My thoughts on the latest single from Kiyoshi Ryujin and his harem of beautiful wives.
Release Date: July 13th 2016
1. Adventure Shiyouyo♡
3. Adventure Shiyouyo♡ (instrumental)
4. Coupling♡ (instrumental)
The last time Kiyoshi Ryujin and his wives released a single, it was all about peace, love and the usual hippie type stuff. You can check out what I thought of it in my review here if you haven’t already done so. If you don’t have time for that, I’ll just say that I wasn’t really feeling the love but it was still an okay single. I definitely hoped that the follow-up would be better though.
This time, almost predictably we’re going with a summer theme because that’s just what all the groups are doing at this time of year. I don’t hate this…trend? but I feel like there’s definitely room for someone to do something different at this time of year and really stand out from all of the beaches and such. That’s not really relevant at all to this review but I just wanted to throw the idea out there while it was rattling around in my head.
Anyway, I’m coming into this review with my expectations kinda tempered after the last outing. I’m not expecting anything truly terrible, but at the same time I’m not setting my hopes too high on this being a grand slam either. That’s kinda where I’m at with Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 right now. So, let’s see what this latest release has to offer shall we?
“Adventure Shiyouyo♡” is the a-side for this single and it sees the group return to the more jazz influenced sound that a lot of people are more familiar with. Kiyoshi Ryujin once again puts in a brilliant vocal performance, which I suppose should be expected given it’s his name that’s on the project. Having a male vocalist who actually sings like a male (I’m looking at you Dream5) certainly adds a different dimension that other idol groups don’t and can’t have, which is something I’m always going to praise this group for.
Unfortunately, Kiyoshi Ryujin’s harem aren’t afforded such a luxury. It’s not really a new thing, but they’re pretty much reduced to not much more than backing vocals on this song. I get the theme is that he’s the husband and they’re his submissive wives or whatever but when they’re allowed to, these girls definitely can sing. A few of them have some pretty distinct voices too, which would add even more to the songs than is there already.
The instrumentals are enjoyable, as long as you’re predisposed to liking jazz and its associated genres. Unfortunately, 5 singles into their career things are starting to sound a little bit samey. Like I’ve said previously, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a “sound”, as long as you do interesting things with it. For me, this song doesn’t do enough interesting things. It could really do with a more defined hook if you ask me, a total non-professional.
For a rundown of the PV for this song, check out Mike’s weekly “PV Roundup” series here.
The single’s b-side is titled “Coupling♡”, which I’m sure you can all create a number of connotations from if you try hard enough. It’s a pretty light and airy sounding song, which isn’t something I typically go for when it comes to music and I can’t say this time is really all that different. I just want to go into the master file and turn the vocals way up so my deaf ears can hear them better. Maybe I should go get a hearing test one of these days.
On the plus side, Kiyoshi Ryujin takes more of a backseat on this song and his wives are allowed to shine in the vocal department for a change. It basically just goes on to prove the point that I made earlier that these girls can actually sing pretty well if given the chance. The distinctive vocals from a couple of them really give the song some much needed character. Again, just my totally unprofessional opinion.
The instrumentals don’t really stand out too much, which I guess is the intention. I mean, there’s some pretty interesting stuff going on if you listen hard enough but I don’t know if people who listen to idol music are really used to doing that. For what it’s worth, I thought the piano and horn sections were pretty cool, probably because they were the most prominently featured thing in the song besides the vocals which took center stage.
When it comes down to it, this single is just kinda there for me. I’m certainly not rushing to put either of the songs on my phone or anything like that. It’s fairly safe and in styles that Kiyoshi Ryujin and his girls are obviously very comfortable working in. Playing to your strengths is by no means a bad strategy, but for me it’s just getting a tad on the stale side. The songs are fine, they’re just having a hard time drawing me in.
I’m sure Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 will have another release before 2016 is out, be that in the form of a single, album or whatever. I personally hope that they’ll push the boat out from the harbor a little more but I’m not being given any reason to expect as much. Still, I’ll definitely give whatever they release next a spin and review it on here.
Buy on CDJapan: Limited Edition [CD+DVD]