HEAVEN SKY brings back HE☆VENS‘ theatrical and powerful debut sound, revamping it in a way that it’s impossible not to be impressed with it. This is the sound and performance that sets them apart from the other Utapri units.
For those who are unfamiliar with the group, HE☆VENS are one of the three units in Uta no Prince-Sama (the others being STARISH and Quartet Night). The group consists of Hikaru Midorikawa (leader), Daisuke Ono, Yonaga Tsubasa, Ryohei Kimura, Daiki Yamashita, Yuma Uchida and Hidenori Takahashi.
Title: Heaven Sky Label: King Records Release date: 01/11/17 Genre: J-Pop/Rock
1 - HEAVEN SKY 2 - Jacket Shooting [DRAMA] 3 - Lyrics & Recording [DRAMA] 4 - HEAVEN SKY (off vocal)
1 – HEAVEN SKY
If there’s something we’re used to from HE☆VENS is their powerful sound. But at times that power went a little bit overboard with synths taking over the instrumentals leading to generic pop songs. This time around, we do have overwhelming instrumentalization and fierce vocals, some of the ingredients fans can often find on their songs, but those are executed in a completely different way. HEAVEN SKY is a dramatic pop-rock song with a rich instrumental. A choir and haunting piano melody set a dramatic tone to the song, something this group is well known for. But that haunting vibe from the intro evolves into something more powerful as soon as heavy guitars and drums enter the stage. The rock elements together with synths – that are far from being the main element this time around – plus the chilling choir parts turned out to be such a great mix. Given the whole vibe HE☆VENS have, this sound – with enphasis on rock instrumentalization – seems to fit them incredibly well, better than a synth imbued song that would suffocate the listener at times or sound bland in other occasions.
Analyzing the vocals, we find a well rounded performance filled with energy. Remember our criticism about the weird chemistry between the members when “Fumetsu no Inferno” was released? That is a thing of the past right now. This group has evolved and HEAVEN SKY is the result of behind the scenes improvements and their newfound chemistry. Taking into account that the instrumental’s pacing ranges from slow in the intro to mid-tempo in the verses, with some sections proving to be faster than the overall song’s tempo, it was interesting to find that there’s virtually no flaws on their performances even with so much going on. It’s noticeable that HE☆VENS upped their ante for this performance. Their harmonizations and choruses are imposing, the solo parts are urgent and dramatic, packing a lot of energy. This was such a well balanced performance that we don’t find anyone standing out from the group. The once awkward vocals of Hikaru Midorikawa have improved a lot. His tone is no longer unstable and he can go for higher scaled sections of the song without sounding like he’s straining his voice or that he isn’t able to tackle those. Daisuke Ono solved his excessive nasalation issue and is sounding like an extremely reliable do-it-all singer, and Tsubasa Yonaga‘s high notes are a delight to listen to. These three members blended their improved vocals with their versatile and solid core – Yuma Uchida, Hidenori Takahashi, Ryohei Kimura and Daiki Yamashita – and what we got was HE☆VENS‘ best performance to date. Theatrical, dramatic, addictive and powerful, this is the sound HE☆VENS were first introduced with, this is the sound and performance that sets them apart from the other Utapri units. A must listen.
“Heaven Sky” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.