Review | “Tokyo Color Sonic!! Unit.4 KAIRI×KAGURA”

KAIRI arrives to sweep you off your feet with an emotional performance in the powerful rock anthem “Don’t back down”.

Tokyo Color Sonic is the name of the mixed-media franchise created by sprout and counting with character designs by the popular illustrator Ryo Fujiwara.

This franchise counts with an 8 character cast, with characters split into 4 different “buddy” units of singer + songwriter.

Tokyo Color Sonic counts with drama + music in its CDs. To know more about this project, make sure to check THTFHQ’s quick guide to it.

Team 4 features Kairi Kurahashi (CV: Shunsuke Takeuchi) and Kagura Takatsuki (CV: Takuya Eguchi).

Review

Title: Tokyo Color Sonic!! Unit.4 KAIRI×KAGURA
Label: sprout/COLORATION
Release date: 29/10/2021
Genre: Rock

Tracklist:

1 - Don't back down 

Track analysis:

1 – Don’t back down

A distant piano melody and a simple beat set the stage for the emotional performance that awaits you in “Don’t back down”.

That sound builds up in tension towards the verses, with power chords on the electric guitar overwhelming you on a first listen. However, the verses are simple, leaving the “talking” to the vocals.

A piano melody delicately paints the dreamy, far and wide soundscape as Shunsuke Takeuchi carefully tackles this part.

Tension builds up fairly fast to the chorus, exploding in emotion with the guitars going low and loud, the drums shifting from samples to live ones, and the bassline adding a heartbeat to this track. Together, these instruments splatter the soundscape in all kinds of color as Takeuchi screams his lungs out in an emotive performance that puts his technique to test.

This chorus is easily the best in the solo tracks in this CD series.

It is dramatic, overflowing emotion and the simplicity of the composition is more than enough, actually, it is perfect to make chills run down your spine as Shunsuke Takeuchi then powers his way through the song with an interesting mix of vocal tones (tapping into his massive vocal range).

Baritone and faux bass in the verses, and then hinting – however not tapping into – tenor range with those higher notes (not high notes, but higher in tone in comparison with the others within the song) shining in the chorus.

Additionally, Takeuchi brought vibrato and tackled tricky legato sections with ease. If that was not enough, in the bridge he goes for an effortlessly head voice part.

Nice to see what this franchise can do when the mixing is finally sorted out (After units 1 and 2, and even the debut song “begin on buddy” were met with suboptimal mixing that didn’t flatter the vocals).

This is quite exciting to find from a composition standpoint and, as a listener, enjoyable because you now have clear vocals and equally clear instrumental that doesn’t need to take over the song and suffocate the vocals. Perfect mixing made this song shine. It was intense but clear at all times.

Short and sweet (perhaps even bittersweet), KAIRI’s “Don’t back down” is an impressive entry in the TOKYO COLOR SONIC!! franchise and easily the best entry in this unit CD series.


Tokyo Color Sonic!! Unit.4 KAIRI×KAGURA is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Tokyo Color Sonic!! / Drama CD (Shunsuke Takeuchi, Takuya Eguchi)
Drama CD (Shunsuke Takeuchi, Takuya Eguchi)

Tokyo Color Sonic!! Unit.4 KAIRI×KAGURA” is available for streaming on Spotify.


Do not support piracy. Remember to support the Tokyo Color Sonic!! franchise by streaming via official outlets.

SUMMARY

KAIRI’s “Don’t back down” is an impressive entry in the TOKYO COLOR SONIC!! franchise and easily the best entry in this unit CD series. Simplicity was key to impress, with a distant piano melody and simple beat being more than enough for the verses to grab my attention then there's the impactful blasting rock chorus that arrives, sweeps everyone off their feet, and goes away as fast as it arrived, leaving a trail of emotions and destruction in its wake. This is a song that is all about being emotional and does some pretty much flawlessly. And on vocals is Shunsuke Takeuchi delivering a performance that, in one way, you'd be expecting from him (he's an incredibly talented singer) but, at the same time, is so raw that it can't help but impress. "Don't back down" is THE best song in this CD series in the TOKYO COLOR SONIC!! franchise.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Don't back down
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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