Mamoru Miyano “LAST DANCE” (Review)

Mamoru Miyano goes experimental for his newest single, LAST DANCE.

Title: LAST DANCE
Label: King Records
Release date: 22/01/2020
Genre: Jazz/Electro-pop

Tracklist:

1 - LAST DANCE
2 - Beautiful Night
3 - Okay.

Track by track analysis:

1 – LAST DANCE

Mamoru brings to the table the flamboyant melodies of swing jazz and explores its mature sound with playful brass, Rhodes piano melodies, and a contrabass that booms in your ears. The verses are elegant and the chorus is tasteful, making the song a certain elegance.

Miyano goes for a dual performance, featuring clean, melodic vocals with rap. While the clean vocals were a perfect fit for this tune, the rap parts sound forced in the middle of an swing jazz instrumental piece that does not need an “edge” to be good. Not only does the rap part sound out of place, but it also completely breaks immersion in the classy soundscape that had been painted for us. 4/5

2 – Beautiful Night

Dreamy synths pain is a sweet soundscape. The piano hits take us to early 90s pop music while the beat, clearly dubstep inspired, makes us realize that this is a cross between past and present, something that the strings stand and progressive beat in the chorus help clear out. While this gentle vibe could have been better explored, we’re then facing a whole lot of electronica that makes transitions between verses and chorus sounding forced.

The autotune in the vocals does not take up Miyano’s complete performance but it is distracting enough. Beautiful Night still has its good points but the last of consistency in the instrumental is something that does not work on record – might do so on a live setting. 3/5

3 – Okay.

Okay. brings out Miyano Mamoru’s R&B arsenal. Dreamy atmospheric synths, alluring beat and a laidback, minimalistic piano melodies create this sexy tune. Synth hits enhance the dreamy dimension of this track. On the vocal end, Mamoru goes all out with his R&B riffing, sweet mid-tones and gentler low tones to deliver a performance that will make you beg for more. 4.5/5

Final rating:

You can tell with this release that Miyano Mamoru was experimenting with his sound, trying to incorporate as many trendy elements in his music as possible while, at the same time, revisiting mature iterations of his sound, namely by bring back jazz and R&B. Unfortunately, this was an experiment that was not as successful as expected.

LAST DANCE is a swing jazz song with rap parts crammed in it. The rap does not flow well with the song. With the soundscape created and the tone of the song, rap was the last thing that would work well for this song.

On the other hand, Beautiful Night tried to be many things at the same time but it ending up being none. It is a song that finds the composers completely lost in ideas, concepts and melodies, trying to sound as trendy and catchy as possible, resulting in a song that is an absolute mess aside from its intro and 1st verse. We were not expecting a song so lost in itself to be performed by Miyano but reality is bleak on this one.

Finally, to wrap up this release we have Okay., alluring and mature song that explores well Miyano’s later iterations to R&B, giving it a fresh twist. At the same times his vocals sound the best in this song, with Miyano delivering a confident and charismatic performance.

Through its ups and downs, LAST DANCE is, by no means a final single (like some people speculated), however it sounds like it might be a turning point in his sound. Like all experiments, there are things bound to fail, things that will later be improved, scrapped or worked in different ways.

Even in the middle of tracks that were reviewed with a lower score, there were interesting concepts, phrases, instrumental loops or progressions that show promise, leaving us interested in what awaits us in upcoming releases.

However, as it stands, LAST DANCE is a strange and underwhelming single that doesn’t fully make best use of Miyano’s talents.

LAST DANCE is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

 

Author: Vanessa Silva (midorin)

The Hand That Feeds HQ founder and music reviewer writing about Japanese music since 2010. Metalhead. Gamer. Based in Cascais, Portugal. Mamoru Miyano's "Orpheus" was the catalyst to start writing about male seiyuu music.

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