REVIEW OVERVIEW

ドミノ
プレイヤー
Sunday
悪者 
Gluttony
~ Skit ~
Woooork!! 
じゃあね 
Tetsuya Kakihara's 4th album "DON'T LET MI KNOW" is a showcase of maturity as an artist and performer. First off, the sound you get in this album is more concise. You have pop-rock and funk-rock making their way to the spotlight. You have different ways to tackle those. The sound is playfully mature, there is a care for it to be tasteful and fun at all times and fit Kakihara's vocals. And talking about vocals… Tetsuya Kakihara is on a completely whole other level as a performer in this album. One thing is to know that he has evolved into a technical singer, the other is actually listening to that technicality in full bloom. Kakihara has added head voice to his stunning falsetto + breathing singing style which makes his performances sound even more ethereal than ever. At the same time, he has brought forward a sensibility to perform jazz and funk music, making his performances naturally groovy and fun. You can tell he is more confident than ever in his singing and that reflects in stellar performances no matter the music genre or how emotional you want him to sound. All in all, "DON'T LET MI KNOW" is a near flawless entry in Tetsuya Kakihara's repertoire. If you have the opportunity to. Heck this album, don't skip it.

Review | Tetsuya Kakihara “DON’T LET MI KNOW”

“DON’T LET MI KNOW” further explores the maturity that Tetsuya Kakihara has been bringing to his music through a set of cool performances.

Regular
Title: DON’T LET MI KNOW
Release date: 24/12/2021
Label: Kiramune
Genre: Rock / Funk / Citypop

Tracklist:

1 - ドミノ
2 - プレイヤー 
3 - Sunday
4 - 悪者 
5 - Gluttony 
6 - ~ Skit ~
7 - Woooork!! 
8 - じゃあね 

Track by track analysis:

1 – ドミノ

Domino” brings a nostalgic sound to the spotlight. Strings and guitars scream their way through the intro, creating an emotional soundscape.

The chorus has a punchy bassline leading the way on top of the hard-hitting drums, and fast guitar riffs.

As nostalgic as the song sounds, it is still one made to put a smile on your face.

Do pay attention to Tetsuya Kakihara’s vocals because he goes insanely high in head voice with legato during the chorus, something that will make your jaw drop.

Kakihara wraps up the performance with stunning ad-libs, further enhancing the beauty of this song.

A lip sync version of the music video is out.

2 – プレイヤー

Funky guitar riffs and a jazzy piano and syncopated drums open the curtains to “Player”.

The verses are insanely groovy with the bassline being rather explosive, as the drums and piano do their own thing.

When you get to the chorus, you’re left to your own devices in the middle of the intoxicating groovy sound. The drums sound incredibly fun and the guitars never cease to grab your attention.

As far as the vocals go, Tetsuya Kakihara goes bonkers on head voice, in what is an insanely addictive and technical performance coming from him.

Indeed, “game over” because this is the best song on this CD.

3 – Sunday

Following it comes “Sunday“, song that explores once again melancholy through a simple, semi-acoustic sound.

A beautiful piano melody spreads nostalgia through the track, looping as a warm hi-hat, snare, and kick beat take over.

Accompanying this instrumental are warm acoustic guitar riffs. These are careful and melodic, enhancing the passion in the performance.

The song grows in emotion as you go through the verses and choruses, culminating in a pouring out of emotion in the last chorus and outro.

Tetsuya Kakihara showcases his emotional range in this performance, pulling those mid-toned and high notes from his heart.

What you get is an emotional tune that doesn’t stray away from the overall sound in this album and ends up being a great entry in Kakihara’s repertoire.

4 – 悪者 

Jazzy piano melodies and a slow-paced, emotional bassline create a fun, welcoming soundscape for you to relax in.

Warumono” brings an organ to the mix during the chorus, complementing the good vibes set by the acoustic guitars.

The soundscape in which you are put in during this song is cozy and warm, with Tetsuya Kakihara showcasing his singing chops on stage through a mix of breathy tones, clean singing and falsetto.

Yet another strong entry in this album.

5 – Gluttony 

Electric guitars slowly welcome you to “Gluttony“, song that has a bright, upbeat sound.

Strings populate the soundscape in its background as brass, bassline, and drums take their seats surrounding you.

