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.
November 2016 review.
Review by: Mariëlle
Popular group access brings us their 27th single! This single was released on the 23rd of November, and comes in three versions; Type A, Type X and Type S, and comes with three tracks. What I like about the different versions is that it spells AXS, which is an abbreviation and nickname, created by vocalist Takami Hiroyuki. All three versions have a different tracklist.
access exists out of two members: Takami Hiroyuki, the vocalist, and Asakura Daisuke, whom is the keyboardist, guitarist, composer, back-up vocalist and responsible for the arrangements. Their first collaboration was for Daisuke’s solo album D-trick in 1992, where Hiroyuki is a guest vocalist for Cosmic Runaway and Toy Box in the Morning. Later that year access was formed, and they released their first real single Virgin Emotion.
access are known for their unique and open concepts, and are particularly known for their gay fanservice. This is a huge part of their image. They even sponsored a yaoi doujinshi about themselves, and made a subtle gay themed ‘trilogy’ in 1995. This trilogy is commonly referred to as the mermaid trilogy, made up of three separate music videos (Drastic Mermaid, Scandalous Blue and Tear’s Liberation) which share a continuing story.
Throughout the years, access has switched labels a lot, as well as broken up and they’ve been on hiatus multiple times. But now they’re back with 24Sync, celebrating their 24th anniversary. Ironically the single isn’t released on the 24th of November, even though that would’ve been the PERFECT TIMING. Maybe next year you can TRY AGAIN.
The first song on the single is the title track 24Sync. This song is, obviously, on all three versions of the single. This song reminds me of the classic access; Hiroyuki’s voice is fantastic and Daisuke’s keyboard skills really stand out in this song. The song starts relatively calm, but then the sound effects come in place and the song becomes more energetic. The chorus has a very nice rhythm, and is easy to sing along to. I really like the song, it’s nice and makes an interesting title track.
The second song varies per version. On Type A it’s Missing 4 seasons -24treasure mix-. Type X has Bet ~追憶のRoulette~ (access ELECTRIC NIGHT 2016 ver.). And finally there is f☆R☆E☆e (access ELECTRIC NIGHT 2016 ver.), which is the track you’ll find on Type S.
Lastly, there’s the instrumental version of Winter Ring Affair. In 2015 the original version of this song was released, and now they have gifted us with an instrumental version of this amazingly catchy song. I like this song, it sounds very happy and exciting. Admittedly, it’s not what I expected when looking at the title; I thought this was to be a ballad of some kind. And while I do not immediately think of winter when listening to this song, it’s has a great beat and is super catchy. I really recommend listening to the original song and the instrumental.
Watch the MV promotion for Winter Ring Affair here:
Overall the single is exactly what I would expect of access; the songs are all unique and have a very distinct sound that immediately makes you think of Asakura Daisuke’s style. Hiroyuki’s vocals are superb as ever, and together they managed to pull off yet another successful sound.
I truly recommend listening to this single, even if you are not familiar with their work, 24Sync is a great way to get into access’ interesting and unique songs. Unfortunately, it can be super difficult to find their music online; their work can be a pain to find and buy, but it is definitely worth it to look into them and search for their albums.
If you’re interested in buying access’ single 24Sync, then click the links below.
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