Making his comeback after two years, Daisuke Namikawa brings us ELEVATION, an album with a lot of good things to say. If with his last release, ELEMENTS, he had bet more on danceable tracks, in this one we have have more rock tracks, meaning it is fair for the fans to look forward to listen to it. So without any further ado let’s get this review started.
More details regarding the album:
Album: ELEVATION Release date: 20/04/16 Label: Kiramune/Lantis Genre: J-pop/rock
GEKI ATSU CHOUZETSU S AT URDAY NIGHT!!
FOR DEAR LIGHT
Track by track analysis:
Powerful guitar riffs are the focus in ELEVATION. The medium tempo drums and amazing bass, that is constantly on “solo mode” plus some synths on the background are this track’s instrumental, although the bassline resembles OLDCODEX’s usual ones. In this track we actually have a simple yet good guitar solo, with this we can see that Namikawa has finally returned to the rock genre, that suits him like a glove. 4.5/5
2- LIGHT RAY
Bringing a piano overflowing with emotion and synths we have the intro for LIGHT RAY. Unlike ELEVATION, this track has a more danceable instrumental, even though it revolves around the same pattern, the track is not bad, but still it isn’t anything really amazing, especially if we take into account that the song doesn’t evolve that much beyond the intro until the end. 4/5
3- SAY GOOD-BYE
Yet again we have the intro with a piano, this time with also an acoustic guitar and Namikawa almost singing in accapela. SAY GOOD-BYE is a through and through ballad, with a simple yet meaningful instrumental piece. The occasional bass’s highlight is also a good mix in the track. Until we reach the solo we don’t get much change in the instrumental but when we actually get there the bass and piano have more highlight making the listener able to listen carefully to not only Namikawa’s vocal performance but the instrumental piece as well. 4/5
Coming with another rock track we have AWAKED with those guitar riffs that might make one remember OLDCODEX’s tracks in the anime Kuroko’s Basket, especially the riffs and the drums. The complex instrumental is very good, even thought every instrument is doing its own thing, it isn’t overcrowded in the least bit, in fact each part complements the other. 4.5/5
5- GEKI ATSU CHOUZETSU S AT URDAY NIGHT!!
A funky, up-beat track with rock elements and a very noticeable bass, is the perfect description of this track. The mix between a funky instrumental and rock elements was well done, otherwise it would been a fail, meaning that it most likely would end up being a complete mess. The chorus makes this track perfect to be performed on a live concert since it has such energy and really makes one want to jump while listening to it. 4.5/5
6-FOR DEAR LIGHT
Kicking off the album we have FOR DEAR LIGHT, a track with a balanced mix between the use of the piano and the fast guitar riffs and drums plus the bass going on on “solo mode” throughout the track’s instrumental piece. In the chorus we get to listen to the piano a little better, but the main focus is without a doubt the guitar and Namikawa’s vocal performance. The guitar solo is simple with some pads on the background but Namikawa does most of the job. 4.5/5
This album was a really good one, since it has been some time since Namikawa last released something with this quality. Almost all tracks in this album are really good with the exception of LIGHT RAY. This track has a serious problem which is it doesn’t develop, the instrumental is good but the fact the it is repeated throughout the whole track, from beginning until the end is trying to push it a little. Few people will want to listen to a track like that more than once.
AWAKED, ELEVATION and FOR DEAR LIGHT were the three tracks that most surprised in this album, in first place because they are rock and everyone knows Namikawa suites that genre like a glove, not so much in the eletronic/dance genre, and second because they were fresh, although there are some parts in those tracks that resemble OLDCODEX’s tracks, but still they are good. The instrumental is’t overcrowded or anything, it is just well done.
Overall it is fair to say that ELEVATION is probably the best thing Namikawa has released in the past few years, leaving the dance music on the side and going with the rock genre was definitely a good choice, but at the same time we cannot forget the ballad in this album, which was also good. In the future, it would be good if Namikawa would keep up the good work and bet more on the rock genre.
“ELEMENTS” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.