Vocal powerhouse Takuya Sato finally made his well deserved solo debut with “Set Sail“, a single that show you a different image from what you’re used to and a rocking one to boot.
Let’s take a better look at this release.
Title: Set Sail Label: Frontier Works Release date: 25/11/15 Genre: J-Rock
01. You can make it! 02. Never Fade 03. 雨夜のリグレット 04. You can make it!（カラオケver.） 05. Never Fade（カラオケver.） 06. 雨夜のリグレット（カラオケver.）
Track by track analysis:
01. You can make it!
With raging guitars, mid-tempo drums and a solid bassline, “You can make it!” (Yaremasu) is a rocking tune with a pop edge to it. Powerful guitar riffs lead the way in a playful track where Sato‘s vocals have their well deserved spotlight. Vocally Sato is impressive and highly technical despite the fact that he’s well know for his handsome deep voice, also his resemblance with both Tatsuhisa Suzuki‘s rough vocals and Daisuke Ono‘s mid-tones is uncanny but in a good way. He has put the best of both worlds together – deep vocals and a solid control over them – the only point that we regret is that this track lacks the power to make those shine like no other. 4/5
02. Never Fade
“Never Fade” is a laidback mid-tempo rock track with a mesmerizing bassline at its core. Instrumentally the track gives off a laidback vibe, all thanks to the melodic guitar riffs but on the other side its an energetic track from start to finish all thanks to the unstoppable splashy drums and compelling bassline. Following all this energy comes Sato‘s low toned vocals ranging between high and low notes in the chorus and giving a solid performance from start to finish. 4/5
To put it simply: guitar licks mixed with melodic guitar playing, funky bass, minimal synths, acoustic guitars, strings, piano and latin percussion – a heavenly mix that, if done correctly, is something that you could easily find ELEMENTS GARDEN or MIKOTO producing and becoming a major hit. With this instrumental piece smelling like a summer afternoon at the beach we have the best track in this release. The bridge is mesmerizing with the jazzy melodic guitar riffs alogside the danceable drums/latin percussion.
雨夜のリグレット is the best track in this release and a nice track to boot. It’s not a rock driven track, instead it’s a mix between pop, jazz and latin rhythms, with the icing on top of the cake being provided by Sato‘s deep vocals. The bridge is mesmerizing with the jazzy melodic guitar riffs alogside the danceable drums/latin percussion. A track that will make you instantly want to dance along to and doesn’t disappoint. 5/5
Many people were anticipating Sato‘s debut, others were, way before the announcement, already supported him saying that he deserved to debut. He’d shown before that he was more than ready to pick up the mic and rock everyone out, and that is exactly what he did with this release. Thankfully, Sato is singing rock songs – our biggest fear was that the label behind his debut would make him sing something that didn’t suit him at all, making his debut a complete flop. This might not seem like the perfect debut that everyone was picturing for Sato and even though the single didn’t receive full marks from us, it still is a fun and engaging single to listen to.
In our opinion this was a nice single to listen to, the only problem lies with the lack of power in the rock songs and how toned down were Sato‘s vocal performances in comparison with the vocal prowess he’s shown up until now in some of character songs released so far. Even so, Sato‘s vocals are still one of his best assets, a voice that can easily rival Tatsuhisa Suzuki‘s vocals is no joke (we make this comparison because they are rather similar in tone), right now Sato only needs the right song to show how incredible his performances can be, and we’ll be eagerly waiting for it to happen.
In the meantime, we need to say that Sato is set for a good and long solo career if he keeps up with rock as his flagship sound – even better if he upgrades it in the following releases. We’ll be look forward for more releases from Takuya Sato.
“Set Sail” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.