SOARA “CLUB” (Review)

SOARA kickstart the CARDS series in high spirits.

For the CARDS series, card suits – Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds and Spades – are split within each unit series: ALIVE (SOARA, Growth) and SQ (SolidS and QUELL). Each group in a unit series will be in charge of two card suits. 

Title: ALIVE 「CARDS」 Series Volume 1 SOARA「CLUB」
Label: Tsukipro/Movic 
Release date: 26/07/2019 
Genre: Pop/Rock

Tracklist:

1 - 三つ葉のクローバー 
2 - ライバル 
3 - 三つ葉のクローバー -off vocal- 
4 - ライバル -off vocal-

Track by track analysis:

1 – Mitsuba no clover

This single kicks off with a slow paced pop-rock jam reminiscing of the group’s slow paced songs from their debut days. The instrumental for Mitsuba no clover exudes a warmth that is slightly different from what the group used to exude not long ago. Their growth has contributed for a matured sound that is welcoming and even warmer than before, riding on gentle guitar melodies, distant guitar riffs, a deep bass line and bass drum-driven drums to take the listener to a sweet soundscape.

On the vocal end the group continues to showcase their growth. Lines were equally distributed between members and we even get a sweet acappella moment close to the end of the song, adding the cherry on top of such a laidback, later summer song as this one. 5/5

2 – Rival

To wrap up this release is the playful Rival. In contrast with the previous song, this instrumental thrives on its speed and playfulness to bring the best out of this group. Guitars range from speedy, punk-rock inspired riffs to sweet, simple melodies. Drums have a marching band touch but increase its tempo in the chorus, heightening the tension in the song. Bass, instrument that is the heart of the band’s sound, is a powerful and deep as ever while piano/synths are kept simple.

While there are some songs in SOARA‘s repertoire that have explored parts of the sonority found in this song, nothing has come quite close to this sound. It is refreshing, taking a bit of the past into the present, coating it with maturity and experience. Rival is an exciting song that will bring back those debut days vibes from the talented quintet. Solid song. 4.5/5

Final rating:

SOARA make their first entry in the CARDS series a return to the past while facing it with their growth and experience, noticeable in the last couple of releases. CLUB brings to us two interesting songs that have, at their core, the warmth and playfulness we can encounter on countless songs in their repertoire. However, it is noticeable that their sound is less rushed, less punk-rock inspired and leaning more towards standard pop-rock, thriving on big, hearty melodies and simple choruses to catch the listener’s attention.

Even though Rival is a return to SOARA‘s roots, it was Mitsuba no clover that impressed us the most. We have been saying this for the past couple of reviews but we can’t stress it enough when we say that we love this new, matured SOARA sound. This song managed to capture it and it is a joy to listen to this song time and time again. It exudes a warmth that is unusual of the group – mostly known for their youthful and playful sound – and we believe it perfectly encapsulates the group’s growth in the franchise as well as its own story.

SOARA’s first entry in the CARDS series – CLUB – is exactly what we expected: a show of growth in a constantly improving group.

ALIVE 「CARDS」 Series Volume 1 SOARA「CLUB」 is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Alive "Cards" Series / Sora Ohara (Toshiyuki Toyonaga), Morihito Arihara (Yuki Ono), Soshi Kagurazaka (Makoto Furukawa), Ren Munakata (Taishi Murata), Nozomu Nanase (Chiharu Sawashiro)
Sora Ohara (Toshiyuki Toyonaga), Morihito Arihara (Yuki Ono), Soshi Kagurazaka (Makoto Furukawa), Ren Munakata (Taishi Murata), Nozomu Nanase (Chiharu Sawashiro)
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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.

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