Trignal “so funny” (review)

trignal

Trignal come off of this album strengthened and there is enough proof throughout the album to support this claim.” This is an album that will make you want to listen more about them without a doubt.”

Trignal bring us their first album “so funny” and with it comes a collection of tracks with interesting twists and turns that will make your jaws drop in awe. An album that has the track “Naughty” being penned by Ryohei Kimura and for the first time each member gets their time in the spotlight with their solo tracks. As stated Ryohei Kimura sings “Naughty“, Takuya Eguchi sings “延長線上のFriends” and Tsubasa Yonaga sings “視線の先 in an album that completely redeems this unit and makes us forget how weak some single releases were in the past. “so funny” is available in two editions: regular and limited edition. Now off with the details.

Regular editionAlbum: so funny
Label: Kiramune
Release date: 16/04/2014
Genre: J-Pop

The tracklist is the following:

1. Sunny Shiny Days
2. ORIGINAL COLOR
3. 延長線上のFriends
4. 愛しさのコントラスト
5. RESISTANCE
6. Naughty
7. SUMMER MAGIC
8. 視線の先
9. ALL FOR ONE!!!
10. Cupid Cupid Cupid!!!

Track by track analysis:

1. Sunny Shiny Days

Trignal’s pretty pop kicks off this album. “Sunny Shiny Days” is the single chosen to promote the album and comes of as an interesting choice. This is one of those tracks to keep everyone entertained but it’s nothing over the top or incredibly good really worth of big praise, of course when talking about the instrumental track. On another note what’s really worth praise is how the seiyuu unit has grown in terms of singing: Ryohei Kimura that, in times, seemed the most vulnerable in terms of delivering a good singing performance, really shines in this one, well, not only this track, he seems to be, by himself, a highlight in this album completely turning the tables around with his performance. Eguchi sounds as good as ever and Yonaga’s high pitched vocals don’t sound out of place in this track. 4/5

2. ORIGINAL COLOR

Now with a more “easy to digest” pop track “ORIGINAL COLOR” turns out to be a good track in Trignal’s repertoire. A milder, sweeter pop track more focused on the synths, strings and funky guitar playing. A feel good track from start to finish with the guys sounding great vocal wise, with the instrumental laying the final touches to an already strong and well performed track. If you had your doubts about this seiyuu unit not being able to deliver a good track (like myself) your doubts will be blown away. This track picks electronica elements here and there with an outro more dubstep oriented, delivers a good guitar solo before entering the outro and has a smooth build up towards the chorus. Well structured and not sounding cheesy, this is how Trignal should always be. 5/5

3. 延長線上のFriends

A more rock-driven track kicking off with the guitars and drums leading the way to Eguchi’s vocals. A track that takes a completely different turn considering that Trignal have only delivered so far Pop tracks. We find the first solo track in this album and we couldn’t be more happy about it. Eguchi knows how to deliver a solid performance sounding as good singing a rock track as he sounds while singing pop songs. 延長線上のFriends is a big highlight in the solo department in this album. With an instrumental focused in the whole “band” sound, the bass is prominent, the guitars are raging between riffs and solos, the drums are unstoppable and the vocals are fierce. 5/5

4. 愛しさのコントラスト

Taking the ballad road we find a track with a lot of jazz elements: funky guitar, bongos, bass and the strings giving it a classy yet sexy ambience to the track. With a strong yet soft instrumental this track manages to impress on a first listen. Eguchi sounds good, Kimura sounds incredibly seductive and Yonaga sounds just right making the vocal track a one to recon with. The instrumental manages to increase the quality of this track not resorting to weird synths or piano parts, instead it takes the road towards a classy instrumental and gives us melodic guitar solos, soft, almost unnoticeable drums and a bassline to die for, at least it has some of the best elements I’ve ever heard on a Trignal track. Fabulous work on this one. 5/5

5. RESISTANCE

Raging guitars open the curtains for “RESISTANCE“. A fast track with up-tempo drums, aggressive guitar riffs and an incredible noticeable bassline. On the vocal side both Eguchi, Kimura and Yonaga sound great making good use of the tempo changes between the verses and the hyped chorus. The outro has the unit rapping in between verses towards the amped up, fast chorus. The instrumental piece is, by itself, an incredibly solid one with a good solo by the end of the track putting you on the edge of your seat. What? It already ended? Yes, this track ends with a guitar solo and was so fast that it seemed like it was still starting. Good track and impressive registry completely knocking down our preconceptions regarding Trignal’s way too much cheery, bright, sometimes cheesy pop. 4/5

