KiLLER KiNG “Kira Kira Smile” (Review)


killer king

KiLLER KiNG is a new unit consisting of seiyuu Koutaro Nishiyama, Taku Yashiro, Takuya Eguchi and Chiba Shoya. The quartet under B-Project has released “Kira Kira Smile”, kicking off their debut in way people weren’t expecting.

killer king

Single: Kira Kira Smile
Label: B-Project
Release date: 23/03/16
Genre: J-Pop

Tracklist:

1.キラキラスマイル
2.極上フィクション
3.KiLLER KiNG シークレットトーク [DRAMA]

Track by track analysis:

1.キラキラスマイル

KiLLER KiNG debut with a bright upbeat pop song, distancing themselves from other B-Project‘s unit’s more electronic driven and powerful. “Kira Kira Smile” is an upbeat track that mixes synths with guitars in a laidback track that is worthy of being featured in an anime. Instrumentally the track lacks anything innovative or really memorable. But it’s when we analise the vocals that we get to a conclusion: this track is really lacking. There’s no challenge in singing, no places to adlib, no vibratos or falsettos. All these members lack a certain je ne sais quoi that makes the song not that memorable and only another track to add to the the hyper unit songs that come and go. They focused too much on sounding cute that the whole track failed to impress. 3/5

2.極上フィクション

Now here’s a track that is a bit outside of the box. Instrumentally this track brings out the inner jazzy persona in you. With funky bass, brass, sax, piano and jazzy guitars blended into a funky, entertaining mix, 極上フィクション stands out to us. Not only this track has a better arrangement than “Kira Kira Smile” but it also has an different and more dynamic execution. It was a track that let some of the members free, exploring their talents and showing different colors throughout the whole piece. Engaging and melodic 極上フィクション saves this single leaving a sliver of hope that this unit can show great things. 5/5


Final rating:4 stars

Not the strongest debut but KiLLER KiNG showed that they can sound great as a group, they only need time and some better instrumentals to go with their vocals. Vocally speaking, this single felt like it was restraining most of the members to sing in a kind of “cute” way, altogether losing their individuality. When you have someone with the vocal versatility, experience and quality as Takuya Eguchi in a group and you make him sing in a “cute” way, you’re ruining his talent. It might have been in an attempt to level everyone’s vocals since some of them are inexperienced, but still, leveling everyone only made them sound weird, almost like we were before 4 people in a karaoke session. Thankfully things got a little bit interesting when we reached 極上フィクション. This track took things to a whole other level, showcasing a completely different image and sound to this group. Jazzy pop fit like a glove to their voices, bringing out some interesting vocal parts where we could hear falsettos. In terms of skill: the group has some inexperienced singers as previous discussed. Taku Yashiro and Chiba Shoya were shakey in most parts but still have a long way to go. On another note Koutaro Nishiyama has improved a lot since his Animarus days. His vocals are more stable and less high pitched than before, now able to shine properly. Takuya Eguchi is a chameleon when he sings. One moment he can be singing in the deepest of tones, the other he can be singing like and angel, or even rapping like there’s no tomorrow. Although he doesn’t need to be directly praised for his abilities, we needed to point out that if only he’d sang in a more comfortable tone on the title track, maybe things would have sounded a little bit better.

As a whole this single lacks impact and something memorable. It has some interesting elements that, if correctly explored and developed, could make this unit shine in following releases. Let’s see how things unfold for them.

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

B-project: KiLLER KiNG Debut Single: Title is to be announced / KiLLER KiNG (CV: Kotaro Nishiyama, Taku Yashiro, Takuya Eguchi, Shoya Chiba)
KiLLER KiNG (CV: Kotaro Nishiyama, Taku Yashiro, Takuya Eguchi, Shoya Chiba)
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