Takaaki Mamiya “amethyst×diamond” (Review)

VAZZROCK

Takaaki Mamiya‘s entry in the 2nd season of the bi-color series impresses with an engaging blend of pop and rock.

Title: VAZZROCK bi-color series 2nd season Mamiya Takaaki-amethyst×diamond- 
Label: Tsukipro/Movic 
Release date: 28/06/2019 
Genre: Pop/Rock

Tracklist:

1 - ドラマ「ばずらじ、リーダートークの回」 
2 - ドラマ「お疲れ様の一杯を」 
3 - Labyrinth  
4 - Home Sweet Home  
5 - Labyrinth  (off vocal)
6 - Home Sweet Home (off vocal)

Track by track analysis:

1 – Labyrinth

High-tension guitar riffs, funky bass line, dreamy piano melodies and a simple, synthetic beat make this song an intense entry in the second installment of the bi-color series. Labyrinth‘s verses channel a bit of the classic early 00’s Japanese pop sound in the likes of T.M.Revolution, mashing pop with rock and giving it an intense, danceable and catchy sound. This sound clearly differs from what we got with Takaaki’s entry in the 1st season of the bi-color series, however, that rock edge and intensity is still well present in this song.

On the vocal end, Tarusuke Shingaki showcases his versatility, tackling tricky notes, showcasing his falsetto all whilst delivering an engaging performance that has all our attention on him. 5/5

2 – Home Sweet Home

This entry wraps up with Home Sweet Home. This song mixes classic 70’s rock instrumentalization with 90’s pop melodies to create a slow paced, semi-acoustic tune. Everything about the instrumental’s vibe is nostalgic and warm, something that is unprecedented in this series. The violin solo gave a nice touch to this song while, in the background, pitch vocals channeling a 70’s classic rock vibe create a unique soundscape for the listener to explore.

On vocal duty are the leaders of Vazzy and ROCK DOWNTakaaki Mamiya (Tarusuke Shingaki) and Sho Onoda (Yukitoshi Kikuchi). This is the first time that these two contrasting vocals are on the same track. Shingaki’s sweet low and mid-toned register facing Kikuchi’s delicate high register was something that we anticipated however were curious how it would end up faring. It just happens that Kikuchi was up to the challenge and was able to  complement Shingaki’s vocals. Sweet and laidback performance in an unexpected song. 4.5/5

Final rating:

The 2nd season of the bi-color series certainly kicks off with a fresh release. Picking up where he’d left off in 2018, Mamiya Takaaki‘s entry brought to the table fancy electronica and powerful rock, playing around with both music genres in order to release one engaging entry.

Labyrinth is nothing alike what Takaaki had previously release. Although the song still follows a bit of the rock that his solo track in the 1st bi-color series had, it stems from there and explores pop music, adding it a more danceable, easy-listening dimension. It is not a complete departure from his initial rock sound but is certainly an interesting step that gives him additional depth while shedding a slightly different light on him. The excitement in this track can be felt and the listeners will find themselves reacting to it in no time.

The tie-up track, Home Sweet Home, is quite interesting. This track brought back those 70’s classic pitch vocals/choir parts – much in the likes of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody – and blended it with a whole lot of acoustic elements. This results in a song that exudes a warmth that puts the listener at ease. It is the kind of song meant to be enjoyed in a laidback environment.

Vocally, Tarusuke Shingaki has an impressive range and control that always make him the spotlight in a performance. From his stellar falsetto to his sweet, melancholic mid-tones, he was able to pull off two engaging and passionate performances. Kikuchi was a pleasant surprise in the duet song, managing to be up to the task of covering for the higher register and blending well with the powerful baritone that is Shingaki.

Mamiya Takaaki-amethyst×diamond- is a solid opener for this new season of the bi-color series.

Mamiya Takaaki-amethyst×diamond- is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

"VAZZROCK" bi-color Series 2nd Season / Takaaki Mamiya (Tarusuke Shingaki) & Sho Onoda (Yukitoshi Kikuchi)
Takaaki Mamiya (Tarusuke Shingaki) & Sho Onoda (Yukitoshi Kikuchi)
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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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