XYZ “Lovely Baby” (Review)

xyz-coverXYZ return with a new single and it isn’t what we expected at all.

The recently debuted unit consisting of Atsushi Tamaru, Ryota Osaka and Natsuki Hanae, keep a trend of rather disappointing releases, stumbling completely on this uninspired release.

XYZ edition
XYZ edition
Single: Lovely Baby
Label: Rejet 
Release date: 23/11/2016
Genre: J-Pop


1 - Lovely Baby
2 - Fortunate starS
3 - ミニドラマ「Triplets of Heart!」

Track by track analysis:

1 – Lovely Baby

Going for the cutesy concept, “Lovely Baby” is an utter disappointment of a song. Although you might find some mildly interesting things in the pop-rockish instrumental, it just lacks any kind of energy or excitement – if it was their main aim for this release -, or even something deeper that could actually enhance the groups’ skills. None of that was made and this track falls short with a bland instrumental and a even duller vocal performance. 2/5

2 – Fortunate starS

If the last track wasn’t enough of a disappointment “Fortunate starS” is here to seal the deal. Another uninspired track that goes for the overused “cute” trope, missing completely the cue that other units under this Forbidden Star project have adopted. Making use of synths has been a trademark for most pop songs, especially preppy ones but this time around the synths, although in the background, take the focus away from the song, making the track a difficult one to listen to. The vocal performance is slightly better than in the previous song but it still isn’t enough to save this pale, bland track from tanking completely. 2.5/5

Final rating:2 stars

XYZ is in dire need of changing things around. This unit has some potential but once again the “going for the cutesy concept” thing doesn’t work for them. Hanae is basically carrying the unit on his shoulders as the only member really talented enough to standout in this uninspired release. Even so, his vocal performance was weak and lacked that special flavor that he tends to bring to his vocal performances. Osaka and Tamaru do their best to keep up but when you need to “pretty up” they way you sing, especially when singing is not the thing they’re best in, things oftentimes don’t go that well – and this release is a good example of that.

Looking at “Lovely Baby” as a whole we can only say that this is by far, a flop – this is reminiscing of Rejet‘s sad endeavor with Marginal #4‘s “UFO” a couple of years ago.

There’s nothing new in their sound – that remains unchanged, hence we find the same holes to fill and mistakes as in the last one -, and their vocal performances are far from being top quality ones as well. On top of that, there’s no variety in their singles, everything sounds exactly the same and there’s not even effort made by Rejet in order to make the members shine in any way. Either Rejet is too overcrowded with seiyuu units (has over 10 counting with those crossover units), or Daisuke Iwasaki has run out of ideas or inspiration. One thing is for sure, XYZ need an urgent revamp if they want to be relevant enough in the crowded seiyuu unit battlefield.

We’re especially curious to see whether this unit will overcome their weaknesses in the next release or keep things going like they are right now.

Lovely Baby” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.


Vanessa Silva
Vanessa Silva
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder, content creator, and music reviewer. Basically, the only person managing everything at The Hand That Feeds HQ. Stumbling upon Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" in 2011 was the start of this journey. If music is thought-provoking or deep, you may find her writing almost essays (not limited to, but it happens a lot with Soma Saito's music). She's the producer and host of the male seiyuu-centric podcast, SEIYUU LOUNGE (see Spotify link in this profile).


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