26 December 2014

Tegomass - Tegomass no Seishun RE album review


Artist: Tegomass
Title: Tegomass no Seishun
Release date: 22 JAN 2014
Type: album
Version: Regular Edition

Packaging: The basic CD case with booklet. The booklet is a lyric booklet with photos of the duo interspersed within its pages. The pages that have the lyrics for Neko Chudoku in it does have cat photos from the contest Tegomass had asking for fans to submit photos of their cats.

Tracks:

1. 蒼色ジュブナイル (Aoiro Juvenile)
Not a bad track to start the album off with. It fits well with the style of songs that Tegomass usually sing and is nice and upbeat. Though it is not a song I listen to often as I do not find much about it that stands out. But it works well as background music and it does have that Tegomass standard feel to it.

2. ハルメキ (Harumeki)
This is the first song on the album that catches my attention. The string instruments used in it really help set it apart and work well with adding energy and fullness to it. It also helps that the song has a driving drum line running through it, as I am a complete sucker for songs with that. Harumeki is easily one of my favorite album songs on this.

3. いつかの街 (Itsuka no Machi)
Another track that falls well within the standard sound for Tegomass. But I rather like it. It is a bit slower than the previous track and I just love the sound of the duo's voices blending in this. Though I do enjoy listening to the song I will admit it is one that I can easily forget as it does little to really stand out among everything else in their discography.

4. DONUTS
A Tegomass album would not be complete without a song that is titled after a food. DONUTS is that track for this album and I rather enjoy. I would consider this to be a light and sweet song by the music and continues the upbeat trend the album began with. We get a some light choral vocals in the vein of gospel music near the end that adds nicely to the song though they are used minimally.

5. ファンタジア (Fantasia)
While there is nothing I would consider wrong with Fantasia at this point of the album it does not seem to offer anything unique to it. Perhaps if this was the first Tegomass album I had ever listened to it would stand out more to me but seeing as it is the fourth instead it does not. By the end of listening to the album I cannot recall much of anything about the song as it just seems to blend in with everything else.

6. タイムマシン (Time Machine)
I find this song to be the most forgettable one on the album. Like the previous song there just is so little that makes it stand out not only among Tegomass' other songs but the album itself. It also lacks any real or strong hook which also helps keep it so very bland. It is still nice to listen to but so easily forgettable and works best as background music that you do not have to pay much attention to.

7. サヨナラにさよなら (Sayonara ni Sayonara)
The first of the two single tracks included in the album. It has this sweetness that I just love as well as the little shifts with the instruments throughout the song. The chorus just has this wonderfully full sound to it and everything just sounds so great put together. I doubt I can truly explain what it is about this song I love so much but I do love it a lot.

8. 少年 ~Re:Story~ (Shounen ~Re:Story~)
This is probably the only song on the album that I feel can really rival the single tracks. The start of the song does not grab me much but once it hits the chorus for the first time it finally hits its stride and continues on strong for the rest of the song. It also gives the album a burst of energy after a couple of slower songs without being too different to make the transition jarring.

9. innocence
That transition of course is quite needed as we get nearer to Neko Chudoku that innocence sounds quite suited to lead into with a change up in style. It gives us something more funky in sound and continues to bring some more life into this album. A great break from everything that has been on the album so far while not really straying from the usual Tegomass sound.

10. 猫中毒 (Neko Chudoku)
The other single song included in the album but it could not be more different than the other. Easily the most energetic song on the entire album and incredibly catchy. It is easily one of the songs that you will remember well after listening to the album and with the build up from the previous two songs fits well where it is.

11. 色鮮やかな君が描く明日の絵 (Iro Azayaka na Kimi ga Egaku Ashita no E)
Another energetic song though a step down from Neko Chudoku but in no way bad for it. While I do not feel it to be as strong as Shounen ~Re:Story~ it is still one of the stronger songs on the album. The use of the fiddle really helps it out and makes it complement Neko Chudoku well.

12. ヒカリ (Hikari)
And then we get a complete change of pace with Hikari that is a much slower song compared to the ones before it. It does build up some for the chorus but the slow start to it makes it a bit jarring after Iro Azayaka na Kimi ga Egaku no E. It also falls into the bland category, not really bringing anything new to the album in sound but it is one of the nicer songs to listen to and has some dynamics to it with the verses being slower to lead into a build up for the chorus. And it would work well as a final track for the album, which for the limited edition it was.

13. きれいごと (Kireigoto)
The first bonus track for the regular edition. It is a nice ballad that makes great use of the tender side of Tegoshi's voice. Even though the song does build up to something strong it never completely loses the softness to it. It is one of the stand out tracks of the album for me and makes getting the RE well worth it.

14. 月の友達 (Tsuki no Tomodachi)
Another stand out track that comes off as dynamic compared to most of the other album songs. While not as upbeat as Neko Chudoku it is something more in that vein, which keeps it from blending in with the rest. Especially the "ore no doku e koi  tsuki made tsuite koi" line that has the music change up for it.


Overall: I do not want to say this is a bad album it is just one that has a lot of songs that for Tegomass seem really safe for them, especially in the first half. My favorite album for the duo is their debut album, Tegomass no Uta, and a part of that was the variety of the songs. Tegomass no Seishun on the other hand does not stray far from the main style of the group which makes many of the songs just blend in with each other. There are some standout tracks and it does get stronger in the second half but even then there are few that really sound like they are on par with the single tracks.

The album tracks complement the single tracks enough that they do not feel like sore thumbs mixed in with them for the most part. In fact I think they did well with the transition needed to get Sayonara ni Sayonara and Neko Chudoku to work being on the same album with how different the two songs sound. The only time that a song felt really jarring was with Hikari. The bonus tracks also did not flow so much with the rest of the album, but being bonus tracks it is forgivable for those.

The bonus tracks come off as a couple of the stronger songs and I would recommend that fans pick up the regular edition for them.

And honestly I do like this album better than their previous one, Tegomass no Mahou. So while it does not live up to their debut album it is at least an improvement over the previous one.

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