Sunday, September 12, 2010

Jpop review- Tomoyasu Hotei- Fetish

I saw this album at a sale in Akihabara for 10 yen (unbelievable!) and bought it thinking that Tomoyasu Hotei was Kyosuke Himuro. Himuro Kyosuke has great songs and vocals. I have heard few of his songs online and I was impressed. I got confused between the two of them. Anyway, he was the guitarist of BOOWY who was expelled from school for having long hair and saying the famous like 'Even Jesus had long hair'.

Boy meets girl- This is much better than TRF's boy meets girl. The song starts with the title line. It is a guitar driven oldish song. Hotei's vocals sound like a drunken old man without the sandy, romantic texture that Keisuke Kuwata's voice has. It is bearable anyway. The song's blarring guitar sounds somewhat like The Checkers' Julia ni shoshin. A good opening track.

Love Junkie- Another song with the blarring 80s guitar combined with James Bond theme. The arrangement is quite good maybe because it is Hotei's forte. The song is pretty much average though.

No. 1 in the universe- A sleepy electric guitar lead begins this song. I found the title very strange and the 'I'm just a lucky guy' lyrics. This song is better than its predecesors. Sounds like a heartbroken old man singing in a deserted street on his way to get sake. I find it very strange how Hotei chews his words.

Beauty and beast- Another guitar driven song with lots of cool drums and guitar in the beginning. Hotei's voice sounds like a faraway echo. Somewhat foreceful hooks and beats.

Prince of darkness- The title is mysterious and good. This has some casanets and chimming sounds. This song is very mysterious and quiet compared to others on this album. His voice sounds like an eighty year old trying to sing enka. Some tickling chimes keeps going up and down. It picks up towards the end with electric guitar jamming.

Life in Tokyo- He keeps repeating life is cruel in Tokyo. The song is a crossbreed of pop and rock. The lyrics are realistic.

Vampire- Another good title. The arrangement is great as usual but again, the song lacks in melody. A rock song.

Secret- This is a peaceful song and the only thing near a ballad in this album except heaven. It is much better than all other tracks. It has a decent melody and void arrangement.

Heaven- This is by far, the best song on the album. The arrangement gives a pure feeling of heaven. It is a bit jazzy. The melody is better than all other tracks.

Fetish- It is guitar driven. This is an instrumental piece and not an interlude. I really can't rate it.

Overall, it is a wonderful album for someone wanting to learn music arrangement especially with a focus on guiar. Hotei uses the guitar to its full potential. He is truly one of the best guitarists in Japan. Most songs on the album are well arranged. However, all songs lack in melody and catchiness. They would've done better if they were just instrumental pieces and not songs. The riffs and licks are catchy but the melody is not very interesting.

Overall- 3.7/5

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