Yuma Uchida “HORIZON” (Review)

Yuma Uchida dazzles with HORIZON.

HORIZON is scheduled to be released on 24/07/2019 and available in 3 editions: regular, CD + DVD and CD + Blu-ray.

The cover art is the following for each edition:

Regular edition
Title: HORIZON
Label: KING AMUSEMENT CREATIVE
Release date: 24/07/2019 
Genre: Pop-Rock/R&B/Pop

Tracklist:

01. Harmony of waves
02. Horizon
03. NEW WORLD
04. Can you keep a secret ?
05. ERROR 
06. Shower 
07. Speechless
08. 君に話したいこと
09. VIBES
10. JOURNEY
11. Before Dawn
12. FROM HERE

Track by track analysis:

1 – harmony of waves

If there was any doubt that Yuma Uchida was going to go all out with his skills, it completely vanished as soon as harmony of waves kicks in. The single is almost acapella with a simplistic atmospheric synth in the background, giving way for tones, canons, fancy pitch vocals, R&B riffing and sweet high notes. Such a unique way to open an album and also a perfect introduction to what Uchida’s singing skills are all about. 5/5

2 – Horizon

Melancholic strings and atmospheric synths set a longing tone to this pop-rock inspiring tune. Toms-driven drums and a noticeable bass line lead the way in the verses, picking the up the pacing of the song leading to the chorus. The chorus is quite softer in comparison to what would have been expected after the intro and how the first verse was crafted. Although a bit different from what we had previously pictured, the chorus flows well, giving off a feel good vibe that works well with lyrics to this song.

Vocally, this is not a song that demands highly skilled techniques or any kind of showing-off of skills. Uchida’s passionate performance gives the final touches to this laidback song. 4.5/5

3 – NEW WORLD

[As previously review] NEW WORLD’s instrumental is a blend of various music genres well put together. While at its core we find rock, especially noticeable with the presence of bass-y drums and a funky bass line, as well as the massive light that is shed over exciting guitar riffs and melodies. Underneath all that we find that this instrumental has a danceable touch, much due to the fact that synths, piano melodies and dubstep-ish drums worked hard into introducing that twist to this song in the smoothest way possible. The verses rely mainly on a simple rock sound, with electronica elements only joining in during the pre-chorus or leading the way in the break.

On the vocal end, Uchida didn’t spare anything nor anyone. He simply made this song his playground, rapping (even if briefly and rather clumsily), tackling high notes, delivering smooth mid-tones, ultimately delivering an all-rounded, entertaining performance. 5/5

4 – Can you keep a secret

Atmospheric synths, washy synths, a reverberating bass line, Rhodes piano melodies and a simple beat make this one catchy R&B tune. The pacing is slow, the instrumental is dreamy and the vocal performance is absolutely stunning.

Uchida excels in R&B tunes and this song is perfect to showcase the gentleness in his voice as well as his R&B riffing skills that have made previous iterations to R&B shine. A perfect soundscape and a sweet performance make this song a highlight in this release. 5/5

5 – ERROR

Muffled, manipulated vocals take over this minimalistic loungy R&B tune. Pretty much following the formula present in the previous song, ERROR takes pride in its simple sound, focused on making the vocals shine.

The chorus is a delight to listen to with catchy melodies, soft, R&B-ish vocals. A must listen and yet another highlight in this album. 5/5

6 – Shower

Shifting from R&B we are graced with an upbeat tropical-inspired pop tune. Overflowing with energy, Shower is a song that has a summery soundscape exuding from itself.

On the vocal end, Uchida showcases his vibrato and dabbles a bit in his sweet high notes. However it is his energy that completely grabs the listener’s attention. Shower is a thoroughly fun song that guides the listener to the later half of the album in good spirits. 5/5

7 – Speechless

[As previously reviewed] Speechless embraces acoustic guitars, big piano melodies, simple bass lines and drums. This song will instantly give you a feel good vibe, with warmth irradiating from the easy-listening melodies and inspiring chorus.

On the vocal end, Uchida delivers a stellar performance, adding a gentle dimension to this song with his mix of sweet mid tones and ethereal high notes and falsetto. Simple and sweet. 4.5/5

8 – Kimi ni hanashitai koto

The resident ballad in HORIZON is Kimi ni hanashitai koto. Slow paced percussion, a longing piano melodies and melancholic strings create a delicate tone with an R&B touch. After the excitement in the previous song, this feels like the perfect song to just sit back, listen to and take in every single line.

Uchida’s performance is filled with emotion, with him showcasing his vocal chops through stunning falsetto, R&B falsetto and a solid vibrato. His best ballad yo ate. 5/5

9 – VIBES

Wasn’t synths and a tropical, progressive beat take over Vibes. An upbeat piano melody and a simple bass drum beat up the tempo in the verses but, although, the tempo never goes in the same direction as in Shower, we can safely say the high-ranking energy of his is well present in this song.

The chorus is a sure fire winner in this song. It is addictive and urban, made for the dancefloor.

The vocals are textbook dance music-ready. Manipulation, auto-tune and pitch vocals, all contribute to make this song so filled of energy. There are little to no clean vocals in this song but it is so tastefully done with the manipulation that it does not sound excessive at all. In case you are looking for a dance floor anthem, here it is. 5/5

10 – JOURNEY

Distant guitar riffs and atmospheric synths are at the core of this pop-rock tune. JOURNEY explores quiet, melodic sonorities, serving as a sweet backdrop to the gentle vocal performance by Yuma Uchida.

He delivers a solid performance filled with excitement and hope. It is an inspiring performance that is completely fresh in his repertoire. 5/5

12 – FROM HERE

To wrap up this album we have FROM HERE, song that sounds like a goodbye with its distant guitar riffs, dramatic toms-driven drums and deep bass line. The chorus gives chills from how the build up was made and how the vocal performance takes everything a step further in emotional-charge. This emotional song and performance make us long for more music from Uchida. 5/5

Final rating:

Yuma Uchida‘s HORIZON is an album that perfectly encapsulates his energy and versatility.

The album is filled with upbeat pop tunes, challenging his skills and versatility.

R&B is clearly Uchida’s playground. He excels in his performances in this genre and often showcases more of his range when performing songs of the genre – can you keep a secret, ERROR and Kimi ni hanashitai koto -, this is where his falsetto shines and his R&B riffing dazzles us.

His performance in the ballad Kimi ni hanashitai koto and in the emotional pop-rock tune FROM HERE made us wish that Uchida would explore more these kinds of dramatic, introspective songs.

The acapella intro, harmony of waves, was something unexpected. The performance is all about showcasing Uchida’s skills and we can’t stress enough when we say that he is a gifted singer.

Shower and Vibes gave us an injection of fun and feel good vibe while showcasing us beautiful, summery soundscape.

Uchida’s performances were as expected. He is a great singer, equipped with a gentle tone and with a lot of emotion in his voice. His performances usually grab the listener’s attention without being to showy about his skills which is remarkable. His falsetto continues to impress and his vibrato is as gentle as ever. The fact that most of this album is R&B oriented made it possible for to shine even more.

All in all, HORIZON is a must-listen. This album is the perfect introduction to new fans and a sweet gift to his fans. For those that just like great music besides who is singing this is also the album to pick-up.

HORIZON is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

Horizon / Yuma Uchida
Yuma Uchida
Horizon / Yuma Uchida
Yuma Uchida

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Author: midorin

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. After 6 months in Macau SAR, I am back to being based in Cascais, Portugal. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to completely dedicate myself to writing about male seiyuu music.

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