VS AMBIVALENZ franchise fully embraced a musical style in the dramatic, yet far from perfect, new CD, “VSA Musical”.
Title: VSA Musical Release date: 29/06/2022 Label: NIZISTA Genre: Pop/Rock/Jazz
1 - Opening Drama Track [Hello, GLANZ!!~vol.3~] 2 - スペシャル！ 3 - サンライズ・イン・ジ・アイズ 4 - Secret Drama Track 5 - Private Drama Track 6 - ビバレンソング！
Track by track analysis:
2 – スペシャル！
A jaunty piano melody and jazzy drums open the curtains to “Special!“. Brass and a clap track join in as the members have a quick talk part.
You’ll easily notice that this song is structured in a way that resembles a musical. It has several acts and mixes reading with singing.
On the vocal end, Tasuku Hatanaka and Makoto Furukawa are absolutely shining in this performance. They have the flair and elegance that goes along with the jaunty jazz sound in the first verses.
Midway, the song changes tone and melody bringing the other VS AMBIVALENZ members, giving way to a bubbly, musical-style performance.
By the end of the song, Ayumu Murase and Makoto Furukawa go for beautiful harmonies, culminating in another talk part accompanied by a nostalgic piano melody.
In its 7 minutes, “Special!” gives life to a story and develops it from start to finish with a unique style that will be a treat for musical fans while sounding a bit weird to non-fans of musicals.
3 – サンライズ・イン・ジ・アイズ
Rain pours as the first lines of the story are said.
Marching its way in, brass, marching band drums, tuba, and wind instruments join in, creating a delicate sound with a grandiose twist.
“Sunrise in the Eyes” has a dramatic second act led by Tasuku Hatanaka and Shintaro Asanuma. In this part, brass, strings, and wind instruments go dark and somber.
Slowly, a harpsichord and organ give way to a melancholic part led by Tasuku Hatanaka’s faux baritone vocals.
It is during this part that this song shines the most, with guitars and orchestral elements creating a dramatic sound.
On the vocal end, Kengo Kawanishi’s high notes stand out a bit too much for how strained those sound. Alongside Hatanaka’s vocals, it is impossible not to notice the drastic quality change to the performance.
This song would absolutely shine in a live setting but as it is, most of the setting and enjoyment of watching this song gain life with a stage performance is lost.
6 – ビバレンソング！
“Vivalenz Song“ wraps up this CD with a song that strays away from everything else.
A jaunty piano, a bass synth lead, brass stabs and fast-paced triplets create a bouncy EDM-hop tune.
The verses are groovy and punchy as each member goes for a fancy mix of rap and clean singing.
The focus is on presenting each character and its charms and thus, the song flies by. While not the best ensemble song by the franchise “Vivanlenz Song” neatly wraps up this dramatic CD.
VS AMBIVALENZ “VSA Musical” is, just like its title, all about its musical sound.
The first two songs are presented in a way that it feels like you’re watching a musical play unfold.
You have different acts within each song, the songs progress through a mix of talk parts and singing and the cast made sure to deliver performances with a lot of drama.
However, as interesting as each song is, I feel like when you listen to both tracks (over 7 minutes long each), many things are lost in translation and would fare better when performed on stage rather than on sound only.
Highlights on the vocal end belonged to Makoto Furukawa, Tasuku Hatanaka and Ayumu Murase. The three were relentless on the vocal end, fitting perfectly with the technically dramatic style of singing that was required in all songs.
All in all, VS AMBIVALENZ “VSA Musical” is an ambitious CD that brought forward an interesting yet weirdly executed musical style.
VS AMBIVALENZ is a 2D music project by NIZISTA (best known for HANDEAD ANTHEM). It has a pretty unique format in which only 7 out of the 14 members will make it to the final group.
And in charge of deciding who makes it to the group is you, the listener.
The cast includes Shintaro Asanuma, Makoto Furukawa, Chiaki Kobayashi, Reiou Tsuchida, Tasuku Hatanaka, Kengo Kawanishi and Ayumu Murase.
To get to know more about this project, please refer to THTFHQ’s extended article about VS AMBIVALENZ.
“VSA Musical” is exclusive to Nizista, TOWER RECORDS, and Animate Japan’s stores.
“VSA Musical” is available for streaming on Spotify.
Do not support piracy. Remember to support VS AMBIVALENZ by streaming via official outlets.