PIRAMIRiSE / Emi Hirayama
PIRAMiRISE / Emi Hirayama
November 22, 2019
Buy at Sweep Record
The album PIRAMiRISE, Emi Hirayama’s debut vocal album, crowdfunded on Fanbeats, features songs from video game heavyweights such as Shinji Hosoe, Ayako Saso, AJURIKA, Yoh Ohyama, among others. It features a blend of pop, rock, and electronic music. How does this album sound and would fans of the composers video game work enjoy this?
The album opens with “JUMP!,” composed by Toshimichi Isoe, a song that would fit right in during the opening sequence of an anime. The melody itself is beautiful and energetic and the acoustic guitar and electric guitar work nicely together with the strings accompaniment. It’s a super fun tune and starts the album off on a high note with an equally strong vocal performance. Following that is “for the Future,” a pop rock tune with some jazzy piano chords, composed by Ayako Saso. The melody itself is catchy, the vocal performance fun, and follows in the vein of the album opener. Of particular note is the inclusion of some baroque influenced melody, which is an intriguing choice for a tune of this nature, but it works very well. Continuing with the pop rock sound, although leaning a bit more towards the rock element, is “Dead or Just the Two of Us ♪,” composed by the trio of Takahiro Eguchi, Shinji Hosoe, and Toshimichi Isoe. The vocals are a bit more cutesy, reminiscent of other Takahiro Eguchi composed vocals, which complement the groovy bass and keyboard aspects of the tune. It’s another strong tune with another catchy melody.
“Flying High,” by MONACA’s Syotarou Seo, is absolutely exquisite. It’s a piano focused pop tune that is bright and effervescent with jazzy piano and wonderful synthesizer passages. The melody itself is fantastic, as is the vocal performance. True to its name, it’s an airy sounding tune and an absolute highlight of the album. Yoh Ohyama’s “Maybe Maybe Maybe” is another pop rock tune, very anime-esque in nature. The melody is quite nice and the tune itself is vibrant, but it’s one of the weaker tunes on the album. Another highlight is Ken Ito’s, of Final Fantasy XIV fame, “Sky of Promise,” a pop ballad with a piano and acoustic guitar focus. The melody is quite beautiful and as it progresses, introduces warm strings and light rock elements and drum pad. The solos are wonderful as well and the vocal performance endearing. Youhei Matsui and AstroNoteS’s “Secrets make shapes of the life” is more electronic focused with its upbeat dance beats and fast-paced vocals, but the jazzy brass accompaniment and some of the vocal gives it a classic feel with a retro twist, at times.
“Working Towards the Future,” by Takahiro Eguchi and Toshimichi Isoe, is another pop rock vocal with a fun melody and an energetic performance that has an anime opening leaning. It’s a fun tune with bubbly passages, but falls a bit short of what other stronger tunes on the album accomplish. AJURIKA’s “Swallowtail Butterfly” is another highlight of the album. It’s another electronic focused pop tune with bubbly synths and a light dubstep focus. The soft piano sections are a nice contrast to the electronic portions of the tune and the swell of electronic elements accompanying the vocals in the chorus are a nice touch. “Perfect Place,” by Seiya Haga, continues with the electronic influence with energetic dance beat, some future house influence. The overall feel has a very idol-like sound and the performance is equally fun and powerful. It’s another highlight of the album. “Signpost,” by Shinji Hosoe, features a bubbly melody accompanied by rock riffs, bass, and some lovely piano work. It’s a really enjoyable pop song with a wonderful performance. Lastly, Hajimi Mobiki’s “Midsummer Emotions” features a dreamy opening sequence with strings and piano before moving into a more pop rock focus. The slower tempo vocals reinforce the dreamy aspects of the opening and the blend of jazzy piano and strings provide a vibrant atmosphere. Overall, it’s a wonderful close to the album.
PIRAMiRISE, Emi Hirayama’s debut album, is a very strong collection of pop tunes, ranging from more rock oriented to more electronic and dance oriented. Her vocal performance shows some range and the music behind the vocals, composed by a variety of composers in the video game music industry, only help reinforce them. Fans of Japanese pop vocals will certainly find something to enjoy in this release from Supersweep.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on February 28, 2020 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on February 28, 2020.