If there’s an artist in Lantis that has made the most changes is Takuma Terashima. The seiyuu and rocker is back with a new single after almost a year of radio silence. Drifting a bit more away from his trademark rock sound, Terashima embraces synths and electronica elements into his sound. “0+1” (Love and Peace) is here and we’ve reviewed it.
Single: 0+1 Label: Lantis Release date: 11/05/2016 Genre: J-Pop/Rock
1．0+1 2．ソラニ×メロディ 3．border-line 4．0+1 (Instrumental) 5．ソラニ×メロディ (Instrumental) 6．border-line (Instrumental)
Track by track analysis:
Summer is here and Terashima presents us with 0+1, a funky dance pop track in which synths are at the core. With guitar parts set at a minimum, being mostly replaced by seesaw synths, this track showcases a different kind of mood and feel with its laid back instrumental. The funky slap bass is a major highlight in this track bringing danceable grooviness to this track. So are all rock elements out? Yeah, that’s right. Terashima made a risky bet releasing and penning a dance track but surprisingly it panned out well. The track mixes house and dubstep elements with the funkiness of the 70’s boogie disco – whoever said Terashima could only sing rock songs will be surprised with 0+1 (Love and Peace). Vocally Terashima is as expected: steady and energetic, kudos for his bridge performance that blew us away. On our end we feel that this single starts off with the right foot. 5/5
With a bright piano melody joined by minimal synth pads in the background, ソラニ×メロディ seems like it’ll go in the same away as the previous track – turns out it goes in the opposite way. This song brings back rock elements to the table starting from the first verse. Still a bit far from Terashima‘s heavy rock, this track goes towards a brighter, energetic pop driven performance. With mid-tempo bass driven drums, strings, fast guitar riffs and a stunning strummed bass the song is a complete energy boost in which nothing sounds out of its place. 4.5/5
To complete this single, we find “border-line” another dubstep/loungy electronica track with a rock edge given by the heavy guitar riffs. What might have been a good idea on paper really turned into a complicated track to listen to. There’s so much going on, especially in the chorus, that the listener can’t simply focus on the track as a whole. The problem lies with the synths chosen for this track: while in the intro we’re presented with airy, ethereal and gated synths simplifying the sound, it’s the chorus that actually kills the song altogether. Yes, the chorus is explosive, and yes, there are heavy guitar riffs there. But the amount of gated, glitched, phased synths in that specific part not only made it incredibly hard to listen to, but it also turned that part of the track into a complete mess. Processed drums only make their entrance in the chorus as well, and it simply didn’t turned out to get the song to better places. The effects given to the high-hats and crash were god-awful by themselves, it gets worse when those mix with the entourage of heavily processed synths in the background. The arrangement is also all over the place but we won’t get into detail. Instrumental wise the only passable part is the bridge (which lasts 10 seconds tops). Vocally it was actually a good performance but sadly there was too much going on in the background muffling Terashima‘s take on the lyrics. What did we get in end? A track with a good intro and bridge but nothing more. Some times things should just stay minimalistic instead of being all over the place. A shame given that we were expecting much more (thanks to its strong intro). 3/5
0+1 (Love and Peace) is a gamble. Terashima really went out of the box for this one and while not everything panned out well, it was still an interesting trip. With the title track the trademark heavy guitars, fast paced, punk-rock drums and powerful basslines gave way to ethereal, loungy synths, synthetic drums and dubstep breaks. While most people might think that Terashima has actually given a step backwords joining the bandwagon of pop singers that rely on this formula, we beg to differ, at least with this track. This track could have easily come from his “magic words” era. From here on things went downhill.
ソラニ×メロディwas a pop-rock driven track putting away all that edgier, heavy rock that has followed him in these past few releases, attempting something brighter, that can reach a wider audience. Then we reach the final track: “border-line” that seemed like a bunch of ideas were thrown at but nothing really was worked to its fullest.
In the end 0+1 seems to be a trial and error type of release. Lots of ideas were pitched in, some worked well and others didn’t. While the instrumentals were the issue, we don’t have any complaints regarding Terashima‘s lyrics (penned all three tracks) and his vocal execution. Those were undoubtedly the highlights in this release.
0 + 1 is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.