Miyavi – This Iz The Japanese Kabuki Rock [7th Studio Album]

August 8, 2008 at 12:03 pm (Miyavi) (, )

Miyavi’s 7th studio album, entitled This Iz The Japanese Kabuki Rock, was released on 03.19.08. 咲き誇る華の様に / 歌舞伎男子, 素晴らしきかな, この世界 -WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD- and 陽の光さえ届かないこの場所で.

The album opens up with JPN PRIDE. The song begins with an instrumental, driven by traditional Japanese instruments into a rock sound. The first vocals sound a little strange in that they are so low-pitched and a little more power would have gone better with the music. Soon that comes true as he ditches the low-pitch for vocals that better suit the song’s atmosphere. The chorus stands out as he holds his notes strongly and they sound great.

21st Century 東京 Blues is a cool song that really strikes the listener. The song starts off with a robotic voice that serves as a great opening. Then the song begins its true sound with a cool rock sound. His vocals really go well with the music and have a really catchy element to them that hooks the listener. The rap sequence is done with the vocal strength pushed to the background but it nicely fits the overall atmosphere of the song. This is a great second track that shows off a sleekness in the instrumentation and a coolness in Miyavi’s voice that hooks the listener.

Up next is 歌舞伎男子-KAVKI BOIZ.- A cool fast-paced jazzy instrumentation starts the song off nicely and then he delivers the first verse. He sings with a rapidity that really makes the words pop and the listener follows from start to finish. This is a great song and stands out for strong vocals and it provides some variety, instrumentally.

The fourth album track is BOOM-HAH-BOOM-HAH-HAH. The sound of a repeating breath over a cool instrumental starts the song off. When the vocals first come in, there is a real catchiness that comes through and the listener follows until he stops for a little instrumental break. The guitar really shines on this song as the standout instrument and Miyavi’s vocals continue to be enjoyable from start to finish and it really works in the song’s favor as it keeps the interest level high.

Memories of BUSHIDO (Instrumental) comes as the next song in the form of an interlude. As the song is complete pure instrumentation, not much goes on. In fact, hardly anything goes on as there is not even an instrumental change but the haunting feeling is nice. There just should have been more variety in the music to make it stand out.

The longest song on the album is NOWHEREGOD. A nice instrumental starts off the song and as the song moves on, it really drags on. The song clocks in at a little over seven minutes but the instrumentation is lacking and his vocals are a bit dry here so the listener doesn’t have any hooking point for this song. It was definitely not a smart choice to have the song be so long and there should have been more variety in the music.

Miyavi teams up with SUGIZO on 陽の光さえ届かないこの場所で. The song begins right away with a dark and somewhat somber instrumentation. Miyavi then sings the first verse with very low-pitched vocals that fit with the overall atmosphere very well. The chorus then picks up the energy as the instrumentation doesn’t spotlight that dark element anymore and Miyavi gives more strength in his vocals. The following pure instrumentation sequence seems a bit strange as it picks up the energy even more and thus the second verse is very different from the first. The song is really enjoyable in that it takes different atmospheres as it grows from start to finish.

咲き誇る華の様に -Neo Visualizm- is the following track and keeps the energy. The piano serves as the key instrument as the song opens with a softer sound but his vocals don’t suit the atmosphere at all. Soon the tempo picks up and the instrumentation takes on a rockier sound and Miyavi comes into his element. The song starts off weakly but as it goes on, Miyavi sounds great with a cool rock instrumental.

Following is 素晴らしきかな, この世界 -WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD.- The song starts quickly with some great vocals over a great instrumentation, fueled by the acoustic guitar. Miyavi’s vocals sound great and really go with the music, catching the listener’s attention. It’s definitely an album standout and certainly one to listen to.

徒然なる日々なれど is the penultimate track. The song begins with a very pretty instrumental that is very ear-catching. The first then begins and there is a certain coolness to Miyavi’s voice that goes with the music and grabs the listener’s attention. Rapidity and a sort of breathiness to his vocals also help direct the listener into the chorus, which is actually a little lacking. The instrumentation sounds boring and the vocals are just okay. Moments of pure instrumentation really keep the song alive and stand out. Although the chorus isn’t very strong, the verses are and the music retains its prettiness.

The album closes with Thanx Givin’ Day, the shortest song on the album. Unfortunately, the song is pretty boring and is really not memorable. The song goes for a more soft sound but Miyavi’s vocals don’t really suit the music. It’s definitely not a strong way to end the album.

Album Ranking: B

Overall the album has its strengths and weaknesses. He shines on certain rock songs such as 21st Century 東京 Blues, BOOM-HAH-BOOM-HAH-HAH and JPN PRIDE. Unfortunately he slips on the slower songs like Thanx Givin’ Days. Some of these tracks are really worth the listen while others aren’t.

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