Wataru Hatano “Fuwari Fuwari” (Review)

Wataru Hatano

After an extremely solid full-length album in the 2018, Futuristic, it is safe to say that Fuwari Fuwari rode on that momentum, easily grabbing its spot as Wataru Hatano’s best single.

Title: フワリ フワリ
Release date: 27/11/2019
Label: AVEX
Genre: Funk-Pop / Ballad

Tracklist:

01. フワリフワリ 
02. オモイノカタチ 
03. Re Intro

Track by track analysis:

01.フワリフワリ 

Fuwari Fuwari explores funk, rock, jazz and a bit of pop, creating a unique and balanced soundscape. If there is something that easily stands out in this song is the groovy bass line. It is pivotal to make the funky, danceable side of this song come to life. At the same time, playful brass and funky guitar riffs add a taste of jazz and funk, making this track as catchy as you could possibly imagine.

While you’re enjoying this addictive tune, Wataru Hatano delivers a thoroughly groovy performance that makes great use of his control, dishing out sweet vibrato, as well as the right emotions to make this a cool tune to listen to. Top marks.

02. オモイノカタチ 

Omoi no Katachi grabs its seat as the resident ballad. This slow paced, nostalgic song dons a simple sound that follows the intro’s mellowed strings and slow percussion. A longing piano melody envelops the listener in the verses, evolving with the drama in the lyrics into a beautiful chorus.

Slowly, acoustic and electric guitars as well as drums make their entrance, adding depth on the emotions department. With those elements added to the instrumental and Wataru Hatano’s emotional performance, we reach a 2nd chorus with increased tension and although not expanding much on its sound, the song’s contained gentle and melancholic sound is impactful. One of Hatano’s best ballads.

03. Re Intro

Hatano wraps up Fuwari Fuwari with a song that exudes his trademark semi-acoustic, gentle pop-rock sound. Re Intro expands on the single’s overall gentle vibe, bringing forth a cosy sound rooted on acoustic guitars, simple percussion and bright piano melodies. The verses are gentle and flow in a seamless way into the chorus. Electric guitars and a rhodes piano add little details to this song that make it slightly different from different takes on this sound.

On the vocal end, Hatano delivers a passionate performance that makes you want to listen to more. The instrumental is the perfect complement to his gentle vocals.

Final considerations

After an extremely solid full-length album in the 2018, Futuristic, it is safe to say that Fuwari Fuwari rode on that momentum and easily grabbing its spot as Wataru Hatano’s best single.

From the funky goodness that is Fuwari Fuwari, a nice take on various music genres that Hatano has dabbled in his career but never fully embraced – jazz and funk -, to the sweetness in Omoi no Katachi and the warmth in Re Intro, this single is not short in quality songs.

Fuwari Fuwari takes the cake as best song in this release. A solid title track that not only capitalizes in the ongoing funk/jazz pop trend in the seiyuu industry – 2D projects as well as solo acts -, but gives it an interesting twist, focusing primarily in the driving bass line and containing all the dynamics into a simple, mature take on the genres, thus avoiding turning into another cheesy 70s revival funk/disco track.

The single concludes with 2 tracks that step into ballad territory. Omoi no Katachi is the purist take on the genre with its minimalistic instrumentalization that puts the focus on the vocals to connect with the listener. On the other hand, Re Intro creates a cosy soundscape while still having its emotional dimension however, toned down.

Vocals wise, I can’t add more than what wasn’t mentioned above or in previous reviews of his work. Hatano is a well-oiled machine when it comes to singing. His control is impressive, his ability to add emotion to his performances, thus connecting with the listener even in the simplest of compositions, gets me every time. His tricks and techniques – his stellar falsetto and crafty vibrato – continue to take his performances to a high quality level. And for this single it was no exception.

Fuwari Fuwari is a charming release that ditches bit electronica in favor of simple, warm melodies and gentle vocals. As a whole it is a release that goes full circle and is consistent in the themes explored. It is Wataru Hatano‘s best single to date.

Fuwari Fuwari is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support this project by streaming via official outlets.
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Fuwari Fuwari
Omoi no Katachi
Re Intro
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. A year later, I stumbled upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus". Since then I have been writing about male seiyuu music. You may find me writing almost essays whenever music is really good (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). I also host the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).

Comment