Review | Shouta Aoi “BAD END”

Shouta Aoi BAD END promo

With BAD END, Shouta Aoi presents fans with fresh songs and unique vocal performances that are a clear improvement from last year’s Harmony.

Shouta Aoi BAD END cover

Title: BAD END
Label: King Records 
Release date: 29/04/2020 
Genre: Dance/Pop-Rock


2 - Existence (lyrics and composition by Shouta Aoi)
3 - Shake Shake! Together!

Track by track analysis:


BAD END brings fancy synths and screaming guitar riffs to this album. The intro is powerful but it slowly tones down, creating a delicate and elegant sound courtesy of strings and harpsichord melodies.

One thing I love about this song is how deep the snare and bass drum are in this track. That deep sound really stands out, making the song shine even further.

Other interesting point it that this is pretty toned down when it comes to the synths. Toning down the synths and giving the spotlight to the live band elements made this track flourish into one of its highlights.

Shouta Aoi absolutely destroys it on the vocal end. The control over his high notes, the amount of emotion throughout his performance… You can feel the tension in his vocals and it is impossible not to get hyped when the chorus develops its dynamics. Pretty flawless job on this end.

2 – Existence

Dark synths and an exciting dance beat lead the way for Existence.

The intro is long, building up tension resorting to a blend of atmospheric synths and a pounding snare-clap track beat. When the listener arrives at the first verse, it is impossible to not be hyped. And that’s when we are graced with a dancefloor anthem like no other.

Bass is loud, the synths are fancy and the atmospheric synths add that little bit of flair that makes Shouta Aoi’s distant and delicate vocals shine.

And that is exactly a point I want to touch upon. Aoi’s vocals. WOW. Although not on the insanely technical side, his low, alluring notes in the verses contrast with the angelic highs in the pre-chorus. This contrast is perfect illustrates the dual charm in this track: dark yet with a beautiful side.

As a whole, Existence is the party tune you’ve been missing. Addictive, tasteful in its take on electronica, and with a rather unique progression and vocal performance it simply stands out. Kudos to Aoi for the awesome composition and catchy lyrics.

Existence is the best song in this release.

3 – Shake Shake! Together!

Things change around. Cutesy pop-rock takes over with a fast-paced beat leading the way. Guitars are melodic and, at times, muffled in the background, giving the spotlight to the thunderous bass line.

Shake Shake! Together! has quick verses and even a quicker chorus that overflows energy and good vibes. This is certainly the type of song to put a smile on his fans. It is fun and has a motivating edge in the lyrics that resonates with the listener.

On the vocal end, Shouta Aoi goes for a softer performance – both in tone and technique required to pull it off.

His performance is infectious and gives those FAIRY APRIL vibes that, if you’re a fan like me, you’ll instantly get nostalgic about. Fun and addictive.

Final considerations

Shouta Aoi’s BAD END is a clear improvement to 2019’s Harmony.

BAD END is gives off a classy yet mysterious vibe from its instrumental. The work on the instrumental is incredibly tasteful, with the addition of synths not being overwhelming for the listener, instead it makes the song shine while creating a unique music bed for this track.

Existence is destined to be a massive hit at Shouta Aoi’s live shows. I can picture it as the first song in the setlist and it would absolutely hype the venue quickly.

It is overflowing with energy; it is dark and beautiful at the same time – and has an alluring edge to it – and hits really hard, especially with that massive bass line. And those vocals… This is a surprising dancefloor banger coming from Aoi.

Shake Shake! Together! Levels things up and adds a cutesy twist to this release – because too much edgy Aoi could be lethal for his fans. This is an easy-listening track filled with good vibes however, a bit generic in my opinion. Still, its nostalgic, youthful pop-rock sound is an attention-grabber.

Shouta Aoi delivered consistent and powerful performances throughout this single.

From his unique – and mesmerizing – singing style in Existence to the sweet, youthful tone in Shake Shake! Together!, and the dual charms in his performance in BAD END, he was on fire.

BAD END is a rock-solid single with each song catering to different types of fans – or music fans – while trying different things in terms of sound and vocal performances. Great addition to his repertoire.

BAD END is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.


BAD END is a rock-solid single with each song catering to different types of fans – or music fans – while trying different things in terms of sound and vocal performances. Although there was still a lot of experimenting in this single, this time around, the experiments led to great results - as seen in Existence, song with a rather peculiar performance and unique sound (even by Aoi's standards). All in all, this is a consistent solid single that clearly improves on last year's Harmony.


Shake Shake! Together!
Vanessa Silva
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).






You might also like...