Review | Wataru Hatano “Never End! Summer!” (single)

Wataru Hatano

Wataru Hatano goes for summer and retro synthwave vibes, warming up this winter with Never End! Summer!.

Regular
Title: Never End! Summer!
Release date: 23/12/2020
Label: AVEX 
Genre: Pop / Synthwave

Tracklist:

1 - Never End! Summer!
2 - Vivid Junction
3 - Never End!Summer!(Instrumental)
4 - Vivid Junction (Instrumental)

Track by track analysis:

1 – Never End! Summer!

[As previously reviewed]

Never End! Summer!’s instrumental counts with hyped up synths, bass-drum centric drums, exciting guitar riffs, creating an energetic, rather youthful and catchy sound.

A clap track and chants are also added, adding interactivity to this song. I am sure that this track will work insanely well on a live setting, especially as an encore track to to hype up the crowd.

The chorus is addictive and simple, showcasing a tasteful balance between the synths – that might be a bit overwhelming when the song kicks off – and the live classic rock band elements.

I am particularly found of how deep and warm the drums sound. The focus on its bass sound – bass drum and toms – made the instrumental stand out for me.

When it comes to the vocals, Wataru Hatano goes for an energetic and hopeful performance. You can feel the excitement in his voice, it is as if he is recalling good memories of a summer and channeling those so that those rub off on the listener.

Sweet vibrato adds a bit of flair throughout the track, being a really nice touch to a song that seemed like it’d go more on the goofy way but ended up being a mature take on peppy pop.

All in all, Wataru Hatano’s Never End! Summer! is a carefree, bubbly pop song that is meant to put a smile on the listener’s face.

2 – Vivid Junction

A beautiful piano melody and atmospheric synths paint a futuristic soundscape to Vivid Junction. This sound goes wild in its retro synthwave sound with pulsing synths, ethereal atmospheric synths and a tight, minimalistic beat.

The verses are a massive late 80s, early 90s throwback, slow paced and fancy in their approach to electronica and pop.

At the same time, the chorus counts with an iconic piano lead and dirty, bassy synths in the background whereas the bridge counts with an awesome keytar solo that had me jamming along and wishing for more, much more from it.

Vivid Junction is the kind of song I don’t want to end.

Wataru Hatano goes for a pretty smooth, passionate performance filled with falsetto and powerful mid-tones. I was grooving to his performance from the very first notes in the intro.

Masterful performance.


Final considerations

Wataru Hatano released what is a pretty unusual single for this season.

Never End! Summer! was made for the summer – and looks like it was intended to be released as a full single during the summer instead of just the digital release that was made during that season -, yet it managed to fit winter.

The single goes over a certain nostalgia over summer and flows into a cold, distant, futuristic yet, at the same time, retro take on synthwave in Vivid Junction.

This is the very first time a male seiyuu explores synthwave and what an attempt this one is! A rocking keytar solo, dreamy, exploration vibes overflowing, washy and atmospheric synths winking at the future at the same time that the bass line and piano lead embrace the past.

This is a pretty flawless take on synthwave, a music genre that I hold extremely dear to me. However, knowing how this is a really niche music genre of those that love the revival of the 80s, I never expected I’d ever hear a seiyuu tackling in the near future.

Wataru Hatano surprised me with his performance, completely embracing the music genre and the futuristic vibe in it. The instrumental was really well done, capturing that nostalgia for a time we haven’t lived in the past. The thrill, the emotion, the relaxing tone underneath, it was all accomplished in such a great way.

I won’t gush more about this track but wow, what a gem we got here!

All in all, Wataru Hatano’s Never End! Summer! is an awesome single that delivers a – now – nostalgic song made for the summer and goes pretty niche for the coupling track, the massive Vivid Junction.


[Disclaimer: Since Hatano is signed with AVEX pictures, THTFHQ won’t publish links to CDJAPAN’s store (or any store) as all are abiding to the label’s request not to export any of AVEX pictures‘ artist releases. More info on this can be found–HERE]

Never End! Summer! is available for streaming on Spotify.

Do not support piracy. Remember to support Wataru Hatano by streaming via official outlets.
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Never End! Summer!
Vivid Junction
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Also, the only person managing everything The Hand That Feeds HQ related. In 2011, 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).

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