SP!CA, Maten Rocket, Just 4 U, RayGlanZ and La-Veritta “Readyyy! Project 3rd” (Review)

SP!CA, Maten Rocket, Just 4 U, RayGlanZ and La-Veritta continue to grow before our eyes (and ears). For this release each unit took upon them the challenge of showcasing something different, and they passed it with flying colors.

 

Title: Readyyy! Project 3rd
Label: WAVE MASTER
Release date: 22/09/2018
Genre: Pop-Rock/R&B/Dance

Tracklist:

1 - MY BEST FRIENDS (SP!CA)
2 - Pendulum (Maten Rocket)
3 - Four JUMP (Just 4U)
4 - Shining Magic (RayGlanZ)
5 - Houshou (La-Veritta)

Track by track analysis:

1 – MY BEST FRIENDS

SP!CA kick off this release with a sweet R&B pop tune. MY BEST FRIENDS is the first song in the group’s repertoire that ventures to this territory, embracing a slower, warmer and simple sound. Atmospheric synth pads, acoustic guitars, a sweet piano melody and a simple beat help shape this song into one of the best on this release.
On the vocal end, SP!CA have improved their performances, showcasing their consistency and solid harmonies for this song. This release kicks off on a good note. 5/5

2 – Pendulum

Maten Rocket, known for their passionate performances, perform Pendulum, song that complete pushed the group’s boundaries. Heavy guitar riffs, dark wobbly synths and a danceable, hard-hitting beat impress right off the bat. The verses are imposing while the chorus explodes in energy and turns into an addictive, danceable tune.
Vocally, this is Maten Rocket’s most consistent performance to date. Between singing and rapping, all members showed their cards and impressed. Exciting and addictive. 5/5

3 – Four JUMP

Just 4 U change things around and embrace a different sound. Acoustic guitars, brass and a simple, upbeat piano melody give life to the bright Four JUMP. The group completely strays away from their playful R&B/Funk pop and embraces a peppy, bright sound. The group doesn’t benefit from this big change in their sonority and vibe, with this song sounding clearly weaker in comparison with their previews songs. Regardless, the group managed to match the song’s energy and delivered an entertaining performance. While Just 4 U have had better performances in the past, this one doesn’t fall too short in quality and excitement. 4/5

4 – Shining Magic

RayGlanZ also changed their sound although not as drastically as other groups in the franchise. Shining Magic is an R&B pop tune with a powerful, summery sound. Funky guitar riffs, a groovy bass line, dreamy, vibe-y synths, and a deep, snare-driven beat set an alluring and laidback tone for this song.
As far as vocal performances go, RayGlanZ’s performances continue to impress. Fancy harmonies, sweet, powerful solo parts and an overall tasteful performance make this group plus this song shine in this 3rd mini-album. Too addictive to be ignored. 5/5

5 – Houshou

And if there is a group that underwent a massive change in this release it is La-Veritta. This time around the duo brings a jazz pop tune driven tune to the table. Houshou mixes jazz with pop and EDM, a sorority that is embraced for the first time by this group. Dirty synths coexist with fancy violin melodies – found in the stunning bridge – and jazzy piano melodies. While this might seem like an odd mix on a first listen – or first couple of seconds into the song -, it actually ends up growing on you.

On the vocal end, La-Veritta continue to showcase their vocals and impressive chemistry. The song’s highlight lies in the vocal performances. Tanaka’s falsetto and Sakakihara’s controlled high notes and their harmonies, once more showed why La-Veritta continues to be the most consistent unit on the vocal end in the Readyyy! Project franchise. The auto-tuned parts didn’t add anything impressive to their performance but, somehow, don’t sound forced or ridiculous in its context. Far from being the duo’s best song – that is BEAT IN LOVE – but it is certainly a nice, fresh addition to their repertoire. 4.5/5

Final rating:

Readyyy! Project’s 3rd mini-album brought a lot of changes with it. Most groups opted for going outside of their comfort zone and embrace different sounds and approaches to their singing. With more or less changes to their sound, each group showcased their improvements while continuing to impress with their continuous growth.

The most improved groups are SP!CA and Maten Rocket. SP!CA have been rather inconsistent since debut however, for this release, they are back on their groove with even better vocal performances. In the past both we’ve mentioned that Maten Rocket are the weakest group in this franchise however, and after listening to Pendulum, we need to mention that they’ve improved a whole lot. They are finally showcasing more and doing so comfortably. This is a group might not have big individual talent like other groups do, but their strength lies in their power and quality performing as a group. Pendulum is their best song to date and easily one of this mini-album’s highlights.

The groups that suffered more due to the changes in their sound are Just 4 U and La-Veritta. These two groups had the most drastic changes in sonority however what we got were two weak versions of these talented groups. Just 4 U‘s “Four JUMP” is a generic peppy pop tune that doesn’t have anything that has made the group unique. La-Veritta‘s Houshou embraced EDM and Jazz and while this seems like something unusual for some and promising for others, it was a performance that lacked their trademark flavor.

Among all 5 groups, RayGlanZ were the highlight. The group has been experimenting with their sound and, so far, all experiments have been successful. Shining Magic sounds nothing alike what RayGlanZ would perform but, at the same time, it gives off a vibe that is unique to them. As far as vocals go, this talented trio continues to improve by leaps and bounds.

All in all, Readyyy! Project’s 3rd is a release filled with changes and improvements. It’s a release in which groups went outside of their comfort zone and challenged new sonorities, singing techniques, and more. It’s a release worth checking out.

This release is available for purchase on iTunes.

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Author: midorin

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Currently based in Macau SAR. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to completely dedicate herself to writing about male seiyuu music.