{single} Suzumura Kenichi – INTENTION

August 15, 2009 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Music, Suzumura Kenichi | Leave a comment

Suzumura Kenichi – INTENTION

(released October 8th, 2008)

2. ペルそな [Persona]
3. シンプルな未来 [Simple na Mirai]

Suzumura Kenichi’s 1st single, and his official debut as a J-Pop artist. Seiyuus-turned-singers is always an iffy ground, but I love exploring ’em anyways. Even though I was in love with his voice as Hiitachin Hikaru, Lavi, and Okita Sougo, I decided to put them out of my mind and listen to him as a singer, and not as my beloved bishounen.

The first thing I can say after listening to INTENTION is holy wow. I totally did not expect this. Most people who listen to it will just find it an ordinary pop song, but I am a sucker for catchy hooks with a nostalgic tone (the “itsumo…” chorus slayed me). The accompaniment is perfect too – gives INTENTION movement and drives the song without overwhelming. I love the opening/ending riffs especially. The biggest surprise, though, was SuzuKen’s voice. I enjoyed his seiyuu work, but I’d always pegged his voice as being too nasal to be pleasing for a singer. However, his natural singing voice is much smoother and less dry/strained than his character song voices.  On a side note, SuzuKen even wrote the lyrics for this track. They’re rather poetic and talk about the invisible yet present intention of the world itself. Bottom line – INTENTION is just five minutes of pure epic, nothing more to say on that.

Persona gives me mixed impressions…sure, it’s a passable song but it proves that B-sides are B-sides for a reason. The groovy electric guitar is nice, but this song is just so…cheesy. I don’t know if it’s the melody, but it just sounds like a random character song with higher production quality masquerading as J-Pop.  SuzuKen still gives a decent vocal performance here, but I believe he needs a bit more work on controlling his high notes and I feel like he’s struggling not to get overpowered by the percussion. Persona would suit someone with a deeper, richer, and manlier voice (if I had to pick a seiyuu – perhaps Sugita Tomokazu).

More cheese comes our way with Simple na Mirai with the jazzy piano, brass, hand claps, and the requisite sparkly bells…or not. While this also gives off a bit of a character song vibe, it has a far better arrangement, and I rather like the piano line. SuzuKen sounds way more laid back and swings along to the song naturally, telling us all to enjoy a “simple future”. I guess it does feel a bit gay for a male vocalist but hey, it’s the kind of gay I like – Simple na Mirai is a bit reminiscent of Hirai Ken’s (infamous) Pop Star. I think this track would make for a good live performance – especially the hand clap part. Overall, excellent debut from Suzumura Kenichi.

Favorite Track: INTENTION

Overall Grade: A-


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