We’re back with another X Lied series release. This time around we have one of the most anticipated releases in hand. Shiki Takamura (Takuya Eguchi) and Shu Izumi (Shunsuke Takeuchi) are here to impress with their vocal talents in what is a stellar release.
Title: SQ X Lied Vol 1. Label: Tsukino-Pro Release date: 24/03/2017 Genre: J-Pop/Rock/Electronica
01. クロスノーツ 02. End of Night 03. クロスノーツ (off vocal) 04. End of Night (off vocal)
Track by track analysis:
Eguchi takes on the challenge to sing a song slightly different from what we’re used to from SolidS. Enlisting the help of dirty synths was a nice choice, giving this song the fast paced city life imagery we immediatly got from it. This song has two different gears but all of them close to being fast paced. Not often can we say that an instrumental song gave us a certain “imagery”. There are songs that weren’t made with this purpose, this is one thankfully has a fantastic touch – much like SolidS‘ last single “COCORO” that had a similar imagery. On the vocal department Eguchi is using all his trumps and what we get is a powerful performance with an interesting mix of high and mid-to-low tones. Incredibly well executed. 5/5
02. End of Night
Is everyone alright after listening to this song? A funky bassline leads the way for what is the major highlight in this release. “End of Night” is a quality minimal pop-rock song with some electronica bits that makes great use of his deep vocals. We’ve already talked about the funky bassline didn’t we? Well, that’s basically the core of the song. Building up around it are the snary drums, acoustic guitars, synths and piano parts. All of these elements together not only make a fantastic instrumental but also give a good laidback mood to the whole song. Takeuchi tackles this song with ease for a memorable performance. If you’re reading this before listening to the song we can only say, you’re in for an amazing ride! Takeuchi doesn’t disappoint. 5/5
We got the leaders of SolidS and QUELL facing off for this first SQ X Lied release. And we’re beyond impressed with both performances. It’s nice for a change to have Eguchi taking on a much simpler song than what SolidS usually presents to their listeners. Eguchi is a terrific singer. He might not be the most skilled or own a one-of-a-kind singing voice but he’s good, really good. He adapts easily to the music genre he’s faced with and changes his vocals accordingly. Few are able to do that and make it sound good in the end product. He might sing on a lower key when he’s with SolidS but here we found him reaching for those high notes and doing it pretty well.
Now Shunsuke Takeuchi… Takeuchi is a powerhouse, there’s no way around it. We’ve been fans of his since we were struck by his skills on QUELL‘s debut single. He’s a vocal powerhouse that might be only exploring about 1% of his talent at such a young age – people don’t realize this, but he’s only 19 years old (born in Sep. 1997)! Note that, for example, Mamoru Miyano and Kishow didn’t sing this well or sounded this polished when they made their solo debuts (and they did it later in their 20’s).
For a kid like him to have vocals so well developped at such a young age only means that he’s a natural at it. And from what we can tell, he might have a lot of untapped potential that if nurtured right, might turn him into one of the best singers in the business. To finish this small rant we need to mention something: how many singers in Japan can actually pronounce english correctly? We leave that question to each of you but the answer is clear. Well, our boy Takeuchi has a close to flawless english pronunciation that will make you swoon.
SQ‘s X Lied series kicks off with a bang as both leaders set the ante insanely high from the get-go. A release that we recommend everyone to give a listen.
SQ X Lied vol. 1 is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.