Hiroshi Kamiya “START AGAIN” (review)


KHThe mid-tempo dancefloor anthem, “Start Again”, impresses with this new take on Hiroshi Kamiya’s music (…) “

Japanese seiyuu royalty, Hiroshi Kamiya is back with “START AGAIN”, his 4nd single since the beginning of his music career in 2009. Kamiya has been steadily releasing his singles and slowly showing that without that much effort, he sounds great and better than ever when comparing with his previous releases. Kamiya is one of those artists that is constantly improving his skills hoping to, with each release, overshadow the previous one and he is well capable of that with “START AGAIN”. This single is clearly an amalgam of genres and an interesting one to boot, with that many changes in the genre between songs this single will keep you interested until the very end.

More information regarding the single:

cover1

Single: “START AGAIN”
Release date: 29/01/2014
Label: Kiramune
Genre: Pop/Electronic pop

The tracklist is the following:

1. START AGAIN
2. 三つ葉のクローバー
3. Shall We Circus!

Track by track analysis:

1 – Start Again

The title track that kicks off with a mid-tempo beat led by the synths and the synthetic drums, Hiroshi Kamiya joins the song in what we’d call, the mildest part of the song – after the drop-, everything until the chorus is calm, well-paced but not too exaggerated and when we reach the chorus we’re surprised by how good “Start Again” is. A clear electronic lead on the chorus with the synths impressing and making a good blend with Hiroshi’s vocals picking up the pace setting it to a mid-toned heavy influenced electronic pop song, a take on Hiroshi’s music completely different from the previous singles and mini-albums. The hints of the early 00’s European electro-pop are there with the synths but a bit of the most recent dancefloor “trends” are also here: a bit of dubstep on the slowest parts of the song doesn’t feel out of place, plus it’s not that exaggerated that will throw the non dubstep lovers out of the boat because of it. The vocal work is as expected by someone that is constantly improving as Hiroshi Kamiya, sounding good and fresh fitting the song like a glove. Simple dancefloor oriented song yet addictive enough that will really stay with you for a few weeks at least. 5/5

2. 三つ葉のクローバー

A mellow track to ease off all that energy propelled by “Start Again”. A song fully focused and built around the acoustic guitar, “三つ葉のクローバー” is a song with that laid back, relaxing feel around it. A good song from start to finish and a complete change of pace when comparing with “START AGAIN”. Kamiya’s voice is at its best on this track and the instrumentalization is incredibly simple with the strings quartet, drums, bass and the acoustic guitars working together to deliver this great addition to Kamiya’s repertoire. 4.5/5
3. Shall We Circus!

And breaking once again the pace comes “Shall We Circus!”. Up-beat song with that 50’s flavour from the Rock n’ Roll golden years. Fast, fun, an overall interesting track. The trumpets, drums, organ and even the guitar solo by the end are incredible. But what really deserves big props on this track is Kamiya’s fast and precise vocals and the bassline making us want to dance like crazy. The outro is also interesting with the song slowing the pace a bit to led once again to the high-speed “chase” between the instruments. May sound like a strange and out of the place song but “Shall We Circus!” concludes the single “START AGAIN” in the most interesting way possible. 4/5

Final rating: 4.5/5

Starting off pretty strongly with “START AGAIN” with its synths and soothing pads plus that dancefloor feel you get from the chorus, quickly the single turns away from the genre exploring other avenues in the 50’s Rock n’ Roll with “Shall We Circus” and back to his original sound with 三つ葉のクローバー , the already known bright laid back pop.

The vocal work is good on every track by it seems that something is off just from only listening and comparing the title track to the remaining songs and that is a good thing since Kamiya’s music doesn’t all sound like the same on this release. The single “Start Again” has the potential to top the charts with a collection of songs capable of keeping up with the electrifying title track. The mid-tempo dancefloor anthem, “Start Again”, impresses with this new take on Hiroshi Kamiya’s music, it might be a small hint on what to expect of the future releases since it would be interesting listening to Kamiya embracing more the electronic pop genre, straying of from his already predictable bright J-Pop. An overall solid work on the instrumental pieces with the bass getting a lot of props since the basslines sound incredible well throughout the whole single; as mentioned previously, the vocal work is also good with Kamiya showing his adaptation skills to the new approach for the title track or even on “Shall We Circus” with his up-tempo singing which is a first one for him on a single release.

This was a single that we had high expectations about and, in the end, those were met.

The single is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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