MEZZO”, IDOLiSH7’s sub-unit, return with “Dear Butterfly“, a single that is here to impress everyone with stunning vocals and high quality instrumentals.
Title: Dear Butterfly Label: Lantis Release date: 22/11/2017 Genre: J-Pop/Ballad
1. Dear Butterfly 2. 月明かりイルミネイト 3. Dear Butterfly (Off Vocal) 4. 月明かりイルミネイト (OFF VOCAL)
Track by track analysis:
1. Dear Butterfly
“Dear Butterfly” has an instrumental that brings out a sweet and warm vibe. We’re welcomed with a sweet and simple piano melody – that later will be looping in the background -, after that minimal synths and strings mix with slow paced percussion – mainly a bass drum and some edited dubstep-ish percussion bits. The percussion triplets enhance the pace of the song but only a little bit, this is a slow-paced song not a high-tension dancefloor anthem. The looping piano melody alongside the progressive instrumentalization in the verses makes for a contrasting, yet interesting mix that tastes like a ballad but sounds like a minimal dance tune. The vocal performances are as expected. Chemistry is something this duo doesn’t lack, and alongside that chemistry is their individual singing skills that together make this song even sweeter and richer. A unique ballad that left us wanting for more. 5/5
Even though 月明かりイルミネイト (Moonlight Illuminate) was released earlier this year (we’ve reviewed it), we feel like that review itself needs an update, especially after all the polish this unit has been doing to their vocals in the last couple of years and how well this song fits on this specific release. For those that never heard this song, 月明かりイルミネイト is the very definition of a textbook ballad. As soon as the song starts, you’ll listen to the melancholic lyrics, dramatic piano, acoustic guitars and slow and well-paced instrumental and you’ll instantly know that you’re in for an emotional ride. The vocals are heavenly, Abe’s falsetto and ad-libs shine, KENN’s performance leaves a sweet aftertaste and the harmonies between them reinforce what we’ve been saying about this unit, they are incredibly well balanced. It seems that every single element about this song is layed out in a way that will make the listener emotionally invested in this song. Like we previously said, 月明かりイルミネイト is one of the most beautiful ballads we’ve heard from a 2.5D idol group. Painfully sweet, a song that will mess with your emotions. 5/5
“Dear Butterfly” makes great use of MEZZO”’s top tier singing skills. Known for their powerful and sweet ballads, this subunit brought to us two completely different pieces. The title track, “Dear Butterfly” was able to mix dance elements with melancholic lyrics. This is certainly not the first time MEZZO” actually embrace this kind of mix for one of their songs, but we weren’t expecting it for this release. Surprise aside, the title track didn’t suffocate the listener with overwhelming percussion or heavy synth leads, those elements were kept to a minimum to preserve the song’s underlining ballad feel.
月明かりイルミネイト is far from being a new song in Mezzo’s repertoire. As a matter of fact, we don’t really understand why this song was re-released given that very little, if not nothing, has changed about it with this version. However, this song is by far the best ballad in their repertoire as well as the best ballad coming from the IDOLiSH7 franchise. It’s nice to listen to it again after a couple of months without touching on it. That is the perfect ballad for this Autumn, sweet but painful at the same time.
We must admit that MEZZO”‘s members are, among IDOLiSH7 (the unit), the ones with the best singing skills. People might argue that Toshiki Masuda, Takuya Eguchi or even Kensho Ono are better or more complete (they are inconsistent most of the times – some more than others – depending on vocal directions and character tones required to perform IDOLiSH7’s songs) but, in reality, Abe and KENN are the ones that have been displaying more than we expected and, with each MEZZO” release, they keep on impressing us with their flawless vocals. We can tell that Abe has been polishing his vibrato and falsetto, although KENN had always had a sweet, smooth singing tone that fits incredibly well with ballads, we noticed that he’s been polishing his performances in order to not have a flaw on it. This duo really excels at what they do. The vocal performances for both tracks are heavenly good and the instrumentals were equally great. There’s really nothing to pick on with this singles.
Top marks for a top release.
“Dear Butterfly” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.