Tetsuya Kakihara “Dandigi dan” (Review)

kakihara“Its (Dangidi Dan) variety is what makes this an altogether engaging release.”

Seiyuu Tetsuya Kakihara is back with a new release, his 4th mini-album ダンディギ ダン (Dandigi dan). Dangidi Dan turned out to be an interesting release spanning between many genres and approaches to the tracks.

Kicking off with the mini-album’s details:

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Single: ダンディギ ダン
Label: Kiramune
Release date: 30/07/14
Genre: J-Pop/Rock

Tracklist:

1. ダンディギ
2. カモンx3
3. Supernova
4. inside wall
5. 君の声に
6. GENERATIONS

Track by track analysis:

1. ダンディギ

The title track “Dangidi” is not your typical Tetsuya Kakihara track. This summer feel drawn from the acoustic guitars and latin percussion alongside with the opening rap verses delivered by Kakihara make this track an unusual one in his repertoire. The main verses and the pre-chorus really feel like totally new in comparison to previous tracks, on the other side, the chorus goes towards the more “pop” tracks released recently. Kakihara‘s vocal work is pretty solid in this track, hitting high notes and rapping without losing his pace. It’s certainly imperative the summer feel that this track exudes and it’s a good way to kick off this mini-album. It’s laid-back and playful, certainly we have something new is flowering in here. 4/5

2. カモンx3

Following the previous track comes something incredibly paradoxical. “Come on, come on, come on” is a track filled with energy resorting to a simple yet catchy arrangement. No synths and, of course, no signs of the Latin percussion elements found in the last track. This track goes towards a more enveloping rock sound with the guitars raging from the very beginning led by the splashy punk-rock drums. Kakihara once again delivers the vocals without problems, matching perfectly with the song’s tempo. 4/5

3. Supernova

Up-tempo electronic pop-rock blinding in the best way with Kakihara‘s vocals. The drums and guitars go pretty fast in the chorus with the mid-verses and pre-chorus being the mid-tempo parts slowly building up towards a chorus filled of energy. The outro goes slower than the rest of the track without resorting to abrupt, aggressive guitar solos, only focusing on Kakihara‘s vocals. The track could have been better considering the promise left by the guitars and drums in the intro but it simply fails to capture the listener. Entertaining but not to a “catchy” extent. 3.5/5

4. inside wall

Working with R.O.N has certainly proved to be an excellent choice for each and every artist that had/has the guts to work with him. This track is no exception when it comes to having raging guitars inputting so much energy to the track and captivating melodies enveloping the listener. It’s textbook R.O.N‘s guitar in charge of building up momentum in the track towards the chorus where not only the drums go wild, but also synths take a bigger role in this part giving that electronic/pop extra bit in the track, sufficient enough to be catchy. Without a doubt this track is fierce and the most promising in this mini-album, the vocal work is incredibly solid and befitting the genre and the instrumental is as catchy as it could be, since we’re talking about R.O.N‘s hyped guitar playing. 5/5

5. 君の声に

Sweet, gentle ballad where Kakihara‘s emotional performance alongside the piano simply blow you away. It’s a beautiful track with a fabulous arrangement. There’s no need to resort to highly emotional electric guitar work like in a power ballad; this one is simpler and richer, although it might sound contradictory. Less is more, and that is clearly exemplified in this track. The piano leads the way throughout the track but, besides the fact that the intro, plus the first chorus are delivered alongside the piano only, the track slowly has more elements enriching the sound, the acoustic guitar, the slow tempo drums and the strings for the finishing touches. The vocal track and the lyrics in itself are beautiful and perfectly performed. So much emotion in such a mesmerizing song. By far the best ballad Kakihara has presented to us so far. 5/5

6.GENERATIONS

As previously reviewed here -“Generations” is clearly a pop/rock song. The synths and the drums are main propulsors in this song, Tetsuya’s voice is a smooth as ever and sounding better than on any of his previous work. Great guitar work on the outro guiding us to the incredibly catchy chorus. 4.5/5

Final rating: 4 stars

Dangidi Dan is an enthusiastic, fired up, entertaining and playful release, befitting the summer. With it’s jamming kick off provided by ダンディギ, this mini-album really started on the right foot in a journey of 6 tracks spanning between speedy rock, bright pop and a beautiful ballad. Its variety is what makes this an altogether engaging release. R.O.N was an excellent piece in this mini-album, providing the arrangement and music for “inside wall“, probably the track closest to pure rock. Overall the instrumentalization was well diversified: acoustic guitars, electric guitars, synths, latin percussion, strings, piano and a lot of other minimal bits and pieces in the background make it even more noticeable for us the fact that this is a rich, innovative mini-album, but like every other experience, things don’t get right on a first try, being the example “Supernova“, failing almost completely to provide any enjoyment with its repetitive chorus and undeveloped build up. On the other side 君の声に is a rare sight in Kakihara‘s repertoire; it’s soft, sweet and staggeringly beautiful, how Kakihara performed that track also added to the incredibly mesmerizing end result. A jewel right there. All things taken into account and we have a solid 4.

ダンディギ・ダン is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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