Eden “Ensemble Stars! Album Series Eden” (Review)

Eden‘s first album is out. “Ensemble Stars! Album Series Eden” surely is an album to listen as it provides you with powerful vocal performances and instrumental pieces which amplify that quality and bring it to the next level.

Eden consists of Adam (Junichi Suwabe, Ryota Osaka) and Eve‘s (Natsuki Hanae, Yuma Uchida) members.

Title: Ensemble Stars! Album Series Eden
Label: Pony Canyon
Release date: 24/04/2019
Genre: Dance Pop/Pop-Rock

Tracklist:

01.THE GENESIS [Eden]
02.Dance in the Apocalypse [Eden]
03.Ruler’s Truth [Adam]
04.The Beast of the End [Adam]
05.Trap For You [Eve]
06.Sunlit Smile! [Eve]
07.生まれ堕ちたこの世界で(Ran Nagisa solo)
08.Fantastic Days◎(Tomoe Hiyori solo)
09.Poison Strategy(Saegusa Ibara solo)
10.Back-alley Monologue(Jun Sazanami)

Track by track analysis:

01- THE GENESIS [Eden]

[As previously reviewed]

If there’s a way you want to impress the listener, it’s this way. Donning an edgy blend of EDM pop, melodic guitar sections and heavy guitar riffs, EDEN show everyone that they have the backbone and vocals of a worthy rival unit. Their sound is dark and strangely addictive, making good use of a slow-paced instrumental in which soothing pads and dirty synths coexist with powerful guitar riffs. The instrumental stands out right from the start for its unusually authoritative vibe. Just like with the instrumental, we were thoroughly impressed with the vocals. High notes, some of those in falsetto, melodies for all tastes, total synchronicity, these are just some of the things that impressed us while listening to this song. Uchida and Hanae are in charge of high notes flourishes while Suwabe and Osaka add depth to the vocal performance with well needed melodic mid-tones. 5/5

02- Dance in the Apocalypse [Eden]

Dirty and draggy synths along with some synth percussion lead the intro of Dance in the Apocalypse, which does not stray away from the EDM pop instrumental piece that we found in the previous track. The instrumental piece does exude a danceable aura with the clapping and the build up in the pre-chorus section, however there is something more which captivates the listener and perhaps might even be the cause behind the addictive vibe of Dance in the Apocalypse. Once again, we have a heavy reliance on the synths and other synth elements to bring fourth a catchy and EDM vibe to the instrumental. An interesting twist was added to the instrumental piece towards the outro, so instead of the same instrumentalization we have a change that pends more towards the futuristic/sci-fi instrumental pieces. Suwabe is using his deep vocals to his alluring performance while aiding Osaka‘s performance by adding even more flavor to their performance. Uchida and Hanae are no strangers to the high notes, and in this track we can listen to Uchida going more on the melodic route and Hanae acing the high notes. 5/5

03- Ruler’s Truth [Adam]

[As previously reviewed]

Adam completely change gears for their unit song “Ruler’s Truth”. Synths were completely set aside in favor for a simple, mid-tempo rock instrumental meant to excite the listener. This was something we weren’t expecting from this unit, especially after listening them performing a dance song. Regardless, Adam fit well with this kind of sound that ups the tempo, uses raging guitar riffs and thunderous solos to impress,even adding some layers of a rich deep bass sound courtesy of the snary/bassy drums and a mesmerizing bassline. The pacing and progression, with quieter, acoustic verses and electrifying choruses, grabbed our attention in an instant. On the vocal end, Suwabe and Osaka rely on deep to mid-tones, adding a rawer, rougher touch to their performance. Although we only got a glimpse, this song has rap parts, something unexpected, especially considering the song’s progression. 4.5/5

04- The Beast of the End [Adam]

The Beast of the End represents the perfect fusing of an grandiose instrumentalization with the pop-rock genre. So, in this track we can expect a groovy bass with a melodic guitar and as back up to these elements we have an orchestral adding that extra drama to this track. The main focus in the chorus is definitely the guitar and the bell pads, and perhaps not so noticeable is also the same groovy bass we listened to in the beginning. It is interesting to listen to Suwabe‘s vocal performance incorporating a sort of rap moment, while Osaka momentously takes the spotlight and vice-versa. However, all in all, both Osaka and Suwabe‘s vocal complemented one another with no issues. The Beast of the End surely is one of the best track’s in the album. 5/5

05- Trap For You [Eve]

[As previously reviewed]

Eve’s sound is yet another surprise for us. Forget synths, forget rock, this unit is all about sounding melodic and jazz-rock with Latin influences is their natural habitat. This instrumental is the funkiest of all 3, focusing on reverberating basslines, Latin percussion and bassy drums. An upbeat piano melody and brass give this instrumental a fun twist, all while the guitars add some spice to this rich layered instrumental. Easily the most complete and fun instrumental, “Trap For You” has an equally entertaining and engaging vocal track. Uchida and Hanae are a perfect fit for this kind of song – with a proficiency to make everything they sing sound smooth and classy at the same time. 4.5/5

