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Sana

Develop One's Faculties - 不恰好な街と僕と君

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Before/After:
There isn't a huge amount to say about either of these, they're some short ethereal electronic pieces which are both nice and pad the album out a bit
but that's about it, worth noting that After is the same as Before just with vocals.

 

Rontgen:
What a way to start the album, it's the kind of song that hits you with a big impact, it's punchy and aggressive but offers such tight and fine rhythms

which are ever changing without disrupting the flow of the song from verse to chorus to bridge no part ever feels stale or that they were running out of ideas.

Throughout the song you'll find the switching between raw and shouted vocals and grandiose vocals blends nicely and matching each part.
This is the type of the song that really encapsulates the bands sound and although on the short side this is arguably one of their best songs.

 

正常とは:
Well this is the beginning of a disappointing trend throughout the album in that it's just so average and a previously released single.
I've listened to this multiple times and it's just so laboured that there isn't a huge amount I can praise it for or mark it down for.
So what can I say that's good about the song? Well the opening riff is nice and the guitar solo highlights the progression Rui has made, Yuya's falsetto in the bridge at 0:50 is
almost heavenly and really is the only redeeming feature. The song itself just doesn't offer enough in any of it's instrumentation to make it stand out
it lacks any real melodies and this is reflected in how forgettable the song is.

 

アンインテリジブル:
I'm sure a few people weren't surprised that the boys are experimenting with time signatures, given how open they've been to trying to new things
in their music in B-sides and this is one of the better tracks in the album, another one that pays strict attention to rhythmic sections and goes
with a 'less-is-more' view with instrumentation, the first two verses relying on just drums and vocals whilst this later progresses to the same
verse with a breakdown akin to the likes of metalcore coupled with distorted vocals expected in digital hardcore only to entirely breakdown to a 
quick sweeping piano section then transitioning in to a seriously funky bridge where Detto finally gets some time to shine.

 

伝えるということ 交わるということ:
I'm having an inner conflict as to whether this opening riff is a sped up stage from the original Sonic The Hedgehog or I've just played too much of the game, regardless it's catchy.

This is the kind of song 正常とは should've been, whilst nothing amazing it's got memorable parts, a toe-tapping chorus, refreshing ends to sections
and with every listen I find myself noticing more and more of Johannes tight drumming, this is the backbone of the song and the individual hits are fascinating 
without it ever going over the top and this is only complimented by Rui's guitar work in the chorus, it's so common for bands to rely on chords
in the chorus' and let the vocals lead but in this case the melodies match the drums in that they're not obtrusive but offer another dynamic.

 

相対的思念:
The standard ballad but when you compare this to 'Ettad' this is such a disappointment, it's a fairly decent tune with some warm chords and nice melodic counter rhythms in the verses before breaking in to a booming distorted chorus coupled with Yuya's passionate vocals but you can tell the song is relying mostly on the vocals and the inherent problem with this is the lack of dynamics in the song.

This track shares the same problems as 正常とは, there isn't enough happening and it has the predictable pattern of light verse, single chord strum bridge and big chorus. Fortunately this song does have a couple of nice parts with such a sweet and soft guitar piece at 2:50 that transitions in a build up filled with Johanne's drum work before
dropping the build and stumbling in to an out-of-nowhere bridge we've heard before. Furthermore the ending is gold, a raw redone chorus with crashing drums and Yuya's grandiose singing and soft  backing vocals. Unfortunately, the few nice parts this song has aren't long enough and can't save it from sounding like filler.

 

無礼王:
A song that offers more of an synth based approach, whilst the opening riff may have the generic neo VK sound and melody don't let this fool you, the verses are filled with sci-fi influenced sounds and funky bass lines that you wouldn't expect given it's intro. Every verse builds on the previous one, adding a new synth or rhythm and this drives home the funky electronic sound whilst keeping you enthralled.

There isn't much singing in this (nor that much guitar) but everything comes together at the end with the whole song acting as a build up to another toe-tapping ending. Short but sweet, not content with finishing the song with the chorus we get a shortened verse as the outro, very clever.

 

this is 芸術
Reincarnation vibes from this and the guitar delivers a lot of what the first album offered, high delayed melodies and funky slap guitars with another melodic
approach to the chorus and beautiful booming epic vocals in the chorus. A couple of repeated verses with the guitar following a similar line to the vocals and Johannes adding in a few hits, not the  best but far from bad although the bridge makes up for it, I love this part, the guitar, bass and vocals all making a descending movement together flows really well and it retains the sharp change in chorus contrasts so well to it.

Third verse and more funk, that bass line is irresistible with another less is more view followed by an immensely catchy harmonized guitar piece. The song trails off a bit towards the  end with a somewhat disjointed bridge that just sounds empty but none the less one of the best songs on the album

 


Another single but this is one of the better one's, this has that funky but aggressive slap guitar that really would've become a core of the bands sound and
hearing this song will probably leave you wanting more. Everything is so on point in this song, Johanne's drum remain ever interesting and rhythmic switch's in the bridges keep the flow and build up to the chorus nicely, verses switch between rough vocals with guitar scratching and smooth singing with sprinkles of light guitar melodies

whilst the guitar and vocals matching each other in a descending melody during the chorus is wonderful. 
Another breakdown? in one word, perfect, the drum work is spot on and the harmonizing at the end of every bar just makes it all the better. The final bridge between chorus and outro, the ascending vibrato dual vocals with almost an opera feel is one of the high points in the whole album

A highly melodic song with an interesting structure and refreshing sections

 

四五四六
This song is pretty much a reflection of the whole album, some interesting parts but not enough sustenance. The opening riff and drumming are another
unique part and the entirety of drumming is once again one of the best parts but other than that the song is so forgettable. You could pretty much
skip this entire song except for 2:50 (funnily enough the same time 相対的思念 brought something good to the table) because there's an amazing answer and call between the bass and guitar that works it's way into funky little slap guitar piece

 

My World:
The first single that came out and this is a classic purely because of how well the instrumentation works, the small synth line backs up the slap
guitar intro nicely and leads to the climax of the chorus which although may have some flat singing has great bass work. This is a really high quality chorus, it's good enough with the flute based synth but the way the backing vocals come in to  offering such a big sound is so impressive.

The song may be more on the simple side with it's liberal use of the chorus but it's just so good and addictive that it's not an issue.

Finally, the key change in the post-chorus, unexpected but fits and transitions the song nicely.

 

Final Thoughts:
A mixed bag, it feels like they've dropped a lot of their style from 'Reincarnation' which can be put down to the band maturing and whilst I may be
a bit biased because of how much I enjoyed that album, 不恰好な街と僕と君 is underwhelming, the album lacks the unique edge that 'Reincarnation' had 
and it feels like a step down, I put this down to how much of an impressive debut 'Reincarnation' and how much potential the band have. Fans will enjoy this and there are some great songs on this but it's noticeable that some parts that made DOF shine above other bands are missing.
 

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