The chorus is filled with energy and, in a way, gives off classic rock vibes. Simplicity in its rock sound and the focus on strings make it sound like that to me.

The bridge brings a cool battle for the spotlight between strings, brass, and guitars.

The performance is more laidback in this song, taking the pressure away from the vocals to make it all shine.

6 – ~ Skit ~

Before you get to the last tracks in this release, Kakihara has a skit for you to enjoy.

This is an off-take from one of his recordings for this album that ended up with a feature by Showtaro Morikubo (in this case, a.k.a Tetsuya Kakihara) which prompted what seems to be his producer to “take it seriously“. 

Since it is rare for seiyuu to show the behind-the-scenes of the production of their music, this is a nice treat.

7 – Woooork!! 

 “Woooork!!” brings a fun, funky sound to the spotlight in a non-serious way.

The sound is dreamy, channeling summer vibes with a punchy bassline and funky guitar riffs making me hop on a car and ride during sunset. It is fun and laid-back (and made for the summer).

The lyrics are a bit nonsensical, mixing Japanese with German but don’t think it is all fun and games. 

At certain parts, Kakihara blasts through the song with beautiful high notes or groovy, vibrato parts that will make you stop and appreciate the quality being delivered to you.

The chorus is a blast to listen to, taking the listener to a laid-back, neon-filled soundscape that is all about elegance and fun.

A fantastic touch in this sounds the saxophone outro that ends up completing the citypop-inspired sound you have here.

8 – じゃあね 

Jaa ne” wraps up this album on an acoustic note.

Acoustic and electric guitars team up in the nostalgic verses as legato strings paint the background, setting the stage for the emotional performance awaiting you.

The chorus reminds me a lot of late 90s, early 00s indie rock. It is emotional, with an easy-listening sound, and still quite technical on the vocal end.

And Kakihara surely delivers on that end. He powers his way through this performance fully focused on showcasing his emotional range, highlighting it with falsetto parts and subtle rises in tone.

When you notice, this song is over and that nostalgia that you started this album with, is still with you.

Stellar work by Kakihara.


Final considerations

Tetsuya Kakihara’s 4th album “DON’T LET MI KNOW” is a showcase of maturity as an artist and performer.

First off, the sound you get in this album is more concise. You have pop-rock and funk-rock making their way to the spotlight. You have different ways to tackle those.

The sound is playfully mature, there is a care for it to be tasteful and fun at all times and fit Kakihara’s vocals.

And talking about vocals… Tetsuya Kakihara is on a completely whole other level as a performer in this album.

One thing is to know that he has evolved into a technical singer, the other is actually listening to that technicality in full bloom. Kakihara has added head voice to his stunning falsetto + breathing singing style which makes his performances sound even more ethereal than ever. 

At the same time, he has brought forward a sensibility to perform jazz and funk music, making his performances naturally groovy and fun. 

You can tell he is more confident than ever in his singing and that reflects in stellar performances no matter the music genre or how emotional you want him to sound.

All in all, “DON’T LET MI KNOW” is a near flawless entry in Tetsuya Kakihara’s repertoire. If you have the opportunity to check this album, do it.


DON’T LET MI KNOW is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


DON’T LET MI KNOW” is available for streaming on Spotify.


Do not support piracy. Remember to support Tetsuya Kakihara 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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Tetsuya Kakihara's 4th album "DON'T LET MI KNOW" is a showcase of maturity as an artist and performer. First off, the sound you get in this album is more concise. You have pop-rock and funk-rock making their way to the spotlight. You have different ways to tackle those. The sound is playfully mature, there is a care for it to be tasteful and fun at all times and fit Kakihara's vocals. And talking about vocals… Tetsuya Kakihara is on a completely whole other level as a performer in this album. One thing is to know that he has evolved into a technical singer, the other is actually listening to that technicality in full bloom. Kakihara has added head voice to his stunning falsetto + breathing singing style which makes his performances sound even more ethereal than ever. At the same time, he has brought forward a sensibility to perform jazz and funk music, making his performances naturally groovy and fun. You can tell he is more confident than ever in his singing and that reflects in stellar performances no matter the music genre or how emotional you want him to sound. All in all, "DON'T LET MI KNOW" is a near flawless entry in Tetsuya Kakihara's repertoire. If you have the opportunity to. Heck this album, don't skip it. Review | Tetsuya Kakihara "DON’T LET MI KNOW"