SOARA “panorama” (Review)

SOARA‘s “panorama” is everything a fan could expect and more. Toned down instrumentalization, focus on a matured acoustic sound and outstanding vocal performances make this release another impressive entry in the RE:START series.

Title: ALIVE RE:START series vol.4 Morihito&Soushi
Label: Tsukipro/Movic
Release date: 30/11/2018
Genre: Acoustic Rock


1 - panorama 
2 - panorama (off vocal)

Track analysis:

1 – panorama

SOARA are known as an energetic, youthful band but lately, there have been noticeable changes in their sound, showing us glimpses of what might be a new direction in their sound. “panorama” perfectly captures the mature vibe that is slowly being introduced in their music and takes it to a whole other level. This is a quiet song with slow pacing, a firm bet on acoustic elements and focus on melodic yet powerful vocals. This is the polar opposite of what SOARA are known for.

There’s a certain nostalgy in the instrumental – that is channeled by the melodic guitar licks and strings hits – however, at the same time, there’s a bright spot that propels this song forward, culminating in the beautiful chorus led by a delicate piano melody. The instrumental is quiet, stripped down of anything you might consider as “loud” or “aggressive”. Acoustic guitars, nostalgic guitar licks, slow paced snary drums and a reverberating bass line complete this warm and memorable instrumental.

When it comes to the vocals, there couldn’t have been a more perfect match than Yuki Ono and Makoto Furukawa. Two skilled singers, both with sweet mid-to-low tones, packed with powerful vibrato and falsetto. Both are incredibly versatile however, they’ve had few chances to impress or at least have the spotlight on them for more than 20 seconds.

Yuki Ono is extremely talented and adaptable. He’s able to perfectly harmonize with Furukawa and, in his solo parts, impresses with his range and technique. He’s had a fair amount of spotlight so far but nothing can compare to the quality of this performance of his.

On the other hand we can’t stress enough how important Makoto Furukawa is to SOARA and, at the same time, how badly “used” he had been up until recently.

panorama” is the first SOARA song (excluding solos) in which Makoto Furukawa has the most lines. He’s been part of this group since 2015 however only this year he got opportunities to shine when lines started to be split more evenly between members. “panorama” is actually the first time in 2018 in which fans can hear more from him than just a couple of spread out lines or backing vocals that barely amount to 20 seconds.

For some weird reason, he is often overlooked but he’s one of the most skilled singers within the Tsukipro franchise (since day 1). Pay close attention to his performance. Control, consistency and skill all came into play for what is his best performance so far with SOARA. This song and this lineup turned out to be the perfect setting for Furukawa to go all out and impress.

All in all, “panorama” is the kind of song that is meant to be enjoyed for its beauty rather than for its fast pace and excitement. SOARA continue to mature and we’re loving every minute of it. This is one of the best songs released this year.

Final rating:

ALIVE SOARA [RE:START] Series Vol. 4 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

ALIVE SOARA [RE:START] Series / Morihito Arihara (Yuki Ono), Soshi Kagurazaka (Makoto Furukawa)
Morihito Arihara (Yuki Ono), Soshi Kagurazaka (Makoto Furukawa)


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).





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