kannivalism - Monochrome

review - 03.01.2008 07:00

A look into a multicolored, monochromatic world through kannivalism.

Monochrome is the latest single from the refreshing kannivalism, and contains three tracks. The title track is also used as the opening theme for the anime series Suteki Tantei LABYRINTH. Following a number of successful releases since their comeback not too long ago - many of which have landed in the top ten of the Oricon charts - one wonders if Monochrome can rise up to the expectations.

The first track, titled after the single, starts with a kind of fun, low-pitched bass intro. A groovy beat quickly builds up after the instruments join in, with Ryo’s unique voice soon to follow. The rhythm constantly rises and then falls again, creating catchy melodies. Kannivalism exhibits their experimental nature via appealing digital sounds, leaving an ethnic and pop aftertaste with the slightest tinge of playful sarcasm. In their previous works, they master lengthy tracks magnificently; sadly, on this song, they sound tired in certain parts, particularly in the middle, mostly due to the multiple repetitions. However, though not exceptional, it is still an enjoyable single.

Then things slow down as Blank flows in. It sweetly unfolds, carrying you on a pleasantly clear melody, and Ryo’s voice at its most enchanting. While it remains a ballad, it gradually reveals an edge, with electro sounds racing along the cleverly enchanted vocals. This song wins you over much more effectively than the title track, fading away with a fantasy like melody.

The single closes with the simple but pleasant Tegami. Lasting less than a couple of minutes, this snippet of a ballad makes for an appropriate outro, focusing on soft vocals and an elegant guitar melody that kei so effectively performs. It definitely makes for a nice addition, leaving a lasting bittersweet impression.

Monochrome, above all, reaffirms the group’s strong sense of individuality. Containing all the refreshing elements that made them stand out in the first place, it takes their eloquent mix of sounds a step further and gives hints of maturity. Mostly, it makes the listener long for things to come!
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