Lagrange Point “Singularity” (Review)

Lagrange Point are back after a short intermission with shuffle units within the Pythagoras Production. The talented duo sweeps everyone off their feet with the haunting “Singularity“.

Title: シンギュラリティ
Label: Rejet/Pythagoras Production
Release date: 22/08/2018
Genre: J-Pop/Rock/Ballad

Tracklist:

1 - シンギュラリティ 
2 - Vertigo
3 - シンギュラリティ -off vocal-
4 - Vertigo -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

1 – シンギュラリティ

Singularity kicks this single in an unique way for this duo. Drama is turned up a notch for this instrumental, with the song opening to the sound of dramatic strings and timpani. The pacing is slow and the vibe is dark, a first coming from Lagrange Point, usually known for their romantic/dramatic vibe. The instrumental kicks off with dramatic strings and timpani, setting a dark tone to this song. Live drums and drum samples (mostly snare and hi-hat triplets) join the timpani, making the beat sound more imposing. Atmospheric synths join the mix to add an airy dimension to this track. Electric guitars are still an important element in Lagrange Point‘s music, however those aren’t as “big” or as “loud” as before. There’s also a lot of play with flanger, distortion and overdrive pedals, noticeable in the two different guitar parts playing in the background.

On top of this fancy instrumental is a powerful vocal performance that only Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Genki Okawa could pull off. They are as in-sync as before, with their performance in chorus being one of the highlights. Due to the song’s dramatic nature, there’s a lot of vibrato in play in both performances, adding a nice touch to this song. 5/5

2 – Vertigo

The single wraps up in a bittersweet note. A long intro with strings in crescendo and minimalistic atmospheric synth pads, slowly introduce the listener to this powerful ballad. Contrary to most ballads in Lagrange Point‘s repertoire that are textbook power-ballads, Vertigo is, for the most part, a minimalistic ballad however packing the same punch that any of the duo’s previous ballads packed. Verses are slow paced, betting on minimalistic instrumentalization to set a tone for the storytelling unfolding in the emotional lyrics. The first and second verses have different tones, much due to the fact that the song seems to have a sort of an “act” structure on it. In result, the first verse is quiet, with a simple beat, a dramatic piano melody and atmospheric synths pads being the centerpieces to this instrumental. Things change around for the second verse, featuring a more powerful instrumentalization that, in some way, carries over from the lush, guitar-driven chorus. Power-ballad electric guitar riffs, bigger, bass oriented synths, bass drum-driven drums, a noticeable bass line, strings and a rhodes piano are just some of the instruments that make the tension rise and grip the listener’s attention. A highlight in this song is found in the final moments of the chorus. The instrumental was crafted in a way that those very last moments, with the help of atmospheric synth pads and delay, will make the listener feel distance and loss in that same moment. Being over 5 minutes long, Vertigo is the kind of song that will grab your attention and make you feel a wide array of emotions while listening to it.

On par with the instrumental’s quality are the vocals. The quality in Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Genki Okawa‘s vocals is overwhelming. Both poured their souls into this song, delivering a haunting and solemn performance filled with emotion. An advice: listen to their performance with attention. This kind of excellence doesn’t come by easily nor frequently so it’s best to savor it, especially on a first listen. Heartbreaking and haunting, this is the best Lagrange Point ballad released to date. 5/5

Final rating:

Singularity” is a single that can easily be ranked among the group’s best releases. The title track is slow paced, slightly alluring thus capturing the listener’s attention in a heartbeat. It is a nice change of pace from that romantic vibe that is characteristical of Lagrange Point‘s songs.

On the other side “Vertigo” is the best b-side track to ever grace Lagrange Point‘s repertoire. The long intro without any fancy theatrics instantly tells the listener that this is going to be an emotional ride. When listening to this song it’s noticeable its unique song structure that lets the song unfold like a story. While it’s not easy to put into words the feeling (or feelings) the listener gets while listening to this almost 6 minutes long song, one thing is for sure: this is the kind of ballad that deals an emotional punch on the listener. The story being told, the way those lyrics are being performed and the emotional instrumental, all play a role in snatching the listener’s attention and completely mess with your emotions. You’ll feel loss, melancholy, longing and a sense of not being able to attain something (or someone). Falling. Without an end. And not being able to stop. With that final part in the chorus, you’ll definitely will be feeling the song’s Vertigo theme.

With the continuous launch of 2D/2.5D idol projects in Japan, Lagrange Point have gone from highly anticipated idols to going under the radar in the short span of 4 years. It’s a pity that a highly talented unit such as Lagrange Point goes under the radar because of fans flocking to new, more popular music projects. Of course, not everything is due to the emergence of new idol projects in the last couple of years, part of the fault lies with Rejet stop betting on releasing music more consistently like they did up to 2016.

Well, for those that have stayed with this group and continue to follow their endeavors, Lagrange Point is in top form and are as interesting, unique and exciting as they were back in 2014.

When performing, Toshiyuki Toyonaga and Genki Okawa are mesmerizing. Their vocal performances have a flair that is hard to emulate. It’s the way they tackle some notes, their harmonies, the ad-libs and the power and emotion they bring to the table that make Lagrange Point‘s songs stand out. Their breathtaking performance in Vertigo is a the perfect greeting card if anyone wants to show what this duo is capable of. Their top tier vocals are exactly one of the reasons why they are one of the best idol units in the industry.

All in all, Singularity is exactly the kind of single that you should expect from Lagrange Point. An emotional rollercoaster that doesn’t need anything fancy to impress the listener. Last time they sounded this good was back in 2014 with their iconic single “BLACK SWAN“.

“Singularity” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

 

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