Sogo Osaka “Maybe” (Review)

Rock makes its way into the 12 SONGS GIFT series thanks to Sogo Osaka’s “Maybe”. This exciting rock tune with a rebellious touch will swiftly capture your heart, and then take the throne of best song in the series for itself.

For those that have been out of the loop: “12 Songs Gift” is a series of solo songs that started being released in this past January. A total of 12 singles, one for each member of IDOLiSH7TRIGGER and Re:vale, are scheduled to be released throughout the year. The solo songs releases coincide with the characters’ birthdays.

Title: Maybe
Label: Lantis
Release date: 28/05/2018
Genre: Rock

Tracklist:

1 - Maybe

Track analysis:

Sogo Osaka picks up where Tamaki Yotsuba’s single left off, however instead of keeping up with a bright pop sound, he changed everything around. In a 12 SONGS GIFT series filled with ballads, R&B jams and pop tunes, Sogo is the first one to completely shift gears and pacing, delivering an exciting rock song with “Maybe”.

The song kicks off in a rather melancholic note, much thanks to the distant guitar licks and delicate piano hits in the intro, however that tone is instantly replaced by an imposing instrumental. First things first: the drums work for this song is off the charts. Tight snares and splashy hi-hats led the way in the verses, trashy cymbals, warm toms and full bass drums not only helped set a raw, edgy tone to this song but also played an important role into shaping the powerful chorus. On top of that quality work, we find melodic licks and aggressive guitar riffs, a noticeable bass line and a tasteful piano melody. There are some synths in this instrumental, but they are kept to the bare minimum, enhancing certain sections of the song or setting specific moods in other parts, with the soothing synth pads in the bridge being a great example of how well used those were.

There’s no way the pre-chorus and chorus won’t get you hyped. The guitar riffs pull the listener in, the drums build up the excitement for the chorus, and those backing vocals will have you singing along to it in no time. Next thing you know, you’re completely immersed in this song. To note that this chorus stands as the best so far in the 12 SONGS GIFT series. It’s explosive, addictive and, at the same time has a gentle nature in its core. If you need an extra bit of excitement the melodic guitar solo in the bridge will do the trick.

As part of IDOLiSH7’s main vocal line and MEZZO, the expectations were incredibly high for this release. Thankfully, Atsushi Abe was more than up for his task, meeting and exceeding those expectations with an all-rounded, energetic performance. Somehow this song and lyrics demanded a rawer, rebellious performance, Abe not only added that to his performance, but also retained some gentleness in its core, a nice touch that might go unnoticed by most.

With this I’ll stray a bit away from this review to touch on an important point that barely is touched. No matter what some fans of the franchise might say, Atsushi Abe is, hands down, the best singer within IDOLiSH7 (the group). He dazzles everyone when singing for IDOLiSH7, plays with the listeners’ emotions when performing as part of MEZZO and he’s an absolute beast when performing solo – as everyone can listen from his complex and rich performance in “Maybe“. Regardless if you’re a fan of Abe and / or Sogo, you, as well as us, have to give credit where credit is due. While he’s not the flashiest performer within the group – that award goes easily to KENN -, he’s certainly the most technical and the one with the most consistent vocals, always delivering strong performances. Additionally, his singing is pleasing at all times and he adapts well to most music genres. He’s the do-it-all type of singer, reliable, with an outstanding control over his range and tone that few within the group and franchise have. He deserves to be praised for his singing, yet he seldom is by fans of the franchise. That’s all for the Atsushi Abe appreciation corner.

Now back to the review. With “Maybe“, Sogo Osaka takes the throne of best song and performance in the 12 SONGS GIFT series to himself, at least for now. This song came as a well needed breath of fresh air in the middle of a franchise that was on the verge of being exclusively made of pop music and ballads. As much as we love ballads and pop tunes, a little bit of variety is welcomed, and “Maybe” does the trick with its excitement and rawness. This is the song you should be listening to.

Final rating: 

This song is available for purchase on Online music stores (for overseas fans it’s available on iTunes).

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