miyavi - Sakihokoru hana no you ni/Kabuki danshi

review - 18.03.2009 12:00

Released nearly a year after his previous single, the samurai is back, with his Neo-Visualism concept stronger than ever.

Sakihokoru hana no you ni/Kabuki danshi is a double A-side single from miyavi's THIS IZ THE JAPANESE KABUKI ROCK album. The songs are difficult to categorize into conventional genres, not unlike most of his works. However, this fusion of rock, pop and hip-hop fits perfectly into his unique Neo-Visualism style.

The intro of Sakihokoru hana no you ni delicately balances linear piano notes with vocals, creating a coaxing and relaxing atmosphere; the thin texture suggests fragility and vulnerability, the clarity of notes purity, the rawness of voice passion. It may seem this song is a soft love ballad, but this is far from the truth. As soon as the confident guitar strumming begins the pace changes, instantly bringing vitality and beat. It develops into a mishmash of instruments and devices, a juxtaposition of a seemingly disorganized ensemble which executes surprisingly well. The fast drum beats, scratching and speedy delivery of lyrics make the music pulsate and throb; the English phrases are cleverly combined with the Japanese to create a seamless flowing piece of poetry.

As the song launches into the chorus, the chords recapture the sentiment and passion. The refrain creates the sensation of unleashing a revolution. It makes you want to strive harder and immediately go forth into the world to shout out and declare your life. The ending of the track, which feels as though it is all too abrupt, sends an everlasting message to the listeners: be proud of who you are.

Kabuki danshi carries on the theme of having self-confidence. It asserts miyavi's love and pride of being a "V-kei boi." With the 'ore-sama' nature and the cheeky undertone continuously present, highlighted by the frequent use of a saxophone and constant scratching, you can’t help but listen to it with a smile. The lack of depth makes the track easy to digest; nevertheless, sometimes it is too busy and messy, and its memorability factor could be vastly improved had it contained more variation in the structure. The melody line, which is rather flat, contributes to the unfortunate fact that no matter how many times you listen to it, the song simply blends into a blur.

Overall, Sakihokoru hana no you ni/Kabuki danshi is a remarkable and genuine single with profound, uplifting themes. For first time listeners, the tracks are an excellent reflection of miyavi as an artist. For existing fans, this is another exceptional single to add to the collection, showing just how diverse and infectious this samurai, armed with his guitar and troupe, is.
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