Review | Shugo Nakamura “Colorful”

Shugo Nakamura colorful
Shugo Nakamura colorful promo

Shugo Nakamura paints laidback soundscapes with his semi-acoustic sound and crafty lyrics in Colorful.

Shugo Nakamura colorful regular
Regular
Title: カラフル 
Label: Lantis 
Release date: 11/03/2020 
Genre: Pop-Rock/Acoustic

Tracklist:

1 - カラフル (lyrics and composition by Shugo Nakamura)
2 - imitation (lyrics and composition by Shugo Nakamura)
3 - 風花

Track by track analysis:

1 – カラフル

Overdriven guitar riffs, snary drums and a sweet piano melody lead the way for Colorful. The song counts with semi-acoustic verses, with electric and acoustic guitars playing side by side, creating a heartwarming soundscape.

The chorus rises in tension, with guitars going slower and the bass taking over with awesome melodies. The pacing is comfortable, making this song an enjoyable listen.

Biggest highlight in the instrumental comes with the powerful – albeit brief – guitar solo in the bridge. Awesome stuff right there.

On the vocal end, Shugo Nakamura delivers a solid performance rooted in his mid-toned vocals but fret not, he also delivers some sweet stuff, with his falsetto adding gentle touches to the overall performance.

Colorful really paints a laidback and sweet soundscape, it is that kind of song that you will want to listen to when you want something uplifting and easy-listening.


2 – imitation

Things change around for imitation. The song kicks off in a gentle fashion, with acoustic guitar riffs leading the way.

The song quickly yet smoothly progresses into an upbeat and funky semi-acoustic tune. Guitar riffs are playful and with a funk flair. Drums are bassy and warm, at the same time, the bass goes for a thunderous slapped performance that will ring in your ears even after the song has ended.

Verses are quick, not losing its pacing to the high tension, groovy chorus. The guitar solo is once again a highlight in this release, adding the perfect measure of tension to this song.

On the vocal end, Shugo Nakamura goes for a rawer performance than in Colorful. His vocals are more direct and there is no shying away from tackling some sections in a raspier fashion. Top marks for this song that completely flew by in an instant.


3 – 風花

This single wraps up with Kazabana, lullabyish song rooted in an melancholic acoustic sound. With acoustic guitar melodies leading the way slowly, strings and piano melodies add an extra layer of emotion to this track.

Kazabana does not count with percussion – no drums, drumpads, synthetic drums or anything of the sort. The fact that this song has an unplugged sound makes it for a more personal performance, connecting more easily with the listener.

It sounds more delicate and gentle and with Nakamura’s sweet vocals, it is impossible to not be touched by this track. Such a marvelous track.


Final considerations

Shugo Nakamura‘s Colorful spreads good, sweet vibes to his fans – and new listeners – in such a simple yet unique way.

If there is one thing that I have been really enjoying about his music is just how “sincere” it sounds. It plays close to the listener. The lyrics are relatable, the fact that acoustic elements are always present and, at times, at center stage, help create a cosy, intimate vibe that makes Nakamura’s songs connect with ease with the listener.

This time around we got 3 tracks that share almost the same vibe yet explore its themes in completely different ways.

I’ve grown particularly fond of Kazabana, the unplugged goodness of a track that really goes for your emotions. Nakamura’s performance is simple yet carrying the right emotions to deal a blow in the listener.

Colorful and imitation are two awesome tracks. Colorful has a nice, mid-tempo pacing that I really enjoyed and its “campfire”, laidback vibe puts you in such a good mood with relative ease. imitation brings those solid rock vibes from his debut single, Here comes the SUN. There’s no way you can’t enjoy listening to this track, just listen to that amazing guitar solo – if you need some flashy auditory stimuli to get you into this track.

Vocal wise, Shugo Nakamura was flawless.

His performances pack a wide array of emotions but he does so with a simplicity, not resorting to flashy techniques to deliver his message or making the listen partake in a story.

The fact that he manages to have a gentle tone throughout the whole release is also a massive plus, as it gives a sense of continuity to this release, having a start, mid and finish.

All in all, Colorful is a must listen release, even if you are not too big on acoustic music. The way Shugo Nakamura hand holds the listener and goes out on a journey with you is more than pretty welcoming, add to it that his music is heartwarming and made with care – noticeable in the lyrics and melodies composed / written by himself -, and you get a release that you can listen at all times and not tire of it.


Colorful is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Colorful / Shugo Nakamura
 
Shugo Nakamura

Colorful is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support Shugo Nakamura’s solo career by streaming via official outlets.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Colorful
imitation
Kazabana
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Now also talking about male seiyuu via SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile). 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).

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