JNL Team presents: The Monthly Review
What is TMR (The Monthly Review)? At the start of every month JNL Team will pick a random album and/or single that was released in Japan and review it.
February 2016 review.
Review by: Mariëlle
FLOW is finally back with their long awaited tenth studio album, conveniently named #10. For those of you who don’t know, FLOW is a popular J-Rock band from the 90s. Many of their songs have been used in Anime. #10 comes in two versions, a regular edition and a limited edition, and has, as one might guess, 10 tracks. The regular edition is a CD Only edition, while the Limited edition has a DVD, with two Music Videos and a documentary from their 2015 tour: “FLOW WORLD TOUR 2015 Kyuoku –Kiwami-”.
This album has a lot of featuring members from other bands, which gives each song a different feeling. Five out of the ten tracks features an extra member, which I think is amazing, as it gives this album something special, and makes their tenth album more interesting.
The first track on the album is called 虹の空 (Niji no Sora; Rainbow’s Sky), which is used as an ending theme for Naruto Shippuden. It does not surprise me, as more of FLOW’s songs are used in the Naruto series, and from the chorus on, this song reminds me of the time I watched that anime. Niji no Sora starts out a bit soft and sad, but as the song progresses the drums and guitar become more intense, and give the song more power. The chorus is great and full of passion, and the vocals are powerful.
Watch the Music Video for Niji no Sora here:
Oblivion is the second track on the album. It’s faster than Niji no Sora, and got me excited for the rest of the album. This song features guitarist HISASHI from the band GLAY. From the start, Oblivion captures your attention with its exciting and rough beats. The guitar really stands out in this song, probably because HISASHI is featured in it.
The third track is called DARK SHADOW. This song features Japanese DJ TeddyLoid (who also happens to be part of the group galaxias!). A lot of autotune in this track, but it does fit well with the music. Heavy instruments blend in well with the autotune.
Steppin’ Out, the fourth track, is a pop rock song. It’s very energetic, and fits the album well. This song is the new opening theme for DuRaRaRa!!. This is the only other song on the album for which they also made an MV. I especially love the combination of KOHSHI’s and KEIGO’s voices in this song.
Watch the Music Video for Steppin’ Out here:
The fifth track, 光追いかけて (Hikari Oikakete -Crystal Lake mix-; Chasing Light -Crystal Lake mix-), is a remixed version of the original Hikari Oikakete, which was used for LIVE SPECTACLE NARUTO, a stage play adaption of the Naruto Manga. I personally prefer the original version of this song to the Crystal Lake Mix, as the mix is much slower and more drowsy than the original. Nevertheless, this remixed edition is very beautiful. It doesn’t seem to fit the album at first, though, because of its slow pace while the first few songs are much faster.
The sixth track is 魑魅魍魎 (Chimimouryou; Evil Spirits of Rivers an Mountains), which features Hayate. It starts out with what sounds like traditional Japanese instruments, but is soon taken over by heavy guitars and bass. It’s a very interesting song, and the traditional instruments really make it stand out.
DECATHLON is the 7th song on the album. It features the beatboxer AFRA. This song sets itself apart from the others easily, and starts with AFRA beatboxing. After more than a minute, they start spelling out the title, and rap the lyrics, and the music changes a lot at that moment too. I personally feel this song doesn’t fit the album too well.
JOY TO THE WORLD comes next. Right away the song starts out really heavy, with some grunting here and there. The title seems very off the first time you hear it, as you don’t expect such a title to have such heavy music, but if you give it a while, the title will end up sounding great for the song. This track features the 6 member indie metal band キバオブアキバ (Kiba of Akiba).
World Symphony starts out very relaxing and beautiful, it then becomes very happy with great bass and guitar. The chorus is great, and makes you want to sing along. Again a very different song from the other songs on the album, but it fits well with the first few tracks. The English in this song is quite good, as well. I really like the song. World Symphony is used as the ending theme for NHK WORLD SHOW, J-MELO.
The final track is 10 Good Days. I love how everything is related to this being their tenth album. It’s a nice and beautiful song, a completely different pace from the faster tracks. It’s a great ballad, and helps you calm down after all the other tracks.
Overall I really like this album. It’s creative and a real treat for fans and even non-fans, and I strongly suggest you give all the songs a good listen.
If you wish to buy to buy #10 by FLOW, click the links below: