bass singer -, and, for a change, he isn’t rapping for an Anthos* song and what do you find here? Hamano is a rock-solid singer, bringing a lot of emotion to his performance while showcasing a lot of control over his singing tone.

And not only did he shift from rapping to clean singing for this song but he also shifted from performing entirely in Japanese to performing a big chunk of this song in English (perfect English, which doesn’t come as a surprise as Hamano does have some level of fluency speaking the language).

And why did I bring his topic to the conversation? Because his transitions between Japanese and English parts are seamless. The only thing that may give those away – and that’s if you’re really focusing on understanding when that shift happens – is the intensity in his vocals that fades a bit away when he performs in Japanese.

All in all, enjoyable performance by Daiki Hamano, bringing to life RYOGA’s feelings and backstory in a song that is full of surprises.


The Days is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

HANA DOLL* ANTHOS*-THE WAY I AM-RYOGA / Ryoga Kagekawa (Daiki Hamano)
Ryoga Kagekawa (Daiki Hamano)

The Days” is available for streaming on Spotify.


Do not support piracy. Remember to support Anthos* by streaming via official outlets.

SUMMARY

RYOGA brings a dark story to the spotlight in "The Days" however, instead of brooding over the events at the core of that story, the character decides to charge forward, look on the horizon with determination that things will be good, he will turn those things around. With those feelings at the core of this song, you can expect the instrumental to not take the spotlight, after all, the focus is on the storytelling in this song. Additionally, if you're listening to this song with ear/headphones, you'll notice just how close within the soundstage is Daiki Hamano. He's really close to the listener, almost as if he is confiding in you. This adds another interesting layer of storytelling and even interactivity to this performance. On the vocal end, there is no rap coming from Daiki Hamano which is surprising within Anthos*. This time around, and to better convey those feelings in the lyrics, the choice was towards having emotional clean vocals and Hamano delivered a stunning performance.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Days
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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