Review | Tsubasa Okui “Cha-Cha-Cha”

Balancing playfulness, maturity, and suggestive tones, Tsubasa Okui’s “Cha-Cha-Cha” is a unique listen showcasing a more confident and refined self.

Titled あの頃の僕らは My Dear Days. (Ano Koro no Bokura wa My Dear Days.), the new CD series has all members of SQ (SolidS and QUELL) and ALIVE (SOARA and Growth) revisiting their old selves.

Tsubasa Okui is voiced by Soma Saito.


Title: Cha-Cha-Cha
Label: Movic
Release date: 30/12/2022
Genre: Jazz-pop/Rock

Tracklist:

1 - Cha-Cha-Cha
2 - Cha-Cha-Cha -off vocal-

Track analysis:

1 – Cha-Cha-Cha

SolidS’ Tsubasa (CV: Soma Saito) has undergone, quite possibly, one of the biggest upgrades in quality on the vocal end out of all SQ and ALIVE members.

Always with a playful vibe, risqué lyrics, and fanservice-filled performances, Tsubasa ends up leaving a mark in most – if not all – of SolidS’ performances. However, his solo tracks tend to waver a bit in quality. That changes a bit in this performance.

In “Cha-Cha-Cha” fans are greeted with a muffled guitar, slowly opening the curtains to this performance.

Now, this is a song you would never expect – instrumental-wise – coming from Tsubasa.

It is playful but it embraces a mature mix of rock and jazz, creating a close, you can even say “intimate” soundscape in which, besides him, the band, and you, there isn’t anyone else around. The song is made for you to have your full attention on Tsubasa and honestly, with the performance he delivers, that is easy to achieve.

The piano gets increasingly jaunty as the song gets to the chorus. And it is in that part in which the guitars get all playful.

At his core, Tsubasa continues to be as playful and suggestive as ever – maybe even more now as he’s gotten older – but the sound certainly has changed from intense rock to a jazzier sound that showcases his maturity in music form.

But don’t be fooled by the playful tone in “Cha-Cha-Cha”. This song is, by no means, innocent (and that’s exactly where you can see that while he’s matured, his core is still pretty much intact).

At the same time, much has changed on the vocal end. And this is, more than because of the character’s growth, Soma Saito’s individual growth as a singer and performer. If we go back in time, “flare” was the first time he performed a solo song as a member of SolidS

While that performance was absolutely mind-blowing at that time, in hindsight you can tell how Saito lacked confidence in his singing style as Tsubasa. At the same time, his singing had subtle shifts in quality. Compare his performances now, and especially in this song, and you get a completely different performer. 

Falsetto, a vibrato that is slowly being developed, improved control over his legato and long notes, among many other little details on the vocal end vastly upgraded Tsubasa’s performances, culminating in this song.

Having settled with a style of singing for Tsubasa and being comfortable performing as the character has made it so that Tsubasa sounds all the more confident and “dangerous”. All the character needed to get there was for Saito to gain that confidence (both in his singing skills as well as his role as Tsubasa).

As a result, “Cha-Cha-Cha” shows a vastly confident and matured Tsubasa, a result of massive upgrades on Soma Saito’s singing skills and the normal passage of time in the TSUKIPRO series that takes Tsubasa to close to his 30s at the time of writing this review.

Playful, mature, and suggestive all in good measure, “Cha-Cha-Cha” is a must listen.


Cha-Cha-Cha” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


For media, PR, and business enquiries, please email me at: info@handthatfeedshq.com

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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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Cha-Cha-Cha

SUMMARY

"Cha-Cha-Cha" stands as a testament to Tsubasa's significant growth, reflecting both Soma Saito's improved - and polished - singing skills and the natural progression of the TSUKIPRO series, which sees Tsubasa Okui approaching his 30s at the time of this review. (Yes, in this franchise, all members are naturally growing old alongside their fans, which is refreshing). Balancing playfulness, maturity, and suggestive tones, "Cha-Cha-Cha" is a unique listen, featuring what is Saito's best take on a Tsubasa solo track, all while showcasing a more confident and refined Tsubasa.

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"Cha-Cha-Cha" stands as a testament to Tsubasa's significant growth, reflecting both Soma Saito's improved - and polished - singing skills and the natural progression of the TSUKIPRO series, which sees Tsubasa Okui approaching his 30s at the time of this review. (Yes, in this franchise, all members are naturally growing old alongside their fans, which is refreshing). Balancing playfulness, maturity, and suggestive tones, "Cha-Cha-Cha" is a unique listen, featuring what is Saito's best take on a Tsubasa solo track, all while showcasing a more confident and refined Tsubasa.Review | Tsubasa Okui “Cha-Cha-Cha”