G5 10th Anniversary Best
G5 10th Anniversary Best
November 2, 2016
Buy at iTunes Japan
G5 10th Anniversary Best is an original album released under Masahiro Aoki’s ViViX label featuring guitar compositions from the G5 Project from their past discography, which is a series of The artists featured on the album include Masahiro Aoki (as his alias Godspeed), a2c (of MintJam), Nike, Takajii, and YAMATO. What sorts of styles can we expect on this album and is it worth a purchase?
The album opens with a 2016 version of Aoki’s “Cloudia. While the original “Cloudia” was full of piano, orchestral, and jazz rock, this version has a bit of a jazzier sound, particularly in the piano, and a fuller sound overall. It’s a beautiful retouch, but, like with the original version, I feel that the guitar plays second fiddle to the orchestral components. Similarly, “Journey,” by Masahiro Aoki, John Graham, and Koyo Sonae is more of a cinematic rock piece that features beautiful orchestral tones with a softer focus on guitar. That’s not to say that there isn’t any spectacular solos, as there are, but the orchestral backing definitely takes the forefront of the piece and makes the guitar piece seem more of a support instrument rather than the shining star. Aoki’s “Twister” combines fast speed guitar work with keyboards to create a fun progressive rock piece with excellent guitar playing, funky slap bass, and a great melody. Likewise, “Spirits,” by Aoki, is an energetic tune that features a lot of different rock influences and reminds me, in some ways, of Daisuke Ishiwatari’s various tunes from BlazBlue. The melody is definitely a highlight of the tune and the guitar solos are excellent.
Masahiro Aoki, along another G5 member, Nike, feature a piece they co-wrote called “Free for All,” featuring jazzy piano chords, a warm and bright melody played well by electric guitar. The end result is a very dynamic piece. Nike also contributes a few solo tunes as well. “Emergency” is an impressive tune that mixes some electronic elements, a j-rock sound, with plenty of chugging percussion and some great guitar solos. “Freak” features heavier elements and a strong focus on guitar noodling. There is certainly a progressive influence present in the piece, but the less melodically forward piece tends to get lost among some of the stronger melody pieces on the album. When present, though, it is quite enjoyable. Lastly, “Machinery” is a fast paced metal tune with catchy rhythms, a nice melody, and some great solos.
Dying to survive,” by Yamato, is the only contribution from the G5 Project’s newest member. It’s an extremely powerful guitar tune full of post-hardcore metal riffs, some keyboard synth, and even some soft choir accents towards the end of the track. The end result is a tune with a powerful melody and some amazing solos. Takajii provides three drastically different pieces. The first, “Breakdown,” features groovy bass, keyboards, and gives me 70s/80s rock vibes during portions of the piece. The melody itself is quite airy and features a catchy chorus. His tune, “MASCARADA,” focuses solely on acoustic guitar, unlike much of the rest of the album. The end result is fun, full of Spanish vibes, and features a bright melody and beautiful solos. His last tune, “Over the Bridge,” has a funk rock sound to it with a jam session aspect to it, thanks to the jazzy piano chords, groovy bass, and overall guitar work. It’s a dynamic and entertaining piece for sure.
Lastly, all three of a2c’s contributions are both ballads in style. “Words” is a slow jam type of rock piece featuring a melody with a romantic touch alongside some pop influence, due to the vocal backing, to create a wonderfully beautiful piece of music. “Gratitude” focuses on acoustic and electric guitar, focusing a lot on the former, providing a soft sound, a beautiful melody, and a dynamic shift from start to finish from acoustic to e. guitar. His other tune, “Kamuy,” is more of a symphonic rock piece. Featuring setsat on violin and chiemi on the chorus, the piece itself is still quite moving with its stunning melody. However, despite this, there is definitely a heavy metal feel to the riffs that complement the orchestral components of the piece quite nicely. This was one of the highlights on the album it was featured on and continues to be one on this release as well thanks to the strong performance and composition.
ViViX’s G5 10th Anniversary Best manages to showcase a variety of styles heard throughout the various G5 albums over the past decade from all five members. There are some tunes that fail to stand out compared to some of the other tunes on the album or where non guitar elements outshine their guitar counterparts, but the end result is still an enjoyable listen and one that will introduce anyone new to the work on G5. For those who already follow the G5 Project, this album might be extraneous.
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Posted on March 19, 2018 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on March 19, 2018.