SID - smile

review - 04.05.2007 08:00

You'll be grinning from ear to ear.

After a winter tour and a DVD release, indies rock band SID is back with their first single of 2007. Released just in time to chase away the winter blues, smile was released in three formats; this is a review of the regular edition.

Fans of ska music will immediately recognize a kindred soul in smile with its guitar and horn section. What Western ska fans may be pleasantly surprised by is the clarity of vocalist Mao's voice here, perfectly framed by the horns and rest of the band as he gives life to his optimstic lyrics. The other members of SID should not be forgotten, however, as Aki and Yuuya lay the upbeat foundation for the others to build and dance on. Catchy and bright, smile is an excellent choice for a spring single.

The b-side, Hanabira, is a less cheerful but no less well-done affair. Although containing synthesizers, piano, and multiple guitar lines along with the given inclusion of vocals, bass, and drums, the song never feels overly busy or messy. Beautifully mellow, Mao's voice and Shinji's acoustic guitar paint a wistful picture of lost love. Although roughly two minutes longer than the title track, Hanabira never drags as the listener hangs on each note right until the very end.

While the two tracks on this single differ greatly from each other in mood and composition, both are excellently done. Previous fans should be pleased by the slightly jazzy, fun mood of smile and the acoustic guitar work in Hanabira, while new fans are treated to a sample from the vast musical spectrum of this group.
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