ST☆RISH has made their comeback with “Ultra Blast” a single that attempts to make the group to sound new and catchy as they bring to the table an upgraded performance. This single will be featured in the upcoming movie “Uta no Prince Sama: Maji Love Kingdom“. So, without any further ado, let’s get this review started.
More information regarding the single.
Title: ウルトラブラスト Release date: 14/02/2018 Label: King Records Genre: J-Pop
1 - ウルトラブラスト 2 - ファンタジック☆プレリュード 3 - ウルトラブラスト −instrumental− 4 - ファンタジック☆プレリュード −instrumental−
Track by track analysis:
1 – ウルトラブラスト
With a grand intro delivered to us by heavy synth work and piano alongside the synth bass, Ultra Blast has just begun. This track features the usual and trademark elements by which Starish are so well known, such as the synths and the melodic piano that often as not makes its presence felt with minor interruptions to the instrumental piece’s momentum. Despite the use of guitar as well as the mix of other rock elements, such as a solo and actual drums as opposed to synth instruments that seem to be favorite choice, we ought to mention that the chorus is far from being an organized melody. What could have been a track displaying a new side of the group ended up being overpowering in its chorus as it sounds as if the new elements incorporated to the track’s instrumental piece were simply added to their “sound” with no worries whatsoever regarding the final product, which is Ultra Blast having a lot of potential, yet it not being fully explored. 4/5
2 – ファンタジック☆プレリュード
If Ultra Blast has a more of a rocky vibe to its instrumental piece, ファンタジック☆プレリュード has more of a orchestral touch to it. As if we could not get enough of the usual intro with the members shouting Starish, ファンタジック☆プレリュード makes sure we have a taste of that again. Despite the fact that the instrumental piece being a good choice, unlike the previous track, we could clearly listen to the members falseto, something that was somewhat lacking in Ultra Blast. In this case we can definitely say that in that aspect they certainly hit the nail as we can listen to Kishow and Mamoru going strong in almost what seems like a vocal battle showing that both are amazing. The bells’ incorporation to the instrumental piece has made this track sound more like a Christmas carol, though we do not know if that was the intended effect, on the other side we must say that the strings worked wonders and not only do they tie the instrumental piece together they add some jazz to it as well. 4.5/5
We miss the time when we could listen to all members of the group and inherently know who was singing in which part of the track, yet for the past few releases what has become the norm is everyone singing at the same time. Needless to say that with this sort of strategy we cannot listen to the powerhouses of the group singing let alone the remaining members as they erase their individual presence and become a group of unorganized and overwhelming people.
On the other side of the spectrum, we have ファンタジック☆プレリュード which oddly enough managed to somewhat make emends for Ultra Blast as we could listen to their catchy instrumental piece with some orchestral elements bringing out the full potential of the members, vocal wise. Another aspect to mention is the fact that in ファンタジック☆プレリュード the approach to the singing part was different, as we could listen, the members have stopped singing all at the same time which made for a wonderful performance, if we might say so ourselves.
All in all, Starish has lately been a sort of “hit or miss” as it appears there have been some attempts to make the group’s tracks to sound new and catchy, yet along that road we are left with track’s such as Ultra Blast that could have been so much more that we are left with a bad aftertaste. In the future, however, we look forward to listen to Starish’s new “sound”.