Rejet decided to spice things up concerning their units earlier this year. Now, in April, their first shuffle unit has debutted. Wonder Corona! which consists of: Toshiki Masuda, Shouta Aoi and Genki Okawa has the dynamics of Marginal #4, Lagrange Point and Unicorn Jr. mixed up, all for an entertaining 10 minutes.
Let’s kick off this review.
Single: ビバ★ラッ★チュ (Viva la chu) Label: Rejet/Pitagoras Release date: 13/04/16 Genre: J-Pop
The tracklist is the following:
01 ビバ★ラッ★チュ 02 裸足のDestiny 03 ビバ★ラッ★チュ -off vocal- 04 裸足のDestiny -off vocal- 05 ミニドラマ「ピタゴラス的楽屋トーク ~WONDER CORONA！編~」 [MINI DRAMA]
Track by track analysis:
We’ve often said that whenever Mikoto brings out latin elements to the table, Rejet‘s units instantly shine. It’s exactly what happens to the title track “Viva La Chu“. The rhythm is what drives this track. With this instrumental piece it’s safe to say that there is really an instrument that stands out from others. With splashy drums, bongos, acoustic guitars, brass, piano and a multitude of things that you’ll probably miss on a first listen just like us, this instrumental is a full fledged latin pop track. Vocally the three members are in unison in the chorus with no one really standing out. In the individual lines each one of them exudes a certain “feel” that you might not be expecting – if you’ve been following their group/solo careers. As a whole this truck sums up a really entertaining experience: funky, danceable instrumentals with basically no synths around to hinder it, plus vocals to match up its energy. 4.5/5
Putting aside some of the latin elements, we find 裸足のDestiny, a track where synths take the forefront. In an electronic, dance fashion, the synths lead the way alongside the mid-tempo synthetic drums and guitar riffs. In comparison with the previous track, this one loses a lot of its energy in favor of a more vocal centered track. It’s clear this track has Genki Okawa as the lead, the chorus centers around him as well as the adlibs. Regarding the whole vocal performance there’s not much to state as the quality pretty much maintains its standard from the previous one. Instrumentally the track lacks a bit and gets a bit annoying with the background looping synth. It would have sounded a bit better if they’d toned it out a bit. Other than that, this is an entertaining song with some interesting vocal performances to go with. 4/5
Wonder Corona! shows us that for the first shuffling unit debuting, although the weight is a lot more than with those that will follow, they fared well. Vocally this group works surprisingly well despite the contrastant voice colors that each one of them has. Shouta Aoi puts his sexiness into play on this single, tackling every single line with a hint of suggestiveness. Genki Okawa shows us why he’s often on par with his counterpart in Lagrange Point. His ability to adapt to challenges, be it new music genres or a specific kind of singing, is something worth praising.
But it’s Toshiki Masuda that stole the show. His charisma and vocal abilities shone, the flair he gave to the lyrics and the way he blended in with new members showcased just how much he’s grown vocally and performance wise. This elegance that is pretty much going unnoticed or is basically under the wraps with Marginal #4 was something that, with this single, made us beg for more.
Instrumentally there are some interesting things go in on. As some of you might recall, “Masquerade” and “Stranger” are two great tracks that MIKOTO composed/arranged before for Marginal #4 and Unicorn Jr. respectively. Those tracks featured latin elements, elements that took a major part, if not, the spotlight in the instrumentals. This time he repeats the feat and gives Wonder Corona! a interesting trademark, danceable, sexy and fun title track. The b-side is also worth praising since it never presented us with a dull moment but has some minor flaws – mainly due to the looping annoying synths.
To sum it all up: this is an interesting single, especially if you’ve been following each of the members on their individual/ group activities. The growth and adaptability each one of them showed really impressed us. They manage to fit incredibly well as a group and showcased quality performances throughout.
“ビバ★ラッ★チュ” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.