Review | Yuma Shirase “peridot×aquamarine”

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Yuma Shirase’s “peridot×aquamarine” is an unexpectedly underwhelming entry in the bi-color series coming from what had been, up until now, one of the most consistent characters in the VAZZROCK franchise.

VAZZY comprises Tarusuke Shingaki (leader), Yusuke Kobayashi, Masahiro Yamanaka, Yusuke Shirai, Tsubasa Sasa, Shun Horie.

ROCK DOWN comprises Yukitoshi Kikuchi (leader), Yoshiaki Hasegawa, Takuya Sato, Taito Ban, Takuya Masumoto, Keisuke Koumoto.


Title: 白瀬優馬-peridot×aquamarine-
Label: Tsukipro/Movic 
Release date: 28/01/2022
Genre: Rock/Traditional Japanese

Tracklist:

1 - ドラマ「丸い? 四角い?」 
2 - ドラマ「Square」 
3 - TrueBeat,YourHeart
4 - 玉響たゆたう、花あかり
5 - TrueBeat,YourHeart -off vocal- 
6 - 玉響たゆたう、花あかり -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

3 – TrueBeat,YourHeart

TrueBeat,YourHeart” kicks off with a long intro in which Shun Horie’s raspy tenor vocals echo in the soundscape.

Now, there is something about the transitions between parts in this song that may put off some listeners. Between the intro and first verse as well as connecting the chorus with the following verses is an insanely fast, high-pitched synth melody that will sound out of place within this rock song.

Whether that’ll please you, not bother you, or completely put you off, will depend on how open you are dealing with such a quick burst of synths. I found those a bit too much, and really can’t understand what Leeep wanted to achieve by using those within the composition.

Guitars are melancholic at first, with distant riffs in the first part of the verses, cranking up the intensity by bringing shredding riffs in the latter part of the verses and putting more emphasis on the drums.

Now, the drums in this song are a blast to follow – and I can imagine, playing – with soft sections with mid-tempo rimshot, later on shifting for the classic fast snare + open hi-hat + bass drum + crash combo.

The intensity of the drums is countered by the aggressiveness of the guitars and the beauty of the piano melodies playing far in the background – and almost covered by the insane lead synth melody.

This is an interesting electronic-rock tune with plenty of shredding parts, fast-paced sections that will make you want to headbang as well as bubbly accents by the synths.

4 – 玉響たゆたう、花あかり

Wrapping up this CD is the traditional Japanese tune “Tamayura tayutau, hanaakari”.

Be ready for a fast-paced, groovy shamisen melody leading the way as splashy sampled drums and a screaming guitar in solo complement it.

Although relatively brief, the intro features taiko drums, with those being used as “hits” to accentuate the sampled drums throughout the song (although barely noticeable).

The verses are a bit subdued in their intensity. The beat rides a comfortable mid-tempo, with synth stabs adding some intensity to it. Slowly, live drums, electric guitar riffs, and bass join in.

Something that I find curious within this song is how the pre-chorus is relatively calm, going all out traditional to take the listener to the fun soundscape awaiting them.

What expects you in the chorus is a performance that would fit in the Japanese festival (matsuri), having that traditional melody and vocals progressions that most songs associated with such festivities have.

On the vocal end, listeners will find Shun Horie and Taito Ban. Right off the bat, you’ll notice their vocals working nicely together. Horie has a raspy twist to his tenor range and Ban has a robust baritone range.

However, what you get is neither a full-on traditional performance – that would fit the song’s tone – nor a pop performance. Something is underwhelming about their performance but I can’t really pinpoint it. It just sounds off.


Final considerations

Over the years, Yuma Shirase’s entries in the bi-color CD series have been impressive – some even among the best so far in the VAZZROCK franchise – but this one ended up underdelivering.

“peridot×aquamarine” is a solid yet uninspired entry in Yuma Shirase’s repertoire which is something I didn’t expect to write, ever.

There were plenty of potentially good ideas going on in this CD.

TrueBeat,YourHeart” mixed pure, shredding rock with hyped-up, glitchy electronica. Maybe it’s just me but I felt like those accents/brief intermissions focused on that high-pitched synth melody didn’t add anything to the song itself, only testing my patience every time they made an entrance.

With that aside, it’s worth mentioning the consistent and natural performance that Shun Horie delivered, easily this song’s highlight.

Tamayura tayutau, hanaakari” has a promising concept – traditional Japanese music focused on the festival culture – and achieved it in the instrumental. I love the intense shamisen riff that goes on from start to finish in this song. It’s way too groovy and serves as a perfect contrast to the electric guitar that is frequently soloing its way through the mix.

Contrary to the first track, the issue on this one is on the vocal end. There was no clarity about Shun Horie and Taito Ban’s singing for this song.

While they could have embraced a traditional Japanese style of singing (enka), the duo never ends up doing so. But their performance isn’t pop style either.

It’s just weird and underwhelming, certainly lacking in the chemistry while their technique was genuinely good.

All in all, Yuma Shirase’s “peridot×aquamarine” is an unexpectedly underwhelming entry in the bi-color series coming from what had been, up until now, one of the most consistent characters in the VAZZROCK franchise.


Shirase Yuma-peridot×aquamarine- is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


REVIEW OVERVIEW

TrueBeat,YourHeart
玉響たゆたう、花あかり

SUMMARY

Yuma Shirase’s "peridot×aquamarine" is an unexpectedly underwhelming entry in the bi-color series coming from what had been, up until now, one of the most consistent characters in the VAZZROCK franchise. While “TrueBeat,YourHeart" started off on a good note, with shredding rock leading the way, there are some details in the instrumental - high-pitched synths - that end up making it a bit of a chore to listen to the song. On the other hand, “Tamayura tayutau, hanaakari” has an interesting concept - traditional Japanese festivals - with that being the catalyst for a sound leaning more towards traditional Japanese music with hits and bits of rock in there. The vocals however are underwhelming and in no way reflect the talents that Shun Horie and Taito Ban have as singers. Even with its flaws, "peridot×aquamarine" is an entertaining entry in the bi-color series, however, if you're skimming through the best entries in this season, you can easily skip this one because this is far from Yuma Shirase's best.
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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Yuma Shirase’s "peridot×aquamarine" is an unexpectedly underwhelming entry in the bi-color series coming from what had been, up until now, one of the most consistent characters in the VAZZROCK franchise. While “TrueBeat,YourHeart" started off on a good note, with shredding rock leading the way, there are some details in the instrumental - high-pitched synths - that end up making it a bit of a chore to listen to the song. On the other hand, “Tamayura tayutau, hanaakari” has an interesting concept - traditional Japanese festivals - with that being the catalyst for a sound leaning more towards traditional Japanese music with hits and bits of rock in there. The vocals however are underwhelming and in no way reflect the talents that Shun Horie and Taito Ban have as singers. Even with its flaws, "peridot×aquamarine" is an entertaining entry in the bi-color series, however, if you're skimming through the best entries in this season, you can easily skip this one because this is far from Yuma Shirase's best.Review | Yuma Shirase "peridot×aquamarine"