Kirito – Hameln

review - 12.06.2010 02:42

Kirito’s first solo album is definitely worth listening to.

Kirito started his solo career in 2005 when he was still a member of PIERROT. His first album, Hameln, was released on August 3. To help such talented singer record, artists like Mick Karn (ex-Japan), Kohta (ex-PIERROT) and Tetsu Mukaiyama (Ra:IN) participated on the album. Containing ten tracks, the album was a big success.

Songs from the album bring to mind PIERROT’s music, which shouldn’t be surprising as Kirito was one of the band’s main composers, but they are a bit calmer and more melodic, enriched with elements of classical music. Due to those melodic elements, Kirito’s music is somehow like to Kiyoharu’s solo works - but that's not where the similarity ends. Kirito’s voice is very distinctive and isn't for everyone, just like the voice of Kuroyume’s vocalist.

Despite this, Hameln should satisfy many as it contains both beautiful, romantic ballads - such as Dare mo inai and THE SUN - and faster rock tracks like PLOT, Ray and Awaking bud. All of the songs are kept in pretty much the same style, so that the album is a coherent piece of work. There are no typical fillers; each song sounds quite fresh and exciting, and it’s difficult to describe the charm of all of them. However, some of them stand out – you should pay special attention to the title track and DOOR.

Hameln is a perfect opening – it throws you into the middle of the music, showing everything at once: clear drum beats, various keyboards elements, guitar riffs that are perfect in its simplicity and, above all, Kirito’s voice. DOOR, the first single from this CD, contains one new element – strings. This beautiful ballad begins with a gentle guitar intro, accompanied by the subtle but full of emotions of the vocalist’s voice. All these sounds flow lazily and seem to echo, but everything quiets down when Tetsu’s drum kicks in around the second verse. The strings in the chorus bring more emotional depth, emphasized by a pause at the end of the track that is broken by Kirito’s voice. The finial flourish fits perfectly with the melancholic mood of the song and leaves you thoughtful.

The softer side of album is represented by Dare mo inai oka. The song is filled with gentle melodies and soft vocals, and orchestral interludes bring in ostensible chaos. In comparison to all of this, the sudden richness of loud sounds during the chorus is like an explosion.

Breaking up some of the melancholy atmosphere is PLOT. The beginning motif promises overflowing energy – no wonder this song is so great at concerts, and you can see it performed on the DVD that promoted tour. Energy, created by sharp guitars, keyboard accents and slightly distorted vocals put you in a very optimistic mood. It’s a pity that PLOT lasts only about three minutes. However, the following songs make up for it, such as Awaking bud and its interesting intro. At first, only the guitar and keyboard can be heard. Then the guitar disappears and the rhythm section is left to accompany the vocalist. After a while, we are offered a richer chorus and an awesome guitar solo with some fuzzy sounding bass, which builds the background.

After listening to Kirito’s first album, you’ll know why it was so successful and why tickets to some of his concerts sold out in one hour. Hameln combines great ballads with some fast tracks – a mix that should satisfy everyone. If you don’t know this vocalist’s work yet, this album is a nice place to start, but if you are a fan of PIERROT, you can be sure that Hameln won’t disappoint you.
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