Ketsumeishi - Kodama

review - 20.06.2011 10:01

Even with their 25th single, Ketsumeishi experience some moments of trial and error.

Kodama is Ketsumeishi’s third release of the year, and the 25th single in the past eighteen years that they have been storming Japan’s charts. The white cover is unfortunately rather uninspiring; not giving away any clues as to what the single holds inside.

The title-track Kodama is a sweet sounding slow/moderately paced ballad, but seems to be suffering from the same lack of inspiration as the cover-art does. Starting out with a dramatic string quartet that is featured throughout the whole song, the song doesn’t offer a lot of variation and it’s easy to lose the listener’s attention. Although Ketsumeishi has created fantastic ballads in the past, such as Kachoufuugetsu, it seems that they have lost their ability to add their personal touch to it. Also the length of the song doesn’t help the listlessness as it spans over six minutes.

The second track, Ari no mama, is fortunately much catchier. It starts out with a hammered, slightly lilting staccato melody which is soon joined half-rapped, half-sung vocals that might be a little monotonous on its own, but with the fresh melody it works surprisingly well.

It seems the best is kept for last, as Ketsumeishi branches into a new territory with the final track Kimi ga suki. With an adorable swing rhythm, it is even slightly reminiscent of Motown groups from the 60s. The vocals of the three vocalists are very clear and work perfectly together in the harmonized choruses. As a matter of fact, the vocals carry the song so well that an a capella version would work out splendidly. Although it is known that Ryo, Ryoji and Daizou are all both talented at rapping and singing, this song gives them the opportunity to show just how broad their vocal talents are, and does definitely not disappoint.

It’s interesting to see how Ketsumeishi have, perhaps unbeknownst to them, included both their weak and strong sides on this single. Another song might have worked better as the title-track than Kodama, although it might appeal to a more neutral audience than those who favor the spicier side of Ketsumeishi.
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