Review | Shunichi Toki “SCIENCE”

Shunichi Toki

Shunichi Toki’s “SCIENCE” is all about the little details in jazz music, arriving with two strong and unique songs that will instantly grab your attention.

Regular edition
Title: SCIENCE
Release date: 21/02/2024
Label: PONY CANYON
Genre: Jazz / Rock

Tracklist:

1 - SCIENCE
2 - Roulette
3 - SCIENCE -Instrumental-
4 - Roulette -Instrumental-

Track by track analysis:

1 – SCIENCE

Shunichi Toki opens the doors for this single with “SCIENCE”, single with a playful yet mysterious vibe.

This song has a unique duality to itself as jazz and rock blend to create this fun song. The verses have a comfortable tempo to themselves, with a punchy bassline and simple drums leading the way.

If you’re listening to this song with headphones, there are two guitars – one to each side playing and adding their own playful twist to this song. This sort of unplugged part has a genuinely feel-good vibe to which I was jamming along almost instantaneously.

The chorus cranks up the tension and is an explosion of color with rock elements taking over. Guitars and drums are explosive, the piano goes bonkers in the background as the bassline pounds its way through the song.

On the vocal end, Shunichi Toki adds a bit of drama to his performance, unleashing it in the chorus. This contrasts with the more contained way in which he was performing in the verses.

I love the little details in the verses, adding a bit of a bounce to his performance. This ends up building up anticipation for the chorus and oh boy, does he go off in there!

Strong albeit unusual performance in a song that ends up being really entertaining.

2 – Roulette

Wrapping up this single is “Roulette”, song that puts the focus on a downtempo, stylish pop tune with some citypop undertones.

One thing that will easily stand out is the jaunty piano melody leading the way for this track. This is the driving force for this track.

A punchy bassline and equally bassy drums – the warmth coming from the snare and the bass drums are really awesome – alongside the brass and piano create a welcoming, fun, and stylish instrumental.

Another awesome detail is the off-beat drums in the pre-chorus. They are disruptive enough to throw you out of the loop and feel like something is wrong. That way of grabbing the listener’s attention while also complementing the storytelling in the lyrics is quite interesting.

I welcome you to check the instrumental version of this song because it is a treat.

And of course, with a refined vibe in this song, Shunichi Toki appears and delivers an elegant and charismatic performance, leading the way confidently even with all the tempo changes.

Strong and entertaining performance that wraps up this single in style. And yes, “Roulette” is, in my opinion, the best song in it.


Final considerations

Following a flawless 2nd mini-album release – with “Another Birthday” – expectations were pretty high for “SCIENCE”.

While not a massive upgrade over what he did in there, in “SCIENCE”, Toki continued experimenting with his sound, bringing rock and jazz in the title track while trying things out with a fancier, groovier albeit slower paced jazz sound in “roulette”.

I’m a sucker for jazz music and also for Shunichi Toki’s singing skills and voice so to have them all together again was something that put a big smile on my face. The good thing here is that Toki approaches jazz music from completely different angles every time he tackles a jazz song, keeping his music fresh.

This time around “SCIENCE” has a strong dual charm in which jazz and rock traded blows but ultimately made peace in a powerful chorus. But in “roulette” is already doing something different with jazz music, going for a slower-paced, loungy take on the genre.

This goes to show that jazz music has a lot to offer – and that more seiyuu artists should try it. Also, it highlights just how fun this music genre is with the ability to play around, be unpredictable, break the pacing, pick it back up again, and do any sort of complex, yet entertaining things both in the instrumentals and vocals.

And if you pay closer attention to Shunichi Toki, well, he is showing yet again how comfortable he is performing this music genre. Also how it suits his image as an artist right now which is a plus.

But enough about jazz music – which I love a whole lot – and back to this single.

I feel that Shunichi Toki continues to shine with the power and emotion he adds to his performances, not to mention the complete control over his vocals – and vocal range. Both performances are unique but unmistakenly “his”.

These performances connect with you and when you least notice, you’re already jamming along to them (with a piano that jaunty or with those punchy basslines, it’s hard to not feel a thing).

All in all, Shunichi Toki’s “SCIENCE” may not be an upgrade over “Another Birthday” but it is an exciting step forward, exploring the possibilities with jazz music.


SCIENCE” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN. You can also purchase it through Amazon Japan (they ship internationally).

Science / Shunichi Toki
Shunichi Toki

SCIENCE” is available for streaming on Spotify.


Do not support piracy. Remember to support Shunichi Toki by streaming via official outlets.

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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REVIEW OVERVIEW

SCIENCE
roulette

SUMMARY

Following a flawless 2nd mini-album release - with "Another Birthday" - expectations were pretty high for "SCIENCE". While not a massive upgrade over what he did in there, in "SCIENCE", Toki continued experimenting with his sound, bringing rock and jazz in the title track while trying things out with a fancier, groovier albeit slower paced jazz sound in "roulette". All in all, "SCIENCE" may not be an upgrade over "Another Birthday" but it is an exciting step forward, exploring the possibilities with jazz music.

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Following a flawless 2nd mini-album release - with "Another Birthday" - expectations were pretty high for "SCIENCE". While not a massive upgrade over what he did in there, in "SCIENCE", Toki continued experimenting with his sound, bringing rock and jazz in the title track while trying things out with a fancier, groovier albeit slower paced jazz sound in "roulette". All in all, "SCIENCE" may not be an upgrade over "Another Birthday" but it is an exciting step forward, exploring the possibilities with jazz music.Review | Shunichi Toki "SCIENCE"