SOARA “Start Line~Boys, Be Mighty~” (Review)

SOARA returned to well known territory for “Start Line~Boys, Be Mighty~“, an exciting pop-rock song that although it will have you sing along to its chorus, it paled in comparison with previous releases.

Title: スタートライン ~Boys, Be Mighty~
Label: Tsukipro/Movic
Release date: 23/02/2018
Genre: Pop-Rock

Tracklist:

1 - スタートライン ~Boys, Be Mighty~

Track analysis:

1 – スタートライン ~Boys, Be Mighty~

SOARA’s 3rd release for TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION heads towards familiar territory. The band is back to their trademark peppy, youthful pop-rock, with an upbeat instrumental, hyped chorus and a whole lot of exciting elements.

Comparing with the band’s previous releases – for TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION – this one falls a bit short. “FRIEND” raised the bar way too much – that is, quite honestly, SOARA’s best release to date -, “ALIEL” on the other side embraced their trademark exciting pacing, peppy vibe and simple yet catchy choruses, however they approached it quite differently. Maybe we were spoiled by those two great releases, but “スタートライン ~Boys,Be Mighty” pales in comparison. The background synths are rather annoying (even if those aren’t looping incessantly in the background) and, yet again, the lines weren’t distributed equally between members.

No matter how much we might complain about how this song is subpar in comparison with previous releases, we have to admit that this song still has some listening value. There’s no way this chorus won’t grab your attention, as well as there’s no way you won’t notice just how stunning the buildup in the bridge is. The bridge this time around has a fantastic progression and pacing, it might have one of the best buildups this band has ever performed – with a consistent amount of melodies and tension on top of great vocals -.

Vocally, there’s something we need to point out. SOARA have this one-trick-pony formula that has been going for them for quite a while, some times with great results, others with disappointing ones: Toshiyuki Toyonaga is the main vocal + everyone else is basically the backing vocals or the casual “visitors” in a song that is monopolized by himself. This simple formula is used time and time again. There have been some instancies in which this suffered some changes and we noticed a more equal line distribution, leading to a more consistent vocal track. However, that’s not the case with this song. Even if in previous instances there was a fairer line distribution between members, for this song the lines are 65% Toyonaga‘s, and that’s including ad-libs. Don’t get us wrong though. Toyonaga is an impressively skilled singer, and he’s also the main singer/frontman for this band hence he gets more lines, we know all that. Yet, with a lineup this talented, we keep wondering if there’s ever going to be a song in which the other 4 members can shine just like in “FRIEND“. In the end, the vocal track felt and sounded unbalanced – we were so focused on Toyonaga‘s voice throughout the song, that all other participations felt more like cameos rather than group members taking turns to sing. We have a moment of briliance in the vocal department during the bridge section: Toyonaga‘s performance there – the crescendo, vibrato and the buildup were all on point. In the background or during the short solo parts everyone shone – but kudos to Makoto Furukawa for his melodic vibrato that really takes each of his parts to a completely different level, standing out from his peers even with limited lines.

All in all, “Start Line~Boys, Be Mighty~” ended up failing to meet our expectations even though it had its moments of brilliance. SOARA are more than this – we’ve heard much better from them in the past, be it vocally or instrumentally -, this song falls short after a couple of really successful releases. It’s not a bad release if you analyze it without taking other releases into consideration (it’s fun, entertaining and has that trademark youthful pop-rock vibe that everyone enjoys), however it’s rather bland in comparison with the previous two singles released, hence the score given.

Final rating:

This song is only available for those that purchase the 3rd volume of TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION.

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