3 Majesty and X.I.P. “SPLASH SUMMER” (Review)

3 Majesty (Daisuke Namikawa, Daisuke Kishio, Tetsuya Kakihara) and X.I.P. (Takuya Eguchi, Kousuke Toriumi, Satoshi Hino) are back with a new single. Both units join forces to dazzle their fans with fantastic vocals and exciting songs in what is a powerful release.

Title: SPLASH SUMMER
Label: Universal Music
Release date: 02/08/2017
Genre: J-Pop/Dance

Tracklist:

1. Never Ever Ending (Vocals: X.I.P. and 3 Majesty)
2. 君に似合う翼 音羽慎之介センターver.(Vocals: 3 Majesty)
3. Up&Up 神崎 透センターver.(Vocals: X.I.P.)
4. Never Ever Ending (Instrumental)
5. 君に似合う翼 音羽慎之介センターver. (Instrumental)
6. Up&Up 神崎 透センターver. (Instrumental)
--- Bonus Tracks ---
7. 君とShooting star 霧島 司センター Special Live ver.(Vocals: 3 Majesty)
8. Don't Stop The Party 不破剣人センター Special Live ver.(Vocals: X.I.P.)

Track by track analysis (new tracks only):

1. Never Ever Ending

Never Ever Ending is a bright, mid tempo song that will warm you instantly. A memorable bassline leads the way for this simple, sweet instrumental that counts with brass, funky guitar riffs and a whole lot of synth/piano work in the background to bring to life a bright mood. We confess that the danceable synth lead we got in the intro sounded more exciting that what we got in the end – it would have been a good direction for this song -, thankfully there are some instances in which those synths take the lead and make the song much more addictive and fresh. On the vocal side we find 3 Majesty and X.I.P. working together. We were expecting this song to have match ups between the groups in the verses but they basically went for a lazy, comfortable line distribution making it possible for each group to take a complete verse for them and then share the third and final verse between them. The vocal performances are nothing out of the ordinary only reinforcing the idea that the instrumental was bland at times. 4/5

2. 君に似合う翼

3 Majesty are the first up for their group song. This time around we’re presented with a retro styled jazzy rock song with Daisuke Kishio as the center. The instrumental is made for those loungy afternoons by the beach. The rhodes piano melody blends with the memorable bassline, jazz inspired guitar riffs, brass and simple, snary drums. This laidback mood we get from this song is enough for us to label it as a “feel good” song. The vocal performance was up to the challenging instrumental. This song had a lot going on in the background and was tricky on some parts to perform but all the group performed with a lot of energy while, at the same time, adding their trademark gentle touch to it. Kishio as the center exceeded our expectations. He gave his best performance to date with 3 Majesty with this song. Top marks. 5/5

3. Up&Up

To complete this summery release we’re met with a jaw dropping song by X.I.P.. They don’t spare anything for this performance, the listener is immediately drawn to the song as soon as the song kicks off. Strings mix in the background with middle eastern instrumentalization (a mix of synths and blowing instruments) in the background to bring to life a sexy pop song. Their sexy vibe is certainly at its best with this alluring instrumental. The drums are slow paced and mostly bass-driven, adding depth to the song at the same time as it enhances the fierce, bad-boy vibe that this song exudes. The guitars are funky in the verses and rough in the chorus adding the final exciting touches to this song. Takuya Eguchi holds the center position just like we expected. His vocals fit well with the mood of the song and his edgy performance will certainly grab your attention. Kousuke Toriumi and Satoshi Hino work incredibly well in the backing vocals department (their harmonizations in the background are to die for even if the vocals are gated) but when called to center stage they are as fierce and impressive as if they were the center all along. Up&Up will is a fantastic song representing well X.I.P.‘s essence: the sexy bad-boy idols. Stellar song. 5/5

Final rating:

SPLASH SUMMER” is an interesting release. The title track might have failed to impress but it was a good introduction to this summery release, even if its bright mood is completely different from the rest of the single. The differences between 3 Majesty and X.I.P. are clear as water when he find both on the same release.

3 Majesty went with their trademark gentlemanly pop in which everyone sings gently while blending perfectly with the jazzy instrumental in the background. More than ever their vocals are sounding great. Tetsuya Kakihara still is a force to be reckon with even if he’s not in the center position, Daisuke Namikawa sounds a bit weaker than before but it might have been just this song’s performance – if it isn’t then we’ll see him and Kishio exchanging positions -, Daisuke Kishio showed us more improvement to his vocal as he confidently held his position as center and performed with a stability that impressed us. Even if we didn’t review this song, nothing much changes on 君とShooting star with Daisuke Namikawa as center.

X.I.P. arrive and then the gentle mood dissipates to give way to a sexy and alluring “Up&Up“. The group’s performance is addictive, there’s now way around it. The synths, drums and even that nice middle eastern touch given to the song were more than enough to make them standout from the rest of the release. They tackled this song fiercely mixing Satoshi Hino‘s rough vocals, Toriumi‘s smooth mid-tones and Eguchi‘s versatile and stable vocals to deliver the best performance on this single. Don’t Stop The Party with Satoshi Hino as the center is a treat to our ears. Once again we didn’t review this song since there was nothing new to add to our old review, still we advise you to check the song because it has a completely different touch with Hino on the helm.

As a whole, this release brings to the table the best of both groups, be it through a joint song or in their usual formations. Both group songs showed us two rival groups battling it out in the best way, satisfying their fans in the process.

SPLASH SUMMER” is full of jams for this summer, make sure to not overlook this release!

SPLASH SUMMER” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

SPLASH SUMMER / 3 Majesty x X.I.P.
3 Majesty x X.I.P.
SPLASH SUMMER / 3 Majesty x X.I.P.
3 Majesty x X.I.P.
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Author: midorin

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Currently based in Macau SAR. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to completely dedicate herself to writing about male seiyuu music.