Shy Makishima “Portrait” (Review)

Lagrange Point wrap up their participation on Marginal #4’s GALACTI9★SONG CD series with Shy‘s stunning Portrait.

Title: GALACTI9★SONG Series #6 
Label: Rejet/Pythagoras Production 
Release date: 15/05/2019 
Genre: Ballad


1 - ポートレイト
2 - パルコ (Shy ver.)
3 - ポートレイト (off vocal)
4 - パルコ (off vocal)

Track by track analysis:

1 – ポートレイト

Portrait is a melancholic R&B ballad that makes great use of longing piano melodies, delicate strings, blues-y guitar riffs, a minimalistic bass line and a mix of a slow paced R&B beat with live, splashy drums. The pacing is suitable for a ballad and flows incredibly well. The soundscape created is gentle yet melancholic, with the instrumental and Toshiyuki Toyonaga‘s emotional performance further enhancing that feeling.

When it comes to the vocal performance and, knowing that we are before a ballad, some would expect for Toyonaga to go all out with his range, especially tapping into those chilling high notes that he has used us to. However, what we got is completely different. His performance is softer, not putting emphasis on strength, instead performing everything on a gentle note. His performance pulls you in. Top marks 5/5

2 – パルコ (Shy ver.)

パルコ (Parco) follows the same tone. This ballad, with a sound and vibe that is commonly found in Marginal #4’s repertoire, is the only song that is common to all releases in the GALACTI9★SONG CD series. A delicate piano and strings melodies set the tone for this gentle ballad. Slow paced, bass-drum drums, melancholic guitar riffs and a noticeable bass line add the final touches to this instrumental. A nice touch – that might go unnoticed – is the rhodes piano melody play in the verses, enhancing the song’s melancholic tone. The pacing is deliberately slow, leaving the way open for vocals to shine. Toyonaga delivers a comfortable performance in which his vocals shine. He kept his performance simple, no big flourishes, nothing too

Final rating:

The 6th entry in the GALACTI9★SONG CD series put the spotlight on Lagrange Point‘s Shy Makishima (vocals and voice by Toshiyuki Toyonaga).

This entry is all about ballads and emotional, yet simplistic, performances and instrumentals.

Portrait is a sweet, melancholic ballad that blends elements of rock, pop and R&B that create a soundscape that the listener won’t ever tire of. The performance was kept to a minimum – no massive high notes or spine chilling crescendos in the climax, nothing. The tone and pacing was always the same, almost as if we were listening to a lullaby, however with a melancholic twist.

Toyonaga‘s take on Parco is rather interesting because his emotions were pretty much contained the whole time. It was melancholy that the song wanted to showcase not heartbreak as some of the previous takes on this song made it sound like. The comfort and confidence is noticeable in his performance. Nothing big in his performance however it is still incredibly impactful.

GALACTI9★SONG Series #6 is one of the strongest entries in the series. Simplicity and well contained emotions were enough to portray melancholia and leave a positive mark on us.

GALACTI9★SONG Series #6 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.