6. Naughty

Ryohei Kimura pens this track and shows off both his writing skills as well as his singing skills that have long developed in this two years. This is the second solo track in the album and it’s such a strong one almost blowing the other solo tracks away. Ryohei Kimura sounds fresh, delivering a completely new side to his singing in this track. He is by far, the Trignal member that has grown the most since the formation of the seiyuu unit. He may have sounded bad at times but not anymore. “Naughty” shows how great his rough mid-toned vocals don’t fail and can now showcase a wide range of emotions, making this track the strongest of the solo tracks and one of the highlights on it. The instrumental once again takes a more rockish approach resorting to acoustic guitars and a whole “band” sound with the drums and bass taking their spots in the spotlight here and there in the track. Not that big of importance given to the synths, which is great, the instrumentals don’t need to always resort to that electronic “edge” or they will tire us in an instant. Overall this track screams “talent” all over it be it on the lyrics (congrats to Ryohei Kimura that is showing signs of being a good lyricist) or in the instrumental department. 5/5

7. SUMMER MAGIC

SUMMER MAGIC” is an already known track for Trignal’s fans. It was released last year and has been a regular track in the unit’s setlist. With this track we’re back to the pretty, cheery pop that has been Trignal’s invitation card for these past two years. Not an impressive track in itself but still a pretty entertaining one to say the least. On the vocal department it’s to note that Ryohei Kimura sounds almost overwhelmed not standing out much unless we reach the chorus where he hits the high notes better than anyone. On the instrumental side we find a more string-oriented sound but with the help of the unstoppable drums the track picks pace sounding more like an up-tempo track than some of their previous releases. In an album full of so many good tracks “SUMMER MAGIC” goes almost unnoticed not bringing anything new to the table. 3.5/5

8. 視線の先

Strings lead the way in the third and last solo track. With Tsubasa Yonaga on the wheel we find an impressive track. This track goes towards a milder sound with a mid-tempo instrumental resorting to piano parts, some synths way thrown in the background, the acoustic guitar and the bass and with the drums taking center stage in almost all the track. As we reach the outro we are presented with two solos, one provided by the acoustic guitar and the other delivered by the piano. A good mix between the instruments and not a single complain regarding the vocal track. Yonaga knew he had to deliver a good performance and that is exactly what he delivered. A solid performance on this one but it falls short when compared with Eguchi or Kimura’s solo tracks. 4/5

9. ALL FOR ONE!!!

“ALL FOR ONE!!!” delivers a more electronica oriented instrumental almost resembling their sound in the single releases but still a bit different from it. This is a amped up, highly danceable and entertaining track from start to finish with an instrumental that is not overcrowded with synths and simply goes all out with a couple making this a smooth synth oriented sound, the perfect cushion for the vocal track to take their place and shine. Trignal are sounding better than ever and in unison sound great. A good track restoring our confidence in this guys. 4/5 

10. Cupid Cupid Cupid!!!

To finish the album we’re presented with “Cupid Cupid Cupid!!!“. All that progress throughout the album was almost thrown away with this track that almost receded all that improvement made so far. This track has nothing really “shiny”, the instrumental is almost funny resorting more to blowing instruments than any of the previous tracks so trumpets are all out on this one. The vocal track is still solid and well performed but the instrumental impresses for all the bad reasons… It’s insignificant, doesn’t manage to make Trignal sound good and has an over cheesiness that we didn’t want to finish an album with. Still it’s strangely entertaining and catchy which is by itself a paradox when comparing with all I’ve said before.  3.5/5

Final rating: 4.5/5

Solid, solid, solid, solid album. This has impressed way too much. I confess that I’m shocked by how good these guys can sound, well, incredibly well when they want to and this album is proof of that. Major improvement in their singing skills and the unit’s overall sound. Ryohei Kimura receives by far the award of the member that has improved the most, shining and taking away the spotlight from the other members in almost every track. Solo wise I’ve only got good things to say about him. He is starting to show signs of being a strong lyricist and on top of that he is improving his singing skills at an impressive rate. He now shows more control over his vocals holding well to the notes not sounding off pitch in any track. But because this unit is not all about Kimura it’s also important to point out that Eguchi sounds great with his rockish side. His vocals have always being the main engine for the unit and they sound as great as ever which is something to commend. On the other side we have the sweet singer Tsubasa Yonaga that, solo wise, sounds great and delivers solid performances one after another. Instrumental wise it’s great to listen to a different side to Trignal’s sound. Now it’s way easier to listen, not because they sound more “commercial”, if that was it then they would be resorting to the “all mighty pop” sound that is such a big deal in Japan, instead the unit has opted for a more pop-rock oriented sound, something not so frequent in a seiyuu unit, making this album an incredibly strong one, completely throwing away all our doubts, if we had any, about their sound.

This album turned out to be a smooth, entertaining listen which was something I wasn’t expecting. Trignal come off of this album strengthened and there is enough proof throughout the album to support this claim. This is an album that will make you want to listen more about them without a doubt.

If you haven’t bought this album I’ve only got to tell you that you’d better buy it because it has impressed and upped the ante for future releases.

so funny” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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