TRIGGER embraces a never-before-heard sound for “SUISAI”, single that shows the group being openly loving and fragile.
Title: SUISAI Release date: 08/06/2022 Label: Lantis Genre: Ballad/R&B
1 - SUISAI 2 - Radiance 3 - SUISAI (Off Vocal) 4 - Radiance (Off Vocal)
Track by track analysis:
1 – SUISAI
Pulsing synths open the curtains for what is a song with an “end of an adventure” vibe.
Acoustic guitars gently trail the instrumental as, in the background, synth stabs and atmospheric synths create a wide, dreamy soundscape in which the vocals can shine. The tone is quiet and delicate, something new for TRIGGER.
The chorus is unlike anything TRIGGER has released so far.
There is a gentleness, a sweetness that is not common to the group’s sound. This song feels like a mellowed-out group approaching a new era in its career or, alternatively, a goodbye to a chapter, ending it on a positive, hopeful note.
As a result, the instrumental is subtle, with bassy synths in the far background, stabs used as an accent, and a subdued bass beat while acoustic guitars get a bit of the spotlight for themselves, enveloping the vocals of Soma Saito, Wataru Hatano, and Takuya Sato.
On the bridge, there is something interesting happening. It’s not like this is a new thing within this song but during this section, you get the feeling of the sound being submerged, it is not entirely clear, but it is still finding its way back to everyone.
This is something I will connect with the story going on in-game (5th story season), but it already shows progress from the group, making an important move forward.
The sound may still be murky and unclear in the verses but clarity takes over in the chorus, then shifting towards the group sounding ethereal in the pitch vocals.
During the bridge, there is a Spanish guitar-style solo – albeit a brief one – that follows the same tone as the song however
This instrumental ends up leaving most of the job for the vocals to make you connect to the emotions in this song. And does a really good job, with all members betting on their natural range while intentionally making their performance come off as sweet.
“SUISAI” is a song with TENN (CV: Soma Saito) at center, so expect much of the tone and vibe of the song to be dictated by his smooth tenor vocals, adding to the gentleness of the instrumental. There is a focus on a gentle vibrato on Saito’s vocals, adding an extra bit of emotion to the performance.
Wataru Hatano and Takuya Sato match Saito’s vocals, adding a tender touch to this performance. One thing I love a whole lot about their performance is how their harmonies and pitch vocals go, especially Takuya Sato’s.
He’s doing it all in this performance although you can barely notice it on a first listen. Sweet low notes, gentle mid-tones, harmonies and unisons, a little bit of vibrato, you name it. While Saito dazzles as the center for this song, the support in this track is really awesome.
“SUISAI” stands out for how different it sounds from all other TRIGGER songs however its tone and quality performances leave you wanting more and more.
2 – Radiance
An emotional piano melody and subdued strings paint the passionate soundscape in front of you.
The verses kick off in a stripped-down fashion, with a bright piano accompanying the vocals; however, slowly, finger snaps and a bass drum add a rhythm to this track, creating a sweet R&B sound that is warm and cozy.
“Radiance” is, yet again, a song that you wouldn’t usually find in TRIGGER’s repertoire as it is oozing love and care.
The chorus is slow-paced, almost like a lullaby, gently rocking you, making sure you’re comfortable and feel loved.
On the vocal end, this song is impressive. While embracing R&B, TRIGGER’s members have shifted their singing style to be even more emotional, putting technique at the forefront.
As such you’ll listen to all members focusing more on riffing, ad-libs, and harmonizations, all to make the song send chills down your spine.
The song may start really smoothly and quietly with a couple of high note + legato sections however, as the song progresses and the instrumental brings new things to the table, you have pitch vocals in falsetto in the background used as accents to the performance.
There is also a different vocal track for each member – mirroring their lead vocal track – that is in a higher key, being noticeable in the chorus as Soma Saito and Wataru Hatano’s 2nd vocal tracks are really high in key (Saito’s impressively high in the first chorus).
As you move towards the end of the song, you start to hear riffing by Soma Saito while Takuya Sato goes for the emotional ad-libs and canons that pull this song towards tearjerker territory. Wataru Hatano shifts between ad-libs and lead vocals in the outro, adding a perfect dynamic to the touching performance.
This is the kind of song that will blow you away (or make you weep).
TRIGGER sounds like a completely different group in “SUISAI”. This comes as unexpected, even if you have been following the in-game events.
The group has mellowed out for several reasons, at least for this single. As a result, you have a set of emotional semi-acoustic tunes by TRIGGER, something that, yet again, I would never imagine I’d be writing about.
So how does a group like TRIGGER, which is incredibly intense, sexy, and powerful, fare when it comes to sounding and being sweet and gentle?
Way too good to be true.
In the title track “SUISAI”, you have all vocals surrounding TENN (CV: Soma Saito) who takes the lead in what is a dreamy track with an adventurous tone due to its acoustic focus.
This is a song that is unclear in its sound, at least in the verses, sounding almost like the instrumental is murky or buried while the chorus pulls that sound out of that place and brings it an ethereal clarity.
This song feels like a dream and while it lacks the intensity or the raw emotions of previous tracks, I feel like it perfectly illustrates the place in which TRIGGER is now.
“Radiance” is a fantastic song on the vocal end. Truly one of the best performances by TRIGGER since its debut on top of a 90s-inspired R&B tune.
The technique and quality that each member brings to TRIGGER’s songs are taking a step further to make this track a tearjerker.
You have Soma Saito with his trademark clear tenor range embracing a breathy style of singing, adding a gentle twist to his performance. There is also riffing from him, something that is as rare as it can get yet the perfect R&B touch to this tune.
Wataru Hatano grounds everyone, bringing a lot of emotion with his deliberately slow baritone vocals, serving as the member with whom to harmonize to make the song heighten its emotions. He goes for high and low notes and even participates in the ad-libs.
And Takuya Sato goes for a mesmerizing performance that covers his natural low baritone vocals however with a honeyed delivery (instead of an alluring one, as he’s known for). But that is not the full extent of his awesome performance.
He is the main member when it comes to ad-libs and canons, showcasing his technique and a good ear to harmonize with all members, follow up on their vocals with power, and, overall, dominate a song that is all about its emotional R&B sound.
All in all, “SUISAI” is going to sound completely new for fans of TRIGGER. This is not the group’s trademark sound nor is it the sound the group was shifting towards in “VARIANT” and “PLACES”. It is gentle, caring, and loving. It is unlike anything TRIGGER has released before. You’re listening to the aftermath of struggles and hard times.
You’re listening to a group growing, opening its heart, and being more caring. Whether or not the group will be returning to its trademark imposing sound with a sexy edge will be something to be on the lookout for.
However, I feel like regardless of what they do, fans will continue to be mesmerized by powerful, emotional performances by what is the most technical 2D idol group currently active in Japan.
“SUISAI” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.
“SUISAI” is available for streaming on Spotify.
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