“sunlight avenue” is Takuma Terashima‘s newest single on the block. The pop-rocker brings his second release of the year, breaking away from “0 + 1” sonority and experimenting a lot with his sound in an unexpected single.
Single: sunlight avenue Label: Lantis Release date: 17/08/2016 Genre: J-Pop/Rock
1．sunlight avenue 2．working high！ 3．いつもの場所で 4．sunlight avenue (Instrumental) 5．working high！ (Instrumental) 6．いつもの場所で (Instrumental)
Track by track analysis:
Already well known to his fans as well as those that have been watching vampire anime “Servamp” is sunlight avenue. This track is bright which is a bit different from what we’re used to from Terashima. Smelling like summer, this track displays a pop-rock sound in which guitars are funky and complimented by acoustic guitars. The bass is funky and the drums are minimal. The guitar solo in the bridge is a must listen. In this playful instrumental Terashima‘s performance is a stable as ever, mainly resorting to his mid tones to tackle this laidback track. Fun, entertaining, surprising but lacking something. 4/5
Ska rock takes over “working high!“, yet another playful, youthful summer track in which funky bass mixes with the excited brass and punk rock drums. This track relies on a simple formula that we can find in a lot of late 90’s early 00’s punk rock – brass, fast beats and amped choruses that beg the listener to take part in. Nothing new regarding this. The novelity about it though is that this is Terashima‘s first time tackling such a genre and actually doing it pretty well for a first attempt. Not our favorite song on this release but it’s certainly not a bad one at all. 4/5
To complete this release we’re presented with a tender, almost picturesque slow tempo bossa nova tune. Melodic acoustic guitars, a contrabass in the background, delicate piano melody and strings complete this tune that has some latin touches to it (mainly on its tempo and arrangement). Imagine this: you’re sat on a sofa with view to the sea, watching the sunset with a drink in hand and a live band playing in the background. If you’re feeling like this while listening to this track than you’re enjoying this tune to its fullest. This is so laidback – even the bluesy guitar solo in the bridge – and tender that is the perfect song to enjoy a sunset in the middle of the summer. Terashima‘s vocal performance is set on a higher register but it’s tender and cosy for the listener, putting you at ease. A winner on this release. 5/5
Ska rock, bright pop, even bossa nova with hints of jazz. These are far from being Terashii‘s trademark music genres. For those that are used to his robust set of punk rock tracks or even his early electronica (“hazy” – magic words era) this release will be hard to digest. For those that enjoy laidback music in which the focus stays on his vocal performance, then this is the release for you.
On our end we need to point out that Terashima is trying hard to break away from his trademark rock sound. It’s too obvious right now as he’s been doing a couple of experiments in several different genres in these past two releases. Whether these experiments are successful or not is a bit subjective. Bright pop certainly doesn’t match with Terashima‘s voice color, that is a fact. Ska and bossa nova actually fit well with his tender tone so we could say that it was a successful experiment. In the end “sunlight avenue” is just the beginning of something else that is going on in the background. If Terashima keeps experimenting in the future then he will certainly surprise us with his next release. In the meanwhile we only need to grab a drink and enjoy his loungy, laidback music in the best way we can.
“sunlight avenue” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.