Tetsuya Kakihara “GET OVER HERE” (Review)

Tetsuya Kakihara

Playing in known territory, Tetsuya Kakihara showcases his skills in the funk-rock mini-album, GET OVER HERE.

Regular
Title: GET OVER HERE
Label: Kiramune 
Release date: 25/09/2019 
Genre: Jazz/Funk/Rock

Tracklist:

1. Get over you… 
2. To the Next 
3. アイコトバ 
4. wundervolle Nacht 
5. ジェラシーメイカー 
6. パンドラ

Track by track analysis:

1 – Get over you…

Get over you… channels summer from its intro and gives us a nostalgic soundscape to enjoy. Funky guitar riffs, dreamy synths, groovy bass line and a simple and a minimalistic beat are essential to take this into the feel good category.

While listening to this song it is impossible not to relax, feel the vibe and enjoy its take on 80s and 90s pop-rock and funk.

Its smooth progression from the dreamy intro to the verses, in which bassy synths and other hits that give a nostalgic 80s vibe; the way the chorus flows and how the electric guitar shines multiple times with fitting solo parts, or even how the ending of the song just fades-out like in the 80s, make this song a treat to listen to.

Kakihara gives a solid performance that showcases his control and skills on the vocal end, bringing a lot of falsetto to enhance his sweet mid tones throughout. Top marks for the opening.

2 – To the Next

Playful guitar riffs make way for what is one of the oddest songs in this release. With an instrumental that puts the focus on rock elements, featuring guitars at center stage and simple, splashy drums on top of even more playful vocals, this song finds a special way to make the listener connect with this song.

The addition of trumpets and other wind instruments made this song more than your average rock song, more like a pill of energy. The vocals are downright fun, with the performance shifting from clean singing to talking, a nice touch that made this, the odd ball in the mini-album, the perfect energizer to add to your playlist.

3 – Ai kotoba

Rock takes over Ai Kotoba, with a mid-tempo guitar solo and bassy drums opening the way. This track has a 10s textbook rock structure – quick verses, even quicker choruses -, and simple vocal performance relying heavily on Kakihara’s solid mid tones and energy to grab the listener’s attention.

Entertaining song but far from the quality of the rest of the mini-album.

4 – wundervolle nacht

Funky guitar riffs, groovy bass lines, an alluring piano melody and simple drums are at the core of the German-titled, wunderwolle nacht. The pacing is playful and addictive, bringing out the best from funk to this mini-album with its simple but danceable beat and deep bass-driven sound. The verses are entertaining but the chorus is pure class from Kakihara.

It is no secret that Kakihara is a native German speaker and fluent Japanese speaker, however, up until now, he had never explored that in his solo music. When it is mentioned that the chorus is pure class is not only because of the classy piano melodies or just how funky and groovy this song is.

His smooth transitions from Japanese to German in the chorus, making both languages work in this danceable song, are responsible to grabbing our attentions. Add to this Kakihara’s energetic and slightly alluring performance – something that is mainly due to his half-air-half-sound singing technique -, and wundervolle nacht swiftly grabs the title of best track on this mini-album.

5 – Jealousy Maker

Jealousy Maker introduces us to playful jazz piano melodies, brass and classy contrabass bass lines. The drums are jazz inspired, bringing out a playful, unusual beat that works like a charm with the upbeat melodies of the piano and danceable  classic rock sound of the organ and guitar riffs.

Another fun entry that features a solid performance, riding a lot on Kakihara’s half air, half sound style of singing. Nice touch mixing classic 50s rock with jazz.

6 – Pandora

The mini-album wraps up with Pandora, track that brings back pop-rock melancholy. Piano melodies are big and distant, guitars are muffled and overdriven at times, as if locked in side of something. The dynamics change for the chorus as guitars are much cleaner, bass and drums shine and in which the guitar is one step closer to take this song to “rock anthem” territory, basically calling the listener in for the fun and sing along.

The verses and chorus follow a simple formula and do not change much in terms of tempo, riding on a mid-to-fast tempo that works well for this kind of amped up tune.

Vocally, Kakihara delivers a comfortable performance, showing that rock is a music genre that he is more than comfortable to perform. His control and versatile mid tones add an extra bit of power to this tune.

Final considerations

Tetsuya Kakihara continues to explore older sonorities, bringing a lot of the 50s, 70s, 80s and 90s to his sound.

After a masterful album release, GET OVER HERE is an extremely consistent mini-album release that meets our expectations even if it does not have the same power and quality previous entries in his repertoire have. With that being said, the full score this album gets despite weaker entries within the album is a result about the mini-album as a whole. Consistency in sound throughout the album, the nostalgic sound, the tasteful way in which classic music trends were explored in this release and Kakihara’s skillful performances make this release as a whole sound close to perfect.

This is a mini-album that does not stray much away from the sound of previous iterations in his repertoire, bringing funk, jazz, classic rock and disco to the table however giving a different twist to it.

In my books, this mini-album is an improvement over music genres and types of song structures that he had previously explored.

There is a lingering alluring vibe in Kakihara’s songs, something noticeable in tracks such as Get over you… and wunderwolle nacht. Although both aren’t necessarily an emulation of Last Lady (song featured on Tetsuya Kakihara’s I for U), it still had that touch in the instrumentals that made the songs shift from danceable funk-rock tunes from suggestive tracks in several occasions.

As far as best tracks go, wunderwolle nacht takes the crown. This song encompasses so many of Kakihara’s strong points as a solo artist that is only natural for it to stand out in this mini-album.

Ai kotoba was the only track that was not up to Kakihara’s usual quality. Of course, it is an entertaining pop-rock tune but there’s nothing else to it. Its sound and structure are textbook 10s rock, and Kakihara’s performance was good but nothing out of the ordinary. This might be the kind of song that might work better on a live setting, enabling Kakihara to rest his vocals a bit as it is not as fast paced nor taxing on his vocals as other songs in his repertoire. Within this album it is a track that takes the back seat when there are 5 other better songs shining in this release.

All in all, GET OVER HERE is another great addition to Kakihara’s repertoire. His vocals continue to impress, his performances overflow of energy, the album feels complete, having a start and end and following a common theme and sound throughout.

Tetsuya Kakihara‘s GET OVER HERE is a must listen.

GET OVER HERE is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

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