Tohoshinkis 25th single, entitled Bolero / Kiss the Baby Sky / 忘れないで, was released on 01.29.09. Bolero was used as the theme song to the movie Subaru.
Bolero is a dark love song. The song starts off with the first verse, supported by a midtempo instrumental that has a sort of dark carnival-like atmosphere to it that stands out to the listener as the vocals smoothly cover the music. Although there is a clear atmosphere, the vocals here are not very strong and leave the listener wanting more. On the chorus, the vocals are stronger and truly augment the song’s emotional presence. Luckily, the boys’ vocals become stronger as the song continues and it makes the listener get into the song more. The third verse features some excellent vocalizations as well as some English lines, which stand out among all the Japanese ones. Closing the song is more excellent instrumentation, keeping the emotional presence alive. Although Bolero does start off a little on the slow side, it definitely comes to life as the boys’ vocals become really strong and emotionally charged to suit the music.
Picking up the energy is the second A-side, Kiss the Baby Sky. Opening the song is a little speaking introduction and although it’s supposed to come off as cool, it sounds kind of awkward. Then the song’s true sound comes in and the boys provide vocals over a pretty instrumental with a constant ringing bell. On the chorus, there is a very natural and relaxing feeling that evokes the image of a sky perfectly. Having that speaking come again really does get annoying and it just doesn’t belong with the overall feeling of the song. This song is pretty upbeat and sweet so having this type of rap section in it probably wasn’t a good idea. It sounds too cool and not fun and spirited enough. Overall the song is very pretty and enjoyable; it would have been even better though if the talking parts and the rapping section were removed.
The final A-side is the pretty love ballad, 忘れないで. The song begins with the sweet sounds of the piano, which immediately signal an emotional presence that will carry throughout the song. The string instruments provide a grandiose and magical feeling as well. Then the first verse comes in and the vocals really support the atmosphere established by the music. The chorus really stands out with that slight music change and it sounds more of what the boys usually sing and so they come off as sounding extremely comfortable, which reaches the listener’s ears. On the third verse, the boys get the chance to show off those great vocals before coming into the soft chorus. Although the song is pretty simple, it definitely gets its message across and actually emerges as the single’s strongest A-side.
In order to promote the single, a PV for Bolero was made. The video is similar to most of their other PVs for slow songs, featuring the boys dressed in one color (this time black) as they sit aronud and sing the lyrics. The setting of this PV is a church and they look very sharp here (Jaejong and Yuhno in particular) and it features scenes of them standing and sitting. There are also scenes from the movie (Meisa dancing in a ballerina outfit) included. Even though not much happens in this video, it’s very eye-catching just for the fact that the boys look so handsome and that the dark atmosphere of the song is excellently reflected in the PV.
Single Ranking: B +
Tohoshinki certainly started off their year on a good note with single. Bolero is an emotional dark midtempo number that will have the listener falling into the depths of the instrumentation. Kiss the Baby Sky takes a lighter tone to make the listener appreciate it. Without a doubt, the best A-side is 忘れないで, a beautiful love ballad that will have the listener crying. My only complaint with the single is that it was all very ballady. It would have been nice to have an upbeat number just to balance everything out.