Longing for a former lover or not feeling love at all. The Cat’s Whiskers and cozmez went for an emotional “Paradox Live Stage Battle “LOVE”“.
Title: Paradox Live Stage Battle "LOVE" Release date: 27/01/2021 Label: Avex Genre: Hip-Hop
1 - Mercy On Me 2 - Ain’t No Love 3 - Voice Drama "LOVE" Part1 4 - Voice Drama "LOVE" Part2
Track by track analysis:
1 – Mercy On Me
The Cat’s Whiskers make a big entrance with “Mercy On Me”. The song explores a classy jazzy downtempo lo-fi beat on top of clean guitar riffs.
The soundscape created for this song is that of laidback late summer evening or lounge. It’s the kind of sound that you want to get lost in, sit back, and enjoy those good vibes.
The verses are introspective with the chorus being insanely melodic on top of that beautiful piano and bluesy guitar melodies.
The Cat’s Whiskers deliver an elegant performance in this song, capitalizing on the good vibes of this track while showing a lot of composure throughout.
2 – Ain’t No Love
[TRIGGER WARNING: violence, negligence, abuse, prostitution, drug trafficking mentioned in the lyrics]
Closing this first chapter of the Stage Battle series is “Ain’t No Love”, song with a hard-hitting bassy beat and urgent synths.
The verses have a massive focus on the bass sound, building up the tension to the chorus in which you are greeted by minimalistic piano hits that a cool twist to an instrumental that, otherwise would be too dark and grim.
Those hi-hat triplets and bouncy beat in the chorus will have you jamming along to this song in no time.
cozmez is emotional and, in a way, somber yet intense in the way they tackled those sensitive and extremely personal lyrics. They continue to showcase their insane teamwork and flow.
This is the kind of performance that will make chills run down your spine.
Stellar entry in the Paradox Live franchise. “LOVE” is a big and intense theme that can be explored in a wide variety of ways.
The Cat’s Whiskers and cozmez have completely experiences with love, starting from feeling and not feeling it. And that affects the tone of “Mercy On Me” and “Ain’t No Love”.
cozmez, no matter how much they search for it, they’ve never felt it and are still looking for it, that makes their performance all the more somber, with the empty instrumental in “Ain’t No Love” perfectly reflecting their relationship with that feeling.
The lyrics are dark, focusing on themes like drug trafficking, abuse, prostitution, and violence.
These are not “tame” 2D hip-hop group lyrics.
You don’t find songs in 2D projects and especially in hip-hop projects tackling such heavy and delicate themes. But cozmez did it and in a way that you know, it wasn’t used just for shock value. There’s the backstory to this duo and it’s not pretty.
The way the song was performed will make the listening experience completely different from usual, as Yusuke Kobayashi and Toshiyuki Toyonaga deliver an emotional performance.
The Cat’s Whiskers bring a different side of love to the table: longing.
“Mercy On Me” has a melancholic and, at times, introspective tone about a former lover, and that is performed in such a soft that yes, even Natsuki Hanae is performing in a pretty contained and emotional fashion.
While it’s quite the loungy tune, the lyrics are quite mature, with innuendos here and there once again showing why the protagonist in those lyrics, longs for that person.
All in all, Paradox Live “LOVE” is hands down, the best entry so far in the Stage Battle series. Heartwrenching and dark at times, melancholic and passionate at others, The Cat’s Whiskers and cozmez brought their best to the table in this CD.