06- Sunlit Smile! [Eve]

If you were looking for a track that exuded summer vibes with and up-beat instrumental piece than Sunlit Smile! is your way to go. Starting by the fact that in the first few seconds we can listen to the waves bringing us the idea of summer. This track has a rather simplistic instrumental piece, focusing on the bass and the guitar, on the majority of the time, Sunlit Smile! also incorporates bright synths to its instrumental and consequently ends up increasing that up-beat and cheerful vibe we got from the beginning. The fact that there is clapping incorporated in this track’s instrumental piece might even make one want to do the same while listening to it. Uchida is singing comfortably delivering melodic notes while Hanae is melting the listener with his high notes and vibrato. 4/5

07- 生まれ堕ちたこの世界で

Umare Ochita Kono Sekai de has a dramatic and pop-rock instrumental piece with its focus on the drums and the piano that complements the guitar. This track has no trace of synths which goes hand in hand with the idea that this is a solo track, and therefore it has a different vibe than other tracks present in this album. With some pads that add more of the pop-rock vibe in this track, Umare Ochita Kono Sekai de has an addictive instrumental, but the chorus is especially. Also, the guitar solo and the drum work, as well as the piano that was incorporated in the solo of this track added a different twist that was not only interesting but unique and certainly made it clear that this track is more rock oriented than anything. Suwabe‘s vocal performance was stable and although he did not use he sexy tone, his mid-tones were surely in harmony with the vibe of this track. 4.5/5

08- Fantastic Days◎

Fantastic Days◎ goes heavy on the synths and synth pads. If you enjoy a groovy bass and bright and airy synths, with a cheerful instrumental piece is the perfect choice. Some drum work and the bass make up the biggest changes you’ll be able to notice in this track, which although not repetitive does not differ much from the beginning, disregarding some slight changes in the instrumental piece. Other than relying on the synths and pads, Fantastic Days◎ more or less your typical bright idol-like track. 4/5

09- Poison Strategy

Kicking off with a powerful performance by the melodic guitar and the bass that accompany the drums, Poison Strategy is sounding promising. This track’s instrumental piece is certainly focused on the melodic instrumentalization with hints of jazz, especially present in the bass’s performance, and then we have the guitar that is very reminiscent of the 80s rock, namely on what concerns the constant guitar solos present throughout the track. With some trumpets adding more to the jazzy and rock vibes that were already exuding from this track, Poison Strategy lives up to the inicial expectations. Osaka‘s mid-tones were the perfect choice for this jazzy/rock song. 4.5/5

10- Back-alley Monologue

A delicate and melodic piano gives place to a R&B like instrumental piece with some percussion and synth pads that add more to the vibe. A groovy bass complements the piano when it is playing the low-pitched notes. The synth pads create the delicate atmosphere that perpetuates the instrumental piece, the percussion and the strings complement theses feelings. The instrumental itself is nothing complex and perhaps that is why one can pay attention to it and to Uchida‘s vocal performance which could not be better. With a delicate and heartfelt vocal performance, he brought even more emotion to the instrumental piece of Back-alley Monologue. 5/5

Final rating:

Ensemble Stars! Album Series Eden” surely is an album to listen as it provides you with powerful vocal performances and instrumental pieces that amplify that quality and bring it to the next level.

Eden‘s first album was a winner for the most part, with the exception of some track’s that could have been a little different. Regarding the best tracks in the album we cannot forget to mention The Beast of the End, Dance in the Apocalypse and THE GENESIS. All three tracks are worth mentioning for different reasons. Powerful vocals are indeed an important asset in a unit, but without the whole combination of quality vocals and instrumental piece, it is not the same. Eden, are one of the units which has that combination. In fact, it has another thing in their favor, which is the fact that among the four members we have high tones and mid-tones. These three tracks have that in common, the vocals and instrumental pieces were well conceived.

If on one hand there were tracks that worked all on all levels, then there are others that could have worked a little better. Fantastic Days◎ and Sunlit Smile! are the prime examples. Both tracks have potential, but the instrumental pieces seem to lack some of the same vibe as others in the album, although one of them is a solo track. These tracks are fine, but in our eyes they could have been better.

All in all, this album surprised us in a pleasant manner, as it brought many track’s worth listening, some that are quite addictive and others that simply are catchy.

Ensemble Stars! Album Series Eden” is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Author: Nadine Silva

Reviewer and News editor at The Hand That Feeds HQ since 2012. Based in Portugal. Translation graduate. Hobbyist piano player.