Kiyoharu - slow

review - 12.07.2006 07:00

Kiyoharu slows things down with his third single of the year.

Kiyoharu's third single of 2006, and his first in nearly six months, slow manages to both live up to its title and surprise the listener.

The first twenty seconds of slow, featuring solely Kiyoharu's characteristic vocals and a pretty acoustic guitar, set the mood for the title track and in fact much of this single. Though some gently played electric guitar, bass, and drums do also feature in, this song retains a pleasant, uncomplicated feel giving one the image of just a man alone with his guitar, singing his heart out. While not overly emotional, Kiyoharu's voice possesses a certain power in this song that touches the listener, even if one is not fluent enough in Japanese to understand the words. Overall, it's a very lovely song and simple in the best of ways.

The second track, Cry'n, features even more guitar; the lovely strumming of an acoustic with an electric guitar dancing inbetween Kiyoharu's lyrics and the acoustic. For those with a love of guitar, in the mood for something a bit gentler than the usual electric wail heard in rock songs, this is definitely a sweet little treat for the ears. There is again nothing harsh or overpowering about this song, following the mood set by its predecessor.

my love -version2-, the final track, is a bit of a different creature. Starting out with an electric guitar, it quickly sets itself apart from the other two tracks on this single. The pace is a touch slower but this is no sappy ballad; instead it has an almost seductive, suggestive beat that urges one to dance. Like the other two songs on this single, it's a stripped-down tune, with no flashy horns or synthesizers; it's pure Kiyoharu and rock-n-roll.

This entire single is somewhat basic in its execution, letting the spotlight shine on Kiyoharu's vocals, as it should, while some interesting guitar interactions keep things from dragging. This unembellished single still packs a punch, one that's emotional while not being too sentimental, and it should be well-received by both Kiyoharu's many fans and those new to the famous musician.
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