Toshiyuki Toyonaga “Reason…” (Review)

toyonaga toshiyuki

Toshiyuki Toyonaga makes his major label solo debut. “MUSIC OF THE ENTERTAINMENT” was an impressive “appetizer” for what’s in store for us regarding Toyonaga‘s awe-amazing music talents. “Reason…” not only is the first stone in Toyonaga‘s major label debut but is also his comeback after a few months inactive. This is a debut that is more than deserved for the amount of talent this talented seiyuu has to offer.

toyonagaSingle: “Reason...”
Release date: 17/12/2014
Label: Aniplex+
Genre: Rock / Pop-rock

Tracklist:

01. Reason...
02. リフレクション
03. Reason... -instrumental-
04. リフレクション -instrumental-

Track by track analysis:

1 – Reason…

The jazzy and funky “Reason…” is our first look into Toyonaga‘s reworked and improved sound. With a sound as close to acoustic as ever, this track is approached in a simpler way than most of the pop-rock tracks in his repertoire. The piano plays a major role in this track alongside the jazzy drums, the barely noticeable bass and the funky guitar – that gives this track some extra flavor with an impressive solo in the outro – the instrumental by itself gives the listener that needed push to hit the dancefloor. The vocal performance… If we said that it’s about Toshiyuki Toyonaga that we’re talking about, many people wouldn’t even understand what we meant by it (except the ones that already know the quality of his music), so we keep things simple and right to the point: he sounds flawless with his powerful vibrato and, to add to this performance’s quality, Toyonaga adds so much energy to it making the track almost impossible to not dance along to. 5/5

2 – リフレクション 

Reflection is the second and last track of this single and shows us an acoustic side to Toyonaga‘s music. Acoustic guitars envelop all the instruments in the softest way, not stealing the spotlight of the gentle drums, the strings, the bass or even the electric guitar (featured right after the first chorus). All of this complete the perfect stage for Toyonaga to impress us with his vocal performance – and by impressing we mean really make our jaws drop in awe –  his high notes on this one really melted us and showed us just how talented and versatile his vocals are. It’s one of those performances that stays with you for a some time. Quality piece. 5/5

Final rating:5 stars

This might be a major label solo debut but for many of his fans it’s just Toyonaga improving and finally having the essential and deserved backing from a solid music label. His music quality remains the same – pretty high standard – and his vocal performances are flawlessly beautiful and energetic as when he was in a small label. Not much has changed besides the big fact that he’s finally getting the recognition that he deserved.

It was amazing – in a bad way – why he wasn’t that noticed by seiyuu fans as a top singer – he’s most likely one of the best seiyuu with a music career on the side – real music talents and not some hype just because his name is known. Taking the time to write the lyrics, participate in the arrangements (made by Iehara Masaki) and composing the tracks, Toyonaga had his hands full with this debut and the result is this addictive, energetic, yet simple single that has set the bar pretty high for future releases – all this is, obviously, something that he’s already used to since his first steps in the music business as an indie musician.

On our side we only need to add that he’s a high caliber musician with an impressive amount of untapped talent and we couldn’t be more excited to listen to his future releases.

 “Reason...” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

Reason... / Toshiyuki Toyonaga
Toshiyuki Toyonaga

Author: midorin

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. After a 6 month stint in Macau SAR, I am back to being based in Cascais, Portugal. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to completely focus on writing about male seiyuu music.