SOARA, Growth, SolidS & QUELL “DearDreamer” (Review)

DearDreamer” is here to wrap up on a sweet note the streak of perfect releases featured on TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION

Title: DearDreamer
Label: Tsukipro/Movic
Release date: 15/06/2018
Genre: Pop-Rock

Tracklist:

1 - Dear Dreamer

Track analysis:

1 – DearDreamer

TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION wrapped up its first season with a special song. With a few exceptions, end of the season songs in idol anime tend to be lackluster, focusing more on fan service, flashy instrumentals, rather than on delivering a truly satisfying performance that is, at least, of the same quality as all the other music released so far in that series. “DearDreamer” fits right in the exceptions slot. Just like all music released for this anime series, its quality and replay value are incredibly high.

Incorporating the different charms of SolidS, SOARA, QUELL, Growth, this pop-rock instrumental is as delicate, passionate, dreamy and exciting as all these 4 groups are. On top of a simple electric guitar riffs, a noticeable bass and muffled, snare-driven drums – the core to this instrumental – we find acoustic guitars, brass, soothing strings, sweet piano melodies and minimalistic synths, mostly atmospheric ones to set a warm, welcoming tone for this track. It’s easily noticeable the representative elements for each group within this instrumental. With carefully crafted melodies, sweet, mid-tempo verses, an exciting chorus and a bridge that will give you chills, it’s hard to not fall in love with this song on a first listen.

Compared to most songs released for this series, “DearDreamer” might sound like it is one of the simplest – especially when songs like “Mahou no Kizuna” or “Oka Ranman” sounded much more complex -, yet when you start paying attention to the composition, as well as to all that had to be taken into account to make this song work (with over 10 different instruments featured on it, composition embracing the best points from each of the 4 groups + manage it to work with 17 people on the vocal end without sounding underwhelming), “DearDreamer” is actually one of the most complex, rich and layered songs in the franchise. I consider its complexity as yet another reason as to why this song easily ranks as one of the franchise’s best songs. The composition and arrangement are beyond impressive, making such a complex song sound as simple as it does.

DearDreamer” counts with the full cast of the series on the vocal end (17 people). While, in most cases, having a larger lineup would pose some problems for the overall balance of the song (with contrasting tones and completely different singing skills to manage), I’m pleasantly surprised to find that there was a major focus on balancing the vocals (as there was to balance the instrumental), in order to deliver the best experience possible to the listener. That care is noticeable especially in the way in which parts/lines were distributed between members, avoiding having baritones overshadowing tenors or vice-versa, and giving them more time to perform (this song is over 6 minutes).

Aside from the 4 leaders’ – Toshiyuki Toyonaga, Takuya Eguchi, Shunichi Toki and Shunsuke Takeuchi – solo parts, all other members are working as small sub-units. As crazy and impossible as it might sound when I say that everyone shines (especially with such a big lineup), the reality is that they really did manage to do that. Even without solo parts, as small units there were always opportunities to shine and every member made sure to impress. That was only possible because – if you pay closer attention to the vocals -, the units were organized in the way that there are no overlapping tones among them.

Also, as an ensemble, there were no issues. Everyone got to shine – even when all were singing together -, because there’s a wide variety of unique singing colors within these four groups. The ensemble parts are among the best things this song has to offer. I wasn’t expecting that all 4 groups would work so well together and sound as powerful as they did. Those parts in the chorus and intro, with everyone harmonizing in perfect tune, will impress you. The cherry on top, that will send chills will run down your spine, is the vocal build up in the bridge.

I usually tend to commend the ones that stood out during the performances, however for this song I won’t do it. It’s impossible to say who sang best when everyone gave their all (and it’s noticeable) and delivered an overall stunning performance. It was a team effort; hence all groups get the kudos this time around.

DearDreamer” comes full circle for TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION. Its selling point was quality music and it stayed true until the ending of the first anime season. This song tied up perfectly what was a streak of excellent – some perfect – releases by all 4 groups.

This is an outstanding, befitting ending piece for TSUKIPRO THE ANIMATION, and one of the best songs in the franchise.

Final rating: 

This song is included in the seventh DVD volume of the series.

 

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