DRAMATIC STARS “ARRIVE TO STAR” (Review)

DRAMATIC STARS return with “ARRIVE TO STAR“. The single will instantly rub off on you some of its energy and enjoyment with its upbeat, inspiring instrumentals and appealing vocal performances. 

DRAMATIC STARS consist of Shugo Nakamura, Yuma Uchida and Taku Yashiro.

 

Title: ARRIVE TO STAR
Label: Lantis
Release date: 17/01/2018
Genre: J-Pop

Tracklist:

01.ARRIVE TO STAR
02.Reason!!(DRAMATIC STARS Ver.)
03.ARRIVE TO STAR -Instrumental-

Track by track analysis:

01 ARRIVE TO STAR

DRAMATIC STARS’ “ARRIVE TO STAR” manages to showcase everything this unit is about: great vocals and catchy, feel-good pop tunes. A simple mid-tempo beat leads the way, being joined by acoustic guitars, a noticeable bassline and a playful piano melody. We find this instrumental balancing strings, synths and brass, three elements that don’t usually go well together. There wasn’t even a second of this song in which we found any of these elements clashing in a way that would hinder the song’s progression and pacing. Expect strings in the background helping with setting the mood, all while synths bring a peppy touch to this song and brass take some of the spotlight for themselves, and this without making it an uncomfortable experience for the listener. When listening to this song you won’t help but to be infected with a bright, upbeat mood, DRAMATIC STARS’ trademark. On the vocal end we can only say that this performance was just as you’d expect from DRAMATIC STARS. Their lineup is incredibly well balanced and skilled. Uchida’s smooth vocals and versatility, Yashiro’s invaluable high notes and Nakamura’s versatility on all ends, all make it impossible for this group to sound bad. Whether on solo parts or as a group, their performances added depth to this song and made it an enjoyable listen. Just pay close attention to their falsetto in the chorus, it’s gold. 5/5

02 Reason!! (DRAMATIC STARS Ver.)

We’re not getting into too many details on this song as the full version (with the 6 main Idolmaster SideM units) has already been reviewed. “Reason!!” is the song released last year that got the first RIAJ Certified Gold record to this franchise. The song is bright in its essence, a characteristic that might not fit that well with some of the groups that originally performed this song.

For this performance and unit the key is slightly higher than on the original, it also is the most melodic performance out of all attempts we’ve got to listen so far. One thing we need to point out though: with Shugo Nakamura completely overshadowing everyone in the chorus, Taku Yashiro almost completely shoved to the background. Not that this is a bad thing, but we were expecting that Yashiro, known for his unique high toned, slightly nasal singing tone, to stand out during this performance but the opposite occurred. Regardless, this is a highly entertaining performance with yet a different taste from the others. 4.5/5

Final rating:

DRAMATIC STARS brought their best to this release. As it is their trademark, their songs are exciting and danceable, exuding a bright and warm vibe with each note sang or instrument played. “ARRIVE TO STAR” is a perfect example as to why we consider this unit one of the most compelling and complete units in the SideM franchise. Although there’s always room for improvement, DRAMATIC STARSShugo Nakamura, Yuma Uchida and Taku Yashiro have a fascinating chemistry that exudes in their performances. Not only they have great chemistry but they also have some flair and technique in the vocals.

Yuma Uchida has the vocals to be the center, the lead man in any group. He aims to impress with each performance, showcasing his well trained, versatile vocals that can cover a wide range. He’s also the flashy DRAMATIC STARS member, adding flourishes and ad-libs whenever there’s a chance. On recording, of course, he has less power on how and what he can perform, but you can tell from a simple listen to this single and notice he always gets those melodic, vibrato or falsetto-ed parts to enrich the song, making it even more striking for the listener.

Taku Yashiro has his highs and lows but, as of late, he’s shown improvement in his singing, changing and polishing the way in which he uses his naturally high pitched singing tone. On “ARRIVE TO STAR” we found him making great use of his range, tackling high notes and challenging some falsetto imbued sections of the song. He’s growing before everyone’s eyes and we’re loving every second of it.

Shugo Nakamura is the center piece, the one that has a very versatile singing technique, giving him the opportunity to impress with delicate high notes, technical falsettos and sweet mid-tones. He sounds confident in his singing and delivered comfortable performances on both songs.

ARRIVE TO STAR” will rub off on you some of its energy and enjoyment. The stunning vocals and upbeat, inspiring instrumentals are more than enough to make this release an exciting experience for the listener and, although not the unit’s best song, it still earns its stripes as one of their strongest and most fascinating entries in their repertoire.

ARRIVE TO STAR” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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