Momochi “Dear Vocalist Xtreme Entry No.5” (Review)

Momochi pushes the envelope by embracing a sexier and more danceable sound. Filled with rich melodies and outstanding performances, “Dear Vocalist Xtreme Entry No.5” is a stellar entry in this series.

Title: "Dear Vocalist Xtreme" Entry No.5 Momochi
Label: Rejet
Release date: 18/07/2018
Genre: R&B/Jazz/Tropical House

Tracklist:

1 - SCARLET GAME
2 - Last Coffee
3 - 因縁生起 [DRAMA]
4 - contrary [DRAMA]
5 - the glass slipper [DRAMA]

Track by track analysis:

1 – SCARLET GAME

There are very few instances in which mixing a sexy vibe with 8-bit music work well. Surprisingly, this is one of those. The song kicks off with two essential sound effects: coins and a retro gaming system powering up. This intro might hint towards a fun, peppy tune however, SCARLET GAME is a full-fledged classy and sexy tune. A groovy bass line leads the way for this song, being responsible for its alluring tone. Brass stabs, blues-y guitar licks and simple, snary drums join the mix in the verses, creating a tasteful and simple funky instrumental with full focus on the vocals and bass line. In the pre-chorus, washy synth pads and a clap track and other synths take over, building up the tension to the classy chorus in which the listener will find a vibrant palette of sounds that, adding to the grooviness of the bass line and the classy touch of the guitars, still counts with the delicate melodies of what sounds like a glitched shakuhachi plus other wind instruments. Like any R&B-ish or jazzy tune, a saxophone is a must. SCARLET GAME counts with the smooth touch of the saxophone, tying everything up perfectly. Toshiyuki Toyonaga brought his A-game to the table and made this song leaps and bounds sexier than it already was, much thanks to his natural vibrato and R&B imbued performance. Absolutely stunning performance. 5/5

2 – Last Coffee

Last Coffee” is a curious entry in this release. Actually, this is an extremely interesting entry in the Dear Vocalist franchise. For the first time in the franchise and in Momochi‘s repertoire, we find a danceable tune that mixes the darkness of trap beats with the grandiosity of orchestral bits plus the fun of tropical house’s synth leads. The result is a dark, melancholic yet catchy tune with an underlying uplifting tone that will catch your attention within its first notes. A relaxing synth lead, characteristical of tropical house, sets the tone for this song. With the addition of a simple hi-hat + kick beat, we have the intro and verses’ simple instrumental. The pre-chorus kicks in and with it come trap beats and orchestral bits, adding a twisted touch to this instrumental. as well as to build up the tension for the contrasting soothing and uplifting chorus (when the lyrics are actually on a darker, melancholic note), one that features airy and washy synth pads to add yet another fancy layer to the soundscape created. The song demanded an emotional and groovy performance and Toshiyuki Toyonaga delivered. 5/5

Final rating:

Be it for the experimental nature of his music that makes all his entries unique, or the stunning vocals that leave you in awe time and time again, one thing is certain, Momochi‘s songs are always among the best in the Dear Vocalist franchise.

Dear Vocalist Xtreme” Entry No.5 Momochi” brought to the table jazz, R&B, pop, tropical house and trap. This alone means that this release strays once again from the music genres featured on his WIRED entry, it also means more interesting mixes and approaches to his music.

SCARLET GAME fused R&B, jazz, funk, pop and EDM into a vibrant, classy and sexy tune that is unprecedented in his repertoire. It’s not often that you have what seems to be a playful intro with 8-bit music or sound effects, and then what you get is completely different from expected. Additionally, you seldom get a song of this high caliber and quality working well with those kinds of elements. However, in SCARLET GAME it’s noticeable that everything was crafted towards the perfect incorporation of “game” elements – to reinforce the theme of the song – and a first in Momochi’s repertoire, with a stunning R&B-ish tune. Toshiyuki Toyonaga upped his game and embraced the song’s vibe, taking it to whole other level, charming the listener with his sweet vibrato-ed vocals. This is one of those performances that are hard to forget. Easily Momochi’s best song to date.

Tropical house and trap seem that have made their way into the Dear Vocalist franchise. The two music genres, albeit contrasting, managed to work well together in Last Coffee. One thing that listeners might find interesting it’s the song’s duality. On one hand we have an upbeat, danceable instrumental that creates a soothing, summer-y soundscape, on the other we find twisted lyrics that introduce a darkness and melancholy that isn’t noticeable in the instrumental. That polarizing charm is a fantastic touch to this release, demanding the listener to pay closer attention to every single detail on it. Toyonaga aced this performance, not only fitting perfectly with the two music genres, but also delivering a performance with which the listener will connect instantly.

As a whole, this entry for the Dear Vocalist‘s Xtreme series is enough to put Momochi back in his throne as the best artist in the franchise. From stellar vocal performances to some of the most tasteful instrumentals in the franchise, this release is flawless. Memorable release, hands down the best so far in Dear Vocalist‘s Xtreme series.

Dear Vocalist Xtreme” Entry No.5 Momochi” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

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