Review | Sora and Koki “Neo X Lied Series vol.1”

SOARA and Growth‘s leaders deliver an outstanding performance with the beautiful “Josho Kiryu“. ALIVE’s Neo X Lied series kicks off in the right foot.

Title: ALIVE「Neo X Lied」Series vol.1
Label: Movic
Release date: 26/02/2021
Genre: Pop-Rock

Tracklist:

1 - DRAMA「空の挑戦」
2 - DRAMA「知らない可能性」
3 - 上昇気流
4 - 上昇気流 -off vocal-

Track analysis:

3 – 上昇気流

Josho Kiryu” kicks off with a bright, hopeful sound trademark of SOARA.

The verses work in SOARA’s fashion with a well-paced rock-imbued sound in which drums are intense yet simple, bass is groovy, piano melodies are bright and youthful while the guitars pack a whole lot of emotion – something particularly noticeable in the solo in the bridge.

Although barely noticeable, in the first verse, when Toshiyuki Toyonaga sings, his background is rock and when Shunichi Toki sings, strings arrive to paint the song with an elegant color.

After that, strings blend with the rest of the instrumental, giving “Josho Kiryu” a beautiful touch filled with hope and warmth.

The chorus is intense and insanely catchy however, what stood out the most for me was how much it opened, how its dynamics changed.

Up until the chorus, the song was pretty contained in itself but when it hits, all those emotions that were bottling up in the verses are freed and you get a sense of freedom as those emotions flow over you and onto the beautiful soundscape in front of you.

This is quite the special song, that much I can tell you.

On the vocal end, this is quite the matchup, one that I was anticipating since the announcement of the pairs for each entry in the Neo X Lied series.

Toshiyuki Toyonaga, best known as a vocal chameleon, the best singer among male seiyuu and Shunichi Toki, one of the most soulful and technical singers among male seiyuu, all in the same place.

Given their track record, as well as their individual singing tones, my excitement for this match was through the roof and, as expected, they not only delivered but went the extra mile, going for a jaw-droppingly beautiful performance.

The individual parts have a lot of flair, with Toyonaga and Toki delivering those with lots of flourishes that complement each other’s’ parts. As a unit, their power and technique take a whole new step.

Their harmonies will make chills run down your spine, their crescendos and flourishes put you on the edge of your seat. By the time their performance comes to an end, you’re left with the impression that you just listened to something awesome. And you did, there’s no doubt about it.

Josho Kiryu” is a beautiful song that is elevated by the outstanding matchup that is Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Shunichi Toki on the vocals. What a track this one is!


ALIVE「Neo X Lied」Series vol.1 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Alive "Neo X Lied" / Sora Ohara (Toshiyuki Toyonaga), Koki Eto (Shunichi Toki)
Sora Ohara (Toshiyuki Toyonaga), Koki Eto (Shunichi Toki)

SUMMARY

“Josho Kiryu” kicks off ALIVE's Neo X Lied series on such a beautiful note. This song puts on the spotlight the technicality and sweetness in the vocals of Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Shunichi Toki, building upon those to deliver a memorable performance.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

上昇気流
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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