Atom “I” (Review)

Atom‘s “I” is a passionate release that sets the stage for upcoming entries in Marginal #4‘s GALACTI9★SONG CD series.

Title: GALACTI9★SONG Series #1
Label: Rejet/Pythagoras Production
Release date: 19/12/2018
Genre: J-Pop/Rock

Tracklist:

1 - I
2 - パルコ (Atom ver.)
3 - I (off vocal)
4 - パルコ (off vocal)

Track by track analysis:

1 – I

Dark synths lead the way for one of the hardest hitting songs in the MARGINAL #4 franchise. Exciting guitar riffs, snare-y drums and a noticeable bass line complete the simple instrumental that nods at Marginal #4’s debut sound. The intro will instantly catch the listener’s attention, especially by how unique it is within the franchise. Synths were incorporated in this song not only to set a darker, edgier tone, but also to enhance the powerful guitar riffs throughout the piece. On the vocal end, Masuda ups the ante and delivers a passionate performance that makes best out of his improved vocals. Hyped up entrance to a solid release. 5/5

2 – パルコ (Atom ver.)

Contrasting with the previous track is パルコ (Parco). This ballad, with a sound and vibe commonly found within Marginal #4’s repertoire is the only song that will be common to all releases in the GALACTI9★SONG CD series. A delicate piano melody and strings set the tone for this gentle ballad. Slow paced, bass-drum drums, melancholic guitar riffs and a noticeable bass line add the final touches to this instrumental. A nice touch – that might go unnoticed – is the rhodes piano melody play in the verses, enhancing the song’s melancholic tone. The pacing is deliberately slow, leaving the way open for vocals to shine. Masuda’s vocals are sweet, almost lullabying the listener in the verses but sound rather bland in the chorus. Interesting performance on top of a textbook ballad. 4/5

Final rating:

The 1st entry in Marginal #4‘s GALACTI9★SONG CD series is unexpectedly good. It seems that the growth and maturity noticeable this year in Marginal #4‘s music has carried over to the solo releases. This alone makes this entry worth checking out.

I is among the best solo tracks so far released in the Marginal #4 franchise – the first ones were released in 2017 connected to the anime adaptation -, a song with an instrumental that nods at Marginal #4’s debut sound but has polished and coated it’s core sound with a dark, dirty vibe that makes it extremely ear-catching. Out of all performances in this single, Masuda shone in this song.

The B-side is the sweet ballad “Parco“. The song is nothing out of the extraordinary – even by the franchise’s standards – but more than scrutinizing its instrumental, we’re more curious about how this song will be tackled in the remaining entries in the GALACTI9★SONG CD series. As it is, Masuda‘s performance was a bit inconsistent, lacking the proper emotion to make the chorus flourish.

All in all, Atom’s entry in the GALACTI9★SONG CD series is solid and sets an interesting tone for further releases.

GALACTI9★SONG Series #1 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

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